Student Athletes Honored
5/2/2009 8:03:12 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. On Thursday, April 30, New Mexico Junior College's student athletes were honored in the Ben Alexander Student Learning Center at the 42nd Annual Athletic Awards Banquet for their outstanding individual achievements in athletic training, baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country/track, golf, and rodeo.
Kayla Schmitz, NMJC Athletic Trainer, presented Athletic Training Awards to Travis Thompson-Campbell and Amanda Lopez.
Head Baseball Coach Cory Hall made several presentations to student athletes: Armando Gutierrez - Highest Average Award and the Most Home Runs Award; Ben Gonzales - Best Defensive Player Award; Chad Shands - Best Pitcher Award; and Mike Mutcheson - Most Valuable Player Award and the Jack Poyner Award.
In Men's Basketball, Head Coach Jimmy Voight presented awards to the following players: Chris Mast - Best Offensive Player; Richie Lewis - Free Throw Award; Justyn Franks - Best Defensive Player; Fabio Ribiero - Academic Achievement Award; Johnny Higgins - Weight Lifting Achievement Award; and Dana Kendrid - 6th Man Award.
In Women's Basketball, the following players received awards from Head Coach Drew Sanders: Natalia Santos - Leading Scorer Award; Natalia Santos - Free Throw Percentage Award; Natalia Santos - All Conference Award; Natalia Santos - All Region Award; Dominique Haywood - Leading Rebounder Award; Dominique Haywood - All Conference Award; Malorie Marshall - Assists Leader Award; Janisha Young - Steals Leader Awards; and Dominique Rivera - Field Goal Percentage Leader Award.
Nelda Helms, Professor of Physical Education and sponsor for the ThunderSpirits cheerleading program, presented ThunderSpirit Awards to all eight cheerleaders: Kindra Ackridge, Jacqueline Crader, Celsey Eldridge, Courtney Griffin, Tiffany Michelle Lopez, Alexis Orosco, Anna Palma, and Skylar Vissar.
Keith Blackwill, Head Coach for Women's Cross Country / Track team, and Jeff Becker, Assistant Coach, made the following presentations: Caroline Masai - Cross Country Runner of the Year Award; Caroline Jepleting - Freshman Track & Field Athlete of the Year Award; Shantel Thompson - Sophomore Track & Field Athlete of the Year Award; and Calley Pritchett - Most Improved Athlete Award. Jeff Becker was also recognized for being named the 2009 NJCAA Indoor Track & Field Assistant Coach of the Year.
Golf Coach James Black presented four awards, including Zack Fuller - Most Valuable Golfer Award; Zack Fuller - Lowest Stroke Average Award; Parker Sprague - Most Improved Golfer Award; and Jens Johannson - Highest Grade Point Average Award.
Rodeo Head Coach Philip Berry made the following presentations: Tatum Patten - High Point Girl Award; K.C. Peterson - High Point Man Award; William Stovin - Highest Grade Point Average-Freshman Award; Kallie Lamb - Highest Grade Point Average-Sophomore Award; and Caleb Anderson - Sportsmanship Award.
The 2009 Special Recognition Awards for support to NMJC's athletic programs were presented to Randy Johns and Pat Knapp.
The 2009 Dutch Klein Award was also presented to Callie Pritchett of Levelland, Texas. According to Don Worth, NMJC Athletic Director, it is "the single most prestigious award given to a student athlete at New Mexico Junior College. The recipient not only must exhibit athletic ability," he said, "but also the qualities of leadership, scholarship, citizenship, cooperation, and athletic achievement." Pritchett, who is an honor student, a Campus Ambassador, and a member of FCA, was a 3-time national qualifier in the hammer, weight, and shotput.