Local schools hold one last sports banquet
Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 5, 2003
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
SENIOR ATHLETES OF THE YEAR:
Male: James Capehart
Female: Ashley Witt