Hartselle honors spring athletes
By By Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle High School concluded its spring season with a special banquet at First United Methodist Church of Hartselle, honoring 11 teams for their accomplishments during the 2009 season.
Hartselle won two state championships - girls’ golf and baseball - and had two other teams advance to state tournaments - softball and girls’ tennis - this season.
Several scholarships were presented by the booster club during the banquet. Each scholarship is worth $500 for the school of the athlete’s choice.
The Hartselle baseball program also awarded two scholarships during the banquet:
The Lady Tigers capped an incredible season with the school’s first-ever state girls golf championship. It also marked the first time that a team from Morgan County had won the girls’ championship.
And Hartselle did it with a lineup filled mostly of seventh and eighth graders.
The Lady Tigers’ academic award was presented to King and Roberts. Both finished the year with 4.0 grade points or higher.
King was the team’s low 9-hole medalist with an average of 44.5, while Eddy topped the 18-hole average at 84.3.
The Hartselle baseball team earned the program’s seventh state championship this season after finishing 50-9 overall - setting a state record for wins in a season.
The Tigers also finished 21-0 at Reuben Sims Field and set a team record for homers in a season with 56.
The Tigers’ seniors are Houston Cleveland, Braddock Wilson, David Reeves, Walton Ashwander, Josh Chop, Chad Girodo, Zack Waddell, Josh Doyle, Will Ellis, Luke Bole, Nick Howard, Josh Slaten, Taylor Nelson, Mike Hasse and Garrett Turrentine.
The team captain awards were presented to Girodo, Wilson, Ashwander, Nelson and Waddell.
Taylor Nelson earned the Hustle Award.
The most valuable defensive awards were presented to Reeves (infield), Doyle (outfield) and catcher Nick Howard.
Wilson was honored with the Team Player Award, while Reeves was given the Most Improved Award.
Bole, the team’s most valuable player, was the team’s batting champion, hitting .412 with a state-record 20 homers. He also was given the Clutch Playoff Offensive award after hitting .500 with 16 hits and six homers in post-season play.
He had a .638 on-base percentage in 11 playoff games.
Girodo was honored as the team’s Most Valuable Pitcher after winning a school-record 17 games this season. He also set a school mark with a 0.47 earned run average.
Girodo also received the Tigers’ clutch playoff pitcher award after going 5-0 in post-season play with a 0.64 ERA.
He held opponents to a .142 batting average in the playoffs.
Several other players were honored at the banquet, including Ryan Joy (outstanding leadoff performance), Mike Hasse (threw out 88 percent of runners attempting to steal) and Turrentine (11-1 record with a 1.86 ERA).
With six seniors, Hartselle earned its second-straight trip to the state tournament in Montgomery, finishing sixth.
The Lady Tigers finished the year with a 45-17 mark, while the team’s junior varsity program finished 25-2.
Sara Lang, Anna Hall, Chandler Orr, Kimmie Minor, Michel Fields and Audrey McClanahan were the team’s seniors.
Four of the seniors earned athletic scholarships, while the other two will focus on their academic studies at colleges this fall.
The Lady Tigers’ academic award was presented to Michel Fields, who finished with a 4.16 grade point average.
The pitching award went to Breanna Riley and Meghan Gray, who both won 19 games this season.
The defensive award was presented to Anna Beth Hall, while Audrey McClanahan earned the team’s offensive award.
The Lady Tigers’ clutch award went to Ashley Bonner, while Alex Paulson was given the spirit award.
Shelby Hoff was honored with the team player award.
The Tigers finished 16-9-1 overall with five of the losses coming by just one goal. Only John Carroll and St. Paul’s won more games this season.
Stephen Owen and Matt Walker were named the team’s most valuable players. The pair were also honored as the Tigers’ co-captains.
Owen was the Offensive Player of the Year after finishing with 23 points, including a team-high 19 goals.
Jonas Meixner, Forrest Burleson and Cody Terry shared defensive player of the year honors.
The Hartselle seniors were Joey Johnson, Bruce Lott, Meixner, Owen, Nick Puckett and Zack Woodruff.
The Lady Tigers had their best finish in seven years with just three seniors - Nancy Canifax, Johanna McAnally and Marcella Juarez.
Juarez was the team’s most valuable player, while she and McAnally were chosen as the team’s captains.
The most improved award was presented to Hope Lewis and Bailey Martin.
Hartselle finished with a 6-5 regular season record and won the Morgan County tournament for the first time since the event was revived several years ago.
Andrew Sandor finished second in the county tournament and will play for Martin Methodist next season.
Hartselle coach Steve Knight presented several honors at the banquet after the Tigers posted one of the school’s best years.
Zach Orr was named the team’s most valuable athlete after qualifying for the state meet in the 110 hurdles and the 300 hurdles.
Joey Frazier, who qualified for the state meet in the long jump and the 110 hurdles, was the team’s captain. He also earned most improved honors.
Several other athletes were honored for qualifying for the state meet in Gulf Shores, including Quanehsa Burks, Alexis Bynum, Ashton Pennington and Savannah Huey.
The Hartselle girls’ tennis team qualified for the state tournament and came away with a ninth-place finish in the team’s first-ever appearance.
Shelley Scarbrough finished second in the state at No. 3 singles this season.
No. 1 singles player Eva Heinrichs will play at Snead State next year.
Katie Kilgore was the team’s lone senior.
The boys’ team finished third in the sectionals.
Daryn Raley and Chris Schaeffer won the section championship at No. 3 doubles.
Raley was the team’s lone senior.
Kilgore was honored for having the team’s highest grade point average (4.04), while she, Raley and Patrick Connell earned team leadership awards. Taryn Schaeffer and Brandon McNutt were presented Hustle Awards.