Kansas City Kansas

Hiago Gaspar (KCKCC photo)
Hiago Gaspar (KCKCC photo)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Kansas City Kansas Community College has its first soccer All-American with the naming of Hiago Gaspar to the NJCAA second team.

A freshman forward from San Paulo, Brazil, Hiago led the Jayhawk Conference with a Blue Devil record 17 goals and was second in assists in the conference with 11. He was named to both the All-Jayhawk and All-Region VI first teams.

Led by Gaspar and six other all-conference honorees, the Blue Devils compiled one of their best records in history – 10 wins, 4 losses and a second place finish in the Jayhawk.

“A natural talent, a natural scorer,” KCKCC head coach Ruben Rodriguez said of Gaspar. “He’s usually in the right place a lot and you can’t teach that. He’s also very technical, very good on and off the ball with a high soccer IQ.”

Assistant coach Burke Slusher agreed.

“Great speed, probably in the 4.4 range and very calm under pressure. Good in the air and reads the game very well,” Slusher said.

Rodriguez has been equally impressed by Gaspar’s progress academically. When he arrived at KCKCC this past summer, he knew no English. Now he speaks it well enough to graduate from ESOL classes into regular classroom curriculums.

Gaspar’s talents have not gone unnoticed.

“I’ve already been contacted by some Division I schools and all the local NAIA schools,” Rodriguez said. “His desire is to play at the next level, either in Division I or professionally. This has been our best year so far and we expect better next year. We have a bright future.”

Joining Gaspar on the All-Jayhawk first team were defend Ricardo Angelo and midfielder Guilherme Grave, both of Sao Paulo; while second team selections included sophomore forward Thiago Elias, also of Sao Paulo; sophomore midfielders Giovanni Calderon of Harmon and Tanner Helms of Ashland, Mo.; and sophomore defender Jake Salmons, also of Ashland, Mo.

Olivia Johnson, a student from Kansas City, Kan., was part of the Christmas at Concordia weekend Dec. 2-4, which included three events as part of Concordia University, Nebraska’s, annual Christmas celebration.

Johnson is a member of the Women’s Chorale. The concerts included a community open house, tree lighting and scholarship parade of homes.

Four Christmas at Concordia concerts brought more than 3,000 Concordia students, faculty and staff, alumni and community members to St. John Lutheran Church near the Seward, Neb., campus. The concerts featured the Women’s Chorale, Male Chorus, Concordia Handbell Choir, University Brass Ensemble, University A Cappella Choir and University Symphonic Band.

Scripture readings, original music from Concordia faculty and traditional hymns that invited congregation participation were part of the celebration.

There was a tour of several homes, with proceeds donated to a scholarship fund.

The Kansas City, Kan., Board of Public Utilities was among 27 public power electric utilities to earn an award from the American Public Power Association for their most recent communications materials.

The awards were presented in November at the association’s Customer Connections Conference in Nashville, Tenn.

APPA conducts the Excellence in Public Power Communications to encourage and recognize excellence in communications. This year’s entries were judged in three separate entry categories: print/digital, web/social media and video. Awards were given to utilities that showed ingenuity and creativity in copy; design; financial data; graphics; organization; social media interaction; video editing; web layout and interactivity, as well as communicating the utility’s special story.

BPU was presented the Award of Merit in the print category for its newsletter, BPU Connection, which is distributed to customers twice a year.

The newsletter was recognized for its easy-to-read format, colorful graphics and content value.

More than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities are represented by APPA providing electricity to more than 48 million customers across the nation.

– Story from BPU