Becca Wahmhoff and Chris Onderlinde are the recipients of the Dale B. Lake Presidential Award for their outstanding classroom and athletic achievements during the 2004-05 academic year.
A graduate of Gobles High School, Wahmhoff has excelled in both basketball and softball while being a member of the KVCC Honors Program. She has volunteered regularly at the soup kitchen administered by Ministry with Community. Her 3.90 grade-point average over 54 credit hours earned her "Distinguished Academic All-American" status from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
Her basketball coach, Ron Welch, said he "could always count on Becca to do the right thing for the good of the team. She is the epitome of what a team player should be and is a shining example of what athletics at the community-college level is really about."
Wahmhoff has been nominated for the Betty Jo Graber Female Student Athlete of the Year Award, given annually to a female community college student in America. The liberal-arts major will be transferring to Michigan State University in the fall.
Onderlinde, the Cougars' captain and co-Most Valuable Player in 2005, almost never struck out at the plate or in the classroom. Over two seasons and 274 at-bats, he wiffed only 13 times. He carried a 3.59 grade-point average.
Like his fellow selectee, Onderlinde majored in liberal arts. However, he will attend Western Michigan University where he has received an offer to play baseball for the Broncos.
"Kids like Chris are the reason coaches get involved in athletics," said KVCC baseball coach Bernie Vallier. "We often can learn more from people like Chris than they can learn from us. His voice at KVCC has been heard through his academic and athletic accomplishments."
Onderlinde helped KVCC's baseball team achieve a 3.08 overall academic average, resulting in it joining the women's basketball (3.15) and men's tennis (3.14) teams as nominees for the NJCAA Academic Team of the Year Award.
"These two fine student-athletes exemplify all that's good about athletic competition," said athletic director Dick Shilts. "They have been role models for athletes everywhere. Their classroom achievements speak volumes about their discipline and effort, but perhaps even more impressive has been their humble attitude about all of their successes. KVCC couldn't be prouder of these two fine student-athletes."
The Lake Award is based on exceptional academic achievement, outstanding athletic contribution, and evidence of uncommon leadership and character. Launched in 1970, it is named for KVCC's founding president to give annual recognition to one outstanding male and one outstanding female student-athlete.
Although an exceptional first-year student with appropriate supporting data can be selected, sophomores who have made such contributions for two years are given priority consideration. Each coach nominates one individual to the athletic director and the awards are determined at a coaches' meeting.
Each recipient is given a personal plaque and his/her name is added to the master plaque displayed at KVCC.