Delta Student Athlete Awarded Scholarship

Anthony Gutierrez
Staff Writer
April 20, 2016

River News-Herald

Delta High School student athlete Emma Winkler was the awardee of a notable sports scholarship that friends, family and school staff celebrated at the high school gym. This was followed by few touching words from her mentors, who were very proud of how far she’s come.

There was also a surprise in store for Emma that she was quite not expecting.

One of her coaches led her to the Delta High School gym where the surprise awaited. As Emma came through the gym entrance she was astonished at being greeted by a number of students at the entrance. The students extended their arms making an archway from the gym entrance like cheerleaders would do to footballers heading out of the locker room tunnel and Emma went through the student archway in excitement and smiles as she saw a breathtaking sight.

What she thought would be a normal signing of papers for the scholarship turned out to be a room filled with friends, family and school staff cheering on Emma and congratulating her for her academic success. She couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear and laugh in joy at such an amazing spectacle.

Inside the gym, there were a number of students sitting on bleachers, a row of chairs manned by family & school staff and at the very front was a table where Winkler would sign papers for the scholarship. The scholarship was for track and was awarded by the University of Pacific Union for her outstanding performance of running 3.1 miles at 19:40.

One by one, her coaches gave a few touching words to Emma for how far she’s come.

Basketball coach Stephen Bunch said, “Emma, you are dedicated, driven and unselfish. I have no doubt in my mind that you will continue to be a great student, a great athlete and a great person. We look forward to see how far you go and never forget where you came from.”

Paul Delgado, track & cross-country coach, said, “The community is behind you, Emma.” Delgado made a point of how much a connection there was between her and the Delta community saying that seeing her in future events at the University of Pacific Union (UPU) would mean that the community will become a bit of the UPU family too.

Laura Sharp, track & cross-country coach, added, “Emma, you represent the Delta so well.” And Athletic Director Katie Ingalls followed with, “You embody what it means to be a student athlete and we’re all very proud of you.”

Basketball coach Joe Soto said, “I think everyone said what I wanted to say.” This gave a chuckle to the crowd as Soto continued on, “Emma, you’re the ideal captain. You’re a role model of what everyone should strive for in a leader. You survived me,” he laughed, “That should mean something.”

The room was filled with applause after the coaches gave their memorable words and Emma got to filling out the papers for the scholarship. This was followed with people taking out their cameras and snapping pictures.

After the award ceremony, Emma was in disbelief of what happened. “I feel so undeserving. Everyone came to see me. They didn’t have to come but they did.” She went on to say how supportive her coaches were and seeing them there at the gym was something special.

“I feel touched,” Emma said.

Emma Winkler has been running track for three years and cross-country for two. She’s made state for the last two years and hopes to make state again this year. She has placed first in a division qualifier for San Joaquin. She also plays basketball. She has made both first and second team all-league over the course of her career.

Emma had fun with basketball and her coaches encouraged her to try out track and cross-country too. She was delighted by Laura Sharp’s mentoring and was fascinated to hear that she ran for U.C. Davis. An all around great athlete, Emma also plays soccer and volleyball.

She hopes to major in Kinesiology at UPU. Emma said that she likes studying dieting and exercising and how this was a dream major for her.

Her inspirations come from her teammates and she’s happy that they were all so supportive of her as well as her coaches, family, and especially her sister Lauren for having a great work ethic and a humble demeanor that she admires.

One thing that track brings out in Emma would be her uplifting nature. She feels that because track is a close sport and you could see your teammates running with you, side by side. Emma would encourage her teammates to keep on going and uplift their spirits in the process. “We’re all reaching the same goal,” she said. A boost of encouragement can make getting to that goal faster.

“All the support that the school of Delta has given me, from my friends, my family and the community, has shaped me into the person that I am today and I am grateful for that.”

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