WolfPack athletes honored with online celebrations

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Madison College honored it's 2019-2020 athletes with a series of online celebrations.

Christina Gordon, Sports Editor

The 55th annual Madison College athletic awards banquet was supposed to be on April 22, but due to the coronavirus pandemic this year’s awards banquet looked a little different than the past.  

This year’s banquet was done all online and went from May 4-8.  The athletic department put out videos to celebrate the athletes’ accomplishments.  

It started off on May 4 with Steve Hauser, athletic director welcoming everyone to this year’s athletic banquet.  

“The reason for us getting together is to recognize our terrific athletes and teams, the same as it has in the last 54 years at Madison College.”  athletic director Steve Hauser explained

The first award of the night was the N4C Academic All-Conference. 

Madison College had 66 N4C Academic All-Conference members with baseball having 20, men’s basketball having three, women’s basketball having five, golf had two, men’s soccer had eight, women’s soccer had seven, softball had 15 and volleyball had six. The 66 this year was up 12 from last year.  

Madison College had an astounding 20 athletes named NJCAA All-Academic for 2018-19. Those recognized were: Olivia Bancroft-Hart, Jackson Brown, Msughter Dzoho, Pierson Gibis, Caitly Gilbertson, Lillian Glackin, Troy Hickey, Carson Holin, Jenna Kohrt, Kelly Kubicek, Derek Lee, Matt Miller, Fabian Perez, Meghan Petroski, Britt Schumann, Jake Smith, Patrick Sommers, Irene Tomasovic, Allison Tomlinson, and Carl Valk.

Finally, Pierson Gibis and Irene Tomasovic were named the top male and female athletes of 2018-19. Tomasovic, a softball player, had a perfect 4.0 GPA, while Gibis, a baseball player, had a 3.90 GPA.

The celebration on May 5 opened with a message from Madison College President Dr. Jack E Daniels III.  

“We are here to honor our student athletes, they have excelled on either the field or the court as well as the classroom.  It also gives up time to recognize the outstanding work of all the coaches, they have worked with these young players, they have mentored these young players, and they have been able to mold them into excellent citizens,”  Daniels said.

The presentations opened by recognizing each team’s most valuable player as voted on by their teammates.  They were: Jason Williams, men’s basketball; Aniah Williams, women’s basketball; A.J. Gray, golf; Evan Bartz, men’s soccer; Jenna Kohrt, women’s soccer, and Calla Borchert, volleyball.

Each team’s most improved players were also recognized. The were: Earl Lewis, men’s basketball; Kylie Esser, women’s basketball; Ethan Churchill, golf; Andy Mendez-Maya, men’s soccer, Kaitlyn Clapper, women’s soccer; and Jaidyn Lange, volleyball.

Madison College Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Howard Spearman opened the event on May 6.  

“I simply want to give a shout out to the athletic department as a whole.  Steve Hauser great job as an athletic director, Jason Verhelst thank you for what you do, the athletic department great job.  I want to give a special thank you to all the coaches. Coaches work around the clock.  Not just evaluating talent but mentoring athletes, holding them accountable to the plans they have created regarding academics, being a better athlete, being a better student, and being a better person,” Spearman said.

The focus of the evening was to celebrate the 2019-20 All-Region Selections and special award winners. Madison College had 29 athletes named to all-region teams. Those athetes were: Nick Gile, Patrick Foldy, Matt Hamilton, Eliot Turnquist, Nathan Aide and Walker Jenkins from baseball; Jason Williams, Davion Washington and Shamar Newman from men’s basketball; Aniah Williams, Lilly Dorman and Olivia Marron from women’s basketball; A.J. Gray and Matt Hach from golf; Samuka Toure, Pablo Guzman, Muhammed Sallah and Evan Bartz from men’s soccer; Jenna Kohrt, Mackenzie Bielicki, Lydia Webster, Kaitlyn Clapper, and Kelly Kubicek from women’s soccer; Jordan Martin, Irene Tomasovic and Maddie Fink from softball; and Cathleen Flannery, Calla Borchert, and Sidni Walgurski from volleyball.

The final award of the day was the 2020 Region IV Hall of Fame Inductees, Madison College had three HOF inductees.  

Terissa Bierd was the first, Bierd was on the 2013-2014 volleyball team.   Melissa Ernst was the next, Ernst was on the 2009 volleyball team. The final member inducted into the Hall of Fame was Daniel Krause, Krause was on the 2013-2014 baseball team.  

On May 7, the evening opened with a message from Madison College Dean of Arts & Sciences Dr. Todd Stebbins.

“The reason the athletic banquet is one of the greatest events we have is because I get to witness our student athletes who are being celebrated for the great ways you have represented yourselves, your teammates, coaches and the college,” Stebbins said. 

“We are all disappointed with how the spring sports season ended but we will not lose sight of what you have accomplished this year on the fields and floors of athletic competition, and in the classrooms as students,” he added.

The focus of the night was to honor the all-conference and All-American players. Madison College had 22 athletes named N4C All-Conference and six named All-American by the NJCAA. The WolfPack All-Americans were: Jenna Kohrt, Cathleen Flannery, Joe Cayer, Nick Gile, Matt Hamilton, and Nathan Aide.

The final night of the banquet was on May 8, and Provost Dr. Turina Bakken provided the welcome and announced the Male and Female Sports Persons of the Year.

The male sports person of the year was Msughter Dzoho, who played goalie for the men’s soccer team.  

“His work over his two-year carrer at Madison College placed him ninth in career save percentage at .753% and 15th in career saves with 55.  What sets him apart are the sacrifices to the rest of the talented goalkeepers, with his quick reflexes commanding calm and presence.  His excellent focus helped the WolfPack stay competitive and win many games,” Bakken said.

The female sports person of the year was awarded to Kelly Kubicek, the goalie for the women’s soccer team.

“For two years she started every game her team played and was a crucial ingredient to claiming back-to-back N4C titles. As a sophomore she and the WolfPack claimed the programs second region IV crown before falling one win shy of the national tournament game.  Game in and game out she did the best to keep the action in front her rather than behind, which led to nine shutouts her sophomore season, and 17 total shutouts over two years.  Both are school records,” Bakken said.