Rector honors athletes at banquet
For the first time ever, the RHS Athletic Banquet was held in the gymnasium.
"It was really nice to celebrate our athletes in the place where so many of them have excelled," said principal Wade Williams. "I appreciate all of the coaches and the parents for working so hard to make this night extra special for the kids."
Delicious barbeque, cooked by elementary principal Nathan Henderson, was served with homemade desserts provided by the parents.
A slideshow featuring all of the different sports was provided by Angela Loveless.
Michelle Haley was on hand to present Hall of Fame Scholarships to deserving seniors.
"These scholarships from the Hall of Fame are given to promote higher learning and total $3,800," she said.
Amanda Bradford and Ben Petty each received $1,000 for their high GPA and superior athletic performance. Dustin Sparks received the Allen Pruett Scholarship totaling $500. Jessica Scott was awarded the Robertson Family Scholarship in the amount of $500. Book Scholarships in the amount of $200 each were given to Kelsey Wynn, Allison Harmon-Duncan, Heather Scott and Dustin Sparks.
Coach Lewis Earnest recalled some highlights from the successful Lady Cougar softball season.
"I have never coached girls before and it was quite a different experience," he laughed. "We won a lot of ballgames and I couldn't have done it without help from Mr. Fowler and such a talented, hard-working group of great girls."
Softball awards were presented to Silver Slugger, Anna Blackshare; Gold Glove and Eagle Eye, Johnna Lopez; Most Improved, Tarryn Tracy; Clutch Play of the Year, Lenae Haley; All-Conference, Kendal Gunn, Kaitlyn Essman, Amanda Bradford and Anna Blackshare; All-Regional Tournament Team, Lindsey Ford and Brittany Fair; All-State Tournament Team, Anna Blackshare, and All-State, Kelly Fowler.
Next, Earnest recalled the accomplishments of the Junior Cougar football team.
"The results were not what we wanted, but we had a young junior team. The guys worked hard and I saw a lot of improvements and great play that wasn't always reflected on the scoreboard," he stated." I would like to thank all everyone who helped and supported out team this year."
Junior Football Awards were presented to Offensive Players of the Year, Lawson Ford and Garrett Buck; Defensive Player of the Year, Nick Hardin; Hustle Award, Alex Lamar; Rookie of the Year, Easton Tracy; Teammate of the Year, Austin Clairday; Weight Room Award, Ty Haney; Clutch Play of the Year, Garrett Buck; Lineman of the Year, Huston Highfill, and Most Improved, Kasen Green.
Coach Robert Doorman spoke about the RHS baseball team.
"It has been a great year. I would like to thank Gary and Angela Loveless, Mrs. Tabitha White and every single parent who helped me and supported our team this year," he reflected. "I can't tell you how much I enjoyed working with these awesome guys this year."
Coach Matt Dean praised the Junior Lady Cougars.
"We started out rough this year, but we definitely got better," he said. "These girls were at school bright and early every morning, ready to work. I see great things in their future."
Junior girls basketball awards were given to Offensive MVP, Harmony Brown; Defensive MVP, Tori Hill; Most Assists, Marla Crancer; Hustle Award, Tori Hill; Most Three's, Brittany Fair; Cougar Pride, Colby Lynch; Most Improved, Grayson Crancer, and Most Steals and All-Conference, Marla Crancer.
Coach Dean reminisced about the senior Lady Cougars who won the NEA Tournament and had a record of 24-8.
"We were in a tough conference. Four of the teams in our conference went to state," he recalled. "These girls have been a joy to work with and I am going to really miss the leadership from the seniors. This has been one of the best years I've ever had with a great group of kids."
Senior girls basketball awards were given to Offensive MVP, Kendal Gunn; Defensive MVP, Heather Scott; Most Blocks and Most Rebounds, Allison Harmon-Duncan; Lady Cougar Award, Kelsey Wynn; Most Assists and Most Steals, Jessica Scott; Most Three's, Kendal Gunn, and All-Conference and All-NEA, Allison Harmon-Duncan, Heather Scott and Kendal Gunn.
Coach Matt Mills told the crowd what he had learned from serving as the golf coach.
"When I took those four golfers to the state golf tournament, I had never ever watched a round of golf or even played a hole of golf, he laughed. "I never understood why people wanted to golf. After watching these guys, I now understand why they love it and how fun it can be."
Golf participation awards were presented to Alec Scott, Kade Scott, Dillon Eubanks and River Rice.
Coach Mills proceeded to talk about both of his boys basketball teams.
"I am so impressed with the hard work my teams have put in this year. The long hours and hard practices made every minute worth it."
Junior basketball awards were presented to Offensive MVP, Lawson Ford; Defensive MVP, Garrett Buck; Mr. Hustle, Nick Hardin; Highest Free Throw Percentage, Danny Hager; Most Three's, Lawson Ford; Most Improved, Landon Crancer, and All-Conference, Lawson Ford.
"My senior team was by far the hardest working team I've ever had. I never had to coach effort. They were always ready to give all they had," he said. "They set a goal of making it to the final four and they achieved it."
Senior basketball awards were presented to Offensive MVP, Mitchell Weber; Defensive MVP, Denver Knight; Most Improved, Alec Scott; Most Three's, Dillon Shelton; Highest Free Throw Percentage, Daniel White; Most Rebounds, Brandon Stevens; All-NEA, Mitchell Weber; All-Conference, Mitchell Weber, Denver Knight and Brandon Stevens; All-Region, Mitchell Weber, Dillon Shelton, Brandon Stevens and Denver Knight, and All-State, Mitchell Weber.
RHS Cheer Coach, Rachel McNamee, addressed the crowd.
"I was thrilled to be able to take our girls to their first cheer competition where they placed fifth in our division. Cheerleading is a year round sport with the girls doing a lot of work in the summer," she said. "With cheering for both boys and girls sports, the girls often cheer four nights per week. I am super proud to say that for the first time ever, every single one of my girls has been on the honor roll this year."
Baseball awards were presented to Silver Slugger and Cy Young Awards, Mitchell Weber; Gold Glove, Daniel White; Most Improved, Zach Brown; Rookie of the Year, Nick Hardin, and All-Conference, Mitchell Weber, Daniel White and Dustin Sparks.
Cheer awards were presented to Best All Around, Kaylee Hartsfield; Best Dance, Amy DeMent; Best Attitude, Madison Cate; Most Improved, Kayla Bond; Best Jumps and Flips, Jordan Crane, and NCA Cheer All-Stars, Madison Cate, Amy DeMent and Jordan Crane.
The most prestigious awards given were the Male and Female Athletes of the Year. Those awards were given to standout seniors, Brandon Stevens and Allison Harmon-Duncan.
"Each and every coach had a long list of parent and community members to thank. We have a wonderful school and athletic program because of the community support we receive," principal Williams said. "You are always willing to step up and help when needed. We can't thank all of you enough."