Sports banquet honors athletes

After enduring hard practices, injuries and tough games, MC athletes were honored with a crowded room of fans, teammates and family to watch their shining moment. The athletes who have worked all season long received recognition from athletic staff and fans at the annual sports banquet in April.

Athletic Director Forrest Allen welcomed the well-dressed crowd with a speech honoring the hard work of the athletes, and also the team behind the scenes which keeps the program going. Gary McQuerry, MC athletics announcer for the past 10 years, gave the opening prayer and said he was blessed to have served for so long as the MC announcer.

Then a video featuring highlights of all MC sports began. Reta Mason, athletic secretary to Forrest Allen, and Barbara Willis, basics math teacher at MC, assisted attendees during the highlight reel.

The spirit squad was the first group up for awards, which were presented by its adviser and coach, Ty Solis. All but one of the spirit squad would be moving to other places after this semester, according to Solis.

Next Allen commended Head Athletic Trainer Sonya Mikeska.

“Sonya is one of the hardest working people I know. She does a phenomenal and thankless job,” Allen said before letting her have the podium.
“I just want my student trainers to know how appreciative I am and acknowledge their hard work,” Mikeska said. She had her student trainers stand up instead of approach the podium and named each trainer with the sports team he or she had worked with.

The MC golf team is still in season but was next up to be honored by its coach, Delnor Poss. “This year’s golf team is an outstanding group of young men,” Poss said. “They won the southwest junior college championship last week. They are the number one scoring team in the nation. I would say they are all the most valuable players.”

Head volleyball coach Tammie Jimenez honored her players next with jokes and awards, and introduced her new assistant volleyball coach, Holli Reyna. She presented the award for most improved player to Megan Sanchez. Offensive player of the year went to Larissa Gomez while defensive player of the year was awarded to Marina Salazar. The most valuable player award was given to Gabby Neito, and the Lady Chap award went to Kristina Gafford.

“I want to give special thanks to Kathleen Leausa who was out with an ACL tear and worked as my assistant on the bench,” Jimenez said. She also gave thanks to her bus drivers, the Willis family, and the fans for their support.

“It was a year of ups and downs,” Head men’s basketball coach Jordan Dreiling said. “We have a phenomenal staff and I’m thankful to be here. We had an unbelievable seven guys that finished the season. You accomplished more than you think you did.”

Head women’s basketball coach Ron Jones said, “We were 18-12 this season. I’m not disappointed in the young ladies I got to coach.”

Katherine Kruschke and Mary Savoy were elected as all-conference players. Savoy was an all-region basketball player and also won awards for offensive player of the year and most valuable player. Defensive player of the year went to Gabriella Martins, most improved player was given to Tajenay Vega, and the Lady Chap award was given to Kruschke.

“We are a having a tough season and lots of injuries,” Head softball coach Tommy Ramos said. “I’m proud of the girls. We decided to have the girls invite their favorite teacher to the banquet as a token of appreciation. Thanks for your support.”

Head baseball coach David Coleman described his team’s season as a rollercoaster and spoke of the team’s rut when it lost four back-to-back games but said they were fighting out of it.

“I’m proud to experience this season with this group of guys,” Coleman said. “My coaching motto is ‘do what’s right.’ This group above all others have done what’s right.”

Academic Excellence awards were also given to students who had a 3.5 GPA or higher. Forty-seven athletes and student trainers were given this honor.

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