By: Kelly Shipp
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – University of Denver senior forward Andre Shinyashiki was named the winner of the prestigious Senior CLASS Award, the organization announced Friday. Shinyashiki is the first Summit League student-athlete in any sport to win the award.
The award, chosen by a vote of Division I men's soccer coaches, national soccer media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I men's soccer. In order to be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character and competition.
"It's an honor to receive the Senior CLASS Award," said Shinyashiki, the first student-athlete from Denver to be named the overall winner of a Senior CLASS Award. "I think my career as a student-athlete at Denver has helped me in unimaginable ways. Not just on the field but off the field, in the community and in the classroom. The culture that we've created here at Denver helps us strive to be the best version of ourselves in everything that we do. I'm just thankful to have been a part of this culture because it is something special. By giving as much time as we have in the community, while holding ourselves accountable in the classroom and pairing that with everything we accomplished on the field, I was able to also learn a lot from my teammates because they were right there by my side. That's what this program at Denver is all about."
In the classroom, the Denver captain has helped lead the Pioneers to the top-grade point average in the country for three consecutive seasons. Shinyashiki was a member of the 2018 Academic All-League team and a three-time member of the Summit League Honor Roll. He is also an honoree of the Summit League Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence.
Shinyashiki, as well as his Denver teammates, is a two-time winner of the Gold Vest, which is awarded to the most well-rounded program at the University of Denver. The award takes into account community service, academic excellence, performance on the field and support of the other student-athletes. He has participated in the following community service events and projects: visits to the children's hospital; serving at the Denver Rescue Mission; participating in the Grant Ranch Elementary School reading program; working with the Clothes to Kids program; helping with Top Soccer (helping kids with special needs and disabled soccer players); assisting with a field day at a local elementary school.
"To win this prestigious award is such an honor and a great reflection of Andre's hard work as a well-rounded student-athlete over the past four years," said head coach Jamie Franks, who earned his fourth-straight Summit League Coach of the Year honor this season. "I love that kid and am so proud of what he accomplished over the past four years. His development and growth over his career has been inspiring to watch. Andre rarely missed a day for improvement and was always truly grateful for the process and highly competitive environment. He recognized that staying four years in college soccer guaranteed that he would be ready to make an impact at next level and still have his college degree."
On the field Shinyashiki is a three-time First Team All-Summit League performer and was named the Summit League Player of the Year in each of the past two seasons. On Thursday he was named a First Team All-American by the United Soccer Coaches (USC) organization and on Wednesday he earned his second straight First Team All-West Region honor by the USC.
Shinyashiki has had a historic season for the Pioneers, leading the country in multiple categories including goals scored (28), total points (60) and game-winning goals (11). Shinyashiki also broke numerous Summit League single-season records including goals, goals per game (1.33), game-winning goals, total points and points per game (2.86). His career numbers are equally impressive as he ends his collegiate career tied for the most career goals (51) and most points (117) in Summit League history.
"Andre Shinyashiki is one of the most impressive student-athletes in collegiate soccer," said Senior CLASS Award Executive Director Erik Miner. "His achievements on and off the pitch are certainly worth recognizing, and his efforts in the areas of our four C's—classroom, character, community and competition—make him the embodiment of everything the Senior CLASS Award stands for. We offer our sincere congratulations to Andre, his team and the entire university."
A complete list of the 2018 Senior CLASS Award All-Americans can be found HERE.