Giving respect where it’s due

Chardonnae Parker / Delta Staff writer

Many collegiate student athletes know and understand how demanding competing at that level can be, putting in long hard hours to perfect their respective crafts.

Those who truly excel are honored as All-Americans. Recognizing that becoming an All American is special, the Missouri Valley College athletic department created a meaningful way to honor those athletes.  

The All-American honors are chosen annually to represent the most outstanding athletes in their various sports. Those first selected for All-Conference awards are considered; and unique selection criteria are implemented by each sport.

In 2010, Missouri Valley made renovations to the Greg Mitchell field.  During that time, the athletic department thought of a way to honor not only football, basketball, or any individual sports All-Americans but, every All-American in the history of the school.  Right off the entrance of the field they built the All-American Plaza.  

From then on, every All-American has received a brick set in the plaza’s concrete.  All-American honorees are recognized with the unveiling of their bricks following their final season of competition.  

This year the athletic department honored five All-Americans from 2019, Dalton Tipton (Men’s Wrestling), Jessica Gunderson (Shooting Sports), Jack Smith (Men’s Lacrosse), Jesse Gomez (Men’s Wrestling), and Larry Plummer (Men’s Basketball).  Those athletes were honored for their outstanding play in the 2018-2019 season.  

“Being an All- American means so much more to me and a lot of other athletes,” Plummer said. “It was a goal that I set for myself and demanded to put in the work it took to get there. During your time at Missouri Valley you may compete against hundreds of other athletes and only a select few will even be an All-American. With that brick in the plaza, it just reminds me of those moments and I will cherish it forever.  Every time I walk past the plaza and see my name it is like I have left my mark here at Valley.”

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