Hartselle holds spring sports banquet

By Staff
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
The Hartselle Booster Club honored the high school's spring sports athletes at a banquet Monday evening at Hartselle First United Methodist Church. The sports recognized for athletic and academic achievement included golf, tennis, track-and-field, soccer, softball and baseball.
Introducing the various sports, Hartselle athletic director Bob Young said, "You student-athletes are a positive in a world that doesn't always have a lot of positives. Students, you are a positive role model for our younger kids, and coaches, you are a positive influence on these athletes, even though you might not realize it until many years later when they're older."
Hartselle boys golf coach Chad Gladden recognized the team, which finished 7-4 in nine-hole matches. Clay Whatley earned the award for Academic Achievement and Matthew Hill earned the award as Low Medalist.
Hartselle girls golf coach Gary Orr, after completing his first season at the helm of the girls golf program, handed out awards and recognition to his team. He congratulated the team for finishing second in the sectional tournament and gave special recognition to seniors Taylor Kirby and Patricia Long, who qualified for state.
Kirby earned both the Low Medalist (82 average score) and Academic Achievement (3.76 GPA) awards. Kirby and Long were each honored as team captains, as well.
Varsity tennis coach Regina Hudson handed out awards to both the boys' and girls' teams, saying of Hartselle tennis, "We were really pleased with the outcome we had. It was a wonderful year."
She congratulated the boys' team for winning the sectional tournament, including reaching the final match in eight of the nine matches and winning five of those finals. The boys finished with a record of 68-35 and the girls were 52-39 for a total record of 120-74 for the season.
Winning the Senior Award was Anthony Penick and Dana Watson. Penick and Katie Kilgore won the Leadership Award and A.J. McNutt and Candice Light took the Hustle Award. Hudson also congratulated the team on winning the Sportsmanship Award at the state tournament, tearing up with pride during the presentation.
"This is the best group of kids I have ever had to work with," she said.
Track coach Steve Knight thanked his team and parents for helping him through "a tough year for me," after Knight's son passed away in late 2006. He congratulated his team for their performance in a meet at Russellville, which they won, and also honored Michael Reed for qualifying for the state tournament in the javelin.
Girls' soccer coach Jenny McFee handed out several awards for her team. Ashley Self and Emily Anne Kennedy were honored as the team captains; Kristie Osborne won the Academic Award with a GPA of 3.77; Chelsey George earned the Most Improved award; Chelsea Woodruff took the "Stinky Bag" award; Self was named the Most Valuable Offensive Player; Rachel Walker was the Most Valuable Defensive Player and Leighann McNamara won the Unsung Hero award.
McFee also congratulated McNamara for making the All-County Tournament team. Kennedy took the Team Spirit award and the team's MVP was goalie Rainey Nicholas.
Boys soccer coach Darrell Harris congratulated his team on a strong season, as the Tigers finished 10-7-2 against a hard schedule. Assistant coach Rob Payne gave out statistical honors, with Cory Steele leading the team with 146 saves, Zach Woodruff leading with 11 goals and Brad Galloway leading with nine assists. He also specially honored freshman Matt Walker for "shutting down one of the best players in North Alabama in our game against Cullman."
Josh Harris and Corey Blankenship won awards for Highest GPA; Joey Johnson earned the Most Improved award; Woodruff was named Best Offensive Player; Daniel Sparkman earned Best Defensive Player; Brad Galloway was named Best Team Player and also earned the award as Team MVP. Galloway and Ray Canafax were honored as team captains and Galloway and Walker also received congratulations for being named to the All-County Tournament team.
Baseball coach William Booth handed out awards to his team, saying of the 2007 Tigers, "This was one of the best groups of kids we've had in a long time." J.C. Bates won the Pitching Award; Justin Hargett earned the Defensive Player award; Quinn Dunlap was the recipient of the Doug Sherrod Scholarship and Academic Award, the Most Valuable Offensive Player award and the Hustle Award. Dunlap, Josh Aycox and Tony Weaver were honored as captains. Ethan Widener earned the Playoff Performance award; Tony Weaver won the Tournaments Performance award; Luke Bole won the Clutch Tournament Performance award and Tyler Young earned the Anthony Ward Memorial Scholarship. Booth also congratulated the two members of the team who have signed college scholarships – Will Rankin (Wallace State) and Hargett (Auburn).
Softball coach Shane Alexander had kind words to say about his team as well, as the Lady Tigers finished with a school-record 53 wins and team records with 101 doubles and the most home runs in a season.
"This was probably by far the best softball team I've ever been associated with," he said. "They were the best group of athletes I've ever been around. Yes, we had one bad day (in a sub-state losing series at Scottsboro), but that doesn't take away from what these girls accomplished this year."
Breanna Shadden and Taylor Dingus were honored as the team managers. Catie Keel took the Academic award with a 4.1 GPA; Kelli Montgomery earned the Team Spirit award for the second straight year; Whitley Collins took the Defensive Player award after finishing with just one error during the season; and Breanna Segars earned the Pitching Award after finishing with a school record 25 wins and 153 strikeouts.
Kayla Orr and Kristy Pevahouse were the Co-Offensive Players of the Year, with Alexander referring to the duo as "thunder and lightning." Orr, the "thunder," led the team with 17 home runs and also had 16 doubles, 64 RBIs and a .440 batting average. Pevahouse, the "lightning," was the team's leadoff hitter and scored 62 runs, collecting 80 hits and a .520 on-base percentage.
Alexander also congratulated his players who have signed scholarships – Orr (UAB), Segars and Collins (Jefferson State Community College) and Mary Curtis (Calhoun Community College).
Closing out the ceremony was the awarding of six Booster Club scholarships. Megan Summerford won the Lizzie Reed Penn Scholarship; Daniel Filiatrault won the Kelly Littrell Scholarship; Tyler Young won the Bob Gilchrist Scholarship; Lauren Drake won the Kay Puckett Scholarship; Josh Harris won the Keith Wiggins Scholarship and Wes Chenault won the J.P. Cain Scholarship.

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