June 13, 2024
Reese Monnin shows off his award!

On Monday, April 29th, Wittenberg Athletics got together to recognize the department on their achievements this season by hosting The EZRYs! Torch staff reporter Bailee Lyons was able to observe the ceremony and interview a few of the winners. The first award presented was:

Coaching Staff of the Year (Men’s)

  • Cross Country/ Track and Field
  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Volleyball
  • Coaching Staff of the Year (Women’s)
  • Cross Country/Track and Field
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Swimming and Diving

The award was won by Cross Country/Track and Field, led by Head Coach and Director of Cross Country and Track & Field, Paris Hilliard, Distance Coach, Chris Marco, Throws Coach, Alexia Page Boyd, and Jumps Coach Josh Lynch.

After the EZRYs, I got the opportunity to talk to Coach Hilliard and ask him a few questions.

Bailee Lyons: How did it feel to win Coaching Staff of the Year?

Paris Hilliard: It is a really great honor and just a great attribution to my coaching staff and all the hard work they put in. Lots of athletes coming in and doing what we ask and really accomplishing all that hard work.

BL: How did your accomplishments this season lead to you getting this award?

PH: I think it’s just the hard work that no one sees behind the scenes, obviously with the phone calls and recruiting, managing the coaching staff and the athletes, just a combination of it all. We have a really great staff that was really brought into the program and have done a really good job developing our athletes and the athletes have really dialed in and obviously in our indoor cross-country season we want to keep that rolling for this weekend for the championships!

The next award was rookie of the year, which is given to both a male and female freshman who exceeded in their sports this season.

The nominees were:

Rookie of The Year (Men’s)

  • Tyler Galluch (Basketball)
  • Reese Monnin (Volleyball)
  • Xander Rodriguez (Baseball)
  • Tyre Smith (Football)

Reese Monnin (Men’s Volleyball) won rookie of the year on the men’s side.

BL: What does it mean to you to win rookie of the year?

Reese Monnin: To be able to come into a program that is already established and still succeed and find a place as a younger member of the team it just really makes me and everyone else proud that we succeed like that.

Reese is looking forward to being consistent throughout his four years at Witt, and while obviously you can only win rookie of the year once, and to being a leader in the conference and here at Wittenberg for team awards is just a huge accomplishment. He thinks everyone in this kind of spot would thank obviously the coaches, teammates, the people who helped them along the way “but this one’s for you mom!” Reese was also awarded the Heart of a Tiger award. which is awarded to someone who came back from obstacles throughout their season.

Rookie of the Year (Women’s)

  • Jenna Delp (Track and Field)
  • Maddy Krasnow (Field Hockey & Lacrosse)
  • Kylie Wilson (Tennis)
  • Lily Winkle (Soccer)

Maddy Krasnow (Women’s Lacrosse and Field Hockey) won Female Rookie of the year.

BL: What does it mean to you to win rookie of the year?

Maddy Krasnow: It means a lot, I mean coming in as a freshman, especially field hockey, I was one of twelve recruits that came in. For lacrosse, I wasn’t really planning on playing until I came here so it was cool I could make that dream happen. Maddy is looking forward to keep going and keep making progress!

Athlete of the Year (Men’s)

  • J.F. Aber (Golf)
  • Cameron Elliott (Soccer/Track)
  • Trey Killens (Basketball)
  • Conor Kolka (Track/Cross Country)
  • Alex Neumantis (Baseball)
  • Michael Yurk (Volleyball)

J.F. Aber from the Golf team won Male Athlete of the Year. J.F. was not in attendance for the awards due to golf, but we got the chance to ask him some questions after the ceremony.

BL: What does it mean to be named athlete of the year?

J.F. A: It means a lot to me. I have put in a lot of hard work to not just be the best on my team, but also the best in the nation. To be recognized for all that work feels good and it’s a big accomplishment for me. I appreciate everyone at the school, including my teammates, coaches, professors, and mentors for everything they have done to help me pursue what I love doing. and the last question is what contributing factors led you to get the award? The biggest contributing factors would be working every single day, rain or shine, to become the best player I possibly can. Also, I’ve tried to learn and get better and never settle.

Athlete of the Year (Women’s)

Riane Burton (Basketball)

Jessica Flick (Lacrosse)

Meghan Frazier (Track and Field)

Grace Koperna (Soccer)

Lucy Ripepi (Field Hockey)

Julissa Williams (Track and Field)

Meghan Frazier won Female Athlete of the Year. We weren’t able to interview Meghan, but we want to wish a hearty congratulations to her and every single one of the EZRYs winners. Go Tigers, and Tiger Up!

(Note from the advisor: a very special thank you also has to go to Bailee Lyons, who made it her mission this semester to interview as many athletes and coaches as she could. Bailee is a class of 2024, which means she will graduate from Wittenberg at the end of this semester. Bailee, we will miss your friendly spirit and your endeavoring interviewing!)

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