ABC Awards History

Jennifer Renee Odom Spirit Award (Awarded at Nationals)
Candidates, either male or female, must be junior barefoot Skiers (16 years and under) who display a spirit of helpfulness, a positive attitude, enthusiasm, the ability to get along well with other skiers and officials, good sportsmanship, and a willingness to share positive experiences with peers. Candidates do not necessarily have to be champion skiers.

Jennifer Odom Spirit Award candidates will be nominated by the appointed officials at each of the five Regional Championships and submitted in writing with a skier’s biography to the ABC Awards Chairman. The recipient of the award will be announced and honored at the ABC Awards banquet on Saturday evening.

This memorial award is in honor of Jennifer Odom, a former junior girls National Barefoot Competitor, who was abducted in Pasco Country Florida in February of 1993 and later found murdered.  

1993Jennifer Harris
1994PJ Nassar
1995Rachel George
1997Derek Koch
1998Toby George
1999Matt Wright
2000Jared Lee
2001Mark Williamson
2002Royal Wiseman
2003Nolan Lough
2004Andrew Martin
2005Haley Thomas
2006Wilson Schkade
2007Shannon Heller
2008Allie Jameson
2009John Pressendo
2010Taylor True
2011Kailey Koehler
2012Lisa Pressendo
2013Chandler Cargile
2014Brody Meskers
2015Alex Youngblood
2016Stefan Lippelgoos
2017Brice Storman
2018Megan Adams & Lexi McCauley
2019Brett Swanbom
2020Martin Cyr
2021Cameron Patton
2022Noah Kinnaman

Banana George Blair Barefooter of the Year (Awarded at Nationals)

This award is given annually to a person or organization in recognition of accomplishments, contributions, and service to the sport of barefoot-waterskiing both on and or off the water over the past year. The award recipient represents a true ambassador to our sport – someone who has distinguished himself/herself above and beyond all others in serving the sport. The nominee must be a current ABC member, with preference given to US citizenship. Nominations should convey specific examples of how the nominee personifies the criteria and spirit of the award such as: How has the nominee contributed time, resources, and abilities to the sport of barefooting consistent with the title “Barefooter of the Year.” (Inception 1992)  

1992George Blair
1993Sam Spano
1994Oscar Foot Mann
1995Jennifer Calleri
1996Keith St. Onge
1997Dawn Farrell
1998Brent Benoist
1999Brian Heeney
2000John Kretchman
2001Tad Honsinger
2002Tim Pellaton
2003Derek Koch
2004Rachel George
2005Mike Salber
2006Doug Jordan
2007Joe Lovato
2008Kevin Towers
2009Judy Myers
2010Brad Pegg
2011Stuart Parsons
2012Cody Ebbert
2013Mike Holt
2015World Barefoot Center
2016Cody Heller
2017Joe Knapp
2018Mark Shank
2019Mikey Caruso
2020Betsy Gilman
2021Sean Qualey
2022Megan Adams

Stew McDonald Long Time Service Award (Awarded at Nationals)
This award is given annually to recognize the person(s) who has contributed to the sport of barefooting for at least ten years. The award recipient is someone who has distinguished himself/herself above and beyond all other individuals in serving the sport. The nominee should be a current ABC member, with preference given to US citizenship.

Nominations should convey specific examples of how the nominee personifies the criteria and spirit of the award such as: How has the nominee contributed time, resources, and abilities to the sport of barefooting consistent with the title “Long Time Service Award.” How has the nominee avidly supported ABC tournaments and other programs as a participant, administrator, official, or fund-raiser? (Inception 1994)  

1994Stew MacDonald
1995Mike Seipel
1996Sam Spano
1997Ed Finley
1998Don Mixon Sr.
1999Joel Brookshire
2000Jim Boyette
2001Joe Knapp
2002Oscar ‘Foot’ Mann
2003Doug and Pat Koch
2004Andrea Eggert
2005Banana George Blair
2006Brian Heeney
2007Jan Cummings
2008Dale Stevens
2009Dan Cummings
2010Jimmy Tauras
2011Lee Stone
2012Jerry Kanawyer
2013Gary “Swampy” Bouchard
2014Paul Adams
2015John Boyd
2016Mike Molepske  &  Betsy Gilman
2017Jim Forster
2018Doug Jordan
2019Blake Ehlers
2020Rich Kaufman
2021Andrew Martin
2022Mike Schoenke

Award of Distinction (Awarded at Nationals)

This award recognizing outstanding achievement in the sport. On the water or off, these people have given all to barefoot water skiing and are deserving of special recognition.

2010Brian Heeney
2013Keith St. Onge
2014Lee Stone
2016Jim Boyette
2017The Heller Family
2021Paul Adams
2022Lauren Ehlers

Barefoot Community Champion Award (Awarded at Nationals)

Not every barefoot champion is a household name like Scarpa or St.Onge.  This award recognizes the people who are building the sport at the grassroots… one barefooter at a time.

2013Morris Lovelady
2016Max Adams
2017Brent Payne
2020Lance Smith
2021Betsy Gilman
2022Jimmy Tauras

ABC Barb Knight Junior Girls Athletic Grant (Awarded at Nationals)

This grant is intended to assist junior girls with costs associated with the sport of barefoot water skiing, such as lessons, equipment, travel costs, tournament registration, etc.

2020Megan Adams
2021Claire Flowers

ABC Jim Boyette Award (Awarded at Nationals)

Jim Boyette made it a priority to attend the U.S. Barefoot Nationals. He competed in 41 of the 42 nationals held during his lifetime, an ever-present force of the Greatest Generation.  This award honors Jim’s legacy by recognizing the oldest competitor at the Barefoot Nationals each year.

2021Sharon Carlson
2022Sharon Carlson

ABC Athlete of the Year (Awarded in January)

Consider this barefooting’s MVP award. The ABC Athlete of the Year Award is given in recognition of outstanding athletic accomplishments and sportsmanship on the water.  While participation in all parts of barefooting is recognized, the criteria of this award is based upon athletic performance— Barefooters who have distinguished themselves on a national and/or international stage. The recipients can be nominated by anyone and are voted on by the ABC Board of Directors.  The award is given out at the USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Annual Awards Banquet in January.

YearABC Female Athlete of the YearYearMale Athlete of the Year
1999Lorraine Piskura1999Keith St. Onge
2000Rachel George2000Ron Scarpa
2001Rachel George2001Keith St. Onge
2002Andrea Eggert2002William Farrell
2003Dawn Farrell2003Al Morrison
2004Theresa Hoffman2004Keith St. Onge
2005Rachel George-Normand2005Ron Scarpa
2006Jody Sherwood2006Keith St. Onge
2007Elaine Heller2007Kevin Towers
2009Elaine Heller2009Keith St. Onge
2010Elaine Heller2010Adin Daneker
2011Elaine Heller2011Broderick Meskers
2012Teri Larson-Jones2012Johnathan Martines
2013Lauren St.Onge2013Keith St. Onge
2014Kailey Koehler2014Cody Heller
2015Shannon Heller2015Landen Ehlers
2016Lexi McCauley2016Jackson Gerard
2017Lexi McCauley2017Jackson Gerard
2018Rachel Normand2018Keith St. Onge
2019Lexi McCauley2019Jackson Gerard
2020Megan Adams2020Jerry Kanawyer
2021Lauren Ehlers2021Brody Meskers

ABC Volunteer of the Year (Awarded in January) 

2016Paul Adams
2017Lauren St. Onge
2018Tina McCauley
2019Ben Groen
2021Ashleigh Stebbeings

ABC Coach of the Year / Team of the Year (Awarded in January)

2015Cody Heller
2016 (Team)USA Junior Barefoot Team
2017Landen Ehlers
2018Jason Lee / USA Junior Barefoot Team
2019Jimmy Tauras
2021Ben Groen

ABC Rising Super Star (Awarded in January) 

2015Jackson Gerard
2016Sammi Eaton
2017Brett Swanbom
2018Ryleigh Stenson
2019Megan Adams
2021Noah Kinnaman

Last Updated ( August 2021 ) – Not all honors are awarded every year!


  1. It is sad to see that very little of the history of the ABC or the awards from 1970’s to approx. 1992 is recognized.


    1. John, Any history that you can provide for us will be published. Unfortunately, this is the only information I was provided. Do you know where we can obtain information from 1970’s-1992?


  2. I have pictures of the official tow boats from the 1978 Nationals. I remember writing skier instructions on the boat for speed changes . Step-off speed, two foot trick speed, one foot speed, Nursing skiers in tight turns backwards before step off. Anyone remember the term. “burn the turn”. “easy over the bumps” (stern roller). Baking in 97 plus degree heat. phew


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