Stars were in the air as state championship coaches including Gayle Adams and Keith Louder and title-winning athletes such as Dillon Nichols and Paytience Lawson-Holman all came out to celebrate the annual Mexico Senior Athletic Banquet Wednesday night.

With a program headlined by Keynote Speaker Ken Grubb, highlights included long-tenured North Central Missouri Conference Secretary Bob Gooch being honored for all the time he spent serving in that role. The next generation at one point commandeered the floor and flipped the script on their teachers and coaches with a simple yet poignant series of moments in which different athletes took to the microphone and shared stories about how different mentors had touched their lives in various ways.