Athletes honored at annual SAAC Awards

Photo : Reagan Lee

The Lancer Awards is an annual spring social event, which was held March 31 by the NCAA student-athlete advisory committee in the Van Dyne Gymnasium at California Baptist University.

All student-athletes were welcome to attend the ceremony, which included food, games and awards recognizing both individuals and teams.

Frank Wyshinski, junior finance major, wrestler and executive officer, mentioned the nature of achievements and togetherness embodied by the event. 

“This event is a nice way for all of the athletes to commemorate the year and look back on a few of the achievements that our fellow student-athletes have accomplished,” Wyshinski said.

Spread around the gym were stations such as a photo booth, dessert table and a bean bag toss.

“We were able to play some fun games and really build relationships with athletes from all teams,” Wyshinski said.

This year marked a new milestone for CBU, with the Athletic Department transitioning to NCAA Division I and being offered even more reason to celebrate.

Student-athletes got a chance to interact in a new setting, dress nicely, have dinner together and make memories.

Michaela Miller, junior health science major and advisory representative, explained what the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee handles.

“The SAAC has two representatives from each team,” Miller said. “We meet throughout the year to plan events that will bring all the teams together, as well as fundraisers.” 

A few of the awards were Most Valuable Players, Hall of Famers, Most Intense Game, Best Comeback and Best Student-Athlete.

“(The committee is) the bridge between the teams, the school and the Athletic Department,” Miller said. “We can bring needs, concerns, requests, ideas to the leadership.”

During the time of the event, student-athletes were also encouraged to turn in gently worn, used shoes to donate to the shoe drive held at the back of the gym.

CBU swim and dive and the women’s volleyball team won a majority of the awards throughout the night.

Rebecca Romero, junior radiological sciences major and advisory representative, revealed her favorite tradition formed by the event.

“Playing Chubby Bunny is my favorite thing about the event. It’s a tradition now,” Romero said.

Rachel Keys, assistant athletic director for Academic and Student Support, said there was, unfortunately, a small turnout for the event this year.

“We had about 92 individuals attend the social event. That is less than 25 percent of our student-athlete population,” Keys said.

However, Keys said the committee’s canned-food drive event held each fall is popular with student-athletes. 

The Lancer Awards event was a successful opportunity for student-athletes to receive recognition for their efforts.

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