Saint Martin's Honored In Thurston County Sports Awards
The awards also include the SMU baseball team for the Sports Moment of the Year and a special award for the late Father Gerard Kirsch.
The awards also include the SMU baseball team for the Sports Moment of the Year and a special award for the late Father Gerard Kirsch.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Led by the performance of men’s soccer standout Brandon Madsen, Saint Martin’s University recently received three Thurston County Sports Awards from the Olympia & Beyond Sports Commission.

Madsen was recognized as the organization’s Men’s College Sports Star of the Year. The Saints’ baseball program’s run in the 2019 GNAC Championships was named the Sports Moment of the Year while the late Father Gerard Kirsch was honored with a Special Recognition Award.

Like many other recognition programs this spring, the annual awards presentation was moved online due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The awards were announced on May 27.

Madsen was an incredible scorer in his senior season, setting Saint Martin’s school records for goals (18) and points (40). He finished the season leading the GNAC and ranked third in Division II in goals, was eighth nationally in points and goals per game (0.95) and was 10th nationally with 2.11 points per game. Named the GNAC Player of the Year, Madsen also earned All-West Region honors from both the D2CCA and United Soccer Coaches and earned Second Team All-America honors by the United Soccer Coaches.

The Saints’ baseball program was honored for its run to the championship game at the 2019 GNAC Baseball Championships in Portland. Specifically singled out was the two consolation bracket games for the No. 4 seeded team on May 9. In the first of those games, The Saints came back from a 1-0 deficit on Austin Feist’s three-run homer in the fourth and backed up a complete-game four-hitter for Cooper Webster to complete a 3-2 win over Northwest Nazarene.

Saint Martin’s came back four hours later for another come-from-behind victory, blowing the game open with a six-run eighth inning to beat Western Oregon 9-2. The Saints outhit the perennial GNAC powerhouse 12-7 in the contest.

Known affectionately as “Father G” on the Lacey campus, Kirsch was an assistant professor of history at Saint Martin’s. A 1965 graduate of the school he entered Saint Martin’s Abbey and was ordained in 1970. An ardent supporter and regular attendee of Saints’ athletics events until his deather in March 2020. Inducted into the Saint Martin’s Hall of Honor in 2018, Gersch was a noted spiritual leader for many SMU student-athletes.

“He helped everyone through difficult times and was there to help celebrate the good ones,” his nomination noted. “He connected with all the student-athletes and cared for them more than anyone else. Father G embodied the best of us, showing up and cheering, rain or shine, win or less.”