Escanaba’s Levi Wunder named 2015 Warrior Sports Michigan High School Hockey Player Of The Year
Southfield, MI – State Champs! Network and Warrior Sports announced today that Escanaba Forward Levi Wunder has been named the recipient of the Warrior Sports Hockey Player of the Year Award for 2015.
Wunder was one of four finalists selected by a combination of online fan voting and a panelist of analysts in cooperation with State Champs! Network, the organization hosting the annual contest. The other finalists were Novi’s Brad Hofelich, Rochester United’s Marshall Bowery and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood’s Austin Alger.
“It’s an honor,” Wunder said. “I played with Marshall, he was a line-mate of mine for Team Michigan and I talk to him on a regular basis. I’ve played against Brad and we lost a tight game at the Michigan Showcase and I don’t think I’ve played against Austin, but he’s a great player as well. To be in that upper echelon with those great players is an honor and to come out on top is really great.”
Wunder earned an automatic spot in the final four after winning the fan vote with 22,719 votes, and was named this year’s winner after putting together a tremendous senior season where he collected 46 goals and 46 assists, garnering him the second most points in the state this season.
Alger finished second in the fan vote with 12,380 votes.
Wunder was instrumental in leading Escanaba to the state semifinals (Division 2) for the first time in school history. The Eskymos finished the 2014-15 season 18-11-1.
“Every year, it’s extremely difficult to pinpoint who the number one player is because we’re so lucky to have as many great players across the state as we do,” said Lorne Plant, Executive Producer and Host of State Champs! Sports Network. “Hockey has grown tremendously throughout Michigan and there are great players from across the state each year, however, only one player can win the award”.
“What separates the Warrior Sports Hockey Player of the Year Award is that fans play a part in who they feel should be the No. 1 player in the state. It doesn’t guarantee you will win, but it gives you an advantage because it accounts for 20 percent of the criteria. It was a difficult decision, but Levi scored 46 goals and had an equal amount of assists, he was a truly a team player, a big game performer and Escanaba played good competition all year.”
The criteria choosing a winner of the award included: Performance throughout the season (30%), level of competition (20%), online vote (20%), big game performance (15%), team success (10%) and highly recruited athlete or draftee (5%).
State Champs! Senior Hockey Analyst Sean Baligian indicated that based on talking with coaches from across the state throughout the year, and Wunder’s outstanding body of work this winter along with the above criteria on selecting a winner, Wunder was “the right choice”.
“Obviously, Warrior tapped us on the shoulder a couple of years ago and we want to do our due diligence on the great product across the state,” Baligian said. “We have to talk with coaches to see what they think and before the season I talked with many coaches across the state and Levi Wunder was mentioned by everyone. Players in the Upper Peninsula can be a myth, because of how often you seen them, but as his numbers grew, the myth that was Levi Wunder became an undeniable reality. He had a great year, and based on the contest criteria, everyone felt he was the natural choice as this year’s winner.”
Wunder is the third Warrior Sports and State Champs! Network Hockey Player of the Year Contest winner, joining Livonia Stevenson’s Dominic Lutz, who won in 2013, and Trenton’s Andrew Sawyer who won the award in 2014.
“It’s something that I’ll absolutely never forget,” Wunder said. “It’ll be scratched in history. I never thought I’d be where I am today and there are so many people I’d like to thank by name but I can’t. It’s incredible to be a part of that echelon of players at that peak and it’s something that I’ll be able to look back on forever.”
Fans can watch Levi’s surprise reaction to winning the Warrior Sports Hockey Player of The Year Award when the announcement is covered on the State Champs! High School Sports Show this Sunday morning, March 22 at 9:00 AM on Fox Sports Detroit.
State Champs! Network would like to thank Warrior Sports for being a tremendous supporter of the Hockey Player of the Year Award as well as a great supporter of high school sports throughout the state of Michigan.
About Warrior Sports
Headquartered in Warren, Michigan, Warrior Sports is recognized as one of the sporting goods industry’s premier manufacturer of innovative, high performance, cutting-edge equipment, footwear and apparel for lacrosse and hockey athletes of all ages and abilities. Founded in 1992 by former champion lacrosse player David Morrow, Warrior was acquired by privately-held New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. in February 2004. The 2007 acquisition of Boston-based Brine Sporting Goods further established Warrior Sports as the dominant force in the lacrosse world.
Warrior Sports has sponsored excellence in high School athletics for many years and is the sponsor for both the State Champs! Network’s annual Michigan High School Hockey Player of the Year Award and High School Lacrosse Player of the Year Award. To learn more about Warrior Sports, visit their website at www.warrior.com or on Facebook at Facebook.com/WarriorHockey.
About State Champs! Network
STATE CHAMPS! Network is a full service media company dedicated to producing professional, high quality college and high school sports media productions, feature shows and programming that promotes higher education through athletic achievement in the arts and sciences. STATE CHAMPS! High School Sports Show, the 4-time Emmy-award winning high school sports show, airs on Sundays at 9 am on Fox Sports Detroit, and is rebroadcast across the state throughout the week on Comcast – Channel 900. State Champs! Network also produces many TV specials such as Legends and Rivals, as well as feature series such as Michigan Kingpins, The Extra Point Football Show, Robozone and Michigan Business Edge. For the latest high school sports shows, news and features please visit www.statechampsnetwork.com.