WHEATFIELD — In a sure sign that spring is here, the Kankakee Valley winter sports teams and individuals were honored on Tuesday, March 19, for their performances both on and off the court, mat or pool. After a brief welcome from Athletic Director John Gray, the awards began.
Boys Basketball Coach Billy Shepherd took the dais first and spoke about the triumphs and tribulations of their season and presented awards to the following: William Bonilla was again named the recipient of both the Varsity Most Outstanding Player and the Varsity Best Free-Throw Percentage; Grant Marshall received the Best Defender Award; Wade Williams was named Best Rebounder and Matt Caldwell received the Kougar Pride Award. Varsity Rookie of the Year was Elijah Carden and Tyler Martin was Most Improved.
At the Junior Varsity level, Nick Mikash as named JV Best Rebounder and also received the “Give the Varsity Fits” Award. Riley Jordan was the JV Most Improved, Caleb DeYoung was the Best JV Defender and Cole Cavinder won the JV Mr. Hustle Award.
For the Freshman team, Kent Hamstra was Most improved, Will Sampson was the Best Rebounder, Ryan Howard was the Best Defender and Jacob Brizek won the Mr. Hustle Award. The Freshman Impact Player Award was shared by Cayden Dykhuizen and Luke Andree.
Girls’ Basketball Head Coach Ryan Myers spoke about the girls’ great season which culminated with another Conference Title, a Sectional Title and a tough loss at Regionals.
Awards at the Varsity level went to: Sarah Martin as Varsity Offensive Most Valuable Player; Catherine Cavinder as Defensive Most Valuable Player as well as Best Free Throw Percentage, Most Assissts and Most Rebounds; and Aubrey Toppen for Mental Attitude. Karmen Nowak was named Varsity Most Improved.
At the Junior Varsity level, awards went to Taylor Schoonveld for JV Impact and Courtney Fox for JV Hustle. For Freshmen, Amie Ramus received the Freshman Impact Award and Elise Kasper received the Freshman Hustle Award.
Boys Swimming then took the dais and presented awards to Most Valuable Swimmer Bryce Brodner and Rookie of the Year Parker Lane. Bryce Martin and Nicholas Pearson both received the Top 3 High Points Award.
Girls Swimming Coach Barb Curnow spoke of her teams’ season and of more school records broken. Kirsten West felled her own Girls’ 200-yard Individual Medley record with a time of 2:20.89, and also received a second plaque for holding the Top 10 Times in KV History in both the 200 IM and 100 Butterfly. Kayla Musch received her own special plaque for holding the Top 10 Scores in KV History for Diving. Her records included 220.90 points for 6 Dives and 277.50 for 11 Dives.
West also was named Most Valuable Swimmer. Other awards given were to: Gabrielle Oliver as Rookie of the Year, Abigail Robinson as Most Improved and Kristy Kohlhagen again was the winner of the Mental Attitude Award.
Coach Samantha Puskac then presented awards at the Varsity Cheer level. Eryn Risner won the Kayla Sutton Memorial Award, Taylor Kapella was again the Most Valuable Cheerleader, Makayla Chittenden was Most Spirited and Tayte Perez was Most Improved. Other awards went to: Chloe Brown for Dedication; Viktoria Evert as Top Tumbler; Nokholet Porter for Best Stunts; Jenna Winkler for Best Jumps; and, Tristan Pyzynski as Best Varsity Lifter.
For the Junior Varsity Squad, Hanna Nazimek was named Most Improved, Hannah Partain was Most Dedicated and Jasmine Hofferth was Most Spirited. Gracie Witvoet was honored for Best Stunts, Emma Lee as Best Tumbler and Autumn Celorio for Best Jumps.
Wrestling Awards were as follows: Semi-State Qualifier Aiden Sneed was named Most Valuable Wrestler for his amazing season; Alex Gronkiewicz received the Kougar Pride Award; J.D. Jonkman received the Mental Attitude Award; and, Caleb Swallow received the Most Improved Award. Austin Motyka was honored with the Iron Man Award and Tyler Tillema and Beau DeYoung shared the Outstanding Upperclassman Award.