Olivet College hosted its annual Ollie awards ceremony Sunday, Feb. 21 at The Cutler Event Center. This event is hosted by the Student Athletic Association Counsel (SAAC) of Olivet College, to honor student athletes for their athletic achievements. More than 200 athletes attended this event, nearly filling the Cutler Gymnasium. This was a red carpet affair and students were dressed to impress.
Hostesses Jake Maas, Amber Hamad (seniors) and junior Aaron Washington kicked off the event with a video by Luke Dewitt showing athletic achievements, weight room performance and game clips of Olivet College athletes, which left students roaring in enjoyment. “I have been working in video production as a hobby for a couple of years now, and transferring to Olivet game me the great opportunity to use those skills publicly,” Dewitt said. “(Travon Tatum) DJ Tate was much help in the production process. All the positive feedback makes me look forward to continuing these videos and expanding my skills.”
Awards such as rookie of the year, female/male athlete of the year, and many more were presented during the ceremony. Among those awards, Marissa Guile won female individual performance of the year in women’s volleyball. “With it being my senior year at Olivet, it was a cool experience to be recognized and awarded for an accomplishment by my peers,” Guile said.
Awards weren’t the only thing that took place Sunday evening, as junior basketball player T’Keyia Collins was among three performers who sang at the Ollies. “It was a great first experience as an athlete at Olivet College. Performing was so much fun, (and) it brought out a side of me no one really sees,” Collins said.
Even the emcees raved about the experience – the grandeur.
“It was an amazing experience for me to play my part in helping such a wonderful event reach its potential,” said Maas, a recognized voice of Olivet College sports. “I was tremendously fortunate not only to be asked to host, but to do so with two of my good friends at my side.”
This is an event that takes time to put together by SAAC each year.
“It took about a month and a half of planning to put it all together,” said SAAC President Greg Petty. “Planning big things like the script and voting for nominations for each award all the way down to small things like assigning jobs and setting up the event. I think it turned out very good this year with a fancier vibe too. This will continue to be an Olivet College tradition.”
The 2015-2016 Ollies Winners
Rookie Male Athlete - Ryan Anderson
Rookie Female Athlete - Isabelle Leon
Ironman Athlete - Dakota Badder
Win of the Year - Women’s Tennis
Upset of the Year - Women’s Volleyball
Breakthrough Athlete of the Year - Andrew Benkovsky
Play of the Year - Women’s Soccer
Comeback of the Year - Football
Individual Performance of the Year (Men’s) - Kyle Bryson
Individual Performance of the Year (Women’s) - Marissa Guile
Athlete of the Year (Men’s) - Jalen Weaver
Athlete of the Year (Women’s) - Stefanie Lang
Team Community Service Award - Women’s Volleyball
Individual Community Service Award - Courtney Reed
Staff of the Year - Caleb Grummet
Faculty of the Year - Phil Reed
Male Coach of the Year - Dan Pifer
Female Coach of the Year - Kim McGowan
Alumni of the Year Award - Rod and Ann Hathaway
Photo: Cutler is transformed from an everyday gymnasium into an elegant event space where the Ollies were held Feb. 21./Miranda Mors