By News-Register wire services • News-Register wire services • 

Steele, Maltman win Marshall Awards

Courtesy of Linfield sports information

Resembling the comic book “Man of Steel” for his toughness, determination and superior skill set, Linfield's Tyler Steele is the male recipient of the 2013-14 Vern Marshall Award. A strapping defensive tackle from Salem, Steele completed a memorable football career that included two All-America citations, four Northwest Conference championships, and victories in 45 of the 50 games he participated in.

Created in recognition of Hall of Fame athlete Vern Marshall Sr., the Marshall Award is presented annually to the Linfield male and female student-athletes displaying the greatest tenacity.

“Tyler is easily one of the most tenacious, tough, determined guys I've ever been around,” said Linfield defensive coordinator Jackson Vaughan. “Those qualities are what made him great as a player. There's no question he's talented, but he is so determined not to fail and to perform at his absolute best. From a very early point in his career, he made himself into a very good player.”

Coming off an All-America season in 2011, Steele was again a dominating force for the Wildcats during the first two games of 2012 in what should have been his senior season. But a devastating knee injury suffered against Hardin-Simmons cut short his season, and very nearly his career.

He successfully rehabilitated his torn ligament through a painstaking process that included multiple trips to a local physical therapist. Fully restored, Steele emerged a force once more on the defensive line during the 2013 regular season. Then came another torn knee ligament against Pacific in the regular-season finale, one week after Linfield had clinched the NWC championship.

A starter in 47 games over his career, Steele finished fifth all-time in tackles for loss (46) and sixth in quarterback sacks. (25). As a team, Linfield boasted the top-rated rushing defense in Division III, allowing opponents an average of just 60.2 yards per game on the ground.

“His toughness rubbed off on the rest of our defense and in particular, the entire defensive line,” said Vaughan. “Tyler was definitely a guy who the rest of the team looked toward as being the heart and soul of our defense.”

The Marshall Award was established in honor of 1957 Linfield graduate Vern Marshall Sr., a former athlete and college and professional sports referee who passed away in 2002.


Maltman wins Marshall Award

Maximizing her potential to become Linfield's third all-time leading scorer and rebounder, women's basketball senior standout Kaely  Maltman has been recognized as the female recipient of the Vern Marshall Award, saluting the student-athlete that demonstrates the greatest tenacity.

Maltman, a second generation Wildcat, was a four-year starter at Linfield, garnering second team all-Northwest Conference honors as a senior and honorable mention consideration in two previous seasons. As one of just three players in program history to total 1,000 or more points and 500 or more rebounds, the senior tallied 1,265 points and 600 boards in four seasons, averages of 13.2 and 6.9 per game.

In four seasons on the court, Maltman recorded 15 double-doubles, 11 20-point performances and the second highest single-game rebounding total (21) in women's basketball history. Throughout it all, she demonstrated a high level of integrity, perseverance and work ethic.

“Kaely will go down in the history book because of her numerous accomplishments,” said head coach Robin  Potera-Haskins, “however, what makes her stand out forever is her purple-and-red colored work ethic.”

Starting every game of her career and never missing a practice, Maltman was typically the first to arrive and last to leave the gym, spending countless hours working to turn her weaknesses into strengths.

Undersized as a 5-foot-10 post and without a pure shot, she developed an ability to drive and finish at the basket coaches and teammates affectionately called “The Maltman” that was unstoppable to conference opponents in single coverage. As a senior, Maltman ranked among the top five in the Northwest Conference for numerous statistical categories, including first in field goal percentage (57.9) and assists per game (4.0), second in rebounds (9.1), third in blocks (27) and fifth in total points (389).

“Kaely's accomplishments were achieved through her tenacity to find a way to succeed despite the challenges,” Potera-Haskins said.

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