OBIE Awards to Honor College Athletes

Grace Barlow

As the semester winds down, student-athletes will trade in their uniforms for dress clothes as the athletic department hosts the third annual OBIE awards. The OBIEs are a way to look back at the 2013–2014 athletic seasons and recognize the successes of student-athletes who play on Oberlin’s 21 varsity teams.

“It serves as a moment to create community while igniting enthusiasm and love for Oberlin Athletics,” said Delta Lodge Director of Athletics and Physical Education Natalie Winkelfoos. “It is our night as a department to thank our student-athletes for sharing their talents and intelligence with the College.”

The OBIEs showcase student-athletes with nominations across different categories, such as Newcomer of the Year, Athlete of the Year, Program of the Year and Most Improved Program. Male and female athletes and teams are recognized in each category. The nominees are selected based on an evaluation of statistics and performance by the OBIEs committee, which is composed of coaches and athletic department administrators, as well as two student representatives. Winners are selected by their peers in the athletic department.

“It’s an honor to be considered a standout on my team as a first-year,” first-year basketball player Jack Poyle said. Poyle was nominated for Male Newcomer of the Year.

“Everyone nominated is well-deserving and talented,” he said.

In addition to performance awards, the OBIEs recognize senior student-athletes who have given their four years at Oberlin to their respective sports and exemplify dedication to academics, leadership on and off the field and strength of character. These awards include the John N. Stern Award, the Gertrude E. Moulton Award, the Honda Scholar-Athlete award and the North Coast Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete Award.

The Director of Athletics, department faculty and head coaches all play a role in determining senior winners. Past winners of the Gertrude E. Moulton award include 2013 alumni Marissa Clardy, Preeya Shah, Ilyssa Meyer and Caroline Martin. Farah Leclercq [OC’13], senior Molly Martorella and junior Carey Lyons were awarded the Honda Scholar-Athlete award, and Laura Jesse [OC’13] and Andrew Fox [OC’13] were recognized with the North Coast Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete Award.

“I love having our entire family together in one space recognizing our successes as individuals, teams and a department,” Winkelfoos said of the awards.

Senior basketball player Lillian Jahan, a student representative of the OBIEs committee, echoed this sentiment.

“We go to a unique school in which the athlete culture is different from most other institutions, and on this night I feel like we are united as an athletics department,” Jahan said.

While most Oberlin athletes said they enjoy the event, some student-athletes noted that the awards aren’t the best representation of success in the department.

“Not all [athletes] improve at the same pace and are sometimes only noticed by their teammates and coaching staff,” sophomore basketball player Matthew Walker said. “As a fellow athlete, I am proud of all, and I think that all of the programs were successful in their own rights.”

The awards will take place this Saturday, May 10, at the indoor track. The event includes the awards presentation, as well as dinner and the opportunity for Oberlin athletes to enjoy one last celebration together before the summer.