WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Travis Exstrom, one of the top soccer goalies in the Northwest Conference the past three seasons, is the 2003 recipient of the R.V. Borleske Trophy, which is given annually to the outstanding male athlete at Whitman College.
The trophy, which is awarded by a vote of the Whitman coaching staff, recognizes athletic ability and accomplishments, leadership and sportsmanship qualities, and contributions to the campus as a whole.
Exstrom, a philosophy major and graduate of Redmond (Wash.) High School, is only the second soccer player to receive the Borleske Trophy, which has been given since 1937. The only other soccer recipient of the trophy, Nicholas Walker in 1981, was also from the Puget Sound area. Walker, who came to Whitman as a graduate of Seattle Preparatory School, later completed a master's degree at Stanford University.
Exstrom earned All-Northwest Conference Honorable Mention recognition in each of his last three seasons. He led the conference in saves as both a sophomore and junior, and finished second in that statistical category as a senior.
By the end of his sophomore season, Exstrom had solidified his spot among the elite goalkeepers in the NWC. He had five shutouts that season and shared in a sixth. In his last four starts, he surrendered just one goal -- on a penalty kick.
Exstrom had a total of 10 shutouts in his final three seasons. He shared in two others.
The Missionaries will be hard pressed to replace Exstrom in goal next fall, Whitman coach Mike Washington said. Exstrom was "definitely one of the keys to our team," Washington said. "His teammates always knew he could shut down any offense. His standards and expectations for himself, and for his team, were always very high. He gave all that he had every time he stepped onto the field."
As a senior, Exstrom shared his team's Most Valuable Player award with one of his teammates. Exstrom was sole recipient of the MVP award as a junior. He received the Coach's Award following his sophomore season.
Exstrom will be remembered as a "great shot stopper" who thrived on the pressure of close games, and who was "tough to beat when he was in the right zone," Washington said.
Exstrom graduates from Whitman later this month with honors in his philosophy major. Before enrolling in law school, he plans to work next year as a law clerk in the Seattle law office of Preston Gates & Ellis. Founded in 1883 in Seattle, Preston Gates & Ellis has evolved into one of the nation's premier, full-service law firms, with more than 400 attorneys practicing in five states, Washington, D.C. and Hong Kong.
The son of Connie and Russell Exstrom of Issaquah, Wash., Exstrom will be the first attorney in his immediate family, although a cousin, Wendy Fisher and her husband Eric, are attorneys with the firm Hoffman, Reilly, Pozner & Williamson in Denver, Colo.
Exstrom, an active leader in Whitman's Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity for four years, is an Order of Omega recipient. With more than 300 collegiate chapters nationwide, the Order of Omega seeks to recognize those fraternity men and women who achieve a high standard of leadership in interfraternity activities.
Exstrom was elected as a junior to the Order of Waiilatpu, a senior honorary at Whitman that honors outstanding scholarship, enterprise, citizenship and service to the college and community.
The Borleske Trophy honors Raymond V. Borleske, who achieved legendary status as an athlete and later as a coach at Whitman during the first half of the 20th century. He starred on Whitman's football and baseball teams, and he was the first football player from the Northwest to be recognized by Walter Camp's Spaulding Football Guide. After graduating from Whitman and earning a law degree, Borleske returned to campus in 1915 to begin a coaching career that continued until 1947.