CSUB Athletes get ready for the ROWDY Awards

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Photo contributed by: CSUB Athletics

The 2020 ROWDY awards

Brian Melgar, Sports Writer

  Even with the strange times going on amid this COVID-19 pandemictime was made to honor the achievements of the student athletes of CSU Bakersfield. Thus, the ROWDYs are still taking place this year, albeit through the new medium of Zoom. 

  It’s important to take time to appreciate everything the CSUB student body achieves, and athletics is no exception. This award ceremony, normally held at the Fox Theater with a gold carpet rolled out, is still in important event for CSUB staff, faculty, and students. This year, the ROWDYs have an impressive list of nominees, including Sidney Wicks, Macie Mills and De’Monte Buckingham. 

  Award ceremonies are their own form of competition outside of the field, court, pool and what-have-you. Even so, these athletes do not let their desire to win outshine their camaraderie. CSUB junior center Vanessa Austin on the women’s basketball team and Blue-Gold Award nominee said, “The ROWDY awards ceremony is something that I always look forward to, it is a time where we all get to dress up and celebrate each other.”  

  Damian Henderson, junior and outfielder for the baseball team, who is also nominated for Blue-Gold Award concurred, saying, “I think the awards are a great way to show the community that there are hard workers at CSUB who strive to be the best they can be.” 

  The excitement for the nominees has not been dampened by the fact that it now has to be held virtually via Zoom rather than being a physically attended awards ceremony. Kris Rogic, junior swimmer for CSUB and nominee for the Blue-Gold Award, had this to say: “Even though we are not able to attend the awards in person, it is still an honor to be part of a program that recognizes its student-athletes the way that CSUB does!”  

  It is clear that these nominations mean a tremendous amount to the Roadrunners, whatever team they may be on. The acknowledgement that comes with a nomination must be something incredible for these students to experience, as Austin said, “I am very honored that I was nominated for the Blue-Gold award, it’s crazy that I would be up for this with four other amazing women that bleed blue and gold!”  

  Rogic shared similar sentiments, saying, “I know that I have worked really hard to get to this point and I am more motivated than ever.”  

  The importance of holding this event during such a turbulent time cannot be understated. Many students feel displaced from their school and are stuck at home simply doing their assignments with no real fanfare or physical presence to keep their minds focused on the daunting task of finishing their coursework online when many are strictly physical-presence learners.  

  Holding this event for the student body gives them something to cheer for and lets them feel pride in their school and its athletes. This applies to the faculty and coaching staff as well, as these athletes feel gratitude towards them that they’d like to show. As Henderson said of the coaches at CSUB, “Without them, there is no opportunity to grow.”  

  On the eve of an event like this, there is bound to be much gratitude flowing from the nominees and those involved, a lot of which was expressed by some of the nominees in the lead up to this event. Austin said, “I am thankful to my mom for literally being my rock since day one. She has helped me strive to be the greatest version of myself each and every day.” 

  Showing his own gratitude, Henderson said, “I’d like to thank all of my teammates as they are a huge factor into my own successes, let alone our program’s.”  

  With such overflowing enthusiasm and humility, this year’s ROWDYs are sure to be a thrilling viewing experience. Tune in on the night of May 7 to watch the ROWDY Awards Ceremony via Zoom.