May 11, 2022

Wharton County Junior College named its Johnnie Frankie Award and Dr. Ty Pate Memorial Academic Athletic Award winners at a recent luncheon held on the Wharton campus. Pictured, from left, are Pioneers baseball team catcher Ben Columbus of North Vancouver, British Columbia, winner of the Johnnie Frankie Award; and Pioneers outfielder Will Lee of Spring, winner of the Ty Pate award.

WHARTON, TEXAS – Athletes from Wharton County Junior College’s baseball, rodeo and volleyball programs were recently honored for their outstanding achievements.

During the WCJC Athletic Awards Luncheon – held May 3 in the Pioneer Student Center on the Wharton campus – presentations were made to top players who had distinguished themselves on the field of competition as well as in the classroom.

Baseball player Will Lee of Spring received the Dr. Ty Pate Academic Award, an honor established in the memory of the late WCJC administrator and former athlete that recognizes high academic achieving athletes. Lee holds a 3.94 Grade Point Average and intends to pursue a pre-med degree, following in the steps of his parents, both of whom are physicians. Lee played outfield for the Pioneers this past season.

The Johnnie Frankie Award, a special honor for athletes who exhibit exceptional abilities and character, went to Ben Columbus of North Vancouver, British Columbia. Columbus played catcher for the Pioneers this past season and has signed to play baseball for the University of Nebraska after graduation. Jenny Banker, daughter of the late WCJC coach Johnnie Frankie, presented the award.

“The Johnnie Frankie award always goes to an outstanding student who happens to be an athlete,” Banker said.

Athletes recognized for other honors included:

  • Tori Arrington of Boling – volleyball, Honorable Mention All-Conference
  • Kiah Barron of Corpus Christi – volleyball, Honorable Mention All-Conference
  • Ben Columbus of North Vancouver, British Columbia – baseball, Academic All-Conference
  • Matthew Delagarza of Victoria – baseball, Academic All-Conference
  • Criztian Delgado of Kingsville – baseball, Academic All-Conference
  • Brayden Evans of Pearland – baseball, Academic All-Conference
  • Victoria Gehret of League City – volleyball, Honorable Mention All-Conference
  • Andrew Hoanzl of Spring – baseball, Academic All-Conference
  • J. Kostic of Surprise, Ariz. – baseball, Academic All-Conference
  • Will Lee of Spring – baseball, Academic All-Conference
  • Kera Lamb of Sealy – rodeo, women’s team MVP
  • Ysabella Lockwood of Friendswood – volleyball, 1st Team All-Conference
  • Logan Moore of Pleasanton – rodeo, men’s team MVP

Click on the photo gallery link to access additional photographs from the event.