OTTAWA — One wouldn’t know it to look at them the way they were dressed to the nines on Sunday night, but the athletes assembled for Marquette Academy’s annual All-Sports Banquet appeared a far cry from those who put in the hard work, blood, sweat and tears to provide their fans so many thrills on the field, court or course in the last year.
Over 100 athletes donned in their finest apparel were on hand at the Ottawa Knights of Columbus hall to accept their recognition and team awards, presented by coaches and school administrators.
One of the non-athletes honored was Joe Hettel, recipient of this year’s Red Wultzen Booster of the Year Award.
“I am humbled by this,” said Hettel, “especially knowing many of the people who have received this in the past and all the things that they’ve done for Marquette. I don’t know how many years this award has been given out, but to be included with those people is humbling, for sure.”
Hettel, who is both a farmer and a La Salle County Circuit Court judge, has been on the MA football program’s coaching staff for many years, but perhaps an even greater contribution has come in leading all Crusader athletes in the weight room.
That experience began when he was 13 years old, just coming gout of Grand Ridge Grade School, when he was asked to help spot MA alumnus Greg Durdan, at the time a football player at Western Illinois and later a professional power lifter. His weightlifting helped him to star for the Crusaders, helping them to the 1983 state championship game, and later to a college career that included a trip to the Rose Bowl with the University of Iowa.
“I’ve just been trying to do what someone once did for me,” Hettel said, “to show them that there’s no limit to what you can achieve if you work hard at it, no matter what challenges you may face.”
Boys captain: Thomas Lechtenberg.
Boys most valuable: Luis Aguilar.
Girls captain: Mariah Pellino.
Girls field captain: Sarah Smith.
Best effort: Kathryn Siena.
Best On-Base Percentage: Allison Snook.
Gold Glove: Makenna Tkach.
Eagle Eye/most walks: Makena McConnaughhay.
Most improved: Abbey Owens.
Highest batting average: Makenna Tkach.
True grit award: Emily Owens.
Most versatile: Ellen Wheatland.
Rose Furlan Memorial Award (most valuable) Allison Snook.
Captains: Bryce Fanti, Michael Obos, Joe Hawks, Dylan Gerding.
Coaches award: Michael Obos.
Most improved: Kyle Cook.
Defensive player: Logan Komater, Zach Dyche.
Highest batting average: Michael Obos.
Guy Hoffman Award (best pitcher): Bryce Fanti.
Most valuable: Bryce Fanti.
Fall 2017-18 school year
Captains: Emily Owens, Abbey Owens, Makena McConnaughhay.
Most team spirit: Mallory Martini, Chloe Garkey.
Most improved: Addison McConnaughhay.
Coaches Award: Mallory Martini.
Captain: Anabell Kribbs.
Coaches Award: Makenna Tkach.
Most improved: Morgan Samoska, Ashlyn Thomas.
Boys captain: Luis Aguilar.
Boys most improved: Angelo Bayno, Ben McGrath.
Boys most valuable: Lucas Hoffman, Luis Aguilar.
Girls captain: Sarah Lechtenberg.
Girls most improved: Grace Rinearson.
Girls most valuable: Sarah Lechtenberg, Kathryn Siena.
Most improved: Nick Denton.
Most valuable: Sean Kissel.
Captains: Abbey Owens, Emily Owens, Makena McConnaughhay.
Most improved offense: Anna Sypniewski, Carrington Schultz.
Most improved defense: Emily Owens.
Serving: Makena McConnaughhay.
Offensive player: Ashlyn Thomas, Makena McConnaughhay.
Defensive player: Abbey Owens.
Coaches Award: Erin Smith, Sarah Smith.
Blocking: Maggie Hettel.
Most valuable: Makena McConnaughhay.
Killelea Memorial Trophy (citizenship, academics, sportsmanship): Michael Killelea.
1983 Team Scholarship (clean, physical, hard-nosed play): Max Donahue, Logan Komater, Luke Ferracuti.
Captain: Sam McGrath.
Most pins: Hunter McAlpine.
Most wins: Hunter McAlpine.
Rookie of the year: Jake Mitchell.
Most valuable: Brenton Sampton.
Heart Award: Steven Jackson.
Wrestler of the Year: Logan Petre.
Captains: Abbey Owens, Emily Owens, Anna Sypniewski.
Assists: Hannah Cowie.
Defense: Emily Owens.
Rebounds: Anna Sypniewski.
Free throw percentage: Anna Sypniewski.
Most improved: Maggie Hettel.
Coaches Award: Abbey Owens.
Most valuable: Anna Sypniewski, Emily Owens.
Captains: Austin Threadgill, Jack Snook.
Assists: Jack Snook.
Rebounds: Chase Thumm, Jack Snook.
Free throw percentage: Austin Threadgill.
Most improved: Max Donahue.
Coaches Award: Nick Duchon, Vance Childers.
Most valuable: Jack Snook.
Ed Carroll Defensive Player Award: Logan Komater.
Nicholas M. Tabor Jr. Award (dedication, hard work, sportsmanship): Jonathon Ugolini.
Freshman: Addison McConnaughhay.
Sophomores: Aubrey McCallum, Emma Thomas.
Juniors: Ashley Bowden, Hannah Cowie, Connor Durdan, Jack Durdan, Logan Komater; Sarah Lechtenberg, Mallory Martini, Hunter McAlpine, Jack Snook, Ashlyn Thomas, Makenna Tkach.
Seniors: Makena McConnaughhay, Abbey Owens, Emily Owens, Sam McGrath.
Emma Thomas, Abbey Owens, Emily Owens.
Tom Tillman Memorial Trophy (senior showing leadership, sportsmanship, ability): Michael Killelea.
Joann Schuster Girls Athlete of the Year Award: Anna Sypniewski, Emily Owens, Makena McConnaughhay.
Stephen “Pizza” Scherer Award (non-participant supporting athletics): Jack Durdan, Sam McGrath.
Red Wultzen Marquette Booster Award: Joe Hettel.