If there was such a thing as a good reason to miss part of the Litchfield Sports Boosters Senior Athlete Banquet, a handful of Panther athletes had one on Monday, May 6.
With rainouts and rescheduled events, several members of the track, softball and baseball teams unfortunately missed parts of the annual celebration of senior athletes at Litchfield High School.
The delay didn't dampen the spirit of the evening though as the two dozen senior athletes and their families were recognized for their contributions to Panther athletics.
After a dinner catered by Maverick Steaks and Spirits of Litchfield, the athletes were introduced individually, with their accomplishments read aloud.
Following the introductions, Victoria Knoche and Drew Logan, co-athletic directors for LHS with Louis Lang, presented this year's Tri-L award, which goes to athletes who lettered in three sports during their junior and senior seasons. This year, only one individual fit those criteria, Billy Beckham, who played golf, basketball and baseball for the Panthers during his career.
Cara Hancock of the Litchfield Sports Boosters would hand out this year's awards and scholarships, including the Fan of the Year Award, which went to Dan Diveley, who was unable to attend.
Eight $500 scholarships would be given out by the boosters, including one honoring the late Mark Sypherd, who was on the Litchfield Sports Boosters board before he passed away.
"This one might make me cry," Hancock said when introducing the scholarship, which went to a male and female athlete for their contributions on the field and off of it, in areas such as leadership, team building and community involvement.
This year's recipients were Billy Beckham, the aforementioned Tri-L winner, and Carlee Ernst, who played volleyball her senior year.
Other award winners were Desiree Rhodes and Greta Fleming for the Sports Boosters Scholarship, Madison Throne and Jeremy Frazier for the Ted Simmons Scholarship and Sydney Hoehl and Alex Fischer for the Educational Scholarship.
Hoehl and Fischer also received the Stieren Senior Scholastic Award, which was presented by Jim Stieren.
The final scholarships of the night were the Elks Harry Dressen Trust Scholarship, which went to the top male and female athlete at Litchfield High School. This year's winners were Hailey Bolte, who was unable to attend due to the conference track meet, and Sam Painter, who narrowly made it back for the ceremony after winning the triple jump at the meet in Hillsboro.
The banquet is one of many ways the Litchfield Sports Boosters support athletics at Litchfield High School and Litchfield Middle School. The group also purchases equipment, uniforms and pays for camps for Litchfield athletes. For more information visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/litchfieldsportsboosters.