Softball News Archive 2019-2020

Bretado named all-American; Post-season honors roll in for Lark Softball

Having recently concluded a record-breaking season, the Hesston College Softball program has received its share of post-season accolades, with freshman Amy Bretado’s first-team NJCAA All-American selection topping the list. A freshman from Whittier, Calif., Bretado smashed the career Hesston home run mark in just one year, connecting for 19 home runs – good for fourth in the nation at the NJCAA, Division II level – while also breaking the single-season RBI record with 64.

Chelsea Smith, a freshman pitcher from Tacoma, Wash., was named conference Freshman of the Year after going 20-5 with a 2.05 earned run average and a single-season school-record 235 strikeouts. Smith’s strikeout mark led the KJCCC and ranked 4th nationally. Smith and Bretado joined Jessie Miranda (Turlock, Calif.), Lexi Avalos (Yucaipa, Calif.), Kaylen Lassley (Salina, Kan.), Paige Bittle (Folsom, Calif.) and Coach Andrew Sharp as all-Conference selections.

The Larks went 34-13 in 2019, capturing a share of the Kansas Jayhawk Conference title.

  • Amy Bretado (fr): first team NJCAA Div. II All-American, first team all-district (DP), second team all-conference (utility)
  • Chelsea Smith (fr): first team all-conference (pitcher), first team all-district, and KJCCC freshman of the year.
  • Andrew Sharp: KJCCC coach of the year
  • Jessie Miranda (fr): first team all-district (infield) and second team all-conference (ss)
  • Lexi Avalos (so): first team all-district (outfield) and second team all-conference
  • Kaylen Lassley (so): first team all-district (utility) and second team all-conference (3b)
  • Adrianna Ruiz (so): first team all-district (infield)
  • Paige Bittle (fr): second team all-district (infield), honorable mention all-conference
  • Anyssa Aguilar (fr): second team all-district (outfield)
  • Sadie Leatherman (fr): second team all-district (catcher)

Avalos, Hartley named Lark Athletes of the Year

The Hesston College athletic department announces the 2018-19 Male and Female Athletes of the Year, Lexi Avalos and Cal Hartley. Avalos was an outfielder for the Lark Softball Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) regular season champions and Hartley was a guard for the men’s basketball team.

Avalos stepped up to help lead the softball team to the best season in school history. She was first team all district and second team conference, her second all-district selection. She ended the year with 53 hits including two home runs. Avalos scored 35 and finished with 55 RBIs. For her career she tops the Larks with 118 hits over her two years. Avalos is a nursing major who will be a two time Academic-All American.

“Lexi was unquestionably our team leader, something she did not ask for,” said coach Andrew Sharp. Avalos will continue her education at Hesston College as she plans to get her bachelor of science in nursing degree.

Cal Hartley had a great year for the Lark men’s basketball team. He was a captain and leader on and off the court. Hartley earned second team in both the KJCCC and the NJCAA Region. In the NJCAA Cal ranked 8th Nationally in 3-pointers made (108) and 4th in free-throw percentage (88.1). He sits in the top 10 of the Hesston College all-time leaderboard in several categories including three pointers shot, three point shooting percentage and minutes played. Hartley is also a two time NJCAA Academic-All American with a 4.0 GPA. He will attend Drury University where he will continue his studies in business and play basketball.

Bell named Lark softball coach

Hesston College Athletic Director Chris Nachtigall announced the hiring of Christie Bell as head softball coach. Originally from Sanger, Texas, Bell resides in Joliet, Ill.

Bell is an assistant coach at University of St. Francis (Joliet, Ill.) where she is finishing up her master’s degree in health education. She coached and taught at the high school level prior to her time at USF with stints at Permian High School (Odessa, Texas) and Estacado High School (Lubbock, Texas).

“I am very excited and honored to be given the opportunity to lead the Hesston College softball program,” said Bell. “I would like to thank Chris Nachtigall and the administration for giving me this chance and for their support. I look forward to being in a Christian environment and back in Kansas. I believe in their program and I cannot wait to continue the winning tradition that coach Andrew Sharp has built.”

Bell is familiar with the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference and Christian higher education. She attended Hutchinson Community College and Oklahoma Wesleyan University. She was an all-conference player for OWU.

“Christie is committed to mentoring and developing young women on and off the field,” said Nachtigall. “We are confident she will not only add to our department but the Hesston College community as well.”

Bell will start recruitment immediately and will officially start in the fall.

Lark softball wins 23rd straight, secures share of KJCCC championship

It was all on the line last night for Hesston College softball. The Larks were hosting their last Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) game of the season, facing first place Johnson County Community College Cavaliers. The Larks entered the game on a 21-game win streak and with two wins, would lay claim to, at worst, a share of the conference title. In typical fashion for this group of women, they got the job done winning 4-1 in game one and 4-3 in extra innings in game two. In their first year in the KJCCC, the Larks have been crowned conference champions!

Game one had both teams’ aces on the mound. Chelsea Smith, second in the country in strike outs (221), threw for the Larks. Tested a bit more than she had been by a very good Johnson County team, she gave up four hits and two walks in her complete game, adding nine strikeouts in her 18th win of the season.

The big moment came in the 4th inning for the Larks. With one out Kaylen Lassley singled through the gap into left field. Lexi Avalos doubled to left in the next at bat giving the Larks runners on 2nd and 3rd. Then, to the joy of the many Hesston fans in attendance, Amy Bretado did what she has done all year – hit a home run. The Larks took a 3-0 lead and didn’t look back. They added a fourth in the 6th as Lassley scored from third on an error. Smith gave up a 7th inning solo shot to Johnson County, but the Larks held on to claim game one.

Game two was a nail-biter. It was back and forth the entire way. In the 3rd, Johnson County got on board with two runs. A couple of Cavalier errors in the bottom of the 3rd allowed Jenna Garcia to score on a Lassley ground ball single up the center. With two outs in the 6th, the Larks got one back on a solo home run by Adrianna Ruiz.

Then, as the sun went down, things got exciting. The 7th inning saw lots of drama. The Cavaliers scored a run on a squeeze play in the top of the inning to take the 3-2 lead and padded that lead with a two shot home run off the bat of a pinch hitter. But the lineup change had not been properly executed. When the dust settled, the batter was out and the base runner returned to second base. The Larks recorded the final out of the top half at first base and needed a run to keep the game going.

Jenna Garcia reached second base on a misplayed pop up to open the inning. Next up, Jessie Miranda struck out and Garcia was later thrown out stealing third. With two outs, Lassley was hit by a pitch and Avalos lined a single into center field to put the tying run in scoring position. Up stepped Bretado who singled to left, scoring Lassley. Bretado was thrown out attempting to advance to second base.

In the top of the 8th the Larks bent but didn’t break. A walk, single and an error loaded the bases with one out for the Cavaliers. Smith, who came in in relief in the 7th, showed why she’s one of the best pitchers in the country. Smith struck out two to finish the inning.

The Larks needed just one run to secure victory. An error, sacrifice bunt, a walk and a single loaded the bases for the Larks. Jessie Miranda came to the plate with two outs and hit the walk off single on a 2-0 count, Larks win 4-3.

“I am happy for our players and proud of each one of them,” said Head Coach Andrew Sharp. “They have experienced quite a bit of growth this academic year and it is gratifying to see them play for each other. We are all humbled and excited for our next step.”

The Larks will host Dodge City Community College on Tuesday April, 30 in a final regular season game.

Lark softball celebrates sophomores, stretches win streak to 21

The Hesston College Larks Softball team celebrated their sophomores Tuesday night. Sophomores Lexi Avalos, Jenna Garcia, Shae Hoover, Cassidy King, Kaylen Lassley, Reese McCrary, Adrianna Ruiz and Jenna Schneider started for the Larks as they defeated Friends University JV 6-1 and 8-1. This took the Larks win streak to 21 games and 29-3 since March 18.

“It was a great night to celebrate our sophomores,” said Head Coach Andrew Sharp. “This group has been an exceptional class to work with, and I am very proud of their achievements.”

Ruiz and Lassley led the Larks with 2 hits each. Freshman Amy Bretado hit her 18th homer of the year and drove in five runs. Bretado leads the nation with 60 RBIs and is second in the country in home runs (National Junior College Athletic Association Division II). Freshman pitcher Chelsea Smith had 17 strikeouts in her seven innings of work in game one. Smith leads the nation in saves with 5, is second with 221 Ks and tied for third with 18 wins.

Game two saw much of the same with the sophomores sharing the hits and runs. Avalos, Hoover, Schneider, Garcia and freshman Jessie Miranda each had an RBI each while Bretado had two.

The Larks will host Johnson County Community College on Thursday, April 25 in a double header starting at 4 p.m. The outcome of these games will be a major factor in determining the final Jayhawk Conference standings. Johnson County leads the conference with a 13-3 record. Highland is second at 15-5 and the Larks are tied for third with Cowley at 13-5.

Lark softball takes down Labette, stretches win streak to 11

Hesston College softball has been quietly putting together a pretty nice season. Their continued excellence was on display yesterday as they beat Labette Community College 5-0 and 10-4 in a home doubleheader. The Larks have won 11 straight games and 19 of 22 dating back to March 18. They now sit at 22-11 overall and 9-5 in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC), tied with Labette for fifth out of 11 Division II schools.

Game one was all about the 1st inning for the Larks. The bats quickly came alive in the bottom of the inning as Jessie Miranda singled and scored on a Lexi Avalos single. Sadie Leatherman stepped up to the plate, fouled off the first pitch and then sent the second pitch yard for a 2-run homer. Amy Bretado reached base on a Cardinal error and Paige Bittle took full advantage on the next at bat. Bittle hit the second 2-run shot of the inning to give the Larks all five runs they would need to win the game.

Current KJCCC ‘pitcher of the week’ pitched another fantastic complete game. She allowed just one hit and had 4 strikeouts.

Game two was a little nervier for the Larks. They went down 2-0 in the 2nd before scoring four in the bottom of the inning. Then the Cardinals scored two more in the 3rd inning to tie the game. The Larks pulled away in the bottom of the 3rd, scoring six.

Miranda had three hits, drove in one and scored twice. Anyssa Aguilar had two hits, scored twice while driving in one. Avalos also recorded two hits with three RBIs and one run. Bretado and Bittle both hit home runs, giving the Larks four total on the day.

The Larks will travel to Coffeyville on Saturday, April 13, then host Sterling College JV on Tuesday, April 16.

Lark softball win streak reaches 9

Over the last five days, the Larks have had an impressive run winning 6 of 6. Thursday they defeated Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) opponent Fort Scott Community College 11-5 and 4-3. On Friday they topped KJCCC opponent Pratt Community College 11-6 and 7-0. They finished up the five day journey with a two wins in Lincoln, Neb., as they beat Southeast Community College 3-1 and 10-2. Add these to a March 31 win vs KCKCC and a double header sweep of Tabor College’s junior varsity squad and the Lark win streak stands at 9.

The weekend started off with a massive win for the Larks. The Greyhounds of Fort Scott have had the Larks number for many years.

“Our team came together,” said head coach Andrew Sharp. “We performed well this week and are eager for a new challenge moving forward.”

Leading the Larks over the two games were Kaylen Lassley with three hits and three RBIs, Jessie Miranda with two hits and two RBIs, Paige Bittle with two hits and four RBIs and Chelsea Smith with 21 strikeouts.

“Chelsea Smith was simply outstanding,” said Sharp. “Her confidence is growing and she is starting to put together a special season. Our defense played extremely well and that’s always a good combination.”

Pratt fell at Hesston the next day. The Larks looked sharp offensively with Amy Bretado driving in five on the day off of three hits, two of which were home runs. Lassley had five RBIs on three hits as well. Sadie Leatherman and Adrianna Ruiz each homered on the day. Smith got the complete game win with nine Ks in game two.

Game one in Nebraska was pretty quiet with the bats. Two solo home runs by Leatherman and Bretado led the offense while Smith gave up just one hit with 13 strikeouts. Game two saw all of the scoring for the Larks in the 3rd and 7th innings. Lexi Avalos had four hits scoring once and driving in one. Lassley had two hits driving in three and Bretado had another home run and drove in two. It was a team effort on the mound earning six Ks.

The Larks will finish the KJCCC season over the next two weeks and have a chance to host a playoff game. Their record stands at 20-11 and 7-5 in the conference.

Softball takes two from Bluejays

Hesston College softball got a rare break from the Kansas Jayhawk Community College (KJCCC) schedule and hosted Tabor College JV Tuesday, April 2. The Larks recorded two wins, 12-1 and 10-2 over the Bluejays.

Game one was highlighted by Chelsea Smith who drove in 6 on the day, including a 1st inning grand slam. Five other runs in the first all but sealed the victory early for the Larks. Smith also led from the mound, going four innings with seven strikeouts.

Game two was much of the same for the Larks. Amy Bretado was the star as she hit two home runs and drove in five. Bretado was also the winning pitcher in the game as she went four innings and struck out four.

The Larks will get back in to KJCCC play as they host Fort Scott Community College on Thursday April 4.

Lark softball take two each from Cloud, K-State Club

Hesston College softball had an excellent weekend. The Larks won 2 at home – 5-2 and 10-5 – in their first Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) games against Cloud County Community College on Friday, March 22. Sunday afternoon they made up an early season cancelation against Kansas State University Club team sweeping the doubleheader 4-0 and 10-2.

Game one vs. Cloud County saw Chelsea Smith getting the win from the rubber and Amy Bretado earning the save. Sadie Leatherman went 2-2 with a home run to lead the Larks at the plate. The 10-5 win in game two was highlighted by a big fourth inning. Lexi Avalos, Paige Bittle and Bretado all had multiple hits for the Larks with Bretado driving in three runs in the game.

Sunday, it took a while for Hesston to get rolling and a 2-run 4th inning was the needed spark. But game one was highlighted by Smith again from the mound. She threw a complete game giving up just one hit and two walks while striking out 16. The Larks committed no defensive errors and Reece McCrary make 17 plays in the field. Seven different Larks recorded hits.

Game two saw the Larks pick up where they left off in game one, scoring multiple runs in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th innings. Jessie Miranda went 4-4 with 2 RBI. Avalos and Bretado also had two RBI each.

Hesston College will resume their KJCCC play with away games at Highland Community College on Tuesday, March 28 (3 p.m.) and on Saturday, March 30 when they host Kansas City Kansas Community College (noon).

Lark softball wins two at Allen

Hesston College softball opened their Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) season March 21, earning two wins against Allen Community College.

Chelsea Smith threw a no-hitter with seven strikeouts in game 1 to earn the win, 12-3.

Consistency was the theme for the first 4 innings. Each inning the Larks had three runners cross the plate. Kaylen Lassley, Adrianna Ruiz, Lexi Avalos and Paige Bittle each recorded multiple hits. Jessie Miranda had two-RBIs to lead the lineup.

Zero errors on the defensive side of the game were highlighted by great defense by Sadie Leatherman who saw seven chances at her position.

Game two took a bit more work as the Larks squeaked out the victory in an extra inning, winning 8-7 in the 8th. A big 4th inning saw the Larks take a 6-1 lead. Allen got two back in the 5th and took the lead in the 6th. Amy Bretado homered and Lassley and Miranda each had three hits to lead the Larks in the game. Bretado threw four and two thirds innings, giving up five hits and three runs. Smith returned in relief, earning the win over three and a third innings with four hits and four runs.

The Larks move to 7-8 on the season and 2-0 in the KJCCC. They take on Cloud County Community College Friday March 22 in Hesston at 4 p.m. and then host Kansas State University Club team on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Lark softball takes two from Threshers

Hesston College softball had played only two games in a month as weather kept the Larks off the field. Yesterday they rang in the post-spring break stretch with two wins at home against Bethel College JV, 6-1 and 5-3.

Game one saw Chelsea Smith on the mound for the Larks. Chelsea started the game well, striking out four of the first five batters faced and finishing the day with eight Ks.

The bottom of the first inning saw just as much production from the offense. The top of the order – Jessie Miranda, Kaylen Lassley, Lexi Avalos and Sadie Leatherman – all reached base to start the inning. Lassley drove in one with her double to right field while Avalos scored Lassley with an infield single.

Bethel attempted get back in the game in the top of the third with a solo home run. The Larks would not be out done. In the bottom of the 4th, Adrianna Ruiz hit a solo shot to restart the offense. The next two batters, Jenna Garcia and Miranda both singled bringing Lassley to the plate. Her three run bomb to right field put the Larks up 6-1.

Smith pitched the complete game win, striking out eight and giving up one run.

In game two it took a little while for the Larks to get started. Bethel took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. The Larks were patient batters in the bottom half of the inning. After the first out, three consecutive Larks – Anyssa Aguilar, Jenna Schneider and Cassidy King – reached reached base on walks. A fielder’s choice gave Bethel their second out, but Miranda stepped to the plate and patiently walked, earning an RBI and bringing home the tying run, 1-1. Lassley hit an infield single to score a run and give the Larks their first lead of the game, 2-1.

Hesston extended their lead to 3-1 in the third on a King RBI that scored Aguilar. The top of the 4th made things interesting for the Larks as Bethel got two back and evened the game at three.

The Larks sealed the game in the bottom of the 4th. A Lassley sacrifice advanced Miranda to 2nd and Maleah Sandy to 3rd. Avalos hit a grounder to the outfield, scoring two.

Lassley had 5 RBIs on 3 hits on the day and Avalos added 3 RBIs.

The Larks hope to be back in action on Thursday as they travel to Allen County Community College to open up their Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference schedule.

Eight Lark sophomores announce transfer plans

The following sophomores plan to graduate this spring and continue their education and athletic opportunities at schools across the country. Here is where the current commits are heading:

Cross Country and Track

  • Samantha Trejo (Lyons, Kan.): Bethany College (Lindsborg, Kan.) – NAIA

Men’s Soccer

  • Anawin Boonprasert (Bangkok, Thailand): Middle Georgia State University (Macon, Ga.) – NAIA
  • Bryson White (Fort Worth, Texas): Sterling College (Sterling, Kan.) – NAIA

Women’s Soccer

  • Kassandra Ayala (San Antonio, Texas): Bethel College (North Newton, Kan.) – NAIA

Softball

  • Kaylen Lassley (Salina, Kan.): Friends University (Wichita, Kan.) – NAIA

Volleyball

  • Jade Gleason (Brush, Colo.): Bethel College (North Newton, Kan.) – NAIA
  • Cassidy King (Cochranville, Pa.): Lancaster Bible College (Lancaster, Pa.) – NCAA D III
  • Annalys Hanna (Winter Park, Colo.): Hesston College (Bachelors in Nursing) – Soccer

Hesston College is a 2-year college associated with the Mennonite Church USA. The Larks compete in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference and Region VI of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Hesston College competes in fourteen intercollegiate sports.

Larks eager to compete as softball season approaches

It’s a new season for Lark softball. Head Coach Andrew Sharp leads the team for the 10th year, but it will also his last in charge of the Hesston College program. Coming off of two consecutive winning seasons in the ultra-competitive National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region VI, the Larks look to continue that momentum as the join the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC).

The team’s strengths this season will center around the idea of team unity. The Larks desire to be on the same page and bring an eagerness to compete.

“We expect to hold a daily standard of a team-first mentality,” said Sharp. “We are off to a good start and I expect we will be completive throughout our conference schedule”.

The entire freshman class is expected to step up right away. This will allow the team to find that competitive edge from day one on the diamond. Lexi Avalos and Kaylen Lassley are the two top sophomore returners on the Hesston College roster. They will contribute at a high level of both offensively and defensively. The team is strong up the middle and will rely on three pitchers to add depth, talent and flexibility to the lineup.

“We are eager to get outside,” said Sharp, “but we have been productive thus far in our indoor practices. The season is quickly approaching, but we will be ready.”

The Larks will open their season at home on Saturday, February 2, as they take on Tabor College JV here in Hesston. First pitch will take place at noon. They will follow that with a road trip to western Kansas to take on Dodge City and Garden City Community Colleges. The will return to Hesston for a Wednesday matchup vs Central Community College on February 13.

42 Larks named to NJCAA All-Academic Teams

The Hesston College athletic department announces that 42 student-athletes have been named National Junior College Athletic Association Academic All-Americans. To be an All-American a student needs to complete a minimum of 24 credits over the two semester school year. The 42 student-athletes represents 24% of Hesston’s total athletes on campus. Congratulations to the following students:

Named to the first team with a GPA of 4.0 were Landon Baer (North Lima, Ohio), men’s soccer; Jenna Boller (Kalona, Iowa), women’s soccer; Jeremy Deckinger (Wichita, Kan.), baseball; Jade Gleason (Brush, Colo.), volleyball; Cal Hartley (Benton, Kan.), men’s basketball; Luke Hertzler (Harrisonburg, Va.) men’s soccer; Kylee Kasselman (Claflin, Kan.), volleyball; Kate Kilmer (Goshen, Ind.), women’s cross country; Cassidy King (Cochranville, Pa.), volleyball; Kaylen Lassley (Salina, Kan.), softball; Levi Litwiller (Hopedale, Ill.), men’s cross country; Nicole Loewen (Hutchinson, Kan.), women’s tennis; Taylor Longenecker (Harrisonburg, Va.), men’s track and field; Faith Manickam (Hesston, Kan.), women’s soccer; Elizabeth Miller (Archbold, Ohio), women’s cross country; Rio Mori (Osaka, Japan), women’s tennis; Curtis Oesch (Caldwell, Idaho), men’s tennis; Hannah Rosenbaum (Richmond, Texas), women’s tennis; Jaelyn Rufenacht (Pettisville, Ohio), softball; Jenna Schneider (Lodi, Calif.), softball; Morgan Sterner (Lehi, Utah), women’s basketball; Harune Suzuki (Osaka, Japan), women’s tennis; Bryson White (Fort Worth, Texas), men’s soccer; and Sadie Winter (Newton, Kan.), women’s cross country.
Lark athletes named to the 2018-19 NJCAA All-Academic second team
Named to the All-Academic Second Team with a GPA of 3.80 to 3.99 were Sam Amarante (Lodi, Calif.), softball; Kenzie Brown (Estes Park, Colo.), women’s soccer; Andre Eanes (Harrisonburg, Va.) men’s cross country; Faith Hallmark (El Dorado, Kan.), volleyball; Zac Neely (Ada, Okla.), men’s basketball; Caitlyn Nichols (Mesa, Colo.), women’s basketball; and Payton Yehnert (Parker, Colo.) women’s soccer.
Lark athletes named to the 2018-19 NJCAA All-Academic third team
Named to the All-Academic Third Team with a GPA of 3.60 to 3.79 were Alexis Avalos (Yucaipa, Calif.), softball; Savannah Bontrager (Milford, Neb.), women’s cross country; Sierra Broce (Goddard, Kan.), women’s cross country; Annalys Hanna (Fraser, Colo.), volleyball; Jacob Harris (El Paso, Texas), baseball; Shaelyn Headrick (La Junta, Colo.), women’s basketball; Preston Judd (Hayden, Ala.), baseball; Kaede Nakada (Tokyo, Japan), women’s tennis; Miho Okuda (Chiba-ken, Japan), women’s soccer; Haley Unruh (Wilmore, Kan.), volleyball; and Lindsey Yoder (Millersburg, Ohio), women’s soccer.

Yasin, Deckinger named Lark Athletes of the Year at athletic banquet

Athletes, coaches and athletic staff gathered this evening to celebrate the 2017-18 school year. Participants recognized academic achievement, team success, individual accomplishment, the growth of the student-athletes at Hesston College and presented the department’s highest awards – Athlete of the Year – to male and female recipients.

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 representative of Hesston College, both on and off campus.

The 2017-2018 recipients are Ashley Yasin (softball) and Jeremy Deckinger (baseball).

Ashley Yasin has had a tremendous career. She has excelled as a nursing student and from the mound for the Larks softball team. She has amassed 31 career wins, a school record, leading the team to its best two seasons in history. Her career records also include 371.2 innings pitched and 352 strikeouts. Her most impressive statistic is leading the NJCAA in strikeouts during the 2017-18 regular season.

“Ashley has been the epitome of a team leader and a competitor,” said Head Coach Andrew Sharp. “She has consistently performed well and has always given her team a chance to win. Ashley demands a lot of herself, and through her dedication and hard work has cemented herself as one the best athletes in school history. Her accolades are very well deserved.”

Jeremy Deckinger “has been the model of what it takes to be a successful student-athlete,” said Head Coach Kyle Howell. “He refuses 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 will graduate as an NJCAA Academic All-American, a certified private and commercial pilot and a flight instructor.

“He’s one of my favorite players I’ve ever coached,” said Howell, “and a phenomenal human being.”

Also recognized for their on field accomplishments were those who have received National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Regional awards.

  • Jerrica Brown – 2017 All Region second team, softball
  • Coye Campbell – All Region honorable mention, men’s basketball
  • Faith Hallmark – All Region first team, volleyball
  • Zac Neely – All Region first team, men’s basketball
  • Ally Steiner – 2017 All Region second team, softball
  • Ashley Yasin – 2017 All Region second team, softball

Hesston College competes in Region VI of the National Junior College Athletic Association. The Larks have 12 athletic programs. The Larks will join and compete in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference starting with the 2018-19 school year.