By ASHLEY DUTHIE TOWER Staff Writer
Many awards were awarded to student-athletes and their teams on campus at the Student Athletics Advisory Committee (SAAC) Banquet. Awards ranged from most improved team on campus, to the best team on campus, best game of the year, and many more. Some of the awards for both men and women were overall athlete of the year, newcomer of the year, and the Derick Hoffman Award.
Taylor Large, a representative on SAAC, talked about the event. “I thought the event was very nice. It is a great way to bring student-athletes along with the coaches, and faculty that support them. It is a great way to recognize student-athletes for their achievements in their sport and in the classroom.”
Many great athletes won a big award to show their dedication to their sport. Cassie Weiss won female athlete of the year for her contributions to the Women’s Softball Team. Cassie broke the school record in strikeouts for her career with 172 strikeouts. Unfortunately, her career came to a short close after she had torn her ACL not too long after she had broken the record
The winner of the male athlete was Baboucar Sallah-Mohammed in track and field. He was a first-place finisher in the triple jump in the PAC (Presidential Athletic Conference) conference championship. Baboucar is also a school record holder at Bethany.
The Coach of the year was Jan Forsty. She coached the Bethany College Softball team for 31 years with this year being her last as she has made the choice to retire from coaching. Coach Forsty has won 687 games in total, which has made her the 15th highest wins in all the NCAA Division III history. At her time at Bethany, she has won 13 conference championships as a coach. Besides the SAAC giving her the coach of the year, the PAC also named her coach of the year.
The last award is the Derick Hoffman award honoring his life. This is given to the senior that has made an impact on the campus, not just in their sport but in the community around them. Derick Hoffman made a big impact on the campus when he was an undergraduate. Derick was a part of the football team, basketball team, and involved on campus. Derick had dreams of being a teacher and coaching baseball but on his graduation, those dreams came to a halt only three hours after graduation as Derick had died in a car accident. The campus lost an amazing person that day. The college has retired his jersey numbers from the college and they are hanging up in the gym.
Currently, the men and women to win this award in all the years have made a huge impact on the campus to make it a better place for people to be a part of. This year’s winners of the award were Andrea Precurato and Sean Rhodes.
Haylie Glass commented on the award, “This is an awesome award and all of the people that won this award really deserved it. They are both great people and do a lot for the campus. To all the faculty that was here during the time Derick was, this award means so much to them.”
Each year the SAAC banquet celebrates successes of individual teams, athletes, and lifts up athletics in general. Congratulations to all this year’s winner