WACO, TEXAS (July 7, 2020) - The Red River Athletic Conference (OLLU) proudly recognizes Kaitlyn Salazar (JR/San Antonio, Texas) of Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) as the 2019-2020 RRAC Etier Character Athlete of the Year. Uriel Garcia from the University of Houston-Victoria received the male award.
In its fourth year, the award is given annually to one male and one female RRAC student-athlete who best represent the tenets of the NAIA Champions of Character program (respect, responsibility, integrity, sportsmanship and servant leadership). To be eligible, student-athletes must have been recognized as an RRAC Character Athlete of the Week during the previous academic year. All 2019-2020 weekly selections were candidates in voting by the RRAC Champions of Character Committee.
The awards were posthumously named for Betty Etier, who was an NAIA Hall of Famer, RRAC Eligibility Chair for 18 years, and an associate professor and faculty athletics representative at Huston-Tillotson University. Etier made a lasting impression on everyone involved in the RRAC and helped shape the conference from its beginning.
Salazar, now entering her junior year on the softball team, maintains a 3.58 GPA in Kinesiology. She is a leader on OLLU's Community Service Committee and took the responsibility of organizing team-building events and meal functions. Salazar also planned honorees to be recognized at each home game, and she identified firefighters, law enforcement officials, first responders, cancer survivors and youth groups to throw out the first pitch. She had much more planned before COVID-19 shortened the softball season. The San Antonio native plans to become a physical therapist.
"We are truly lucky to have Kaitlyn on our squad," says OLLU Softball Coach Bruce Lenington. "She has provided a great service to our team by planning our community projects, plus she is a valuable part of our team on the field."
Click here to review all of Salazar's accomplishments.
Previous Betty Etier Character Athlete of the Year Winners
|2016-2017||Savannah Crittenden (Houston-Victoria)||Wendon Blair (Jarvis Christian)|
|2017-2018||Michelle Revels (Houston-Victoria)||P.J. Sanchez (Southwest)|
|2018-2019||Heidi George (Jarvis Christian)||Matthew Barrett (Texas A&M-Texarkana)|
|2019-2020||Kaitlyn Salazar (Our Lady of the Lake)||Uriel Garcia (Houston-Victoria)|