Student athletes celebrated, on and off the court


provided by Ui Womble

Wearing her newly awarded Under Armour All-American jersey, senior volleyball player Jenna Wenaas is just one of several athletes recognized for their accomplishments at an athletics department ceremony Tuesday during advisory. The ceremony was the first of its kind and was the inspiration of campus athletic director and head football coach Matt Swinnea. “I think that we as a community, as an athletic program, are a big part of the school,” Swinnea said. “So if we’re having a good time, and loving each other, then the school will do the same thing.”

Starting a new tradition, head football coach Matt Swinnea called all Redhawk athletes to the gym, to celebrate the various academic and athletic accomplishments of students in each sport during advisory Tuesday.

“It’s good to get everyone together and have a sense of community, and celebrate our accomplishments,” Swinnea said. “I think that we as a community, as an athletic program, are a big part of the school, and so if we’re having a good time, and loving each other, then the school will do the same thing.”

Accomplishments from all sports were celebrated, but senior volleyball player Jenna Wenaas stood out, as she was named to the 2019 AVCA Under Armour All-American volleyball team. Wenaas is the third player from Frisco ISD invited to the team in the program’s history, and will be heading to Florida in December to play with other elite athletes across the nation.

“When I got my award, it felt like my work had paid off, and I was glad I got to share it with my friends, and pretty much the whole athletics program,” Wenaas said. “I thought it was fun to recognize everyone for their great accomplishments, and I was glad to see what other students have accomplished in and out of sports.”

On the academic side of the celebration, three student athletes were recognized for becoming a National Merit semifinalist, including senior football player Reed Carlisle.

“Honestly, being the center of attention isn’t really my thing, but it was cool to be congratulated by all these people I know,” Carlisle said. “I’m thankful that our athletes are willing to support each other in a way like this. I think we have a really great athletic community here at Liberty, and events like this are able to build up this community even more and make it that much better.”

With volleyball, cross country, and tennis qualifying for the postseason, and several student athletes achieving national academic recognition, junior Maya Jain believes the event was a good way to showcase the range of skills and accomplishments on campus.

“I think it’s important to recognize everyone for their accomplishments, big or small,” Jain said. “We got to celebrate everyone and how far they have come this year, and it’s good to just recognize how much everyone has been putting not only into school, but what they love to do.”