Junker and Neuharth Named BSU Athletes of the Year
The Bemidji State University athletic department announced numerous athletic awards for the 2019-2020 BSU sports season. Traditionally, the award ceremony takes place in a banquet form, but this year everything was virtual. The event culminated with the announcement of Michael Junker and Tia Neuharth being named the male and female athletes of the year.
Junker was a defensive back for the BSU football team and was the NSIC leader in interceptions and finished tied for fourth nationally with eight on his way to earning 2019 NSIC North Division All-Conference First Team Defense.
He returned two interceptions for touchdowns and led the nation with 272 interception return yards this season. In addition to being named First-Team all NSIC, at the conclusion of the season, Junker was recognized as an All-American by Don Hansen’s Football Gazette, American Football Coaches Association, Associated Press, Division-II Collegiate Commissioners Association and D2Football.com, setting a BSU record for All-American awards.
Junker finished his career as BSU’s all-time leader in interception return yards (378) and the program’s runner-up in career interceptions (17).
Neuharth was captain for the BSU soccer team and three-time All-NSIC selection and two-time first-team pick who started all 19 games on the Beavers’ back line in 2019 and played in a team-high 1,720 minutes. She finished her senior season atop BSU’s all-time starts list with 78, while she is tied for first in matches played with 79.
Neuharth is a member of the NSIC All-Academic Team of Excellence, she was also selected to the United Soccer Coaches’ All-Central Region First Team, and earned Division II Scholar All-America Third Team honors from United Soccer Coaches following the season.