SAN ANTONIO (May 3, 2018) – Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) celebrated its 2017-2018 season with the Seventh Annual Big Blue Athletic Banquet on Wednesday, May 2 in the university's Chapel Auditorium. Close to 250 athletes from OLLU's 13 teams were honored for their accomplishments throughout the 2017-2018 season. The only team not in attendance was the baseball team, as the men were on their way to the conference tournament in Shreveport, La.
The evening began with a welcome from banquet chair Alan E. Baxter, Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs. He introduced Gloria Urrabazo, Vice President for Mission and Ministry, who provided the invocation and blessing. Athletic Director Jack Hank came up to introduce the season highlight video produced by Sports Information Assistant Sera Quiroga, and those in attendance enjoyed a dinner catered by A Gala Event. Watch 2017-2018 Season Highlights Video here.
After the dinner, Hank gave a reflection of the season and then he and Adrienne Rodriguez, Senior Women's Athletic Administrator, presented the awards to the teams.
Men's team and individual awards
While Hank presented the awards to the men's teams, Rodriguez read the awards they received.
The baseball team was not in attendance. Their main award was for Russell Brown, who received the NAIA Scholar Athlete Award. Seniors included Brown, Jordan Hackett, Mike Light, JB Martinez, Caleb Mireles, Jesus Ramirez, Matthew Rodriguez and Enrique Ruiz III.
The basketball team qualified for the NAIA National Championship Tournament and made it to the Round of Eight. Courtney Julien was named an NAIA All-American. He was named All-Conference First Team, while PJ Escobar received Second-Team honors, Darion Brown, and Brandell Collins received Honorable Mention. Escobar was presented the Champions of Character Award and Brown was named to the Saints 1,000 Club. Seniors included Yephnick Adelphonse, Brown, Collins, Escobar, Ryan Otis, and Simon Shafack Jr.
The cross-country team won its third conference title this season and participated in the NAIA National Championship Meet. Stephen Sherman received Coach of the Year honors. Andrew Moczygemba won the 8k, and he along with Nathaniel Aguilar and Patrick Bousselot were named to the All-Conference Team. Derek Barnett also received the NAIA Scholar Athlete Award. The one senior on the team was Luis Ramirez.
Golf captured the conference tournament out of 18 teams. Baxter was named the Coach of the Year for all three conferences – Independent, Golden State and Red River, as well as the Conference Coach of the Year. Steve Landry was named Newcomer of the Year, and he, along with Kane Ybarra, Louis Flynn and Stevan Hinojosa were named to the All-Conference team. Rafael Jauregi was named to the Champions of Character award. The men also earned NAIA Scholar Team honors. Seniors included Steve Landry, Rafael Jauregui and Stevan Hinojosa.
The soccer team made it to the tournament semifinals. Adrian Delgado was named an NAIA All-American and received the conference's Offensive Player of the Year honors, while Roger Rizzi was named Newcomer of the Year. Delgado, Rizzi and AJ Gonzalez received All-Conference First Team honors. David Hillman, Guillermo Serrano and Jorge Cavazos were named to the Second Team, and James Halpin received the Champions of Character award. Delgado and Cavazos received NAIA Scholar Athlete recognition. Seniors included Gonzalez, Luis Sanchez and Rizzi.
The tennis team made it to the conference tournament finals last weekend. Mathias Rocha received the NAIA Scholar Athlete award last year and he is slated to receive the same award this year. Rocha is the only senior on the team.
The final men's team is track and field, which finished third in the conference meet this year. Receiving All-Conference recognition were Jose Zarate, Miguel Segura, Nate Aguilar, Derek Barnett, Patrick Torres, Andrew Moczygemba, Patrick Bousselot, Justin Ybarra, Clayton Townsend, Rene Perez, Pablo Cavazos, Jose Lima and Kyle Byerly. Seniors included Barnett and Torres.
Women's team and individual awards
While Rodriguez presented the awards to the women's teams, Hank read the awards they received.
The basketball team finished as runners-up in conference, and were finalists in the tournament. They made it the NAIA National Championship Opening Round, and Quintianna LeShore was named NAIA All-American First-Team. She also received the conference Player of the Year award and All-Conference First Team recognition. Destinee King, Francesca Patrick and Lena Wilson received All-Conference Second Team honors, while Julia Rendon was named Honorable Mention and Nakia Page received the Champions of Character award. Francesca Patrick received the Academic All-District and the Academic All-American awards, and she and Rachel Baity were named NAIA Scholar Athletes. Julia Rendon was named to the Saints 1,000 Club. Seniors included Rachel Baity, LeShore, Page, Patrick and Rendon.
The cross-country team won its fourth conference title and participated in the NAIA National Championship Meet. Jazmine Garcia won her third consecutive individual title. She along with Alyssa Hebb, Ione Rodriguez, Andrea Gandara and Sarah Taylor were named to the All-Conference team, and Stephen Sherman received Coach of the Year. Seniors included Garcia, Guerrero and Rodriguez.
The soccer team received NAIA Scholar Team recognition and NSCAA Academic Team recognition. Maggie Miller and Erica Robertson were named to the All-Conference team. In addition, Miller and Brooke Cousins were named NAIA Scholar Athletes. Seniors included Allysa Barrientos, Grayson Manfredo and Miller
The softball team received NAIA Scholar Team and NFCA Academic Team awards. The team was named co-champions of the Red River Athletic Conference, and the women will play in the conference tournament beginning on Friday. Seniors included Cheyanne Carter, Kimberly Chaves, Taylor Doege, Lauren Guerra, Alexis Macias, Kristina Tiffany and Ina Trejo
The track and field team won its first-ever conference title and they will be heading out to nationals later this month. Receiving All-Conference awards were Alexis Oaks, Aundrea Culliver, Amanda Esparza, Andrea Gandara, Gaby Guerrero, Sarah Taylor, Jazmine Garcia, Ione Rodriguez, Alyssa Hebb, Miki Romain, Shenaya Thomas, Quintianna LeShore, Victoria De La Cruz and Maricela Castro. Stephen Sherman received Coach of the Year honors. Seniors included Garcia, Guerrero, Rodriguez, Thomas and Emily Lee.
The final women's team is volleyball. The team captured its third conference regular season and tournament title, and made it to pool play of the NAIA National Championship Tournament. The team also received NAIA Scholar Team recognition. Raven Swain and Bailei Hubbard were named NAIA All-Americans. Swain was named AVCA Region Player of the Year, Hubbard received Freshman of the Year and Marina Martinez, Libero of the Year. Anissa Tamez was named to the AVCA Honorable Mention Team, and Jeremiah Tiffin was named Coach of the Year. All-Conference First Team recipients included Natalie Fazio, Hubbard, Swain and Tamez; Second Team were Mariza Cardenas and Anyssa Rivera; Honorable Mention was Elizabeth Olivarez. All-Tournament Team winners were Fazio, Hubbard and Swain, who was MVP. Cardenas was named Champions of Character, and she was named an NAIA Scholar Athlete. Hubbard was named Freshman of the Year, Swain, Player of the Year and Fazio, Newcomer of the Year. The only senior was Swain.
Top Team GPA Award
After the team awards were presented, Hank announced that the 2016-2017 Women's Soccer Team had earned the Top Team GPA Award after tallying an overall 3.32 GPA.
Big Blue Top Saints
The final awards presented were for the Top Male Saint and Top Female Saint for 2017-2018. The head coaches of each team nominated one player who excelled in academics, athletics and community service as a member of his or her team in 2017-2018. Judges included Marissa Galvan, representing students; Steven Zumaran, representing alumni; Amanda Brown, representing faculty; Alyssa Mora representing the Athletic Department and Jenifer Bendele, representing staff.
Nominees for men's teams included: Baseball: Russell Brown; Basketball: Darion Brown; Cross-Country: Andrew Moczygemba; Golf: Rafael Jauregui; Soccer: Adrian Delgado; Tennis Mathias Rocha; and Track and Field: Clayton Townsend.
This year's winner is Mathias Rocha from tennis. His accomplishments included: Community Service - He volunteered for the First Serve Project in Brazil throughout the summer and during Christmas break, giving children the opportunity to play tennis, teaching them what it takes to study in the United States; He gathered donations for Campaign in Brazil, including winter clothes and food for poor people in the area; He volunteered regularly at the Blood Bank, donating blood throughout the year; And he volunteered at various organizations as part of his international business degree program; Athletics: He is a two-time Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete; 4-time Conference Scholar Athlete; 2-Time Conference Player of the Week; Turkey Tournament Champion; All-Conference; All-Tournament; Academics; He has a 3.67 GPA, and he plans to graduate next week.
The nominees for the female teams included: Basketball: Francesca Patrick; Cross-Country: Jazmine Garcia; Softball: Taylor Doege; Soccer: Maggie Miller; Track and Field: Miki Romain; and Volleyball: Raven Swain.
This year's winner is Francesca Patrick from basketball. Here are her accomplishments: Community Service - She mentored at elementary school in Montana during the National Tournament; She worked with the marginalized and underprivileged population at the OLLU Community Counseling Service Center; She mentored and managed support groups with the geriatric population at Good Samaritan Community Service Center; She helped and supervised visits and parenting classes at The Guardian House; Athletics - She is a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete; She was named a CoSIDA-Academic All-American and CoSIDA Academic-All-District; her other awards include Conference All-Tournament; All-Conference; Conference Scholar Athlete; Academics - She has a 4.0 GPA, she is a 2nd Year Graduate Student, graduating in May.
Video of photographs taken by Dan Constantin
Hank introduced a video that included a variety of photos taken by OLLU photographer Dan Constantin throughout the season.
Watch Video of 2017-2018 Photos here.
The evening concluded after a benediction from OLLU Chaplain Very Rev. Father Kevin Fausz, CM, VU.