Wednesday marked the annual La Verne Athletic Associates Barbecue, held for every student athlete on campus on the field of Ortmayer Stadium.
Student athletes donned neon green shirts as part of the annual Student Athlete Recognition Day.
“Its an honor to be an athlete,” freshman softball player Danielle Vela said. “It’s really special to see so many athletes out here.”
Student athletes from every sports team at La Verne came out to be recognized and to enjoy an evening of great food, music, giveaways and games.
The athletes were accompanied by parents, coaches, fans, and alumni.
The festivities began with music being played across the loud speakers by Leo FM while guests were served a buffet dinner of hamburgers and hotdogs as well as other tasty treats.
On the other side of the field, the Office of Student Life gave away orange ASULV towels and deodorant, essentials for every student athlete.
Shortly after the attendants finished dinner, speeches were given by athletic director Julie Kline and University President Devorah Lieberman.
Kline’s speech highlighted the outstanding achievements accomplished by athletes from last year’s teams, as well as what we could look forward to in the coming year.
“This is an opportunity to recognize student athletes and others who support our programs,” Kline said.
“We understand that it is their choice to attend La Verne and participate in athletics…it was important for us to show our appreciation.”
Kline then introduced Lieberman, whose speech expressed her commitment not only to the University as a whole, but to every sport representing our school as well.
“It’s fantastic to be here,” Lieberman said. “I love sitting among athletes, coaches, parents and alumni. This is a community.”
After the speeches, the athletes were invited to participate in a water balloon toss.
“It’s flattering,” senior tennis player Arielle Monteilh said. “This is a good opportunity to have a fun night with all of the student athletes.”
The excitement in the air was clear.
The attendees seemed grateful for the recognition and for the chance to have athletes from all 19 sports teams in the same location at once.
“It’s a unifying experience,” sophomore tennis player Valerie Lezin said. “It is great to see all of the athletes in one place.”
Sarah Sleeger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.