Triton College Athletics names 2014 award winners

News Release


The Triton College Athletics Department is proud to announce their end-of-the-season award winners for all 10 of their intercollegiate sports played during the spring 2013, fall 2013 and winter 2014 semesters. Each coach selected a Most Valuable Player from their team based on their contributions athletically, academically and for representing Triton College in a positive light within the community.

Of this group, Ruben Chavez, men’s soccer team MVP, and Susan Decker, women’s soccer team MVP, were named Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively, at the Triton College Student Association (TCSA) Recognition Dinner on May 9 at Elmcrest Banquets by Biancalana in Elmwood Park.

In addition, head men’s basketball coach, Steve Christiansen, was named Triton’s Coach of the Year for leading the Trojans to another 20-plus win season and the North Central Community College Conference (N4C) championship.
Here is more on this year’s Triton College Athletes of the Year:

Male Athlete of the Year

Ruben Chavez (Freshman/Riverside-Brookfield) - Men’s Soccer (fall 2013): Chavez became Triton’s 216th student-athlete to earn the prestigious honor of NJCAA All-American and the fifth men’s soccer player in the last six seasons to be named. In addition to the All-American status, he displayed great leadership on the field as a freshman, contributing with eight goals and six assists. Chavez came into the season right after being cleared from ACL surgery. However, Chavez came in with a good attitude and work ethic to lead the Trojans to an 11-2-1 record, the N4C conference championship and being named Region IV, Division III’s Most Valuable Player.

Female Athlete of the Year

Susan Decker (Sophomore/Proviso Math and Science Academy) - Women’s Soccer (fall 2013): Decker was a first-team All N4C Conference and All Region IV Division III selection. She led the Lady Trojans in scoring with six goals and an assist last fall. Decker was team captain, and demonstrated leadership both on and off the field. Currently, she has a 3.8 GPA and is in the Triton Scholars Program. She will be graduating from Triton in May with an associate’s degree in Arts.

Listed below are the team MVP’s from the remaining sports who were nominated for Male and Female Athletes of the Year:

Men’s Sports

Baseball (spring 2013) – Andrew Godbold (Sophomore/Oak Park –River Forest): Godbold was a first-team All-N4C Conference and All-Region IV Division I selection. He batted .416 and was second on the team in runs batted in with 38. Godbold maintained at least a 3.00 GPA for both semesters in 2012-13 and transferred 39 credits at a 3.38 GPA to Southeastern Louisiana University where he is currently one of their starting outfielders.

Basketball (winter 2013) – Donovan Smith (Freshman/Richards): Smith was the N4C Conference MVP, becoming the first freshman to win the award in the last decade. He earned All-Region IV Tournament honors, including setting the single-game block shot record in the Trojans regional semifinal win over Morton with nine. Smith broke the single-season block shots record by amassing an impressive 85 rejections. He currently has a 3.2 cumulative GPA and is receiving NCAA Division I interest already from multiple schools.

Wrestling (winter 2013) – Thomas Angsten (Sophomore/Lane Tech): Angsten lead the team in falls with seven and was second in wins for the season with 13. He was also recognized by the NJCAA Wrestling Coaches Association as an Academic All-American for his 3.2 GPA.

Track and Field (spring 2014) - Mateusz Gniecki (Freshman/West Leyden): Gniecki has been competitive on the track in both the shot put and hammer throw. Competing against four-year colleges, he always places well in the meets especially in the very difficult hammer throw.

Women’s Sports

Softball (spring 2013) – Jocelyn Sanchez (Sophomore/Immaculate Conception): Sanchez, as a freshman in 2013, was third in the nation in hitting with .563 average and a .583 on base percentage. She was an All-N4C conference selection and team captain. Sanchez carries a 2.5 GPA through her first two semesters here at Triton.

Volleyball (fall 2013) – Lynette Betancourt (Freshman/Elmwood Park): Betancourt was team captain for the 2013 season. She had 78 kills averaging 1.04 per set. In addition, Betancourt recorded 197 digs for the Lady Trojans, averaging 2.63 per set. She was a leader on the court and off the court. This spring, Betancourt also played softball, primarily at second base.

Basketball (winter 2013) – Breana Thomas (Freshman/Proviso West): Thomas was the only player on this year’s squad who started in all 30 games played, leading the program to its second straight season with a postseason victory. She was the team captain, averaging 10 points per game. However, Thomas was 22 nd in the nation in assists and second in Region IV, averaging 5.1 assists per game. In the classroom, Thomas recorded a 3.0 GPA last fall to earn All-Academic N4C Conference honors.

Track and Field (spring 2014) - Miriama Kisiel (Sophomore/Westmont): Kisiel recently competed at the NJCAA Division III National Championships in the 1500 meters and the 5000 meters. She also competed as a member of the 4 x 400 meter relay and the 4 x 800 meter relay teams. Kisiel has earned a 3.4 GPA over four semesters here at Triton College. What makes this story more remarkable is that she is 26 years old with two children. She will be attending Concordia University at Chicago next year and will be competing on the cross country/track and field teams there.

For more information on Triton College Athletics, visit or call Athletic Director Harry McGinnis at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3784.


Athletic Media Contact
Tim McKinney, Media Assistant
(708) 288-6915 (cell)