2006 Maurice Batie Award of Excellence Recipient

Leslie Bielski


2005 winner Cayla Schroeder (left) with 2006 winner Leslie Bielski (center) and club director Adam Beamer (right).

The following speech was made by 2005 Mo Award winner, Cayla Schroeder on June 9, 2006 as she presented the 2006 Maurice Batie Award of Excellence.

When I first started brainstorming on how to write my speech, I looked back on the past few years of speeches and the website to draw on inspiration. What I discovered was the two most memorable things that Maurice left with us were the terms, “player” and “good people.” A “player” is someone who exudes a radiance and positive energy on and off the court and “good people” are those who display principles, a positive attitude, values and integrity. This years’ recipient is more than worthy of all those expressions and more.

When I think of the term “good people,” she is without a doubt included in that category. She is kind, thoughtful, generous, caring, and truly genuine. As if those characteristics were not enough when I think of her, I absolutely cannot think of a time of when she has ever complained or seen her without her bright, infectious smile. She has this natural ability to cheer you up if you are down or simply playing bad. Moreover, if you are playing bad she can remind you of how fun the game of volleyball can and should be. You can tell she truly loves to play and whether it is in practice or in a fast-paced, high stakes match, she plays with an enthusiasm and intensity rarely matched.

On that note, she is completely and beyond a doubt what Maurice would consider a “player.” She has this natural chemistry with any team she has ever played on-not only because of her incredible talent and skills as a volleyball player, but also because of her great competitive spirit. She encourages others to do their best while leading them by example. All the while, she somehow continues to keep volleyball fun. She obviously enjoys playing all the time and never tires of the seemingly endless hours in the gym.

Maurice would most definitely consider her a player for the fact that she is also an all around player. She can serve, hit, set, dig, and pass. She is reliable and steady- something easier said than done in the game of volleyball. She has mastered many different shots, but with a swing as hard and heavy as her’s, she rarely has to use them to get the kill.

Her ability to put the ball away has gained her various and multiple accolades throughout the years, but I believe that the success of every team she has every played on should also indicate her ability as a leader and great player. From qualifying for Nationals multiple times, to winning a state championship, and earning a national championship, she has led her teams to the top. Whether it be in volleyball or in life, I know she has the qualities to be successful in any endeavor.

With that said, I am delighted and honored to congratulate my former teammate and friend-Leslie Bielski.