Sports banquet honors student-athletes and coaches


JSC Athletics

Senior student-athletes

On Tuesday, May 1, the JSC sports banquet took place in the SHAPE varsity gym to honor the student-athletes, coaches and athletic department for their successes on and off the playing surface.

Kylie Aither was the recipient of the Richard E. Anderson award, one of the biggest awards of the night. Women’s Soccer Coach Andrew Lafrenz gave an emotional speech, describing the work that Aither had done on and off the field and telling stories about her time at JSC. Lafrenz ended his speech by saying, “To have someone who is so prolific and [dedicated as an athlete], to go off in the community and have that same dedication to her teaching and academic excellence is really quite special. That’s exactly what this award is all about.”

The Female Student-Athlete of the Year was Sabrina Roberge, a senior majoring in health and exercise science. Playing three years of basketball, one year of lacrosse and one year of softball, her list of accomplishments includes logging in 240 hours at two internships and being inducted into the National Honor Society and the National Society of Leadership and Success.

The Male Student-Athlete of the Year was Dawda Jallow. In his only year at JSC, he played a key role on the basketball team, as well as jumping and sprinting for the track and field team, all while earning a business degree.

One of the lighter moments of the night was when juniors Austin Walters and David Albright came up to talk about the golf season. Usually coaches come up to speak at the podium, but Coach Bill Boldwin wasn’t able to attend. Walters started the speech, saying, “We’re not going to be as funny, we’re not as good looking, and we’re not good at golf as Bill is. . . but we attempt and that’s all that matters.”

The majority of the time at the banquet was spent by each team coming up to the podium with their coaches to speak and give out awards. A lot was said about the seniors on each of the teams and how much they meant to the team and the college. Some coaches had a lump in their throat when describing their seniors and their personal relationship that they have had with them.

After the Student-Athlete of the Year awards, the night started wrapping up, with Cameron Creamer calling each senior student athlete to collect their gift, which was a blue blanket. In total, with some seniors unable to attend, 24 seniors came up to receive their award.

To close out the banquet, Jamey Ventura, director of athletics, started off his speech by honoring Head Softball Coach Robert Gervais, who plans to leave JSC, with his own framed softball jersey for his service. Everyone at the banquet gave a standing ovation for Gervais as he received the gift.

Ventura ended the night reflecting on the athletic season as a whole. He acknowledged that the athletic teams at JSC had a rough year but pointed out the positive effect that the student-athletes have had in the community, and offered words of hope for next year by saying, “In talking with many of you in this room about the season, I heard a lot of frustration about the season and how it didn’t go the way you planned and you were not as competitive as you wanted to be on the playing surface,” he said. “We are a growing department, and growth can be challenging and wearing you down. We have all heard that adversity builds character and it can make you stronger. But we also know that failure is tiring and painful. What I’m here to tell you tonight is that failure is a necessary step to achieve greatness. I ask all of you tonight to reflect on how much we achieved in the last four year, and visualize where we could be in the next four. And I encourage you to embrace your failure to let your greatness shine through.”