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Banquet will honor senior athletes

  Another outstanding group of senior athletes will be honored at the 37th annual Park Rapids All Sports Banquet Wednesday night at the Area High School Gymnasium.

     One of the highlights of the evening will be the announcing of the 2014 Female Student Athlete and 2014 Male Student Athlete. The 2014 Outstanding Male Athlete and Outstanding Female Athlete will also be announced. In addition, three-time state wrestling champion and NCAA Division I All-American Tyler Safratowich and the 1996 state Class A champion Park Rapids boys track team of Dane Larson, Mark Jacobson, Travis Guida, Nick Thelen, Jethro Klotz and head coach Leo Jacobson will be inducted into the Panther Athletic Hall of Fame.

     This year there are 31 seniors who met the criteria for the Student Athlete and Outstanding Athlete awards.

     Meeting the criteria for Male Student Athlete are Spencer Adolphson, Ryan DeLaHunt, Brad Eischens, Zach Jewison, Tyler McCollum, Bailey Mueller, Nathanael Rairdon, Connor Smythe and Iain Wallace.

     The qualifiers for the Female Student Athlete are Taylor Graham, Bailee Jerger, Christina Mackley, Julia Renner, Charity Ridlon, Justine Rittgers, Christina Smith and Mady Vaudrin.

     To be eligible for the Student Athlete award, seniors must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or be a top five qualifying student, be at least a two-sport athlete or a state participant in one sport in grades 10 through 12, and have no confirmed rules violations during their senior year.

     In addition to the five qualifiers for Female Student Athlete, the other qualifiers for the Outstanding Female Athlete are Seri Erickson, Ellen Hoffman, Kayla Johnk, Shania Johnson, Lauren Naeve and Alex Pederson.

     In the running for the Outstanding Male Athlete are the Male Student Athlete qualifiers and Drew Bade, Bryce Brovitch, Kurt Fritze, Rilee Johnson, John Kyllonen, Noah MacPherson, Sam Ness and Jamie Stewart.

     The criteria for the Outstanding Athlete award includes being at least a two-sport athlete or a state participant in grades 10-12, having no confirmed rules violations during their senior year and making satisfactory  progress towards graduation.

     Last year’s winners were Ian Johnson (Male Student Athlete), Grace Bateman (Female Student Athlete), Jake Waggoner (Outstanding Male Athlete), and Hannah Williams (Outstanding Female Athlete).

     Seating for this year’s banquet begins at 5:30 p.m. with the program starting at 6:15.

     Following the meal, the newest members of the Panther Hall of Fame will be inducted. All senior letterwinners will be recognized and scholarships and other awards will be presented. After the Parade of Champions and recognition of all state participants, the 2014 Male and Female Student Athletes and Outstanding Athletes will be announced.

     The high school music department will perform and the Panther video show showcasing the 2013-14 season for all 20 sports will cap off the evening.

     The program is put on by the Park Rapids Coaches Association.