Although they didn’t get the pomp and circumstance of the traditional Athletic Awards banquet, a host of Panther athletes were recently honored for their accomplishments over the 2019-20 school …
Although they didn’t get the pomp and circumstance of the traditional Athletic Awards banquet, a host of Panther athletes were recently honored for their accomplishments over the 2019-20 school year.
On Tuesday, PHS officials formally announced the winners of various awards from the fall, winter and spring seasons — along with eight annual awards and scholarships given to senior athletes.
“All of them are very special,” said PHS Activities Director Scott McKenzie.
The honors would normally have been handed out at a banquet — a celebration that McKenzie has looked forward to each year for decades. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancellation.
Instead, the major award winners were notified by personal letters and they will collect their plaques on graduation day.
“My heart truly breaks for you and your peers as you trek down this path of finishing your senior year in this odd fashion,” McKenzie wrote in the letters, adding that, “I am so sorry this virus has taken so much away from you, but know that your coaches and I recognize excellence when we see it!”
Although there was no spring season, the coaches for those sports still awarded letters and their traditional annual awards — such as most valuable, improved and inspirational.
While it was tougher for younger athletes who have yet to build an athletic resume at PHS, “we wanted to letter those kids that should letter, that we knew would letter,” McKenzie said. “I thought that was important.”
Seniors Kayla Kolpitcke and Jay Cox claimed the most prestigious honors, being named the PHS Senior Athlete of the Year.
The award is chosen by all of the high school’s head coaches and is meant to honor the boy and girl who best exemplify sportsmanship, citizenship, leadership, cooperation with all school personnel, a desire to excel and win and a willingness to sacrifice for the team and Powell High School.
Kolpitcke was a force in her four years on the PHS cross country team and soccer, earning All-Conference honors in both sports. Outside of PHS, she’s also a strong hockey player and plans to continue playing both hockey and soccer at Marian University, a Division III school in Wisconsin, in the fall.
Cox, meanwhile, accomplished the rare feat of winning state titles in track (the 400 meters, 800 meters and the 4x400 and 4x800 relays in 2019), tennis (No. 3 doubles in 2019) and swimming (with the 200 free relay team in March) over the past year. Cox is taking his speed to the Division I level in the fall, signing to join the University of Wyoming Track & Field team.
The U.S. Army Reserve Scholar/Athlete Award — which recognizes academic and athletic achievement, as well as extracurricular involvement — went to Ashlyn Aguirre and Brody Karhu.
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 Michele Wagner and Aidan Jacobsen.
The Gerald Sleep Most Inspirational Athlete Award, given to athletes whose effort and dedication serves as an inspiration to teammates, went to Rachel Kuntz and Ethan Asher.
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 Sabrina Shoopman and Dylan Preator.
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. This year’s honorees were Gabi Metzler and Brody Karhu.
The Jim Stringer Memorial Scholarship, created to honor the late football coach and what he meant to PHS athletics, went to Jesse Brown.
Michele Wagner earned the William Farthing Memorial Scholarship, provided by the Powell Schools Foundation. It honors Farthing, who taught and coached at PHS in the 1960s and ‘70s. Criteria include good citizenship and loyalty to PHS and its athletic programs, while demonstrating good leadership and a high level of integrity.
Most Valuable: Carson Olsen
Most Improved: Karson Lamb
Most Inspirational: Kadden Abraham
Lee Blocking Award: Seth Horton
Most Valuable: Elizabeth Liggett
Most Improved: Kami Jensen
Most Inspirational: Lauren Lejeune
Lars Bly — Most Valuable: Jesse Brown
Most Improved: Ethan Bartholomew
Most Inspirational: Jay Cox
Lars Bly — Most Valuable: Sloane Asay
Most Improved: Kaili Wisniewski
Most Inspirational: Hailee Paul
Most Valuable: Gabi Metzler
Most Improved: Paije Johonson
Most Inspirational: Kady Wells
Most Valuable: George Higgins
Most Improved: Brandon Wentz
Most Inspirational: Crandell Sanders
Most Valuable: Mycah Wainscott
Most Improved: Jasmin Simonson
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Most Valuable: Joey Hernandez
Most Improved: Daniel Merritt
Most Inspirational: Dylan Cordes
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
Most Valuable: Kayla Kolpitcke
Most Improved: Elisa Polson
Most Inspirational: Kayla Kolpitcke
Kevin Rickert Most Valuable Player: Mason Marchant
Most Improved: Toran Graham
Most Inspirational: Jesse Brown
Most Valuable: Rose Graft
Most Improved: Paije Johnson and Sidney O’Brien
Most Inspirational: Kortny Feller
Most Valuable: Seth Horton and Colt Nicholson
Most Improved: Riley Bennett
Most Inspirational: Corey Linebaugh and Michael Maddox
Most Valuable: Richard Spann
Most Improved: Tarren Blackmore
Most Inspirational: Jay Cox
L.A. Kohnke Most Deserving: Jay Cox, Aidan Jacobsen, Brody Karhu and Dylan Preator
Jim Miller Outstanding Boy: Dylan Cordes
Mitch Myrick Memorial: Ryan Good
L.A. Kohnke Most Deserving: Sabrina Shoopman
Jim Miller Outstanding Girl: Hailee Paul
Mitch Myrick Memorial: Kaitlyn Decker
Most Valuable: Garrett Morris
Most Improved: Braxton Miller
Most Inspirational: Ernie Acevedo
Most Valuable: Morgan Schmidt
Most Improved: Madi Black
Most Inspirational: Scarlette Mendoza
Most Valuable: Peyton Hamilton
Most Improved: Kylie Kahl
Most Inspirational: Delaney Jackson
(Editor's note: This version corrects the most valuable and most improved awards for the Powell High School tennis teams. In the information originally submitted, the award-winners had been swapped.)