Nordland’s Grace Johnson and Sequim’s Hope Glasser were among the six athletic award winners announced by the Peninsula College athletic department during their awards event Thursday.
Johnson, who led the women’s soccer team to an unbeaten spring season and also served as student body vice president, won the Wally Sigmar Award, presented annually to a women’s soccer player who exemplifies leadership, athleticism, academics and citizenship. Jeong Hyun Kang, of Seoul, South Korea, who served as team captain and helped the men to a North Region best 8-1 record, was the men’s Wally Sigmar winner.
The Art Feiro Awards for basketball players who also stand out for their contributions in the areas of leadership, athleticism, academics and citizenship went to Amari Brown of Anchorage, Alaska and Keith Seldon of Las Vegas, Nevada. Brown and Seldon have led the Pirate basketball teams to a very strong showing in the North Region’s spring season, which winds up next week.
“Our Wally Sigmar and Art Feiro award winners were all exceptional student athletes,” said Rick Ross, Associate Dean of Athletics and Stdudent Life, who presented the awards at an in-person ceremony Thursday. “We had so many outstanding young men and women in our athletic program again this year that these four athletes really represented these awards in behalf of their respective teams at the highest level.”
“There were some dark days during this pandemic and we needed leadership within our teams more than ever this year,” Ross added. “It came from many students, but especially from this group. They were patient and rolled with the punches, but they also never dismissed this season as a non-counting one. Our athletes trained hard and played hard all year. I can’t wait to see what they do in the fall when all four programs go after NWAC championships in earnest.”
The athletic program also annually recognizes two freshmen female athletes in an award dedicated to the late Annie McMullen, for athletes who exemplify inspiration, dedication, accomplishment and ambassadorship. The 2020-21 winners were Glasser, of Sequim, and Alysia Alvarado, of Sherwood, Oregon.
“Hope had a great year and was a shot in the arm for our women’s basketball program that suffered some adversity with injuries and from some athletes suffering from COVID fatigue and leaving the program,” Ross said. “She is such a hard-working and competitive kid that I think it rubbed off on her teammates. They’ve really played over their heads at times as a team and I think they’ve all bought in to just trying to out-work their opponents.”
“Similarly, Alysia is a super talented soccer player who had to find her way as part of a super talented team,” Ross said. “She too works very hard, plays hard, and inspires those around her to follow suit. Off the field, she’ll be part of our student government next year, and on the field, look for Alysia and her teammates to score a lot of goals.”
Peninsula College and the rest of the Northwest Athletic Conference held their soccer and basketball seasons in the spring this year, but are working on plans for a “normal” 2021-22 season. The athletes also didn’t use any of their four-year college eligibility this year, so those who came in as freshmen last fall will be freshmen again in September and the 2020-21 sophomores will be sophomores again in 2021-22.
“We expect a few players to be transferring and continuing with their college careers at the next level, but most of our 85 student athletes are coming back in the fall,” Ross said. “With some strong freshmen recruits already signed, we’re going to be loaded next year. Pirate fans will get to see maybe some of the best teams we’ve ever had. I think it’ll be worth the wait.”
In the meantime, Pirate basketball wraps up 2020-21 with a home doubleheader on Saturday, the women taking on Olympic at 2:00 pm and the men playing Edmonds at 4:00 pm. Fans are welcome.
They then travel to Bellevue Monday and finish up at home with the women hosting Whatcom at 4:00 pm Wednesday and the men hosting Bellevue at 6:00 pm Thursday.