Winter Athletic Banquet 2018

The athletic banquet is a celebration for the accomplishments of the athletes of this winter’s season sports. This year, the event took place on the night of February 22, 2018. A lot of hard work and planning goes into throwing this event every season to recognize the athletes and their team’s achievements.

Assistant Athletic Director Scotty Williams thinks that the athletic banquet is important to give athletes motivation in their off-season to improve and recap how the team did in that season’s competition.

“People always want to know that they are appreciated and this is one way we as an athletic department like to reinforce that with our athletes,” Williams said. “It also reinforces that despite playing different sports, we are all Wildcats.”

Athletic Director Joshua Plisko thinks that the banquet gives athletes a much-needed chance to reflect on successes and growth points, and it makes him feel proud of all the athletes.

“Makes me feel really blessed to have the opportunity to do what I do,” Plisko said.

Williams also likes to see how seasons went for other sports, as he is also the men’s varsity basketball coach.

“You don’t always get to stay updated in the crush of your own season.  It’s also a nice opportunity to see your players off the court,” Williams said.

Plisko likes hearing about each sport team’s season as well.

“I really like hearing about where the program is currently at. I also enjoy when the athletes take pictures with their teammates, coaches, and family,” Plisko said.

Williams would love to see more technology brought into the event to change up the pace and spark more interest.

“I’d love to see more multimedia in the event in general. We’d have to work with our student media but I think it would be great for more teams to have some video or highlights of the season. I did a highlights video this season for our basketball team,” Williams said. “Even in most settings, people will only listen to a certain amount of talking before boredom and restlessness sets in.”

Student Information Data Manager Michelle Applequist is on the committee that organizes this event every year. There are numerous things that go on from the time one banquet ends until the next one is planned. The committee orders and sells tickets, secures catering, picks a theme for the banquet and rallies for donations.

“As we work through these couple of months, emails are constantly sent out reminding everyone of what we have left to do and seeing who can take care of the things we have left,” Applequist said. “Our biggest concern is having people there for setup the day of the event and for cleanup after.  We have always had a great turn out and a great committee to ensure everything runs smoothly.”

Applequist thinks the students deserve a night to be recognized for their commitment and dedication to their sport and school.

“These students go above and beyond just academics. It is not easy trying to balance different course loads, extracurricular club activities, jobs and then sport practices five days a week,” Applequist said.

Applequist likes the fact that the event is so respected and would like to keep it that way in the future.

“All those involved try to make it an event that demands attention to detail, dress code and an environment that is honoring the student athletes as well as all of those involved throughout the season,” Applequist said.