During this celebration of Sturgis athletes and coaches, awards are given to players from all fall sports (cross country, soccer, golf, volleyball, and field hockey). Some of the standard awards given at the ceremony included the M.V.P. Award, Team Player Award, Rookie of the Year Award, and Coach’s Award.
Part of the excitement of the awards night is certainly trying to guess who would receive which award; however, coaches often make this difficult. To add to the excitement of the event, random and even ridiculous awards are given to players who did something funny or memorable during the season. For example, girls junior varsity volleyball coach Andrea Wood awarded the “Bleed Blue Award” to a player who was always exuded school pride and worked tirelessly on her craft all year. In addition, cross country coach Mr. Beckner awarded the “Bulldog Bite” award to senior Molly Nemes, who asked her coach to be angrier and yell at her during races. His yelling, similar to that of a bulldog, became a secret weapon that struck fear in the opposition and motivated Molly to reach her personal best times. Coach Buckner then presented her with a squeaky chew toy made for bulldogs. These types of witty awards added to everyone’s experience of the sports banquet and made the event memorable.
Many moving speeches were made at the awards night as well. For the seniors, the end of this fall season meant the end of their last fall high school sports program. Therefore, it was only natural that many of the coaches got emotional when remembering all of their player’s accomplishments. Varsity boys soccer coach Brian Hastings made a customized shirt for Jake LaMotte, who had just shattered the school record for most goals in a single season with 18. Varsity volleyball's Coach Sarney had nothing but admiration for his volleyball girls and their surprising season, in which the team captured its fourth straight Cape & Islands League Championship despite losing six talented seniors from the Class of 2016. The captains of each sports team also presented reflections on their seasons and their experiences with their coaches and teammates, all of which touched the hearts of the audience.
Gifts were given to coaches, congratulations and goodbyes were said, and everyone left with memories of their successful sports seasons. Many athletes now look forward to the winter sports season!