Mohawks Hold Annual Sports Banquet, Part One

Thursday, May 21, 2015
Eli Smith of PHS was named recipient of the Brandon Bulsworth Award for the Mohawk football team, and is shown accepting the honor from Coach Michael Harrell. Each year every high school program in Arkansas nominates one player for the award, given in memory of the late Razorback.(courtesy photo)

The accomplishments of Mohawk sports were celebrated the evening of Tuesday, May 19, with the annual sports banquet at PHS. Athletes from all sports were recognized, as the Tribe marked what has been a successful year. This week we'll review those honored for their participation in fall sports, including the Mohawk tennis, football and volleyball teams.

Volleyball

Lady Mohawk volleyball coaches Nikki Speer and Melissa Hopkins had a lot to celebrate this year, as the senior squad once again made a deep run into the state tournament. As for the junior high squad, they experienced a re-building season as they looked to continue the tradition of winning which has become expected at PHS.

Recognized from the Junior Lady Mohawk volleyball team as All-Conference selections this yeare were Lexi Herren, Emily Trosper and Hannah Powell.

Meanwhile, the senior Lady Mohawks had several players named to the 3A-Northeast All-Conference team, including McKenzie Hopkins, Bailey Pollard, Jessie Mallard, Abby Holcomb, Alexa DeHart, Quest Emerson, Shelby Pruett-Chavez, MaKalia Beck and Colby Crossfield.

Named to the 3A All-State tournament team were Chavez and Mallard, while Hopkins and Crossfield were All-State selections and Pollard was an All-State honorable mention.

Tennis

The Mohawk tennis teams once again nailed down both district championships last fall under long time coach Paul Seegraves. And, both the boys and girls teams advanced to the 3A state tournament where both notched third place finishes.

The girls team finished at 18-5 this year, and players earning awards included--

As a senior, Sadie Sawyers was named All District and was a part of the district doubles championship team, was a state qualifier and set the school record for most doubles win in a season with 17.

Meghan Woodard, a junior, was named All-District and was also a part of the district doubles championship team along with Sawyers. She was also a state qualifier, and shared the school record for most doubles wins in a season with 17.

Devyn Staples, who is also a junior, was named Most Improved, earned All District honors and was the district singles runner-up. This netted her a state qualifier spot, and she also set a variety of school records, including most matches with 34, most matches won with 29 and most singles wins in a season with 22.

Freshman Emilee Seegraves was also recognized as the USTA Arkansas top ranked player in 14 and under, level five. She was also named the Maxxpreps Piggott school player of the year, was named All-District and was district singles champion and a state qualifier, earning a third place finish. She also set the school record for most games won in a season with 199.

Meanwhile, the boys team went 19-1-1 as they earned yet another district championship. Leading the way was senior Jacob Wellman who was named as the Maxxpreps Piggott school player of the year, along with All-District. He was the district singles champion, which earned him a state qualifier spot, and was an All-State honorable mention.

Junior Quinton Mauldin was named All-District and a state qualifier, and finished third in the district in singles play.

Kyle Allman, also a junior, was All-District and a state qualifier by virtue of his third place finish in district in doubles play.

Junior Beau Jett was an All-District selection and state qualifier, and was fourth in the district in doubles play. His partner, junior Nicholas Harris, was also All-District and a state qualifier and shared the fourth place finish in district doubles play with Jett.

Tyler Peters, a junior, was selected as the Most Improved player on the boys team, and was also an All-District honorable mention.

Sophomore Caleb Higgins was an All-District selection and state qualifier, and was third in the district doubles competition with his partner, Allman.

Freshman Carrington McDaniel was an All-District honorable mention, and set the school record for the best doubles winning percentage for a season at 100 percent.

Also honored was fourth grader Shawn-Hudson Seegraves, for earning the top USTA ranking in Arkansas for a player age 10 and under in level five. In recognition he received a tennis ball autographed by Roger Federer.

Junior Football

The Mohawk junior football team had a strong campaign, and earned a share of the 3A-3 conference title. During the banquet a number of awards were handed out to the players in recognition of their hard work and commitment.

The offseason award went to Corey Fuller, while the two teammate awards were given to John Jones and Nate Mallard. Meanwhile, the Mr. Mohawk award for junior high football went to Cade Harrell.

Senior Football

Although the Mohawk senior high football team came up just short of a playoff appearance, the season ending win over Corning to retain the Rice Bowl Trophy was a highlight of their campaign. Last week the following players were recognized.

Earning All-District honors for 3A-3 for the Tribe were Nick McKinnie, Bradley Stephens, Eli Smith and Trace Stallings. Meanwhile, several more were named as All-District Honorable Mentions, including Garrett Cook, Landon Williams, Logan Dixon and Bret Fuller.

Individual honors for the senior high football team included the offseason award to Williams, while Smith and Caleb Benbrook were recipients of the teammate award. Stephens was recognized for earning a spot in the Arkansas Activities Association record book, as he had the eighth longest touchdown run in state high school history. He was also named to receive the coveted Mr. Mohawk award for the football team.

Stephens, and his long time running mate McKinnie, were also selected to receive a new award, the Mohawk Brotherhood Legacy Award.

Following the banquet it was announced that Smith was also named to receive the Brandon Burlsworth Award. Each year every high school football program in Arkansas nominates one player from their team to receive the award. The honor is given to a player who "should be of good moral character and demonstrates a desire to excel in the class room. This award recognizes the student athlete who puts their team first and is not looking to just draw attention to themselves," according to the Burlsworth Foundation.

The Harrison native, who excelled as a lineman for the University of Arkansas, was tragically killed in an automobile accident just days after being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1999.

Next week the winter and springs sports recipients will be featured.

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