WHEATFIELD — Just like their high school counterparts, the young Kougars at Kankakee Valley Middle School were honored in front of their peers. In simultaneous ceremonies, held Friday morning on Nov. 15, the athletes from football, volleyball and cross country were celebrated. All members of each team were announced and then their respective coaches gave out special recognition trophies or medal for extra effort.

Cross country, coached by Will Oates, Kate Przybylski and Allison Rockley presented awards to Adalyn Blake and Ethan Kelly as Most Improved, Natalee Walker and Jorge Flores for Positive Mental Attitude, and named Emma Bell and Ethan Ehrhardt as they coed team’s Most Valuable Runners. Three boys and three girls each also received medals for Constant Motion. Those six were Ava Barlog, Faith Terborg, Lilly Rowe, Owen Sharp, Matt Hoffman and Brayden Hanewich.

Matt Hostetler, eighth-grade volleyball coach presented awards his team. Josephine Short was named Most Improved, Elyse Starr was named Impact Player and Jayla Barrera was honored as the Best Defensive Player. Emma Brewster received the Kougar Pride Award and Lily Jones was celebrated for her Mental Attitude.

Seventh grade volleyballers receiving awards from Coach Jillian Brewster included: Grace Johnson – Leadership Award; Emma Cochran – Most Improved; Brooklyn Richie – Impact Player; Madison Martin – Best Server; and, Katie Rushmore won for Mental Attitude.

At the sixth grade level, Coach Tara Kingma awarded Aubrey Stowers as Best All-Around Player, Emma Przybylski as Most Improved, Carissa Gallagher for Mental Attitude and Reese Smith won the Spirit Award.

Eighth-grade football was coached by Jeffrey McMillan and Dave DeFries. DeFries presented awards to: Josiah Johnson for Kougar Pride; Duke Zacharias as Most Improved; Jeremiah Jones as Offensive Player of the Year; Darin Adams as Defensive Player of the Year; Eli Deardorff as Most Valuable Player and Brannon Murr as Rookie of the Year.

At the seventh grade level, Coaches Derek Hartwig, Zac Volovolek and Tim Helton presented awards to the following: Diego Arroyo as Most Valuable Player; Parker Dykhuizen as Most Improved; Austin Uchman as Defensive Player of the Year; Marco Castro as Offensive Player of the Year; Austin Parks as Rookie of the Year; and, Mason Kitchen won the Kougar Pride Award.