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Calvin’s Mitch Blankespoor Named Co-Recipient of Renner Associate SID Award

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

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ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association has announced the winners of the Renner Associate SID Award.  Mitch Blankespoor, a student assistant in Calvin College’s sports information office, and Forrest Tarsa, a student assistant in Hope College’s sports information office, share this year’s Renner Award.

Mitch Blankespoor

A native of Cutlerville, Mich. and graduate of Grand Rapids South Christian High School, Mitch Blankespoor has worked in Calvin’s sports information department for four years, most recently as a student intern during his senior year. He is being honored with the Renner Award for the second consecutive year.

Blankespoor has fulfilled numerous responsibilities in Calvin’s SID office, including writing game stories, producing feature stories for the college’s sports website, overseeing student statistics crews for home athletic events, and provided play-by-play broadcast coverage in numerous sports. He took on the role of teaching both professional staff and student crews proper statistical procedures for both volleyball and lacrosse during the past year.

Blankespoor served as the lead broadcaster with the Calvin volleyball team as the Knights captured the NCAA Division III national title in 2010, and was lead broadcaster and writer for volleyball and basketball during his senior year. He served as a play-by-play broadcaster for Calvin road basketball games on WFUR-FM (102.9) in Grand Rapids.

Blankespoor also volunteered to work at several NCAA national championship events, including the 2012 and 2013 Division III women’s basketball finals in Holland, and assisted other MIAA sports information directors during the past year, traveling to providing volleyball statistics assistance at several schools, and also to the MIAA cross country championships.

Blankespoor, who graduated in May from Calvin with a degree in sports management, is the son of Curt and Carmen Blankespoor of Cutlerville, Mich.

Forrest Tarsa

A native of Cedar, Mich., and graduate of St. Mary High School in Lake Leelenau, Forrest Tarsa worked in Hope College’s public and community relations office as a sports information assistant for nearly all four of his years at Hope.

Tarsa was responsible for coordinating schedules of other students who worked in Hope’s sports information office, trained students in keeping statistics, and managed the press box at home athletic events. He worked on numerous MIAA championship events and also provided support to professional staff when Hope hosted the 2012 and 2013 NCAA Division III women’s basketball championships and the 2012 NCAA Division III volleyball championships. He spent one summer at Hope determining all-time school records in several sports.

Tarsa, who graduated from Hope in May with a degree in economics, was an active member of the student body during his time at the college and as a senior received the college’s Dean of Students Greek Leadership Award.

He is the son of Stephen and Diana Tarsa of Cedar, Mich.

The Renner Award honors outstanding efforts by student assistants in sports information offices at MIAA schools. Tom Renner of Hope College, who is concluding his SID position at Hope after 47 years on July 1.



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