BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — The second annual Tigers Athletic Banquet was scheduled to take place this evening in the Battle Creek Academy gymnasium, but due to COVID-19 was cancelled back on March 13, 2020. After the cancellation, our coaches all agreed that we should still select players to honor for their hard work, sportsmanship and commitment during the 2019-2020 season even if we could not hold the Athletic Banquet. Each coaching staff chose 3 players from their team that represented our athletics ministry program in exemplary fashion throughout their respective seasons. Since we are not able to recognize these players in front of their friends, parents, family members and teammates please feel free to share this article with your social media family.
Boys Varsity Basketball
PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
#31 Isaiah Stein, Sophomore
“By definition, the Player of the Year must be someone who makes a positive impact on the game as a whole. In practice, Isaiah always worked hard and stayed focused on the task at hand. During games, he was intense and competitive, yet never lost control or showed disrespect for teammates, opponents or officials. Isaiah is dependable, focused, highly skilled, and relentless in reaching his objectives, yet he always stayed within our BCA values. Isaiah is an inspirational leader who leads by example. His passion for basketball and strong work ethic helped him to develop into a dominating force at both ends of the floor. I look forward to watching Isaiah continue to grow and advance his skills even further. I believe that Isaiah’s drive for excellence is going to pay off someday in gaining an opportunity to play at the college level. I’m very proud of Isaiah, especially for the manner in which he conducted himself, both on and off the court.” – Coach Mike Howard
Isaiah now ranks 2nd all time in boys basketball program history for blocked shots in a game (7) and blocked shots in a season (46). Isaiah scored his career/season high in back to back games with 26 points against both Andrews Academy on 2-22-20 and Covert High School on 2-25-20.
SPIRIT AWARD (Sportsmanship)
#25 Paolo Ricci, Senior
“When you think of someone who displays great sportsmanship, you probably think of someone who is encouraging to teammates, who shows respect to their opponents, and who believes they are blessed to have the opportunity to play basketball. Paolo demonstrated each of these qualities along with a positive team-first mentality and a solid work ethic. His enthusiasm and energy were contagious and supplied a much-needed value that was important to our team. It was a joy to have Paolo on our team this year and I hope he benefited from his experience.” – Coach Mike Howard
Paolo scored his season high of 10 points in a win against Fruitport Calvary Christian (JV) on 2-20-20. Paolo made 2 three point shots and 2 two point shots during this game.
SPIRIT AWARD (Best Teammate)
#44 Micah Bateman, Freshman
“Micah didn’t get to experience as much playing time in varsity games as some of his teammates, but he was visible nonetheless, cheering, clapping, and encouraging his teammates always. Micah set a standard for what it really means to be a good teammate. He was faithful in his attendance, always on time, and he always brought a positive attitude. Micah worked hard at doing what was asked of him. Micah showed great participation with the group and camaraderie with his teammates. I’m very proud of Micah and look forward to seeing him continue to play.” – Coach Mike Howard
Micah had some great moments this year, one of which included sinking two free throws at the end of a Saturday night varsity game against GRAA on 1-25-20. Micah’s season high came against Fruitport Calvary Christian (JV) on 2-20-20 when he scored 4 points and had 8 rebounds.
Girls Varsity Basketball
PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
#11 Eliza Lake, Freshman
“Last season the coaching staff decided to give the ‘Player of the Year Award’ to the whole team for a great first season. This year the coaching staff has decided that Eliza Lake was our Player of the Year. Eliza made a consistent positive impact on the court and took leadership in practices to help her teammates learn new team concepts. Eliza showed outstanding intensity in games while displaying great sportsmanship. Eliza also was committed to the team and dependable. Eliza led our team statistically in girls high school basketball competition in points (6.8 per game), rebounds (12.2 per game), assists (1.5 per game) and steals (3.4 per game). Eliza also set the girls basketball program record for rebounds in a game (24) and rebounds in a season (134). I look forward to seeing Eliza’s continued success on and off the court.” – Coach Shadrach Grentz
MOST IMPROVED AWARD
#23 Olivia Keller, 8th Grade
“Olivia made considerable strides throughout the season and became an extremely integral part of our team. Throughout the season, I saw Olivia make substantial improvements in her game defensively and offensively. Olivia played a very clean game and made great decisions on the court. Olivia developed exceptional skills in shot blocking and passing. Olivia led the team in blocks, averaging 3 blocks per game, and set the girls basketball program record for blocks in a season with 35. During the last two games of the season (2-27 vs Heritage and 3-3 vs Litchfield), Olivia pulled in 38 rebounds and had 13 blocks. I look forward to seeing Olivia continue to improve her skills in the future.” – Coach Shadrach Grentz
#12 Zuzu Lake, Senior
“Zuzu was a spectacular example of what a teammate should look like all through this season. Zuzu played as hard as she could in every practice and game and gave the team her all in effort and focus. Zuzu cheered for and encouraged her teammates and worked hard to improve. Zuzu also represented Christ, the Academy, our team and our program in an exemplary manner. Zuzu’s season/career high came on 2-25-20 against Covert High School when she scored 13 points and had 11 rebounds. I was very glad to have the opportunity to work with Zuzu and greatly appreciated the strategic input that she willingly brought to the coaches.” – Coach Shadrach Grentz
Girls Varsity Volleyball
PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD
#19 Aleeyah Miller, Sophomore
Our girls varsity volleyball ‘Player of the Year Award’ goes to Aleeyah Miller for her consistent drive and giving 110% of herself at
every single game and practice, even if it means a few bumps and bruises! She is always looking for ways to improve practices and games. She is always willing to help her teammates. – Coach Cheridah Miller
MOST IMPROVED AWARD
#34 Ava Earl, Freshman
Our most improved player award goes to Ava Earl. Ava started out unsure of herself and was afraid to make a mistake. By the latter part of the season she was in there during games giving her all and not backing down from ANYTHING. Her skills have greatly improved and her determination to improve is evident. I can count on her to do her very best all the time. – Coach Cheridah Miller
#7 Melisa Owiti, Junior
The volleyball spirit award goes to Melissa Owiti. Melisa’s dedication and her drive to do well is evident. She always tries to stay positive even in the toughest times when we are losing. She encourages everyone and sets a spectacular example. – Coach Cheridah Miller