It is a chance to reflect and honor.
The annual athletic banquet was held at Barton Community College Wednesday night giving the athletes, boosters, coaches and fans a chance to reflect on the past seasons.
It also is a time to hand out numerous awards.
Earning the prestigious Athlete of the Year awards were Ahmad Walker and Lydia Mato.
Walker, a sophomore transfer, earned the Player of the Year in the Jayhawk West for the men’s basketball team. He was the first Cougar to win the conference MVP in nearly 10 years. He led Barton is scoring (20.6), rebounds (7.7), and assists (5.5). All three were in the top five in the conference.
Walker was picked 2nd team All-American. He came to Barton from Stony Brook (NY) where he will return for his final two years of college.
Mato, a sophomore, is closing out a stellar track and cross country career. Among her numerous achievements came at the NJCAA Indoor Championships this year. She won four individual gold medals - the first in history to do so. She won three as a freshman.
The Ghana native won the NJCAA cross country title in the fall and will look to add to her tremendous Barton career at the NJCAA Outdoor Championship this weekend.
Also given out were three Inspirational Awards.
Volleyball player Jennica O’Neill was selected as the female Inspirational Athlete of the Year. She was selected for her dedication to the team. She was asked to play multiple positions and did so without complaints - always thinking of the team first.
The sophomore from Wamego more than likely gave up personal success for the betterment of the team. She did so with a positive attitude the entire time. She has a 4.0 GPA.
Kenny Enoch, another transfer for the men’s basketball team, was tabbed the male Inspirational Athlete of the Year. After bouncing around schools, the sophomore from Indianapolis found a home at Barton.
He was a quiet leader for the Cougars this season and led them with 77 3-pointers. He posted a 3.2 GPA and is a father to a 2-year boy back in Indianapolis while getting his education.
Colton Zink was selected as the Baseball Skylar Hill Most Inspirational. The award is named after Hill, who fought and survived cancer while on the Barton baseball team.
Zink was the bullpen catcher for Barton this year - a duty not everyone lines up for. The redshirt came to practice everyday with a smile and ready to work hard. The Claflin native caught all the bullpens without complaint. He broke his finger at Garden City this season, taped it up, didn’t tell anyone, and kept catching.
Three student athletic trainer awards were given out. Trevor Overmiller was selected as the Student Athletic Trainer of the Year. Overmiller is a sophomore from Lebanon.
Abby Mitchell, from Great Bend, was the sophomore Trainer of the Year. Chris Seidel, also from Great Bend, was the freshman winner.
The Barton Booster Club also handed out its Booster of the Year award. This years winner was Steve Divis. Divis has been a member of the Booster Club since 2002 and has twice served on the board including President for a year.