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Athletic Awards Night celebrates student-athletes, coaches recognize award winners

Photo credit: Tavi Memoli
Athletics Director Kim Smith recognizes senior Cate Childers’ accomplishments during her soccer season. The Athletic Awards Night was held May 14 to honor athletes’ contributions to their teams and to bring together the community to celebrate their achievements.

Applause roared throughout the Zeller Student Center as athletes received an assortment of awards Tuesday, May 14. The annual Athletic Awards Night celebrated Archer’s athletic achievements from the 2023-2024 school year. The tradition honors the hard work and dedication demonstrated by athletes during the fall, winter and spring sports seasons.  

Freshman Alex Bridwell is a varsity athlete in cross country, soccer and track. She won the Most Improved award for her cross country and track seasons.

“As a freshman, my favorite part was being able to play on three different varsity teams and getting to know people in different grades,” Bridwell said. “In cross country, we won league, and during our soccer season we got pretty far, too.”

Three athletes from each sports team were awarded either the Most Improved, Panther or Most Valued Player award. Bridwell said getting the Most Improved award for cross country was unexpected. She said she loved the heartfelt moment she shared with her coach, while receiving the award. 

“I was pretty surprised I got an award for cross country because it was a sport that I did to help me improve my other two sports,” Bridwell said. “When I got up there and heard everything my coach was saying about me, I felt very proud and accomplished. It was a really good feeling.”

The coaches of each sports team attended the event. Varsity beach volleyball coach Tom Slauterbeck said his team faced challenges with player scheduling conflicts and outside commitments during the season, but they persisted with the support of newer players. Varsity beach volleyball player Charlotte Stein (’26) was awarded the Most Improved award for her contributions to the team during her first season on the varsity team.

“Early on in the season, a lot of the players had conflicts, so new players had to come in. It was more of an opportunity and even though those players may have been nervous, they responded really well,” Slauterbeck said. “They allowed us to win until the rest of the players were able to join the team.”

Junior Avalon Garland started playing softball at Archer during her freshman year. She said she worked with her coach over the season to improve her skills by asking for advice on form and strategy, which she believes made her the recipient of the Most Improved award for varsity softball.

“It felt really rewarding to have my work pay off. We have a lot of really good players on the team, so it was really nice to be recognized,” Garland said. “A lot of people on the team deserve awards, not just me. [The event] was very positive, and it was nice to see the highlight reels from every season and learn about what other teams accomplished.”

Bridwell said the Athletic Awards Night was a night to show appreciation towards the hard work of all Archer athletes. She said the night was important to the athletics community, since many similar events are also held for other programs at Archer.

“It’s a great event because Archer is not fully focused on sports all the time. We have a big dance and arts program, so the fact that they take a night to celebrate just athletes and give out awards is very valuable,” Bridwell said. “It’s very motivating, and if you want something to work for, it can be getting an award at the end of your seasons.”

Slauterbeck said he enjoyed rewarding his athletes for their determination and perseverance throughout the spring.

“It’s nice to recognize their achievement because they work so hard for the season,” Slauterbeck said. “The important thing is letting [the athletes] know that we support them and appreciate them and all the hard work that they do.”

Graphic Illustration credit: Tavi Memoli
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About the Contributor
Tavi Memoli
Tavi Memoli, Senior Reporter
Tavi Memoli joined The Oracle as a staff reporter in 2022 and is now returning as a senior reporter in 2023. She plays indoor and beach volleyball and is currently in her third year on the varsity team. She loves baking, surfing, and listening to music in her free time.

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    Tanya MemoliMay 28, 2024 at 9:58 am

    Bravo Archer Athletes!!!! We may be a small school but we are MIGHTY….A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH!!!!
    Impressive seasons for all <3