Each year the Ellsworth Community College Athletic Department names an Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year and Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year. This award is presented to students who exhibit exceptional behavior both in the classroom and on the field/court/mat. This year's recipients were Justin Folley (wrestling) and Kaylee Rynish (softball).
The award is determined as each head coach nominates one athlete from each team and submits a list of his/her accomplishments. Once the names and accomplishments are submitted, all head coaches and athletic department personnel vote a second time for the male and female they think are most deserving.
Rynish was All-Region Honorable Mention her freshman year as well as ICCAC Region XI 1st Team Academic All-Region and 3rd Team NJCAA All-Academic. This season she was co-captain for the softball team.
"Kaylee has been great to coach over the past two years," commented ECC Head Softball Coach and Athletic Director Nate Forsyth. "She is the definition of a student-athlete. She works hard at being the best in the classroom and on the field each day. Her drive and determination will be missed."
Folley was a two-time All-American at ECC. He placed 4th at the national wrestling tournament in 2017 and 6th at Nationals in 2018. He was also ICCAC Region XI 2nd Team Academic All-Region in both 2017 and 2018.
"As a coaching staff we preach to our guys that we want three things from them: first be great people, second be a great student, and third be a great athlete. As a person you will not find a more driven and humble person then Justin," commented ECC Head Wrestling Coach Cole Spree. "As a student he has been included on the Academic All-Region team both years and as an athlete he was a two-time All-American for the team. Justin is the complete package as a student-athlete, and that is why he deserved this award.
Both Rynish and Folley were Resident Assistants for the ECC Housing Department in addition to their involvement in athletics.