Powell High School students were recognized for their accomplishments both in competition and in the classroom during Monday’s 2018-2019 Athletic Awards Night.
Awards were handed out for both fall and winter sports, in categories including Most Valuable, Most Improved and Most Inspirational. PHS Activities Director Tim Wormald, who is stepping down from the position to become principal next year, served as master of ceremonies, with dinner served courtesy of the Powell Athletic Roundtable.
In his opening remarks, Wormald praised all of the students who participated in athletics this year, calling them worthy ambassadors of the school and of their community.
“While we’re here tonight to focus on athletic accomplishment, in my mind, we’re celebrating the ideals embodied in the phrase ‘Panther Pride,’” Wormald said.
Wormald attributes “Panther Pride” to the the late Jim Stringer, the longtime PHS football coach who died in 2015. Stringer coined the phrase to characterize his football program, though it now encapsulates every activity, athletic or otherwise, that PHS students, faculty, staff and the community, have embraced.
“I imagine the phrase means different things to different people,” Wormald continued. “But I think there are some ideas we all agree on ... I think of six elements that cause us to have pride in ourselves, in our school and in our community: Excellence, effort, integrity, class, loyalty and community ... These are the ideas that make me proud to be a Panther.”
Sixteen multi-sports medallion award winners were honored: Gold medals went to Kaelan Groves, Dalton Woodward and Rachel Bonander. Silver medals were handed out to Carson Heinen, Alan Merritt, Joe Rogers, Jazlyn Haney, Jasmyne Lensegrav, Karlie McKenzie, Caitlyn Miner and Aubrie Stenerson. Bronze medallions were given to Reece Hackenberg, Carter Olsen, Jayden Yates, Ashtyn Heny and Katie McKenzie.
Team awards recognized participants in cross country, volleyball, tennis, football, golf, girls’ swimming, boys’ and girls’ basketball, wrestling, boys’ swimming and cheerleading.
Senior awards were reserved for the end of the program. The Pat Finney Service Award is given to a student athlete who, along with participation in school sports, gives back to the community outside of regular school activities. The award was given to Karlie McKenzie, Katie McKenzie and Aubrie Stenerson.
This is the fifth year the Jim Stringer Memorial Scholarship has been awarded, created to honor the late football coach and what he meant to PHS athletics. The $500 scholarship was presented to Sawyer Mauthe.
The William Farthing Memorial Scholarship, provided by the Powell Schools Foundation, is in honor of Farthing, who taught and coached at PHS in the 1960s and 70s. Criteria includes good citizenship and loyalty to PHS and its athletic programs, while demonstrating good leadership and a high level of integrity. The $8,000 scholarship was awarded to Jayden Yates.
The U.S. Army Reserve Scholar/Athlete Award — which recognizes academic and athletic achievement, as well as extracurricular involvement — went to Karlie McKenzie and Kaelan Groves.
The U.S. Marines Distinguished Athlete Award is given to those athletes recognized as having best exhibited the personal traits of courage, poise, self-confidence and leadership while performing as a varsity athlete. This year’s recipients were Katie McKenzie and Joe Rogers.
The Gerald Sleep Most Inspirational Award, given to athletes whose effort and dedication serves as an inspiration to teammates, went to Jasmyne Lensegrav and Alan Merritt.
The winners of this award routinely exhibit loyalty, dedication, a respect for teammates and coaches, leadership qualities and the ability to achieve a degree of excellence. This year’s winners were Caitlyn Miner and Reese Karst.
The final award went to the two athletes who coaches felt best exemplified sportsmanship, citizenship, leadership, cooperation with all school personnel, a desire to excel and win and a willingness to sacrifice for the team and the school. The two athletes chosen this year were Aubrie Stenerson and Dalton Woodward.
The PHS Letter Club officers — Presidents Hartly Thorington and Sawyer Mauthe and vice-presidents Shayla Shoopman and Dylan McEvoy — also handed out special recognition awards, including the No. 1 Fan, given this year to the state champion PHS cheerleaders. Longtime girls’ basketball coach Scott McKenzie, who stepped down following the 2018-19 season to become the school’s activities director, was given the Years of Service Award.
“For the past 29 years, [McKenzie] has affected the lives of many young athletes,” said Thorington. “He’s spent countless hours in the gym, on the road, watching film, attending camps and helping every single athlete he encountered become a better person and athlete.”
Vice-president Dylan McEvoy presented principal Jim Kuhn with the Special Recognition Award. Kuhn is retiring at the conclusion of this school year.
“Mr. Kuhn has been at most, if not all, PHS varsity competitions, cheering on the Panthers,” McEvoy said. “He’s always been a positive person and has welcomed students as they come into the halls in the mornings, as well as saying good night to them as they leave the school.”
Cliff Boos (Ashley Hildebrand)
Most Valuable: Alan Merritt
Most Improved: Riley Schiller
Most Inspirational: Pedro Teixeira
Most Valuable: Kayla Kolpitcke
Most Improved: Hailee Hyde
Most Inspirational: Jozi Simpson
Randi Bonander (Tasha Miller, Mackenzie Graft)
Most Valuable: Aubrie Stenerson
Most Improved: Ashtyn Heny
Most Inspirational: Hartly Thorington
Joe Asay (Brandon Preator)
Lars Bly Most Valuable: Dylan Preator
Most Improved: Logan Brown
Most Inspirational: Aidan Hunt
Lars Bly Most Valuable: Sierra Sanders
Most Improved Girl: Sophe Morrow
Most Inspirational Girl: Shayla Shoopman
Aaron Papich (Mike Heny, Waleryan Wisniewski, Chase Kistler, Joel Hayano, Zack Coombs)
Most Valuable: Ethan Asher
Most Improved: Macen Thomas
Most Inspirational: Kadden Abraham
Lee Blocking Award: Carter Olsen
Most Valuable: Crandell Sanders
Most Improved: George Higgins
Most Inspirational: Bennett Walker
Most Valuable: Mycah Wainscott
Most Improved: Cat Wilson
Most Inspirational: Bailey Kennedy
Bob Smartt (Heather Christensen)
Most Valuable: Caitlyn Miner
Most Improved: Lilyan Halter
Most Inspirational: Emma Karhu
Chase Kistler (Waleryan Wisniewski, Greg Stenlund)
Kevin Rickert Memorial/Most Valuable: Kaelan Groves
Most Improved: Dalton Woodward
Most Inspirational: William Preator
Scott McKenzie (Troy Hildebrand, Chelsea Buher)
Most Valuable: Aubrie Stenerson
Most Improved: Brea Terry
Most Inspirational: Katie McKenzie
Nate Urbach (Nick Fulton, Juston Carter)
Most Valuable: Reese Karst
Most Improved: Seth Horton
Most Inspirational: Duy Linh Hoang
Stephanie Warren (Robert Gorycki)
Most Valuable: Richard Spann
Most Improved: Pedro Texeira
Most Inspirational: Jay Cox
Vicki Walsh (Cindy Jacobs)
Most Valuable: McKennah Buck/Gracie McLain
Most Improved: Josseline Mendoza
Most Inspirational: Taeli Hessenthaler/McKenzie Thompson