BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — In March 2019 a new annual event began, a night to support our student athletes and celebrate their accomplishments on and off the court/field from over the previous school year. This first Tigers Awards Banquet was held on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 in the BCA gym. About one year later, on March 13, 2020, the 2nd annual Tigers Athletic Banquet was scheduled to take place. However, as with many things in the month of March 2020 and the months to follow, was cancelled due to COVID-19. In May 2021, due to continued gathering restrictions, we held an outdoor awards ceremony. Last year in May 2022 we returned indoors for an awards ceremony using the new stage in the gymnasium, but this year in the month of May 2023 we wanted to return where we started, the Tigers Athletic Awards Banquet.
The night began with a welcome and worship thought from Assistant Athletic Ministry Director Mike Keller. Dr. Dan Grentz then shared a special prayer for Gary Kaufman who was unable to join us due to a recent major automobile accident that he was involved in. Then a wonderful dinner of pasta, bread, and salad was served. We are very thankful to the team (Naghielly Walker, Jennifer Costie, Myra Keller, and Haley Agy) who prepared the food and helped to decorate the gym with great care. After dinner was served, we thanked our group of 7 platinum donors and over 30 volunteers from over the 2022-2023 school year. Next three of our team captains spoke (Olivia Keller, Ava Earl, and Nathan Thomson), sharing some of their favorite memories from the school year along with a challenge to their teammates for the upcoming year. Then a video slideshow made by another team captain, Gabrielle Costie, was played. You can watch the video below:
After the video was played, our team awards section began. Jennifer Costie and Mike Keller recognized the girls volleyball team for obtaining a very high in-season GPA of 3.83, with all of the volleyball students athletes being recognized on the Honor Roll or Principal’s List. Next Shadrach Grentz, Sangneu Tohing, and Cinta Tohing shared individual awards for the boys soccer team and recognized the team for obtaining an in-season GPA of 3.57. Next Mike Howard and Hector Troncoso shared individual awards for the boys basketball team. Finally, Shadrach Grentz, Mike Keller and Myra Keller shared individual awards for the girls basketball team and recognized the team for being selected as an Academic All-State Team for the second season in a row by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan with a team GPA of 3.73. For a list of individual awards please see the bottom of this article.
Next our 14 multi-sport athletes were recognized with each of them receiving a Tigers locker magnet and then our 6 senior student athletes were recognized each receiving a Tigers personalized photo frame. Athletic Ministry Director Shadrach Grentz then thanked each of the 9 members of the coaching staff and the 4 member student athlete assistant team with a Tigers tumbler. Before the Athlete of the Year Awards were presented the new Student Athlete Representatives for the 2023-2024 school year (Nathan Thomson & Olivia Keller) drew the name of one person in the audience to win a Tigers hat. The winner of the drawing was SungPi!
To end the night the Athlete of the Year Awards were presented by Athletic Ministry Director Shadrach Grentz. The 2022-2023 Academic Athlete of the Year Award was presented to Principal’s List Member, Multi-Sport Student Athlete, SA President, and 13 year BCA attendee, Senior Ava Earl. The 2022-2023 Boys Athlete of the Year Award was presented to Principal’s List Member, and Multi-Sport Student Athlete, Junior Nathan Thomson. The 2022-2023 Girls Athlete of the Year Award was presented to Principal’s List Member, and Multi-Sport All-State Student Athlete, Freshman Sofia Keller. After the awards were presented the 100 people in attendance rose together for a word of prayer. The night of fellowship and support of our student athletes was a success.
Don Perkins Spirit Award: Ava Earl (Sr.)
Most Improved Player Award: Nuam Leng (Jr.)
Player of the Year: Olivia Keller (Jr.)
Individual Academic All-State: Thang Cin (Sr.)
All-District Team: Daniel Mung (Jr.), Khup Kim (Jr.), Muan Pu (So.)
All-Area Team: Muan Pu (So.)
Don Perkins Spirit Award: Micah Bateman (Sr.)
Most Improved Player Award: Nawl Pi (Jr.)
Player of the Year: Muan Pu (So.)
Team First Award: Davey Reyes-Villegas (Sr.)
Don Perkins Spirit Award: Sung Pi (8th.)
Most Improved Player Award: Ivan Troncoso (Jr.)
Player of the Year: Nathan Thomson (Jr.)
Academic All-State Team
Team First Award: Ava Earl (Sr.)
All City Team: Sofia Keller (Fr.)
All-State Team: Sofia Keller (Fr.)
Don Perkins Spirit Award: Nuam Leng (Jr.)
Most Improved Player: Olivia Keller (Jr.)
Player of the Year: Sofia Keller (Fr.)
Program Wide Individual Awards
Academic Athlete of the Year: Ava Earl (Sr.)
Boys Athlete of the Year: Nathan Thomson (Jr.)
Girls Athlete of the Year: Sofia Keller (Fr.)