2009 Maurice Batie Award of Excellence Recipient


2009 winner Madeline Haben

The following speech was made by 2008 Mo Award winner, Ashley Suapaia on May 31, 2009 as she presented the 2009 Maurice Batie Award of Excellence.

Thank you so much for having me here and giving me the honor to present this award. As most of you saw last year I was pretty emotional upon receiving this great achievement. I’ve seen many great players that I look up to who have received the privilege of being named the Maurice Batie award winner, which made it even more special.

When thinking about who Maurice Batie was, my only memory was at the old warehouse always looking at the cement wall at the end of the gym, and seeing his huge picture. I would always ask myself, “I wonder who that man is?” At the banquet in 2004 when Callie Kunde received this award, I finally realized who this great person was. After that banquet I went online and read more in depth about the impact he had on people and in the volleyball community.

After reading more about him I was amazed at how he could look at an athlete and say, “She’s a player.” When watching this years’ winner play, I know Maurice would look at her and say in an instant, “she’s a player.” He would quote this about her because on the court she presents herself as a leader, has great enthusiasm at all times, and has infinite passion for the game of volleyball. I have never seen her give anything less than 100 percent whether it’s SAQ, practice, or a match. When watching her play I have heard so many coaches and spectators near me say, “Wow, what a fantastic player,” and that is exactly what she is.

Maurice not only classified athletes as “A player” but also as “Good people.” To him a good person is defined as someone who possesses values, integrity, loyalty, principles, gives off positive energy, and shows great dedication. This years’ winner is more than worthy of all these characteristics. She is such a good person that many would compare her to a magnet. She draws people to her by her generosity and open arms.If Maurice Batie was here I know he would look at this player and immediately be drawn to her. He would quote “she’s a player and a good person.”

Because she has such great qualities on and off the court she has helped impact every team she has been on. Last year she helped lead her team to 8th place at AAU’s and 5th place in open at USJO’s. This year her team had the opportunity to travel all over Europe and play in a highly competitive tournament in Italy. There her and her teammates fought hard and placed second. Not only did they place second, but she also received one of the two all tournament awards given to the team. None of these accolades come close to honoring the truly great person and player she is. Her future college is very lucky to be receiving such a dedicated, determined, and hardworking volleyball player, but also an amazing person.

I am honored to announce our 2009 Maurice Batie award winner. Michigan Tech bound…..MADDIE HABEN!!!!