Mesa honors academic, athletic accomplishments

DeeDee Williams

Mesa College President Dr. Pamela Luster presents the Mesa softball team with the Team Community Award at the STAR Awards.

DeeDee Williams, Sports Editor

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Excelling student athletes celebrated their accomplishments with family, friends and coaches at the 8th annual STAR awards at Mesa.

The atmosphere was more like a family reunion than a sports and academic ceremony. There was music, chatter and long conversations consisting of games, matches and meets.

The highest team GPA award was given to Women’s badminton for spring sports and Women’s cross country for the fall. This award was also separated by gender. Women’s badminton also took home the highest GPA over all of the women’s sports. Men’s tennis received the other highest GPA for males.

There were four athletes that were recognized for their academic success. Ian Man Wong (Swim), Sarah Maple (Tennis), Shannon Smith (Soccer) and Taylor Papahogen (Soccer) all managed to juggle their sports and educational responsibilities at the same time.

Not only did these students mange sports and school, but a lot of them are very active in their community. Women’s softball received the Team Community award for their service. As an individual, Taylor Moran was recognized for her involvement in the community and managing playing volleyball too.

The superstar award is given to a student that is academically superior, active in their community , displays prime leadership, and, of course, excels in their sport. Ian Man Wong is Mesa’s 2015 Superstar due to her ability to be an all around great student, athlete and philanthropist.

The 2015 STAR Awards honoree, Dave Fager was recognized for his successful run as a football coach of 40 years, 27 of those years being at Mesa. Athletic Director Dave Evans had the opportunity to present this award to his long time friend and colleague.

“If you were to look up positive, you’d find a great big picture of Dave Fager,” Evans said.

The keynote address was delivered by San Diego State’s Head volleyball coach, Dietre Collins-Parker. Parker is a former member of the United States National Team and three-time NCAA All American middle blocker. She spoke of her being a college student and an athlete and gave advice to Mesa students on how to “stay on course,” and “ living a life of no regrets.” She also ensured that with hard work there will bigger successes that lie ahead.

 

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