Kay Fett, one of the first two to receive the Athlete of the Month Award, was recognized for her successful cross country season.

Viking receiver and defensive back CJ Rickels was honored for his success on the football field and was one of the two first Athlete of the Month Award recipients.

In between Thursday’s basketball games, the first two Vinton-Shellsburg student-athletes to receive the new Edwards Plumbing Athlete of the Month Award accepted their plaques from Nate and Leah Edwards.

The first two honorees are Kay Fett and CJ Rickels.

Kay is freshman who represented VS at the State Cross Country Meet. She had finished 3rd in the WaMaC meet before earning a spot at State with a 4th place finish at the qualifying meet.

Kay Fett was nominated for this award for many reasons.
Her coach Jeff Mangold said there were many reasons that Kay was nominated.
He said of her, “Kay had a great attitude, was the hardest worker on the team, positive, very respectful, very open to coaching, and a great teammate.

Kay was the 4th fastest Freshman at the State meet for 3A

Was ranked as high as 16th during the season
Won two meets (South Tama and Vinton Shellsburg)
Placed in the top 10 in every meet this season. (Except state)
3rd place at WaMaC – 1st team all-conference
4th Place at District Meet (Top 15 go to State)
Super hard worker during practice, ran all summer and put a lot of extra miles in on her own time.
Always had goals in mind before each meet.”

CJ, a sophomore, led the Viking football team by scoring six touchdowns during the season.

On offense, CJ caught 23 passes for 290 yards, leading his team in those statistics as well. He also led the defense with two interceptions, and was the fourth-leading tackler with 28.

Yet, the award does not just honor success on the field.

Coaches nominate athletes for the Athlete of the Month Award also based on the student’s character and leadership, academics, sportsmanship and how they interact with teammates.

Coach Womochil said of CJ, “He was our leading receiver and one of our leaders in the secondary in terms of interceptions and tackles.  He also did a little punt returning for us. His performance landed him all-district honors.  This award includes a lot of intangible criteria instead of just plain football numbers.  As a teammate, CJ was always positive and picked other players up. As a sophomore, he showed tremendous leadership qualities.  CJ is active in 4 sports and has had success at the varsity level in all 4.  He is a tremendous student and competes as intensely there as on the athletic field.  CJ is very active in his community.  Being an active member in his church groups and also an active member in The Fellowship or Christian Athletes. CJ has been a very positive member of the Vinton-Shellsburg High School and our community.”

“These kids work so hard during games and practice, in the classroom and during their own free time; we feel they deserve some recognition for those efforts,” says Nate Edwards.

The monthly award will be sponsored by Edwards Plumbing, Vinton Trophy & Awards and Jennie Roster.