Local schools hold one last sports banquet

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 5, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Having too much talent is a problem that coaches love to have. Lakeland junior varsity softball coach Darick Cherry experienced the welcome dilemma this past season.

&uot;Last year, we started out with 15 girls and I only got to cut two,&uot; Cherry said of 2001-2 at the Lakeland spring sports banquet on Wednesday. &uot;This time, I had 30 girls come out.&uot;

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The abundance of Lady Cavaliers worked well; the team became the school’s most successful Diamond Squad, averaging 13 runs a game (and allowing only four) on the way to a 10-4 record.

&uot;Sometimes we scored 25 or 26,&uot; Cherry said. &uot;But we were in every game we played. I hope these players keep up their hard work over the summer. They know where they’re at and they know what they need to do. I hope we can go 14-0 next season.&uot;

After finishing 7-7 in 2001-2, the Lakeland softball team lost its entire infield to graduation. That is, except pitching ace Kandace Judkins.

&uot;Without her, we might have even been as close as we were this season,&uot; said Coach Tara McClenney-Worley in her Most Valuable Player award speech. &uot;But she always held it together on the mound.&uot; The MVP award was an extra present to Judkins, who turned 18 on Wednesday.

&uot;It was hard to give out awards because this team was fairly equal in everything we did,&uot; said McClenney-Worley of her squad, which repeated at 7-7 this season. &uot;But there was one player who blew my mind. About five games into the season, she came out of nowhere to become one of our most consistent hitter. She went from ninth to first in the batting order.&uot; She was referring to Lindsay Kelly, the team’s Most Improved Player award.

During their season, which included defeats of district rivals Oscar Smith and Nansemond River (a 13-3 victory that ended the year), the Lakeland baseball team learned several lessons that are applicable far away from the ballfield, said coach Jason Wollerton.

&uot;They learned pride, confidence, and dedication,&uot; Wollerton said. &uot;Whether it was playing baseball in the gym, taking care of field duties, playing four games a week. I could say something positive about each player.&uot;

Unfortunately, he only got to give out three awards. With a .418 average, with 18 runs scored and 11 bases stolen, Chase Nelson got the Silver Slugger honor. Bryan Ashburn, who Wollerton called, &uot;the best catcher I’ve ever coached,&uot; took home the Golden Glove award. Robert Hedrick, who pitched his team to victory over local rival River, got the Coach’s Award.

Later in the evening, Nelson and Hedrick were the school’s only two athletes to receive their eighth varsity letters.

Daman Stancill and Elaine Young received the Lakeland athletic boosters scholarship, and Erin Bradley and Aaron Seabourne were named the top athletes of the year.

Also receiving awards were:


Coach’s award – David Smith

Defensive player – Billy Higbea

Offensive player – Calvin Davis

Top goalie – Victor Taglis


Most Improved Player – Rachel Davis

Offensive player – Laura Decker

Defensive player – Megan Whitford

Most Valuable Player – Kelsey Cutchins


Most Outstanding Player – Avery Daughtrey

Most Improved Player – Corey Banks


Most Improved Player – Christina Malden

Most Outstanding in Field Events -Valerie Jones

Most Outstanding Runner – Andrea Wheeler


Most Improved Player – Kenny Reid

Most Outstanding in Field Events – Richardson Everett

Most Outstanding Runner – Linwood Wiggins

Most Valuable Player – Aaron Seabourne

The Nansemond River spring sports awards are as follows:


Most Dependable Runner: Paul Henderson

Best All-Around Runner: James Capehart

Most Improved Runner: Nathaniel Graves


Rookie of the Year: Allison Cheeks

Most Dedicated: Quanetra Taylor

Most Improved: Raven Starks


Defensive Player of the Year: Tara Williams

Offensive Player of the Year: Rachelle Hirsch


Most Valuable Player: Greg Sexton

Leadership Award: Eric Berry


Leading Scorer: Erick Shaffer

Player of the Year: William Butler


Team Player: Hannah Moyer

100% Heart: Krystal Gizara


Most Valuable Player: Scott Roybal

Most Outstanding: Jeremy Temple


Male: James Capehart

Female: Ashley Witt