It was a memorable night at the Maryville College Athletic Awards ceremony. The tone for the ceremony was set right away with the opening movie.
“The beginning video is always great to see because it recaps every team’s season’s highlights. It sets the whole ceremony off on a good note.” said Mackenzie Yacsik, a sophomore student athlete at MC.
The second movie that was presented featured in-action and still photographs of this year’s senior athletes. All MC student athletes were in attendance to cheer, clap, hoot and holler for our seniors. Every senior athlete received a classy framed, embroidered “M” that will likely soon garnish the walls of the offices of this year’s graduates.
It was clear that the night was about celebrating MC’s senior athletes but there were hints of bitter-sweet emotions felt. A lot of student athletes will continue being involved with sports per their areas of study and career paths, but some will not.
“I’m going to miss the family of support that is our volleyball team. Everyone on the team helps each other on and off the court and I’ll miss that.” said Julia Vineyard, student athlete and winner of the JD Davis award.
“It was definitely a good four years here. It’s crazy to think about all the people that came in freshman year who kept playing all these years and how well they’ve done” said Wesley Bloeme, senior on the Men’s Tennis Team here at MC.
When I asked Bloeme what he was going to miss the most he simply replied “The comradery.”
It was clear the feeling was mutual as Athletic Director, Kandis Schram, showered our senior athletes with praises and shared her high hopes for their future. During her address, she got the chance to speak about her own volleyball player, Vineyard.
“Julia is just a Gem. She embodies the words “Student Athlete,” said Schram.
There were also a few inside jokes sprinkled throughout the ceremony poking fun at who’s a bad navigator or who we “hope” to see cross that stage in a few days.
“Simplistically, thank you.” Was the message to the departing seniors from Sean Hayes, head football coach at MC.
“They’ve always had one common goal, to win, and to stick together. Their service to Maryville College is greatly appreciated and they will be greatly missed,” said Hayes.
Students seemed to reflect that same attitude of gratefulness.
“Once you’re a Scot, you are always a Scot” said Sharon Wood, Director of Athletic Training. Her message to the senior athletes was clear and concise.
“Come back always and visit often.” said Wood.
Wood also has the chance to award one MC senior and athletic trainer, Ansley Stringfield, who received the Carl H. Black Award for her outstanding commitment to the Athletic Department at MC.
“Without being here at MC I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to observe so much that I have, and do so many things hands-on. That definitely gave me a major advantage when I applied for grad school.” said Stringfield.
Stringfield recently was accepted into the graduate program for occupational therapy at University of Tennessee, Chattanooga and will be starting that program this fall.