On Monday, April 29, McGaw Chapel hosted the fourth annual Scotties — an award ceremony that seeks to recognize the accomplishments of both teams and individual athletes at The College of Wooster over the past year. The Scotties is planned and organized by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) with contributions from The W Association, the College’s alumni group made up of former student athletes.
The event was well-attended by representatives from each of Wooster’s 21 sports teams. According to Grace O’Leary ’20, vice president of SAAC, each Wooster team voted for a winner in both the men’s and women’s category for each of the five awards.
The event was emceed by Marcus Bowers ’19 and Aubri McKoy ’20 and kicked off by recognizing impending retirees Head Athletic Trainer Tom Love, baseball’s Head Coach Tim Pettorini and Provost Carolyn Newton for their combined decades of work at the College.
The first award of the night was Rookie of the Year, which is given to the first year who had the most impressive first season at the College. For the men, track and field’s William McMichael ’22 took home the honor after running a 50.91 to place first in the 400 meters at the indoor track and field championships — the first Scot to win the event since 1992. For the women, starting catcher Grace Randall ’22 earned the award for impressing during both softball’s debut week in Florida, hitting .467 in 10 games, and back in Wooster by throwing out nearly half of all base stealers.
“My experience as a first year has been very positive and also a learning experience in many ways as I continue to mature as a player,” Randall said. “I’m thankful to have won the award … and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my teammates and coaches.”
O’Leary and field hockey teammate Sydney Schuster ’21 presented the award to players for having the most unique statistic. Basketball’s Reece Dupler ’19 and Danyon Hempy ’20 won for becoming the second pair in program history to both surpass 500 points during the season. Erica White ’19, a forward for the soccer team, nabbed the award for the women after scoring the fastest goal in program history at 11 seconds against Mount St. Joseph. Notably, White beat out basketball’s Anna Gibbs ’19, who is only one of two Fighting Scots to start every single game (102) during their four-year career since 1987.
Individual Moment of the Year was given to the athletes who had a top-performing moment during an athletic event from their season. Runners David Westcott ’19 and Brian Lief ’19 were awarded for becoming the first national qualifiers in men’s cross country since 2003. Westcott finished seventh of 265 runners at the Division III Great Lakes Regional to earn an automatic bid and was soon after joined by Lief.
“The award was a great honor and it was amazing to be around my team, because they have helped me so much in achieving the kind of success I have had,” Westcott said.
“We could not have won this award without support from our team,” Lief added. “They have pushed us to work hard every day, and while it was an individual award, it would not have been possible without my teammates and coaches.”
Carolyn Webster ’19 added another award for track and field by way of her second North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) pentathlon win, with top marks in the 60-meter hurdles, high jump and long jump.
Similarly, Team Moment of the Year is given to the team with a top-performing moment at an athletic event. The baseball team took home the prize for winning the Mideast Regional Championship and advancing to the Division III World Series for the first time since 2009, beating out basketball and track and field. Women’s soccer was also awarded for team moment after shutting out Wittenberg 4-0 for the team’s first NCAC Tournament win in program history.
This year, the Scotties featured an academic award to show the importance of athletes excelling in their sport and in the classroom. Men’s cross country and women’s tennis took home the inaugural award that was given to the teams who had the highest GPA from Spring 2018 to Fall 2018.
The final award for the night was given in honor of Clayton Geib ’18, a football player who passed away in September 2017, to athletes who exemplified school spirit, team unity, sportsmanship, strong academics and immense kindness while being a key contributor to their sport. The men’s nominees included swimmer/golfer Ric Reynolds ’19, high jumper Jack Petrecca ’19 and baseball’s Sam Severance ’19, with the latter being voted the winner by his peers. Last year, Severance made the difficult decision to have his lower right leg amputated due to bone cancer but was determined to finish his intercollegiate career and has made several plate appearances this season for the Scots.
For the women, soccer goalie Maddy Ireton ’19, volleyball defensive specialist Eva Stebel ’19 and track and fielder Carolyn Webster ’19 were in contention. Ireton brought home the honor and later reflected on receiving the Geib Award.
“For the rest of my life, I will strive to live up to the attributes embodied by Clayton and his award,” Ireton said. “I am so glad that we are honoring his memory in an award that represents the incredible impact he had on the Wooster community.”
She continued by expressing her gratitude with being a student athlete at the College.
“Being a student athlete at Wooster has provided me with some of my proudest moments and some of my toughest challenges,” Ireton explained. “It has certainly helped me grow into the person I am today. I will always be thankful for my teammates, coaches, athletic trainers and so many others for the support they give me.”
“The Scotties aim to recognize Wooster athletes who have had an amazing season or moment during the season,” O’Leary concluded, “I felt that we had a wide array of winners that showed how widespread Wooster’s athletic success has been this year.”
(Photo by Angad Singh).