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Fort Lewis forward Anton Hjalmarsson wins RMAC Freshman and Player of the Year

David Oberholtzer wins RMAC coach of the year for the Skyhawks
Anton Hjalmarsson scored two goals against Adams State earlier in the season. (Courtesy of Fort Lewis College athletics)

The former salesman-turned-Fort Lewis College soccer star has sold the RMAC on his talents.

Skyhawks freshman forward Anton Hjalmarsson captured plenty of hardware by winning both RMAC Freshman of the Year and RMAC Player of the Year.

Hjalmarsson was a dominant player from the minute he stepped on the pitch, scoring 10 goals and eight assists to lead the Skyhawks with 28 points.

“I was very happy when it was announced,” Hjalmarsson said. “I feel like this season has been ours since the start. The effort and performance of the team have been outstanding, and I am glad I could provide the points to help the team.”

Hjalmarsson has converted 26% of his shots to goals, which is the best percentage of any player with more than seven points.

“Statistically speaking, 10 goals and eight assists, I don't think we've had many guys with 10 goals in the time that I've been here,” Skyhawks coach David Oberholtzer said. “Just the fact that he has been able to do in his first year and then also rack up a really strong amount of assists as well, it’s just incredibly impressive.”

Oberholtzer won RMAC Coach of the Year for the first time in his career, as he guided the Skyhawks to a 10-3-4 regular-season record and Fort Lewis’ first RMAC regular-season title since 2011 after going 6-1-3 in conference play.

“On one side, it's cool because It's my peers from the rest of the conference that vote on that stuff, but I prefer to stay out of the out of the spotlight like that and let the guys enjoy that,” Oberholtzer said. “Anytime the team is doing well, then obviously some of the some personal acknowledgment is going to come. It's really just attributed to the team and the work that they put in all year and put us in this position.”

Oberholtzer also credited his assistants Dillon Nino and Tom Donnelly with being such an integral part of the Skyhawks’ success. Nino joined in August and made an immediate impact, and Oberholtzer praised Donnelly’s work with the goalkeepers.

Junior Gabriel Legendre and senior Loic Jean-Baptiste made first team all-conference alongside Hjalmarsson. Legendre tallied 10 goals and one assist in the regular season. Jean-Baptiste had three goals and three assists for the Skyhawks.

“Gabe and Loic have both been involved in the program for a number of years,” Oberholtzr said. “They were with us when we were not having as much success as we are now, and they're a big reason why we were able to turn the ship and have such a strong year.”


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