The Missouri Western State University Department of Athletics, in conjunction with the St. Joseph News-Press, will celebrate the success of its student-athletes both on and off of the field as part of the 15th Annual Missouri Western State University/St. Joseph News-Press Student-Athlete Honors Banquet to be held at 6 p.m. Monday, April 28th in the Fulkerson Center on the Missouri Western campus.

Griffon Athletics will honor 11 student-athletes as their respective sports’ “Student-Athlete of the Year” along with numerous team and individual achievements which have taken place over the past calendar year. Current Griffon student-athletes who have been chosen as their respective sports’ Student-Athlete of the Year include; Kalvin Balque (Men’s Basketball), David Chew (Baseball), Derek Hawkins (Men’s Golf), Travis Partridge (Football), Tiffanie Abrams (Women’s Basketball), Alexa Adams (Women’s Soccer), Jackie Bishop (Softball),  Alyssa Dougan (Women’s Tennis), Erica Rottinghaus (Volleyball), Shelby Stone (Women’s Golf) and Emily Thomson (Cheer Squad).

All of the above individuals are finalists for the Missouri Western State University/St. Joseph News-Press Male and Female Student-Athlete of the Year Award which will be announced during the banquet.  MWSU will also recognize the top graduating senior student-athlete based on highest cumulative GPA with the James J. McMillen Award, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s Volunteer of the Year which recognizes a student-athlete that has contributed outstanding service in the local community and the Tom Smith Career Achievement Award winners which are given to seniors who have displayed excellence over longevity during their career on the playing field, in the classroom and in the community.

Also as part of the evening during a special presentation, the MWSU Alumni Association will present the Distinguished Alumni Award to Kansas State University Head Football Coach Bill Snyder.  The award recognizes living alumni for their career/professional achievements; civic contributions within their local community, state or nation; service to MWSU and other qualities which elicit pride from others who attended a MWSU Institution.  Snyder was a graduate of St. Joseph Junior College in 1959 and was unable to attend the awards banquet last fall due to his coaching responsibilities.

The event is open to the public at a cost of $25 per person. Griffon Athletics is accepting reservations through Thursday, April 24. Those interested in attending may RSVP at (816) 271-4481. Seating is limited and will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by the program and dinner beginning at 6 p.m.

 Missouri Western State University (located in St. Joseph, Mo.) is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.