Metro Weekly

Team DC’s “Night of Champions” honors student-athletes and leaders in DC’s LGBTQ sports community

The annual awards present $2,000 scholarships to six LGBTQ high school athletes

Night-of-Champions: Brent Minor (center) — ‘Photo: Ward Morrison / file photo

“It will be fabulous,” Brent Minor, the executive director of Team DC, exults of the group’s upcoming “Night of Champions” awards dinner at the Omni Shoreham Hotel on April 13. “We will have a great silent auction, with over a hundred items, including theater tickets, signs, sports memorabilia. It’s a seated dinner with a cocktail party. We’ll also have a live auction with five or six high-ticket items. We’ve got an Olivia Cruise for two, a week in Rehoboth, things like that.”

Of course, the central focus of the night will be an awards ceremony, in which Team DC — the D.C. area’s umbrella organization for LGBTQ sports leagues — honors six LGBTQ high school athletes with scholarships of $2,000 each.

This year’s recipients are: Woodrow Wilson High School senior Ella Gantman, of Washington; Friendly High School senior Freedom Morant, of Fort Washington; Jackson Newman, of George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church; Montgomery Blair High School’s Camden Roberts, of Silver Spring; Kayla Savage, of Bell Multicultural High School in Washington; and a student-athlete from Washington who is out to friends but not to her parents, and whose name has been withheld to protect her privacy.

Team DC will also honor six local leaders, including five from its 40 member clubs, who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the LGBTQ sports community.

Earning this year’s MVP Awards is Nicole Bowns, of Cheer DC, who was instrumental in reviving the cheerleading team, which competes throughout the region and raises funds for local nonprofits; and Daniel Schroeder, of Stonewall Kickball, being honored for his work supporting and helping grow the league.

This year’s Trailblazer Awards go to Ned Kieloch, of the Washington Renegades Rugby Club, Blake Rushin, of the DC Front Runners, and Robert York, of Cheer DC.

Special guests include Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Broadcaster Bill Roth, known best as the “Voice of the Hokies” who covered Virginia Tech’s Division I football, basketball, and baseball teams; and Liz Hall, who spent 25 years as athletic director at Maret School, who will also be honored with Team DC’s Community Support Award.

“This is a woman who is very well respected in the athletic community,” says Minor. “She’s one of those really strong kinds of women that you meet and go, ‘Gosh, you’re terrific. I need some more people like you in my life.’ I’m anxious to hear what she has to say.”

Team DC’s Night of Champions Awards Dinner is Saturday, April 13 from 6-10 p.m. at D.C’s Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St. NW. Dress code is business casual. Individual tickets are $125 per person. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.teamdc.org.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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