Trinity Lutheran hands out fall sports awards


Zephyr Wilson was still wearing a brace on his right wrist at Trinity Lutheran’s fall sports awards ceremony in the school gym.

It was an improvement over the heavier cast he initially wore to protect the two broken bones that ended his soccer season.

As someone who previously suffered a broken wrist earlier in his playing days, it was not the ending the senior envisioned for his high school soccer career.

Wilson, who was awarded the team’s co-most valuable player award despite an early interruption of his season, could boast of one thing, however.

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"I scored, though," he told the doctors taking care of him.

As a consolation prize, Wilson made his last shot count in a match against Salem. He booted the ball and fell to the ground, cracking the wrist.

It was not a planned finale, but the play was a dashing one.

Trinity combined boys and girls soccer recognition, boys tennis, volleyball and boys and girls cross-country into a single event in the Bollinger Athletic Complex on Tuesday night.

Wilson’s co-MVP was Kash Siefker. Peyton Pollert won the most improved award for the boys soccer squad. Caleb Probst, Noah Mensendiek and Siefker were presented senior awards. Iron Man co-winners were Kade Hill, Caleb Williams and Conner Sims. And Ethan Myers won the Cougar Award.

Teams’ Cougar Awards were basically handed out to inspirational players who contributed more in intangible ways.

Coach Joe Doggett called the year "a quirky season" partially because it was decimated by injuries.

"Picking out those awards was really, really tough," Doggett said.

Of his trio of Iron Men, he said, "It’s amazing to watch them never tire."

An all-time memorable contest was the 1-0 game against Austin in the first round of sectional play, which the Cougars won in a shootout after two overtimes.

"That’s probably the most exciting game Trinity soccer history has ever seen," Doggett said. "It was fabulous, and we were successful."

In giving Myers the Cougar Award, Doggett was effusive, saying he was "the glue" for the team.

"I was surprised," Myers said, because his season was drastically abbreviated by a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee requiring surgery.

"So I just thought I could cheer them on from the sidelines," Myers said.

The Trinity girls soccer team finished 8-8 after reaching the regional final.

"In every single one of those games, the girls never gave up," coach Thom Hayes said. "They played their best soccer of the season (in the playoffs)."

The co-most valuable players were Flossie Cooper and goalie Genesis Munoz, who set a school record for saves. Cooper, Munoz and Erin Enzinger received senior awards. Cooper also received the Cougar Award. The most improved player winner was Emma Myers.

"She came out and was a difference maker this year," Hayes said of Myers.

Playing in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic was weird, Cooper said.

"It doesn’t feel like real life," she said.

Abby Hildreth was a one-person girls cross-country team, and Evan Hunt was a one-person boys team. Coach James Kay recognized Hildreth with a most improved award for repeatedly setting new personal bests at the 5-kilometer race distance.

"She runs hard," Kay said. "She doesn’t give up."

Of Hunt, Kay said he had a tough-luck year with injuries and illness.

"His perseverance was absolutely noteworthy," he said.

Henry Hall, Tanner Bauserman and Luke Pollert received senior awards for the tennis team. Nathan Voelker was named most improved.

Cameron Gruenwald was the Cougar Award recipient for "always being a positive influence on our team," said coach Kable Walton.

Pollert was MVP.

"He always came through in the clutch, especially in close matches," Walton said.

Volleyball coach Faith Wilder-Newland choked up giving veteran players Elly Carter, Kennedy Hoffman, Sydney Jaynes and Bailey Reynolds a send-off following careers that included a state runner-up finish and a sectional title.

"It’s always hard to say goodbye to such a great senior class," she said.

The most improved player was Ruthie Bingham, winner of the mental attitude award was Hoffman and the MVP was setter Bailey Reynolds.

"She ran the offense like a quarterback or a point guard in basketball," Wilder-Newland said of Reynolds.

Bingham accelerated her weightlifting when conditioning drills were limited by the coronavirus and kept up the workouts, growing stronger as the season progressed.

"It really improved my jumping," Bingham said. "It’s a stress reliever."

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