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CHAMP Fall Awards

Lesher Middle School has been teamed up with CHAMP (Character in Athletics- Make it a Priority; http://champfc.com/) for MANY years and we are recognized as a “CHAMP School of Character!” In addition, as part of our CHAMP commitment, every Lesher athletic team recognizes athletes that are the epitome of positive character. These students are nominated for going above and beyond what is expected of everyone else and have demonstrated a track record of positive character in their sport AND academically, behaviorally, and socially as students at Lesher.

PARENTS, please see the below comments that coaches wrote about YOUR amazing child. Also, your child was recognized by members of CHAMP’s board of directors in front of their peers during a short, surprise assembly in our main gym today. Thank you all for supporting positive character and CONGRATULATIONS to this group of amazing student-athletes! Go Vikings!

Molly Margenau; 8th grade female Cross Country

Max Abernathy; 8th grade male Cross Country

Ayslee Stone; 7th grade female Cross Country

Tobin Rapley; 7th grade male Cross Country

Audrey Abernathy; 6th grade female Cross Country

Owen Zadeh; 6th grade male Cross Country

Yamil Torres; 8th grade Football

Mason Miller; 7th grade Football

Cat Maxey; 8th grade Girls’ Volleyball

Jersey McCollum; 7th grade Girls’ Volleyball

Garyie Wu; 7th-8th grade Varsity Tennis

Rowan Mason; 7th-8th grade JV Tennis

Theodore Gregory; 6th-8th grade Boys’ Soccer/Futbol Club

Molly Margenau; 8th grade female Cross Country

Molly is a great athlete, but is also caring, motivated, driven, and an amazing leader and role model for others. She is a hard-working student who strives to do her best. She encourages others and consistently shows respect towards her peers, teachers, and coaches. 

Molly is caring- Molly treats everyone with respect, and encourages others to do their best. She is very kind and thoughtful and sets an example for those on her team and her peers at school. She is very approachable and is willing to work with anyone at any time to provide support. 

Molly is principled- Molly consistently performs at a high level during practices, meets, and at school with her academics. She is dedicated and works hard to be the best version of herself, and will choose to do the right thing even when no one is watching. Molly is an amazing role model and positive influence to those around her.

Ashley Broody, Assistant Coach, abroody@psdschools.org  

Max Abernathy; 8th grade male Cross Country

Max is a natural leader.  Even when he isn’t trying, others are looking to him to see what to do.  So when he thanks you at the end of practice, others see the value in voicing their appreciation and do as well.  When Max gives his all, others do.  When Max is being goofy on our Family Fridays, others do as well.  He is the kind of person everyone wants to know and be like.  

Max has so many great qualities but, above all, he is principled.  He will always do the right thing.  If coach says to run a mile, he makes sure to run at least a mile.  A coach says run 10, I’m sure he would (we don’t run 10 miles in our hour long practices).  He knows that giving your best effort will take you down a path to success, whether that is on the team, in class, or a personal success, knowing you did the right thing.  And Max doesn’t do what’s right for the recognition - he does it for his team and for himself.  

Second, Max is caring.  Regardless of their age or gender, Max is approachable and kind and creates a safe place for everyone to be themselves.  I’ve seen a group of younger teammates following Max across the field, skipping, being goofy, and joining in his chant, as if he has a flock of ducklings.  Max also cares for his coaches.  Since 6th grade, Max has thanked every one of his coaches after every practice.  His coaches know that they will feel appreciated by Max every day and without fail, Max takes the time to check in with all 7 of his coaches, look them in the eye, and honestly say thank you.

Last, Max is balanced, participating in Cross Country Running during his Mountain Bike Team’s season.  He puts his best foot forward in everything he does, in and out of the classroom, on and off the team.  Any coach, any player, and any student is lucky to have Max in their group.  

Ben Mayer, Co-Head Coach, bmayer@psdschools.org

Ayslee Stone; 7th grade female Cross Country

Ayslee is not only a great athlete and student, but she is a great leader, and an easy going, approachable model for everyone on the team. She approaches everything she does with her best, whether that is at practice, in class, or life. It has been a joy to coach her.

Ayslee is principled – Ayslee treats every day at practice as an opportunity to get better. She competes every day and treats it as a competition day. She is not only one of our top runners, but she sets the tone for our girls team to go out and perform to her level each and every day.

Ayslee is a risk-taker – Ayslee often sets the pace for races.  She isn’t afraid to go out with the fastest runner. She accepts the responsibility that her team is counting on her and she always competes and sets the bar for the top runners in the race.

Ayslee is open-minded – Ayslee is willing to take coaching and learn every day to be hungry for strategy and challenges. She makes her entire team better just by being around her and she is one of the top middle school runners in Fort Collins. I am so grateful I got to coach her. So proud of you Ayslee! 

Jo Dixon, Co-Head Coach, jonetted@psdschools.org  

Tobin Rapley; 7th grade male Cross Country

Tobin has been an amazing athlete to coach, not just for his ability but also his work ethic. Every practice he brings a positivity and humbleness that lends itself to his natural leadership role. He encourages his peers to put forth their best effort in all aspects of their lives. In addition to being one of the top middle school runners in Fort Collins, Tobin displays good character with his team, coaches, and teachers.

Tobin is principled- Tobin performs at a high level, whether that be in practices or in the classroom. Tobin uses every opportunity to improve and encourages his peers to do the same. 

Tobin is open-minded- Tobin has been running for a few years, but puts a lot of trust in his coaches. He understands the training schedule has been created with care and that he is given the opportunity to rise to the challenge every day. 

Tobin is caring- Tobin has shown himself to be caring and considerate of those around him. He has been a helpful and approachable veteran to have on our team. 

Emily Mitchell, Assistant Coach, emitchell@psdschools.org 


Audrey Abernathy; 6th grade female Cross Country

Every day, Audrey is able to push herself and those around her while maintaining a fun, approachable attitude.  She looks out for the people around her and she gives her best effort every day.  She is likeable and not afraid to share her honest concerns with the team.  In the end, she makes all of her peers better.  

Audrey is balanced.   She is able to maintain great grades in her classes, she is part of our Cross Country team and on a mountain bike team.  She is a model student / athlete in all of her activities she is involved in.  

Audrey is a risk-taker.  She is constantly pushing the boundaries in a good way.  She does so with one goal in mind - make the team better.  She’ll go the extra mile to get a laugh, lighten the mood, and show that we can all have fun while giving a little more effort.  

Ben Mayer, Co-Head Coach, bmayer@psdschools.org 


Owen Zadeh; 6th grade male Cross Country

From day 1, Owen showed up ready to go.  Never once complained about practice and always had a positive attitude.  For a 6th grader to show up with the type of leadership and integrity that Owen exhibits makes me excited for the years to come that I get to coach this incredible young man.  Owen doesn’t need to say a lot to make an impact on his peers as his actions speak louder than any words.  He is a leader and I am proud to be his coach.

Honestly, I can see Owen exhibiting all of these traits. However, his open-minded, caring and principled demeanor spoke to me the most.  Owen always showed up to practice with an incredible attitude and willingness to give his very best, regardless of the training exercises that day.  He is extremely respectful of his peers and coaches and displays a genuine caring attitude towards everyone that he crosses paths with, and Owen is also the type of student/athlete who is going to do the right thing regardless of whether others are watching or not.  

Josh Swann, Assistant Coach, jswann@psdschools.org 

Yamil Torres; 8th Grade Football

It is with great pride and honor that the football staff nominates Yamil Torres as our team’s CHAMP Outstanding Student-Athlete. Yamil’s selflessness and unselfish mentality has magnified his qualities as a leader on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. Yamil’s attendance and disciplinary track record exemplify his constant pursuit to not only better himself, but also those around him as he models hard work and commitment through every challenge he undertakes. Yamil can be found consistently picking up is teammates and opponents through his actions of integrity and discipline. Yamil is a leader whose presence and work ethic command respect. He never fails to express gratitude to each of his coaches after practice and competition regardless of the outcome. Yamil Torres is a transformational leader and exemplifies what it means to be a champion of character, setting the bar for all other young men to follow. 

Lee Oldenburg; 8th Grade Head Coach; loldenbu@psdschools.org

Mason Miller; 7th Grade Football

Mason Miller displayed a tremendous amount of character through his actions both on and off the field. Mason was set to begin the season as our starting cornerback but was unfortunately set back by an illness that forced him to miss practice and the first few games. Upon his return, his work ethic and determination, both within the classroom to maintain his grades while out sick and on the football field, truly showed what it means to face adversity with a positive attitude and a will to earn his varsity position back. Additionally, Mason Miller was also tasked with a steep learning curve to understand the plays we had implemented in his absence and due to positional needs, we asked him to step into some unfamiliar roles, which he did with grace, patience, and a desire to be the best student-athlete and teammate he could be.

Matt Silvas; 7th Grade Head Coach; msilvas@psdschools.org

Cat Maxey; 8th Grade Girls’ Volleyball

Cat works hard on and off the court. She is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and continues to keep her grades at a high level. Cat's volleyball I.Q. is very high and she would often help others with rotations and rules. She came prepared to practice every day since the beginning of August. Cat played Varsity and JV and never questioned where she was needed. She learned to be a setter and always asked about ways she could improve. On the court, Cat is a leader and was always encouraging her teammates. Cat displays character that makes athletes excellent on and off the court. 

Annie Wind; Head 8th Grade Coach; annew@psdschools.org

Jersey McCollum; 7th Grade Girls’ Volleyball

Jersey is my nominee for the CHAMP award for the 2021 7th grade volleyball season. Jersey exhibited character throughout the volleyball season, from day 1 of open gyms to the final game. Jersey is a leader, a person her teammates can depend on and trust. She showed up every day with a positive attitude ready to work; her work ethic and effort are unmatched. Jersey also communicates in a manner far beyond her years - she was pointed out by referees and coaches alike for her respectful tone. Jersey is always willing to help a teammate, be a line judge, answer a question and even designed some drills for practice that she thought her teammates would enjoy. In tough moments, Jersey kept her cool and inspired her teammates to stay optimistic. 

Nicole Sietsma; Head Coach; nsietsma@psdschools.org

Garyie Wu; Varsity Tennis

Garyie was such a positive force on the Varsity tennis team this season! Jumping into tennis for the first time, Garyie's ability to be in tune with her match and analyze what was happening was impressive. Any time I would talk to her during a match, she could tell me what she was doing well and what she wanted to improve on. Garyie also took ownership of the days she wasn't able to make it to practice and communicated with me well in advance. In addition to being a responsible team player, she was a caring and dedicated teammate, always watching and supporting her teammates who were on court playing matches, and ready to greet them when they finished their match. 

Janna Dickerson, Head Coach; jannadickerson@gmail.com

Rowan Mason; JV Gold Tennis

Rowan consistently showed strong character throughout our season by following team expectations and drill and game rules. He would also hold others accountable to following those expectations. He would choose the right thing time and time again. He also encouraged teammates, doubles partners, and opponents throughout the season. He showed leadership in his example of integrity and positivity, all the while still honoring his competitive spirit. This was specifically on display during a competition when Rowan eagerly volunteered to play a second match with a new partner. Despite not having played together, Rowan showed true CHAMP character by setting a positive tone for the match and for his partner. He encouraged his partner despite some mistakes and overall had a fantastic time playing the game of tennis. Another player could have easily gotten upset verbally or non-verbally at a new partner, whose experience level was less than his. However, Rowan did not take this approach. He was positive, grounded, and such a leader on the court that day.

Cassie Yoder, Assistant Coach, cyoder@psdschools.org; Ian Charles, Assistant Coach, ian@barefootnoco.com; Janna Dickerson, Head Coach, jannadickerson@gmail.com

Theodore Gregory; 6th-8th Grade Boys’ Soccer/Futbol Club

Theo is a model student athlete. Theo showed his dedication through his consistent and reliable attendance of practices and competitions while also maintaining great grades throughout the season. He earned respect from coaches and his teammates by treating those around him with respect, being competent in his skills, and leading our defensive line. Theo took responsibility and stepped up to take the goalie position near the end of our season. He did so enthusiastically and confidently, which influenced the team in a positive way.

Dominic Buttice, Head Coach, dbuttice@psdschools.org; Becca Spear, Head Coach, rspear@psdschools.org

 

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