Summer work pays off at THS awards night
Early in the morning, four days a week, for two months this summer, dozens of Tonganoxie High student-athletes sacrificed a little vacation time for strength and conditioning training.
On Thursday night at the THS Performing Arts Center, they were rewarded for their dedication at the inaugural Chieftain Power Awards Night.
Every athlete who made it to at least 80 percent of the workouts was invited to the awards ceremony, which kicked off with a dinner from the Tonganoxie Booster Club.
Tonganoxie athletics director Brandon Parker said he and other THS coaches wanted to have an awards night so athletes could be recognized and rewarded for “working hard and doing the right thing.”
Each and every invited Chieftain picked up at least one new T-shirt. Some of them were recognized as members of “pound clubs” (ranging from 300-800), which signified an athlete’s combined number for hang clean, bench and squat lifts. A select few also received one of the night’s marquee awards.
But before a number of athletes were brought up on stage to be recognized, Parker turned the spotlight on one Chieftain who didn’t have to come to any of the summer sessions but did so anyway.
The Tonganoxie AD asked Connor Olson, who has a form of bone cancer, to come up, and the crowd gave Olson a standing ovation.
The evening ended with an equally stirring moment as seniors Lindsey Fatherley and Jeremie Maus received the Elliott Heart Award, named for Jeremy Elliott, a Tonganoxie student who died in April.
The list of headlining awards began with coaches acknowledging three students who attended every single workout this summer. Maus, Garret Elston and Patrick Rachford had perfect attendance.
Three Chieftains were named Most Improved for their offseason strides. Students and coaches voted to a tie between Ty Barton and Cooper Gish for the boys and Tayler Miles won among the girls.
There were six honorees in the category of Strength Index Champions. THS strength and conditioning coach Matt Bond said the award went to the boy and girl in each weight class who was strongest, pound for pound. Winners were determined by taking each athlete’s pound club number and dividing it by his or her weight.
Of THS girls, champs were Kailan Kuzmic, lightweight; Shelby Maxon, middleweight; and Makayla Sample, powerweight. Boys strength index winners were Caleb Himpel, lightweight; Jeremy Carlisle, middleweight; and Dylan Young, powerweight.
Coaches also handed out an award for the Iron Chieftain. It went to the boy and girl who had the best overall score in all the categories of strength and conditioning tests. Freshman Jenny Whitledge won the girls award and junior Carlisle barely edged senior Dane Gonser on the boys side following a tie-breaker in the 300-yard shuttle race.
Parker commended Gonser for his class in defeat. The senior, though disappointed in the outcome, congratulated Carlisle for his victory.
“His character showed,” Parker said. “That’s what athletics, that’s what the summer program … is about.”
Chieftain Power Awards
Elliott Heart Award
Lindsey Fatherley and Jeremie Maus.
Jeremy Carlisle and Jenny Whitledge.
Ty Barton, Cooper Gish and Tayler Miles.
Strength Index Champions
Girls — Lightweight: Kailan Kuzmic; Middleweight: Shelby Maxon; Powerweight: Makayla Sample.
Boys — Lightweight: Caleb Himpel; Middleweight: Jeremy Carlisle; Powerweight: Dylan Young.
100 percent attendance
Garret Elston, Jeremie Maus and Patrick Rachford.
Dane Gonser and Ben Myers.
Jeremy Carlisle, Austen Holloway, Jeremie Maus, Jonas Myers and Dylan Young.
Jacob Cannon, Dylan Fosdick, Tyler Gonser, Bryson Hewins, Zach Kaighin, Ryan Lynch, Ian McClellan, Zack Parrett and Tyler Stockman.
Lucas Ahart, Ty Barton, Devin Botts, Elliott Brest, Dane Erickson, Alex Fox, Justin Francis, AJ Gilbert, Justin Jacobs, Connor McClellan, Patrick Rachford, Cody Saladin, Keith Slater, Hank Somers and Brady Waldeier.
Rebekah Adcox, Lindsey Fatherley, Ali George, Beth Krivjansky, Shelby Maxon and Makayla Sample.
Kenzie Cadue, Abby Eisman, Maggie Franiuk, Alex Hauk, Lauren Hughes, Kailan Kuzmic, Hannah Kemp, Brooklyn Kerbaugh, Jo Kissinger, Shelby McDaniel, Tayler Miles, Danielle Miller, Parker Osborne, Kelsey Rodell, Cristina Rubio, Carson Simmons, Holly Thompson and Jenny Whitledge.
80 percent or more attendance
Lindsey Fatherley, Maggie Franiuk, Ali George, Andie Jeannin and Shelby Maxon.
Ashley Forbis, Alex Hauk, Kayla Jackson, Tayler Miles, Danielle Miller, Molly O’Hagan, Kelsey Rodell, Cristina Rubio and Carson Simmons.
Rebekah Adcox, Nikki Beggs, Rachel Bieniecki, Kenzie Cadue, Taylor Clark, Maggie Gripka, Megan Hummelgaard, Lauren Hughes, Brooklyn Kerbaugh, Beth Krivjansky, Makayla Leslie, Parker Osborne, Makayla Sample, Amber Shuster, Emma Slater, Haley Smith, Rachel Sparks and Sarah Wetta.
Hannah Kemp, Jo Kissinger, Shelby McDaniel, Alyssa Miller, Emily Minear, Carly Smith, Jessica Sommers, Holly Thompson, Madee Walker, Molly Welsh, Jenny Whitledge and Rachel Woods.
Dylan Faulconer, Alex Fox, Cooper Gish, Dane Gonser, Justin Jacobs, Jeremie Maus, Ben Myers and Dylan Young.
Lucas Ahart, Jacob Cannon, Elliott Brest, Jeremy Carlisle, AJ Gilbert, Bryson Hewins, Tucker Hollingsworth, Ian McClellan, Dylan Scates, Keith Slater and Hank Somers.
Tyler Bartholomew, Dane Erickson, Tyler Gonser, Caleb Himpel, Jonas Myers, Zack Parrett, Patrick Rachford, Tyler Stockman and Ben Williams.
Seth Ahart, Ty Barton, Will Bond, Gus Dent, Garret Elston, Tyler Hall, Jon Hendrix, Connor Kietzmann, Connor McClellan, Thomas Miller, Cody Saladin, Bret Shelton, Josh Sloan, Zack Tallent, Keaton Truesdell and Tyler Zinser.