GCCC student-athletes honored at annual awards banquet





Over 30 awards honoring 31 Garden City Community College student athletes were announced on Tuesday evening at the Perryman Athletic Complex during the annual athletics banquet.

The headline award winners were Jalen Espinoza, Shauqunna Collins and Chris Bonk.

Espinoza, a sophomore from Elkhart on the Lady Broncbusters softball team, was the inaugural recipient of the Michael J. Baughman Scholar Athlete of the Year for her excellence in the classroom as well as on the diamond. The award, which was previously simply the Scholar Athlete of the Year award, was named in Baughman's honor this year.

"Steven (Barrett) asked me if I would like to go to the awards banquet with him as the GCCC athletic department was going to pay tribute to Michael," Paulette Baughman, the late doctor's widow, said to Beverly Glass, GCCC's executive director of public relations and marketing. "I didn't realize until Jake (Ripple) started talking about the award that the college was honoring Michael by naming this award for him. It means much to our family and has deeply moved me. I was truly surprised and pleased by the gesture."

The 5-foot-3 outfielder Lovas played in 35 games for the Lady Busters this season, racking up 26 hits and four steals. She was also named to the President's Honor Roll in the fall semester at GCCC, which recognizes "degree-seeking students earning perfect grade point averages of 4.0 on a four-point scale."

Meanwhile, Collins, a transfer sophomore on the women's basketball team, was recognized for her immediate and substantial impact in her first season at GCCC with the Female Athlete of the Year award.

The Saginaw, Mich., native led the team in points, assists and steals as the Lady Busters finished third in the KJCCC West, advancing to the Region VI Semifinals. Collins was also named the women's basketball team's most outstanding player.

Sophomore Jasmine Christmas was honored with the team's Buster Award.

Bonk is currently still adding to his resume as the Male Athlete of the Year, slotted to pitch the second game of this weekend's Region VI Championship baseball tournament in Wichita.

The sophomore from Fort Collins, Colo., maintains a perfect record at 10-0, with a 3.24 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 66.2 innings pitched.

Bonk was also named the Buster Award winner for the baseball team while freshman infielder Tyler Tucker was named team MVP.

Other award winners:

Men's Basketball--Sophomores Jeremy Wilson and Jade Cathey (Toughness Award); So. Dionti Craig (Most Improved); So. Reuben King (Defensive Award).

Men's Cross Country--So. Alfredo Lebron (Most Valuable Runner); So. Jose Zavala (5th Man).

Women's Cross Country--So. Jenny Burroughs (Most Valuable Runner); So. Jaden Bolmer (5th Woman).

Football--Sophomores D'Vonta Derricott and Errol Clarke (Co-MVPs).

Golf--Fr. Nathan Forrest (MVP).

Men's Rodeo--So. Hunter Bayse (MVP).

Women's Rodeo--Fr. Rae Harper (MVP).

Soccer--Fr. Juana Landeros (MVP); Fr. Jessica Guzman (Most Improved).

Softball--Fr. Brooke Lovas (Freshman of the Year); So. Danielle Aronoff (Sophomore of the Year).

Men's Track and Field--Fr. Qhyle Elijah (Track MVP); Fr. Odion Agbi and Fr. Aaron Vazquez (Field Co-MVPs).

Women's Track and Field--Fr. Kiera Walton (Track MVP); Fr. Kadijah Brown (Field MVP).

Volleyball--Fr. Abigail Rennick (Freshman of the Year); So. Chinasa Ekweariri (Sophomore of the Year).

Athletic Training--Fr. Brittinie Nichols (Dan Evans Freshman of the Year); Mattie Silva (Barrett/Greathouse Athletic Training Student of the Year).

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