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YVC athletes of the year Javonte Darrett and Brynn Widner with their coaches London Wilson and Darci Dekker

Student-athletes celebrated at annual awards ceremony

Student-athletes from Yakima Valley College’s six sports were honored for their accomplishments in competition and in the classroom during the annual YVC Athletics Awards Ceremony on May 23. 

Receiving top honors as recipients of the Larry Densley Award and Mary Sherar Award, presented to YVC’s Male and Female Athletes of the Year respectively, were Brynn Widner and Javonte Darrett. 

Widner, a sophomore standout on the Yaks volleyball team from Zillah, was named to the Northwest Athletic Conference East Region First Team for the 2023 season during which she helped lead the team to third place in the NWAC Championship Tournament. Widner finished the season with 589 digs, good for fourth in the entire NWAC, and was twice named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week. She was also named an NWAC All-Academic All-Star for the 2023-24 academic year.  

In addition to receiving the team’s “Best Defense” Award for the 2023 season, Widner received its “Most Inspirational” Award after the 2022 season. She has signed to continue her volleyball career at the University of Charleston in West Virginia next year. 

Women's basketball head coach Robin Andrea hands Most Valuable Player Award to Alina Sapilak.
TOP: YVC's 2023-24 Male and Female Athletes of the Year Javonte Darrett (middle left, men's basketball) and Brynn Widner (middle right, volleyball) with their head coaches London Wilson (left) and Darci Dekker (right). ABOVE: Women's Basketball Head Coach Robin Andrea hands the team's 2023-24 Most Valuable Player Award to Alina Sapilak during the annual YVC Athletics Awards Ceremony on May 23.

Darrett, a sophomore basketball player from Kent, was named NWAC East Region Most Valuable Player for the 2023-24 season after finishing second in scoring (24.4 ppg) and seventh in rebounding (9.9 rpg) in the entire conference. In back-to-back weeks during the season, he was honored as the NWAC Player of the Week.  

After the 2022-23 season, Darrett was named NWAC East Region Second Team. He received the Yaks “Most Valuable Teammate” Award for the 2023-24 season and the team’s “Mr. Yakety Yak” Award as its top offensive player for the 2022-23 season. 

Women's soccer head coach Josh Vega hands award to player Kylen Mark.
Women's Soccer Head Coach Josh Vega hands the team's R.I.S.E. Award to freshman Kylen Mark.

Each team also presented its 2023-24 awards at the ceremony. 

Baseball 

  • Mr. Consistency Award: Peyton Rickard  
  • Bobo Brayton Captain’s Award: Trevin Long 
  • Mel Stottlemyre Most Valuable Pitcher: Tyler McLellan 
  • Bill Faller Most Valuable Player: Travis Finney 
  • Bob Garretson Big Stick Award: Brett Haggerty 
  • Most Improved Player: Collin Hysell 

Men’s Basketball 

  • Mr. Yakety Yak (Top Offensive Player): Clay Delp 
  • Mr. ManiYak (Top Defensive Player): Jose Brown 
  • Most Valuable Teammate: Javonte Darrett 
  • Yaktitude (Positive Attitude Award): David Tinner 

Softball 

  • Most Valuable Player: Madison Kennedy 
  • Most Inspirational Player: Avery Olauson 
  • Most Improved Player: Claire DeVries 
  • Hustle Award: Alyssa Sosky 
  • Coaches Award: Riley Eckhardt 

Volleyball 

  • Most Inspirational: Jessica Mariscal 
  • Most Improved: Ana Hrle 
  • Best Offensive Player: Mckenna Steiner 
  • Best Defensive Player: Brynn Widner 
  • Coaches Award: Haylee Holker 

Women’s Soccer 

  • Most Inspirational: Grace Russell 
  • R.I.S.E. Award: Kylen Mark  
  • Best Offense: Brynn Rees 
  • Best Defense: Rubi Mondragon 
  • Best Teammate: Jada Mendoza 
  • Coaches Award: Ebony Landa 

Women’s Basketball 

  • Most Valuable Player: Alina Sapilak 
  • Most Improved Player: Abby Gilbert 
  • Most Inspirational Player: Blake Barbee 

NWAC All-Star Awards 

  • Volleyball – McKenna Steiner (Tournament All-Star First Team); Brynn Widner (Tournament All-Star Second Team) 

NWAC All-Region Awards 

  • Men’s Basketball – Javonte Darrett (Player of the Year); Claysen Delp (Second Team); David Tinner (All Defense) 
  • Soccer – Brynn Rees (First Team); Arlene Mendea, Grace Russell and Delaney Sullivan (Honorable Mention)  
  • Softball – Glory Estabrook, Madison Kennedy and outfielder Alyssa Sosky (Second Team) 
  • Volleyball – Brynn Widner (First Team); McKenna Steiner (Second Team); Haylee Holker and Chloe Neil (Third Team) 
  • Women’s Basketball – Alina Sapilak and Paris Wilson (First Team and All-Defensive Team) 

Story and photos by Dustin Wunderlich, director of community relations.