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Will Martin and Addison Munsch Named Aggies of the Year

By Alyssa Fox on 05/09/2018

Goodwell, Okla.— The 2018 Aggie Athletic Banquet was hosted by the Student Athletic Advisory Committee for the first time this year, and produced stellar success and entertainment for both student athletes and athletic administration.

With an 'Aggie Star Athletes' theme surrounding the event, the Noble Activity Center was transformed with a Hollywood feel, sporting a VIP entrance area, glittery-gold photo zone, vased roses, rolled red carpets and a colorful candy buffet. The student athletes began to arrive dressed to the nines to parallel the adorned atmosphere and enjoyed a social hour complete with an hors de oeuvres buffet as well as a delicious sundae bar provided by Great Western Dining.

Athletic Director Meghan Mulcahy began the award ceremony portion of the evening and welcomed all administration, athletes and their guests in celebration of Aggie Athletics as a whole as well as the standout stars of each sport. SAAC President Madison Linton emceed the evening, as each sport awarded one member of their team with an Athlete of the Year, nominated by a committee of the athletics coaching staff, and one whimsical award, nominated by the athletes themselves. The audience extolled in high spirits over the presentations of the Athletes of the Year and cheered with laughter over the comical awards given by their fellow athletes.

At the culmination of the evening, two special superior awards were given to recognize the Aggie Athletes of the Year, an award reserved for one male and one female student athlete who exemplify not only outstanding performances in their respective sports, but who also embody Panhandle pride and excellence in their community both on and off campus. The female Aggie of the Year Award went to women's basketball player, sophomore Addison Munsch, and the male Aggie of the Year was awarded to rodeo athlete, senior Will Martin.

The Panhandle Rodeo staff all spoke highly of Will; Coach Shelbie Weeder was quick to compliment his skills in the arena as well as his personal characteristics, saying, "We nominated Will because he had a phenomenal season by winning 9 out of 10 rodeos in the bareback riding, [and] he always manages to take care of business and is a great asset to our team." Martin displayed a stellar performance in the "Doc" Gardner Memorial Rodeo over April 26-28, as he split for first place in the long round with 69 points before taking the lead in the short round, winning with a total of 77 points. His feats earned him the Panhandle State Bareback Champion title as well as the Year-End Bareback Champion title, and Martin qualified to complete in the CNFR where he will head with several other Panhandle rodeo athletes later this summer in June. Coach Robert Etbaur echoed Coach Weeder's commendations, saying "Will earned the 'All Around Cowboy' title for the Central Plains Region by accumulating more points than any other cowboy in the region [and] he takes care of business both inside the rodeo arena and in the classroom. We are going to miss having him next year after he graduates this week."

Female Aggie Athlete of the Year, sophomore Addison Munsch, was named to Honorable Mention All-Conference following her successful season with women's basketball and Head Coach Esparza and Assistant Coach Levine. Munsch dominated with a remarkable 145 field goals made on the season and her hard work earned her the No. 5 spot in the Sooner Athletic Conference rankings in scoring. Coach Esparza offered high praises of Munsch, advocating both her athleticism and her steadfast dedication, "She not only was nominated by us as coaches but by her teammates as well for her consistency all year both on and off the court. She deserves everything she gets because of her work ethic. She is one of our hardest working girls on the team and she does a great job of leading by example. We look forward to having her for two more years and watching her grow even more."

The newly altered banquet format was well received by the student athletes and their guests, and the SAAC and Athletic Director Mulcahy are pleased to be able to continue to expand and improve on the changes to make the event even better for next year. Mulcahy stated, "This event is always a highlight for the student-athletes at the end of the year. It is a chance for them to be recognized for their accomplishments. I am glad that this year we were able to change up the format to make this an even more enjoyable experience to reward all their hard work and dedication to the success of the athletic department this year."

In light of the great success of the banquet, SAAC Administrative Representative Russell Gaskamp expounded, "The changes that were made to the banquet this year were very well received by the student-athletes. The OPSU SAAC had a vision of a banquet that was much more social, interactive, lighter, and led by the athletes themselves. They did a good job of implementing the changes. This however could not have been accomplished without the help of our athletic staff, primarily our Sports Information Department, and with the support of Panhandle Printing. Thank you to everyone that was involved with a great evening."