2016 Maurice Batie Award of Excellence Recipients
The following speech was made by 2015 Mo Award winner, Mira Grinsfelder on June 10, 2016 as she announced the 2016 Maurice Batie Award of Excellence.
Hello Everyone. Thank you for having me back, though honestly I don’t think you could keep me away if you tried.
Last year, in this speech Greta attempted to explain her emotions when her name was called as recipient of 2014 Maurice Baite Award. She settled for “humbling” and “inexplicable”. Two years ago, I remember chills covering my legs as I watched her ascend this very platform receiving the award. I looked around and recognized similar emotions of admiration and pride in my peers who stood, clapped and cried. To receive this award from a role model like her meant a lot to me. But to receive it from a community that demonstrated such support behind Greta that year and in that moment meant the most.
I am so lucky to have stumbled upon northern lights at the age of 12, I am even luckier that they chose to accept me at the age of 13, and luckiest that the players, parents and coaches nurtured me as a player, teammate and person since then. Northern Lights has been the longest standing, most important community and force in my life thus far and for that I am grateful. To be surrounded by so many unique, redeemable people. Did I already say how lucky I am?
I never knew Maurice Baite, but watching girl after girl receive this award at this banquet each year I feel like I have a pretty good idea of who he was and what he stood for. I see heart, passion and personality in all the predecessors of this award. However, these characteristics are not limited to the girls presented with this award. I’ve sat in the audience with girls brimming with integrity, drive and positivity. The qualities of Maurice Baite extend beyond the court, beyond the club. These qualities will grant you success in whatever community, activity or setting you chose to dedicate yourself to.
Within this recent batch of high school graduates the panel of judges were unable to ch0ose between two nominees. So for this second time in the history of the award since 2003, Northern Lights recognizes two recipients of the Maurice Baite award.
The “good person” Baite often talked about is not abandoned at the sidelines. This year’s recipients embody that. These girls demonstrated selfless dedication to their game, sport and teammates all with smiles upon their faces. A relentless force in the back row, and a powerhouse in the front, the two girls shared a team during their 15s, 16s and 17s years leading them to a 2nd and 3rd place national titles. They did not share teams this year, spreading the cheer further through the club which is good practice for next year they will be spreading smiles across the country.
One to Rhode Island where her program will soon learn the versatility of her play and permanence of her smile. Seriously I fear what it would take to knock that smile off her face. But lets hope it doesn’t come to that because it drives her teammates in the tough moments and inspires them in the good.
The other all the way to Nebraska, bringing her sweetheartedness as Curt describes with her. However her pursuit on the court is anything but sweet, full of grit and perseverance, she knows just how far to push herself and her teammates.
The 2016 Maurice Baite award finds itself in the deserving hands of Jenae Alderson and Haley Kauth. Congratulations ladies.