SPECIAL TO THE FLASH
RANGER (May 10, 2016) — The stars came out – and were recognized – in earnest last week at Ranger College.
In all, more than 40 athletes in 14 sports were honored for their commitment and excellence during the inaugural ‘R’ Awards sports banquet at the Solid Rock Café at Lone Cedat Golf Course. A standing-room-only crowd of more than 400 attended the event.
Among the athletes honored were men’s and women’s basketball standouts Mariah Merriwether and Jordan Geist. Both received Most Valuable Player honors in their respective sports.
Merriweather, who recently committed to Concordia University, was the driving force behind the Lady Rangers’ team this past season. One of five sophomores, she was among the team’s top scorers, finishing at 10.8 points per contest. She also ranked among the Lady Rangers’ leaders in rebounds (117), steals (37) and assists (24).
Geist, a 6-foot-3 freshman from Ft. Wayne, Indiana, netted the MVP award for the men’s team. A second-team All-America selection, he led the Rangers to a 31-7 record and a berth in the NJCAA national tournament.
Kirsten Fellows, who enjoyed a stellar freshman season at RC, was selected the women’s Newcomer of the Year recipient, while teammate Jiavani Thompson claimed the Academic Excellence honors.
Kris Clyburn, who recently signed a deal to play next season at UNLV, was the Rangers’ Newcomer of the Year. Bradoc Archibald was the team’s Academic Excellence winner.
In cheerleading, Holly Needham and Kanya Johnson shared the team’s Most Spirited honors, while Kaci Cook was selected the recipient of the Most Dedicated award. Freshman Shelby Meredith was the Academic Excellence winner.
Lourdes Gonzalez and Nicholas Wittkopp received the MVP honors in women’s and men’s cross country, respectively, while Amaranta Gamboa and Moises Montanez netted the newcomer honors. In women’s track, Bennisse Inamahoro was the MVP recipent, while Ana Barbara Uribe took top honors in Half Marathon.
James Ramos was named the Newcomer of the Year for men’s track, while Gonzalez and Wittkopp received the Academic Excellence honors.
In golf, Jose Perozo was selected the MVP for the national-ranked men’s team. Stephen Pouria was the Newcomer of the Year honorees, while Ty Wright netted the Academic Excellence award.
Trevor Kirchenchlager and Wesley Thorp shared the rodeo MVP honors, while Mariah Horton and Cheyenne Britain were the co-Newcomer of the Year selections. Ky Bray was the rodeo team’s Academic Excellence recipient.
Nicole Rojas and Jamar Leigh were named the MVPs of their respective teams in women’s and men’s soccer. Rojas helped lead the Lady Rangers to the best season in the program’s history this past fall.
Abigail Haston, a two-sport star at RC, was the women’s Newcomer of the Year, while Hannah Harris was the Academic Excellence award winner. Lorenzo Villanueva won the men’s Newcomer of the Year accolades, while Luis Martin was the Academic Excellence winner.
In softball, sophomore catcher Maddie Sewell earned the Lady Rangers’ MVP award. Freshman third baseman Shelby Neatherlin was named the Newcomer of the Year, while Kendra Evans, a freshman pitcher, was the Academic Excellence recipient.
In volleyball, Kylee Metts was presented with the Lady Rangers’ MVP honors. A native of Amarillo, the RC setter recently signed to play volleyball next season at Cameron University.
Juliya Gupkovskaya was the 2015 Newcomer of the Year winner. She registered a team-high 308 kills this fall en route to earning all-conference honors. Sophomore Emily Swain was the Academic Excellence award winner.