North Platte – The North Platte Community College held their second annual athletic banquet in the McDonald-Belton Gymnasium on Wednesday evening.
Brice Kesler, sports director for ESPN Radio 1410, was the master of ceremonies for the evening.
After the meal, NPCC Vice President Dr. Jody Tomanek opened up the program portion of the banquet with a few words of welcome to the crowd and some of the highlights she experienced with the athletic teams.
Kesler introduced each coach, who gave a recap of the past season for each sport.
Alexa McCall, head volleyball coach, introduced each of her players and mentioned athletic awards given out to various players. Jessica Lovitt and Megan Chintala, were awarded All Nebraska Community College Conference honors. Lovitt, Chintala, and Josie Palmer were named to the All-Region IX and All Region IX Division II Tournament Teams.
McCall also recognized the members of the volleyball team that were named to the Dean’s list and President’s list for the first semester. McCall said that the volleyball team, during the first semester had a 3.74 grade point average cumulative.
Next to speak was Richard Thurin, the recently retired Lady Knights basketball coach. Thurin introduced the members of the team this past season. Jessica Lovitt, Thomesha Wilson and Allison Tichy were recognized for their postseason athletic awards. All three of them were named to the All-NCCAC, All-Region IX Division II and All Region IX Division II Tournament teams.
After recognizing the academic achievements of various players, Thurin thanked all those who supported him throughout his 16 years at NPCC and his 51 total years in the coaching field.
As Thurin left the podium, the crowd gave him a standing ovation for his service to the college.
Janelle Higgins, NPCC head softball coach, called the players up to the front and had them introduce themselves.
Since the season is not completed yet, no athletic awards were given out. Higgins gave a recap of the season so far. The Knights are the number one seed in the upcoming Region IX tournament and will host the Region IX Division II championship series on April 29-30.
Higgins also recognized the softball players who were named to both the Dean and Presidents list.
Kevin O’Connor, athletic director and men’s basketball coach was the last coach to speak. O’Connor had the players introduce themselves and come up front. O’Connor handed out All Conference certificates to Samuel Kearns, Mike Amius, and Diontae Champion. Champion and Kearns were both first team selections and Amius was named to the second team. In addition, Champion was named most valuable player of the conference.
O’Connor also recognized the members of the basketball team that were named to the Dean and Presidents lists.
Thurin was presented a plaque and a statuette by the college for his 16 years of coaching.
To end the evening, O’Connor gave a charge to the student athletes, saying that when you get knocked down, and you will, that you will respond like a solid rock and not a marshmallow.