YORK, PA – The York College athletic department celebrated their 2016-17 season with their annual awards ceremony on Friday evening. The event was held at the Waldner Performing Arts Center on main campus.
The athletic department handed out their three major awards, viewed the three season highlight videos and announced the finalists for the Dr. William DeMeester academic awards.
The evening began with a welcome from Assistant Dean for Athletics and Recreation Paul Saikia. Dean of Student Services Joseph Merkle then spoke to the 450 student-athletes, congratulating the Spartans for a trio of successful seasons.
The crowd then viewed the fall highlight video. After the video, the Spartan athletic department honored J.L. Smith with the department appreciation award. Smith, the husband of York College President Pamela Gunter-Smith, is a fixture at home Spartan sporting events.
After the winter highlight video, Saikia announced the candidates for the Dr. William DeMeester Male and Female Scholar Athlete Awards.
Individuals who are in the running for the men’s award include:
Taylor Tolbert (MLAX): Marketing, 3.77
Tim McCullough (MSWIM): Early Elementary Education, 3.77
Andrew Tyris (MXC, TF): History, 3.75
Christopher Lees (MLAX): Marketing, 3.72
The front runners for the women’s award include:
Alicia Dillman (WXC, TF): Biology, 3.94
Katie Maloney (SB): Early Elementary Education, 3.82
Sydney LaMarsh (FH): Early Elementary Education, 3.70
The teams in the running for the DeMeester team awards include on the men’s side:
Cross Country – 3.48
Track & Field – 3.28
Basketball – 3.27
On the women’s side, the contenders are:
Lacrosse – 3.53
Softball – 3.44
Volleyball – 3.42
At the conclusion of the spring highlight video, the Spartans announced their three major award winners.
Senior wrestler Ryan Anthony was selected as the Jake Jaquet Fighting Heart Award. The Jaquet Award is presented to the member of a Spartan team who is not necessarily an outstanding athlete, but can be, who goes above and beyond what is asked of or expected of his/her and because of this exemplary, unselfish, and at times, unrewarded behavior stands out among his/her peers.
Anthony is a four-year member of the wrestling squad. He came to the Spartans as an unheralded recruit but through hard work and dedication, became a valuable member of the squad. As a sophomore, Anthony suffered a fracture in his vertebrae and was forced to miss his second year for the Spartans. He worked incredibly hard to get back onto the mat as a junior. He came back and was able to wrestle his junior and senior seasons for the Spartans. In addition to his action on the mat, Anthony has spent his summers in the United States Marines officer school. When he graduates on May 13, he will be sworn in as a Lieutenant in the Marine Corp.
Head wrestling coach Duane Bastress got to stay on the stage as he presented the Daniel J. Klinedist award to senior wrestler Ryan Flynn. The award signifies the Spartans’ most outstanding senior male athlete. Flynn had a banner season as he earned NCAA Division III All-American honors at 133 pounds. Flynn went 40-5 as a senior with 10 major decisions, five tech falls and two wins by pin. He won the Mid-East Regional championship at 133 pounds for the third consecutive year and finished sixth in the country. He concluded his career with an overall record of 131-35 as he owns the school record by 17 wins over current Spartan assistant coach Kyle Flickinger.
The final award of the evening went to senior cross country and track & field athlete Kathleen Cannon as she earned the Georgia Heathcote-Stallman award. The award is given to the most outstanding women’s senior athlete. She concludes her career as a highly decorated runner for the Spartans. She was a three-time Capital Athletic Conference individual champion, a seven-time All-CAC performer and has been undefeated in her main event, the 5,000 meter run for over a year. The closest opponent to her in the CAC is more than 30 seconds back of her time for this year. Cannon played a key role in the Spartans earning their first Capital Athletic Conference championship in 22 years as the team captured the crown this fall. Cannon led the Spartans with a third place finish at the 2016 championships.
The academic honorees for the year will be announced on Wednesday, May 24 and will be released via the Spartan athletic website (www.ycpspartans.com).