On the evening of May 7, the entire PLU athletic community gathered to celebrate individual and team successes from the 2016-2017 school year. At this event, I had the privilege to serve as the master of ceremonies for the 2017 Pacific Lutheran University Athletic Awards Banquet. Accompanied by junior Jack Rose, a junior member of the men’s soccer team, it was our honor to present awards to our fellow peers.

Twelve athletes were recognized for their outstanding individual efforts, both academic and athletic. This year, a unique award was given out. The Frosty Westering Lute Inspiration Award is not presented on an annual basis.

Frosty Westering passed away after 32 seasons as the PLU head football coach.  He is a legend on PLU’s campus and across the country for his distinctive philosophy and success on the field.  It was my pleasure to hand this award to the most deserving person in the room, senior Erik Swartout, 4-year letterwinner in basketball and an NCAA qualifier in javelin.

“Frosty was as good of a person you could ever meet. To receive an award in his name is an incredible honor,” said Swartout.

Across the board, all 19 sports teams experienced success and met goals throughout their season. A couple of teams were recognized for their group effort. The Team Grade Point Average Award was presented to Women’s Swim with a cumulative GPA of 3.60. Women’s Soccer took home the Team of the Year Award, as this season they went undefeated for the first time in program history.

The evening wrapped up as Director of Athletics and Recreation Laurie Turner presented the Lute Service Award to the men’s basketball coach Steve Dickerson. Coach Dickerson is retiring this year after being the men’s basketball coach for 14 years here at PLU. He was honored not only for his ability to help students succeed on the basketball court, but more importantly, for guiding them to grow as individuals off the court. Coach Dickerson was an active member of the Lute community, making an effort to form a relationship with all of its members. He will be missed.

PLU athletes should feel proud after this year’s successes. The seniors can hang up their shoes knowing that they gave all they could to the athletic community. The athletes with more time on their clock are lucky to put on a PLU uniform again and represent a program that supports them in every way.

“I am still not ready to be done with PLU athletics, but this night of recognition and reflection was a great culminating event to go out on,”  said senior Brady Daly, a member of both track and field and football.

Still participating in their season are the women’s rowing team and members of the track and field team. ◼︎

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