Wyatt Saltarelli & Danielle Curnes
College of the Ozarks’ Athletic Department recognized the 2017-2018 student athletes on May 2nd at the annual Athletic Awards Banquet. The teams came together with coaches, staff, fans, and parents to celebrate the many successes of the past season. Volleyball, basketball, cheer, cross country, track & field, and golf coaches presented athletes with individual awards for their sport. Baseball awards will be given at a later date, following the completion of their season.
In addition to the individual team recognitions, three awards encompassing the entire athletic program were chosen and presented to athletes of various teams as well.
The Courage Award, given to an athlete who has overcome adversity, was announced by Athletic Trainer Gary Turbak, with the recipient being baseball player Chad Reusch.
The Champions of Character Award was presented by NAIA campus character liaison for College of the Ozarks, Dr. Mark Rapinchuk, to athletes who exemplify the NAIA’s five core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership. This year’s Champions of Character featured: volleyball senior Hannah Bracker, basketball seniors Canyon Smith and Lakin Simmerman, baseball senior Jacob Karlson, golf junior Eric Powell and senior Bekah Goodwin, cross country junior Jeremy Wood and senior Torri Holder, cheer team members junior Allie Steuck and senior Jacy Snider, and track and field junior Mikaila Livingston and sophomore Ty Durnell.
The Chris Waller Outstanding Student Athlete Awards are given to the top senior male and female letterman with the highest GPA, combining athletic and academic excellence. Dr. Chris Larsen, dean of sports, recreation and events, presented this award to volleyball’s Danielle Curnes , a nursing major, and baseball’s Wyatt Saltarelli, who majors in criminal justice: law enforcement.
In addition, the Bruiser T. Bobcat Award was presented by C of O Student U representative Caden Peterson to Lain McCanless, honoring him for outstanding leadership in promoting school spirit through the College’s Athletic program.