2007 Maurice Batie Award of Excellence Recipient


Naomi Johnson

The following speech was made by 2006 Mo Award winner, Leslie Bielski on June 8, 2007 as she presented the 2007 Maurice Batie Award of Excellence.

When I received the Maurice Batie award last year I couldn’t find the words to express myself because I was so surprised. Every year I would listen to the meaning of the award being described at the banquet, so I realized right away what an honor it was to even be considered. I believe that this years’ recipient is a perfect example of the values and principles that the award represents.

I never knew Maurice Batie but understand that he valued the qualities in people he described as “Good People” and she definitely has this quality. “Good People” are those who possess values, integrity, loyalty, principles, give off positive energy and show great dedication to their sport. This years’ recipient has always been known to put forth a lot of effort in everything she does and has a list of accomplishments a mile long to prove it. She is a wonderful person both on and off the court which can be a difficult task to manage, and she seems to have it down quite well. She is a caring person who can also be a fierce player on the court.

“She’s a Player” he would say. I think Maurice had a great definition of the word “Player.” A player is a person who is always ready to play when she walks into the gym. It doesn’t matter what size you are or what age you may be. A “Player” is also a person who is dedicated, and gives 110% every day. This year’s Maurice Batie Award winner is very much a team player and I believe that if he were here today he would have been able to recognize that quality in her at first sight. Once she steps into the gym whether it is just practice, or it is in a national championship match, she always gives it her all.

As a result of her hard work and dedication she has achieved many things throughout her volleyball career. As a great leader and role model for her high school team she earned multiple awards – All Conference, All State and All Metro honors. In Juniors her team went on to win multiple national qualifiers, AAU nationals and a USJO national championship. All of this hard work and experience will pay off next season when she plays in the Big Ten Conference.

This years’ recipient was home schooled thru 10th grade, has a 4.0 GPA and is a National Merit Commended Scholar. She attended Normandale Community College in 11th and 12th grade and will be attending Northwestern University in the fall…It is an honor to present to you this year’s Maurice Batie Award of Excellence winner- Naomi Johnson.