Around 700 people filed into Plachta Auditorium in Warriner Hall to celebrate the Chippewas’ many accomplishments and achievements from last year while raising $2,000 for Special Olympics of Michigan.
“It’s always good to see where the money goes,” said head baseball coach Steve Jaksa. “It’s a good tradition we have and I love to see the festive crowd.”
Joe Houlihan, Pat MacKenzie and Sean Renzi of the baseball team helped organize and emcee the event under the supervision of Jeremy Ploch, the Advisor of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
Three of the four Chippy Awards have been put on by members of the baseball team, starting with Sam Russell and Reid Rooney.
“I always look forward to (the Chippy awards),” said Athletic Director Dan Heeke. “It has been a great year for CMU athletics.”
Just like ESPN’s Espys, winners were called to the front of the stage to speak and receive their award, which was presented by a Special Olympian and a pair of CMU athletes. The show also offered a variety of skits, speakers and videos.
The women’s basketball team earned three trophies, including Coach of the Year Sue Guevara, Female Athlete of the Year Crystal Bradford and Team of the Year.
“I just get to be the fortunate one to lead this team,” Guevara said. “I’m thankful for everyone, especially the team. I am very, very honored.”
Softball also took home three awards: Championship Performance and Best Play from Kara Dornbos and Game of the Year went to its Mid-American Conference title 11th-inning title win against Northern Illinois, which clinched head coach Margo Jonker’s 1,000th win.
“God has blessed me to be able to play for CMU for four years,” Dornbos said. “I’d like to thank CMU and my teammates for a wonderful four years.”
Freshman of the Year was awarded to soccer’s Josie Seebeck, who died in a car accident in early August. Seebeck, “a great young woman,” with a “bright future,” made MAC all-freshman team last year.
Also receiving awards were Jordan Foley (baseball) for Breakthrough Athlete and Eric Fisher (football) for Male Athlete of the Year.
Non-athletes Steve Adler and Karen Hustler won Professor of the Year and Fan of the Year.
“I’m thrilled of the Chippys,” said Marcy Weston, Executive Associate Director of Athletics/Sports Administration. “Every year it gets better and better.”