by Matt Gerlach, sports information director
Each spring, student-athletes, coaches and athletic staff gather to celebrate the year’s athletic achievements, including academic achievement, team success, individual accomplishment and the growth of student-athletes. This celebration also serves to announce and honor the male and female student-athletes chosen as Lark Athletes of the Year.
The 2017-18 recipients were Ashley Yasin ’20, a softball player from Lake Isabella, Calif., and Jeremy Deckinger ’18, a baseball player from Wichita, Kan.
Chosen by vote of the athletic department staff, the award goes to the students who best exemplify high athletic achievement, positive lifestyle, contribution to the greater campus community, sportsmanship and a strong representation of Hesston College, both on and off campus.
Yasin had a tremendous career as a Lark. She excelled as a nursing student and from the mound for the Larks softball team. She amassed a school record of 31 career wins, and led the team to its best two seasons in history. Her career records also included 371.2 innings pitched and 352 strikeouts. Her most impressive statistic was leading the NJCAA in strikeouts during the 2017-18 regular season.
“Ashley was the epitome of a team leader and a competitor,” said coach Andrew Sharp ’99. “She consistently performed well and always gave her team a chance to win. Ashley demands a lot of herself, and through her dedication and hard work cemented herself as one the best athletes in school history. Her accolades are very well deserved.”
Deckinger “was the model of what it takes to be a successful student-athlete,” said coach Kyle Howell. “He refused to let anything, either academically or athletically, stand in the way of his success.”
Deckinger’s on field accomplishments include being top ten all time at Hesston College in each of the following categories: career RBI (52), single season hits (44), single season doubles (10), and single season RBI (36). He graduated as an NJCAA Academic All-American, a certified private and commercial pilot and a flight instructor who is instructing at Hesston College this summer before transferring to Kansas State University (Manhattan) in the fall.
“He’s one of my favorite players I’ve ever coached,” said Howell, “and a phenomenal human being.”