NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The inaugural KCAC Team of Character award in golf was presented to the Bethel College Threshers.
The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference began presenting Team of Character honors in the 2014-15 school year.
The award goes to the team that best represents the NAIA core values of respect, responsibility, servant leadership, integrity and sportsmanship, chosen by a vote of KCAC coaches.
Gregg Dick, head coach, and Bethel golfers accepted the award April 21 at the completion of the KCAC Tournament in Garden City.
Team members are Sam Bertholf, Winfield, Matt Dewberry, Blanchard, Oklahoma, Brian Krehbiel, Donnellson, Iowa, Kyle Regier, Whitewater, Ethan Rodenberg, Halstead, Jaden Schmidt, Moundridge, and Drew Trollope, Kingman.
“This is a team that works together and gets along with each other very well,” Dick said. “They are respectful to others on campus, on the golf course and in the community. I’ve had many professors comment how much they appreciate the golf team members in their classes – which is confirmed by the team’s current-year GPA of 3.6 and cumulative GPA of 3.4.
“I know I can count on these guys being where they are supposed to be when they are asked to be there,” Dick continued, “and that is refreshing, as a coach. Integrity is something I never have to question.”
The team has participated in a number of service projects as a group, most recently at the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale in Hutchinson April 16-17, where they assisted in the kids’ game area.
The golf team’s service year started last summer with a trip to Kids Across America, a faith-based camp for inner-city children and youth near Table Rock Lake in southern Missouri. This has been an almost annual event over the past several years (the team will return there this coming June).
Other team service projects during 2014-15 have included campus clean-up during the annual fall Service Day; helping with the Bethel alumni golf tournament; and volunteering at Sand Creek Station golf course.
“They support other athletic teams,” Dick noted, “including dressing up in pink – pink clothing and pink paint – for breast cancer awareness at the February 12 basketball games.
“They display servant leadership through participating in student government and other campus and community activities. This team makes me as their coach proud of who they are and how they represent our college.”
Golf continues a tradition of service, academics and values-based competition evident throughout the Thresher athletic program – it is the second Bethel team this year (the other was volleyball) to be named a Team of Character.
The NAIA Champions of Character program was designed to remind athletes, coaches and fans to act in relation to core values in all aspects of life. Champions of Character core values are integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2014-15 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2014-15. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.
In sports, Bethel competes within the 10-school KCAC and the NAIA. For more information, see www.bethelthreshers.com.