COLUMBUS , Ohio – The Ohio Dominican University Athletic Department celebrated another successful season with their annual Senior Banquet of Champions on Wednesday night on the ODU campus in Columbus, Ohio.
The evening began with a spirited and warm welcome from Interim President, Ron Seiffert, and an invocation from Father John Boll, ODU's Director of Campus Ministry. Dinner followed with the entire athletic department staff, graduating seniors and parents celebrating another successful season of Panther Athletics.
This year's banquet took on a new look as the Panthers welcomed over 50 seniors and their parents. Following the dinner all 14 varsity head coaches spoke to the crowd of over 120 on hand, highlighting their respective seasons and the careers of a tremendous group of seniors. The night concluded with the presentation of the Ohio Dominican Male and Female Senior Athlete of the Year awards.
This year's recipients helped lead their respective teams to conference titles, national recognition and numerous individual accomplishments. The 2010 field of nominees, selected by each coach, was loaded with talented and deserving student-athletes.
For the first time in school history this year's Female Senior Athlete of the Year went to a member of the Ohio Dominican women's tennis team. The Panthers tennis program has quickly developed into a national contender after back-to-back trips to the NAIA National Championships. This recent success has been in large part to the tremendous dedication and leadership of this year's ODU Female Athlete of the Year, Kate Rodgers.
Rodgers, a senior secondary education major from Milford, Ohio, has been a fixture on the women's tennis team for the past four seasons. She has helped lead the Panthers to a 52-26 overall record in four years at ODU and back-to-back American Mideast Conference titles and a berth in the NAIA National Championship.
During her time at Ohio Dominican, Kate, has compiled a singles record of 55-13 and doubles mark of 48-27. On the court she has twice been named to the All-Conference Team and is a 2-time ITA Academic All-American. Along with her numerous athletic and academic achievements, Rogers, has been extremely active in many campus activities and service leadership groups.
"Kate's dedication and leadership to the betterment of the ODU tennis program has allowed her to achieve this tremendous accomplishment," said head men's and women's tennis coach Ryan Beigle. "She is a class act and will certainly be irreplaceable."
Ohio Dominican also honored their Male Senior Athlete of the Year and for the third time in as many years, the award went to a member of the Panther football team. This year's selection went to senior Kyle Reichelderfer of Circleville, Ohio.
Reichelderfer's story is one of hard work and dedication. From the moment this senior student athlete stepped on campus, he epitomized what it means to be an ODU Panther. For four years he has demonstrated tremendous achievement on the playing field and in the classroom.
Reichelderfer will graduate this spring with his degree in business administration. He is a 2-time All-Conference football player as well as a 2-time Academic All-American. Kyle was recently selected the ODU Business Student of the Year and was a member of the dean's list eight times.
As team captain, Kyle, was the heart and soul of the 2009 ODU football team. In his senior season he led the team with 43 receptions for 686 yards and six touchdowns.
"Kyle has set an example through his attitude on and off the football field that we will encourage our current and future players to demonstrate for years to come," said assistant coach Cris Reisert. "He was a tremendous player, leader and student athlete at ODU and will not be easily replaced."