Faith, participation, leadership development, on-field success honored
One hundred ninety-five student athletes-over two-thirds of Bethany's 279 students-participated in a highly successful fall sports season in which Bethany teams integrated faith and play, developed leaders, and combined for a 73-36-3 record at the varsity level. Five varsity teams finished with winning records with girls cross country, boys tennis, and volleyball earning outstanding team awards for winning percentages exceeding 70%. Additionally, individual players, coaches, and athletic director received area recognitions. Below are highlights of each varsity sport and award recipients.
Athletic Director Bryan Kehr was selected by Michiana Soccer Referees Association as its athletic director of the year for his leadership in improving Bethany's soccer facilities (new bleachers, press box, and irrigation), his leadership in helping organize the eight-team Hoosier Soccer Conferences in both boys and girls middle school soccer, and his leadership in hosting events such as the Bethany girls soccer invitational, girls soccer sectional, and the inaugural Hoosier Soccer Conference post-season tourneys for both boys and girls. He was also recognized for his past accomplishments and leadership as a player and coach to soccer in the Michiana area.
Boys tennis earned an outstanding team award, finishing with a 15-5 record on its way to Bethany's first ever sectional championship in boys tennis. The team was sectional runnerup last year. In addition the JV team finished a perfect 16-0.
Girls cross country earned an outstanding team award, finishing with a 10-4 record on its way to its first-ever top-five sectional finish, which qualified the team to run at regionals. Sophomore Ali Hochstetler earned all-state honors and became the first Bruin to win a regional meet; she finished fifth at semistate with a career-best time of 18:33 and then 16th at state. The boys did not field a complete team-borrowing players from soccer and tennis for some meets.
Volleyball earned an outstanding team award, finishing with a record of 24-9. The team also won the Bethany invitational for just the second time and the first since 1994. The team lost in the sectional championship to Elkhart Christian.
Boys soccer finished the regular season 11-5-2 and won the Northern Indiana Soccer Conference title for the second consecutive year. The team had key wins over perennially strong teams such as Concord, Elkhart Memorial, Goshen, and regional champion Westview, but lost 1-0 in sectional play. For the first time, Bethany had two players named to the Indiana Soccer Coaches Association district 2 team, which is comprised of players from approximately 60 schools in the northeast corner of the state, including the Fort Wayne area: senior Jordan Weaver to the first team and junior Jesse Ramer to the second team. Jordan later received all-state honorable mention, the first time any Bethany player has received such recognition. Coach Hank Willems was also named the district's private school coach of the year while three senior players earned academic honors: Tim Gautsche, Lewis Caskey, and Elias Kehr. Weaver was also named one of the five top outstanding boys soccer players by the Michiana Soccer Referees Association that covers most of northern Indiana. Earning first team conference awards were Weaver, Ramer, Caskey, senior Luke Slagel, and junior goalkeeper Seth Kauffman. Sophomore Aaron Stiffney and frosh Femi Hollinger-Janzen were named to the second team.
Girls soccer finished 10-7-1 and lost 1-0 in sectional play. Junior Karli Graybill and sophomore Sharisse Yoder were selected to the all-conference first team and senior Casey Snyder and junior Kelly Snyder to the second team. Named to the ISCA all-academic team were seniors Casey Snyder and Lynelle Yoder and juniors Emma Gerig, Karli Graybill, and Marissa Weldy.
In addition to these varsity teams, many of the JV and middle school teams have done quite well. All JV teams combined for a 44-16-2 record and at the middle school the A teams combined for a 26-21-5 record, with the boys soccer team winning the eight-team Lakeland Christian tournament.
Offensive MVP - Jordan Weaver
Defensive MVP - Lewis Caskey
Most Improved - Ben Bontreger
Leadership - Jesse Ramer
Sportsmanship - Aaron Stiffney
JV MVP - Joel Yoder
Most Goals: Emma Caskey
Most Assists: Sharisse Yoder
Most Improved: Katie Yoder
Defensive MVP: Casey Snyder
Sportsmanship - Alisha Snyder
JV Award - Anna Nafziger
Team Player Awards: Jenae Rupp and Hannah Grieser
Hustle Award--Chelsea Noble
Mental Attitude Award--Corine Alvarez
Sportsmanship Award--Mattie Lehman
JV Award - Sidney Kehr
Team MVP: Jared Schwartzentruber
Coaches Award: Luke Hostetter
Leadership Award: Johnny Kauffman
Most Improved Award: Jared Schwartzentruber
Sportsmanship Award: Daniel Buschert
JV MVP: Ben Mast
Cross Country (boys and girls)
Most Valuable Runners: Nick Handrich, Ali Hochstetler
Most Improved Runners: Ben Hochstetler, Jenae Hershberger
Sportsmanship: Luis Lopez, Leanne HochstetlerPOWER (Performance, Optimism, Work, Effort, Results) Erin Helmuth, Alita Yoder