Ancilla College held its 2017-18 Spring Athletic Awards Banquet Thursday night at Swan Lake Resort. Over 30 athletes were honored during the ceremony. Guest speaker Charlie Adams tied in his story about the Miracle on Ice to the Ancilla athletes by centering on goalie Jim Craig and the fact he got his first college experience at a two-year college.
Athletic Director Brian Pearison praised the students for their work on the field and in the classroom and the college administration who has supported him in his transition to athletic director this semester. He also introduced the coaches who spoke about their seasons and players.
Half of the teams had been to a national tournament this year or are set to go in a couple of weeks. Another one is still playing for the opportunity. Men’s and women’s bowling both finished second in the nation. Women’s basketball finished in the top 10 at nationals. Women’s golf is heading to nationals in May. Wresting was represented at nationals by a grappler and men’s golf has a good chance of also heading to nationals when their regular season closes. Men’s basketball was rated in the top three in nation for several weeks, including three weeks at No. 1. They were a game shy of making it to nationals.
A theme that all coaches repeated throughout the night was the respect and gratitude they had for former athletic director Gene Reese, who started this program 24 years ago. Reese had hired each of them and given them the support to build top quality programs.
President Ken Zirkle closed the event with encouragement to those returning to continue the progress of this year. He wished the sophomores continued success as they move on to other programs for their final years of education.
Men’s Golf–Coaches Award: Zachary Pendleton (Edinburgh), Most Improved: Caleb Buczinski (Winamac), Most Valuable: Adam Gruenig (Winamac).
Women’s Golf–Coaches Award: Brittany Taylor (Schertz,TX), Most Improved: Makayla Weber (Osgood), Most Valuable: Megan Lafontaine (Fort Wayne).
Softball–Coaches Award: Kelsey Gooch (Francesville), Most Improved: Kami Gilreath (Monroeville), Helping Hands: Adrian Evans (Walkerton), Most Valuable: Leah Carter (New Palestine) and Sam Nickerson (LaPorte).
Men’s Bowling–Coaches Award: Jarrett Whitehead (Lafayette), Most Improved: Michael Carney (Alexandria), Most Valuable: Colton Baker (South Bend).
Women’s Bowling–Coaches Award: Brooklyn Schutz (Elkhart),Most Improved: Megan Heflin (Dyer), Most Valuable: Angelique McKeny (Hebron).
Men’s Basketball–Coaches Award: Ty’Sean Sheppard (South Bend), Most Valuable: Jair Rodgers (South Bend), and Tyler Chism (Chicago).
Women’s Basketball–Coaches Award: Quaynika Merriweather (Kokomo), Most Improved: Brynda Krueger (Mentone), Most Valuable: LaRae Rascoe (Indianapolis).
Wrestling–Coaches Award: Charlie Lanam (Angola), Most Improved: Wilson Lopshire (Huntington), Most Valuable: Luke Sinkovics (Mishawaka).
Baseball–Coaches Award: Josef Richardson (Indianapolis), Most Improved: Everett Krueger (Culver), Most Valuable: Luis Mantero (Puerto Rico).
Cheerleading–Coaches Award: Kaylee Kauffman (Topeka), Most Improved: Jamie Meyer (Rochester), Most Valuable: Triton Krueger (Knox).