Director of Intramural Activities Rick Judd presented two students with the 2016-17 Athlete of the Year trophies Wednesday morning during chapel.
Junior Daniel Shively and senior AnnaBelle Little were named men’s Athlete of the Year and women’s Athlete of the Year, respectively. Recipients of the awards are nominated and voted on by athletic directors from each social service club at Oklahoma Christian University.
The mission of Oklahoma Christian intramurals is to provide students, faculty and staff with opportunities to participate in athletic events that will enhance their physical, mental, social and spiritual experience at Oklahoma Christian. According to Judd, the Athlete of the Year trophies are awarded to two students each year who excel not only in athletics, but also in living out the Oklahoma Christian mission statement through their attitude and spirit on and off the intramural fields.
“It’s very humbling and exciting to receive this award,” Shively said. “There were a lot of great athletes nominated. I try my best every game to have good sportsmanship.”
Shively participates in intramural softball, football, volleyball, basketball, soccer and swimming, representing the men of Delta Gamma Sigma.
“The best part is having my brothers in Delta cheering me on in games and being rowdy on the sidelines,” Shively said. “Competing for a club and alongside my best friends make intramurals a great experience.”
Shively served as Delta’s athletic director this year, making him responsible for organizing teams for each sport and communicating to all members of the club.
“I loved my time as athletic director,” Shively said. “It was hard this year with Delta not winning All-Sports, feeling like it was my fault. The best part about the job was being involved all year with the club, getting to know the members a lot better. Even though we didn’t win All-Sports, we did have great success in intramurals.”
Little participated in intramural softball, football, volleyball, basketball and soccer this year. Prior to transferring to Oklahoma Christian, Little said she played one season of NCAA Division III volleyball and basketball in Kansas, but, because of bus rides, work outs and practices, she had no social life.
“It was such an amazing experience and I have no regrets, but collegiate sports aren’t at all what they are cracked up to be,” Little said. “Long story short, I chose to come to OC and it was the best decision I have ever made. It was incredibly hard not playing competitively anymore, but I learned a lot about myself and about others. OC helped me to stop identifying myself in sports and partially in God, and to start fully identifying myself in Christ alone.”
Little said when comparing collegiate sports and intramurals, intramurals are a happy medium of competitive nature and a good time.
“You don’t have practices, strict rules, meal plans, long bus rides, team meetings, film, two-a-days, etc.,” Little said. “Intramurals at OC are filled with a lot of athletes who could have easily gone on to play somewhere — which makes things that more competitive. Rick Judd has done an amazing job creating and improving the intramural program to be what it is today.”
Little said, because of the amazing athletes there were to choose from, she feels incredibly honored and humbled her peers would vote her as female athlete of the year.
“I grew up watching, playing and coaching pretty much any and every sport,” Little said. “Intramurals is how I get my ‘fix’ in now that I’m no longer playing competitively. I participate in as many intramurals as possible because, those who know me know, I am competitive no matter the sport — I love being active.”
Little served as the athletic director for the women of Gamma Rho, holding the same responsibilities as Shively. Little said the experience was stressful at times, incredibly busy but incredibly fulfilling.
“The most satisfying thing to see as an athletic director is the different girls from different backgrounds coming together to glorify God with their talents in whatever sport they are good at or even just being the cheerleaders in the stands,” Little said. “It was such an unforgettable year and I will cherish the memories in years to come.”