I’ve always thought our institution should give us shirts when we graduate. Something like “I was Knox,” for example. They throw the “We are Knox” and “Are you Knox?” slogans around a ton already; why not use it in something else? A t-shirt would be hella sweet.
Especially for those athletes who complete their fourth and final year of NCAA eligibility. I hate to say Knox athletes deserve more credit than anyone else on the campus— the truth is we all work hard to earn a degree at one of the most challenging institutions in the country— but these senior athletes deserve something on top of their degree. This is assuming they complete the four athletic seasons in good standing. Although we all assume the roles of ambassadors and representatives of Knox, athletes do it with the purple and gold up and down their body, and with “Fire” written across their chest.
And the reality of the matter is, unless you’ve done it yourself, chances are you don’t understand just how much of a responsibility it is.
Yes, we get special team privileges— trips to Arizona, Florida, and Georgia come to mind— but they’re no less than ambassador trips. We don the purple and gold for hours upon hours in the hot sun. We’re forbidden from drinking or doing anything that could reflect poorly on the college. When we eat out as a team, the shirts are tucked in, and the ball caps come off.
All this after six weeks of grueling practices, often well before dawn, and while the rest of Knox sits at home over spring break.
We’re somewhat responsible for convincing prospects to turn in their tuition deposits (the football team has me, a baseball player, to thank for one of their incoming players), and several times a year we relinquish our own time to host a prospie, simply in the name of the program and for the betterment of the institution.
From the first time we put on a uniform, we’re ambassadors. Whether we want to or not, we continue holding that position until well after we graduate.
And this year’s senior athletic class is no different. From student-athletes like softball’s Kate Latshaw, to basketball’s Hayle Gosnell, to multi-sport standouts Kevin Malone (baseball and football), Clint Moore (soccer and basketball) and Jaclyn Anderson (volleyball and track), Knox will award degrees to some of its best representatives from the past several years with the graduation of the student-athletes of the class of 2009.
But it doesn’t stop with these five. The entire slate of Prairie Fire athletes who are eligible for graduation this year has proven itself a worthy one and one for future classes to emulate.
I challenge all faculty members, students, and Knox advocates to extend their hand to the Knox senior athletes.
Both in congratulations and to thank them for their service to this institution. They’ve completed four years of double duty.
2009 Athletic Award Winners:
David S. Agar Athletic Service Award – Tina Cavyan
Evelyn Bielefeldt Award – Jaclyn Anderson ‘09
John W. Hilding Prize – Kevin Malone ‘09
Jeff Sandburg Mental Toughness Award – Nate Ayers ‘09
Cleaveland F. Bridgeman Memorial Trophy – Adam Kent ‘10
Michel Loomis Award – Bess Cooley ‘12
Dean Trevor Award for Men – Clint Moore ‘09
Dean Trevor Award for Women – Hayle Gosnell ‘09
Moller Cup Award – Jaclyn Anderson ‘09
Hunter Scholastic Athletic Trophy – Michael Dooley ‘09
K-Club Award for Men – Bill Schaefer ‘11
K-Club Award for Women – Claire Knowlton ‘10
Arvid P. Zetterberg, Jr. Prize for Men – Ben Wetherbee ‘12
Arvid P. Zetterberg, Jr. Prize for Women – Laura Johnson ‘12
Harley Knosher Male Athlete of the Year – Tighe Burke ‘09
Harley Knosher Female Athlete of the Year – Jaclyn Anderson ‘09
Spring 2009 All-Midwest Conference:
Kevin Malone (South Division co-player of the year), senior, outfielder
Spencer McNeil, junior, pitcher
George Nicholson, junior, catcher
Sammy Almohandis, senior, pitcher
Jamie Jang, freshman
Bobby Steubi, freshman
Jess DeMory, sophomore
Kate Latshaw, senior, third base/designated hitter
Beth McRill, freshman, outfielder
Bri Williams, freshman, first base/pitcher