Seth Balint addresses the crowd and his wrestling team. Photo by Amanda Williams
Stacie Chappell (at the mic) is joined on stage with athletics coach Ema Babic and the girls basketball team. Photo by Amanda Williams

With graduation less than a month away, the high school athlete awards ceremony recognized the commitment and comradery shown by the high school athletes that rose to the occasion and showed heart during their sports season. Athletes received letters and plaques commemorating their efforts.

“Our annual athletic awards happen towards the end of every school year once most of the sports seasons are finished. While each sports season is long, challenging, and can be intense, this is an opportunity to celebrate the big and small victories of the year. For all of the hard work and dedication that the season requires, this is a spotlight on those who have risen above their peers and teammates to be acknowledged for an award. These awards are something students can hang their hat on after the season and maybe for some, a personal goal to achieve the following season,” said Seth Balint, Cordova High School (CHS) activities director and wrestling coach.

Sincerity and admiration were shown by all the coaches during their speeches on stage in the CHS Jr./Sr. High School gymnasium on Monday night. Sports teams included cross country, swimming, volleyball, wrestling, cheerleading, and girls and boys basketball.

“I am so grateful for these girls for being my family away from my family, and appreciate all the hard work that you have put in,” said Stacie Chappell, the girls basketball coach.

Individuals and teams shined and broke school records this past season. Trent Fritsch, recipient for the most valuable swimmer award, broke a long-standing school record from 1987, in the 100-meter freestyle at the state meet. Arianna Ryan, recipient of the Wolverine award as a standout wrestler, was a state placer.

The tables were turned when Coach Balint was presented with an award by Ryan and his team for his dedication, and accepted the best coach recognition humbly.


Jake Borst, head coach for the boys basketball team, talked about the dynamic season. The Wolverines boys basketball players took fourth at regionals. The Scammon Bay tournament had the players taking Bush planes to compete, then taking third in that tournament. The basketball team went on to play the Cordova Tip-Off tournament at home, which they won. The season rolled with several tournaments, before playing against Glenallen in regionals and taking the win, a feat that would lead them to the big leagues and playing in the state championships.

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Amanda Williams
Amanda Williams, originally from California, is a reporter, photographer and videographer for the Cordova Times. She has a long history of writing professionally for magazines and newspapers in her home state, and she also writes her own music. Williams is a decorated Navy veteran. When she isn’t covering the news, she enjoys skiing, singing, spending time with friends and family and traveling. She first came to Cordova as a VetsWork intern working for the Forest Service as a public outreach specialist on the Cordova Ranger District.