KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Newton G2 Heat softball organization was a finalist for two awards at the USSSA All Sports Media Awards held in Kansas City, Mo.

The Heat organization was nominated for the community award, while Anthony Gonzalez was nominated for manager of the year.

“We were recognized for the Community Award based on the community service we do as an organization,” Victor Garcia said. “The award show was created this year, but we have been teaching our players to always give back to others since we have been in existence. This past year we have had two food/supply drives for this year's hurricanes and storms that batters the southeast. A number of our teams signed, delivered, and visited a number of retirement homes in Wichita, Newton, and Hesston. They made Christmas cookies and visited the Wichita Children's Hospital over the holidays.

“We dontated a Christmas tree to downtown Newton's Main Street and contribute money to a number of local charities such as the Lion's Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Salvation Army just to name a few. We played in a Cancer Benefit tournament in Paola this fall where our 18 Llamas team won their division and all of our teams raised and donated money to the American Cancer Society and a local cancer recipient. We teach our athletes that it is better to give then to receive and that we need to always remain humble and be thankful for what we have. All the time teaching them to be competitive leaders on the field and in the classroom.”

Gonzalez manages the day-to-day operations for the Heat teams, as well as serve as a coach.

“I was honored just to be a finalist along side some great managers from across Kansas and Missouri. It's easy to put in the time when you love what you do,” Gonzalez said. “These athletes have a special place in my heart and I see them as family and it is our goal to help them achieve their goals. My heart swells with pride when we are able to get a player signed to play in college and watch their dreams come true. I couldn't ask for anything more.

“It is an honor just to be recognized and considered for these awards. Victor and I want to thank our Coaches for all the hard work they do for us and the players. Often people don't realize how much they

give to a team and organization. We appreciate the coaches families for sharing them with us and allowing them to give up family time for all of our athletes. Thank you to the players for buying into our program and being dedicated to be the best they can be. Thank you to all of our sponsors who have a hand in making our athletes dreams come true. Last but not least we want to thank the parents. Thank you for shuttling them around to practices, events, games, etc. Without these people, past and present, we would not be as successful as we are.”

The G2 Heat has been active in Newton for about six year and sponsors teams from the 8U through the 18U levels. The program has about 120 players competing. In the last three years, 40 Heat players have advanced to college programs.

Gonzalez and Garcia have been active in club softball for about 10 years.