lizabethtown College hosted its first annual Student-Athlete Recognition (STAR) on Tuesday, April 30 at 8:00 p.m. The event, sponsored by the Blue Jay Athletic Association (BJAA) and Blue Jay Athletics, took place in Thompson Gymnasium and recognized Etown’s athletic teams, student-athletes and faculty mentors for their achievements over the 2012-2013 school year.
“Most, if not all, of our Blue Jay teams end their season with a team dinner, banquet, tailgate party or picnic to honor their seniors and celebrate the team’s successes,” Director of Athletics Nancy Latimore said. “My staff and I thought that it would be fun to bring all of the teams together for one big celebration so that they can celebrate one another’s successes as well.” All student-athletes, staff members of the athletic department, parents of senior athletes and members of the BJAA were all welcomed to attend the event. Senior athletes were honored for their dedication to the athletics program and the head coach of each athletic team presented a Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award to one of its members. Seniors Dillon Tagle and Nadine Yunginger received the Distinguished Student-Athlete Awards, which recognize students who have excelled not only in athletics, but in service, leadership and academics as well. Seniors Lindsey Cooper and Paul Whitman also earned the Dr. Clair R. McCollough Award.
This is given to the most improved senior student-athletes who “exemplifies a maturity in the skills, knowledge and competitive spirit of the game,” as described on the award’s nomination sheet.
“We aren’t in a position to host a banquet for our 450-plus athletes and coaches, so we planned a reception in Thompson Gym instead,” Latimore stated. Because of this, the event was invite-only and offered refreshments, music, a slide show and “swag bags,” which included snacks and Etown apparel. “We have much to celebrate. In addition to our conference champions and All-Americans, we celebrate our many scholar athletes, including Jill Casey, who was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, and Jenna Neidermayer, who is receiving an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship,” Latimore said.