The last of Fork’s first sports season

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 6, 2005

For the King’s Fork High spring sports teams, the past few months were one last season of school history firsts.

The first baseball games. The first softball wins. The first tennis victories. The first All-District track selections.

On Wednesday evening, the newest addition to Suffolk’s public high school system held its first spring sports banquet to bid farewell to its rookie year.

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&uot;Accomplishing anything for the first time is a unique experience,&uot; assistant principal Chris Quattlebaum said to an auditorium full of students, faculty and family. &uot;You have forged the standards and tradition that all others must strive top meet in order of being called Bulldogs.&uot;

After punctuating his speech with a few barks, Quattlebaum continued.

&uot;You have shown your courage by living the motto ‘Never Give Up,’ no matter how challenging the tasks might be. You have shown that there is no ‘I’ in team, as you worked hard and diligently to be the example others will want to emulate.

&uot;These characteristics are exceptional by themselves, but the characteristic that stands out the most is honor. You alone created the standards and traditions that all other must follow. This honor does not come often in one’s life. To be a part of something that will live on for many years after you have gone on to greater challenges is truly an accomplishment, an accomplishment that is not recorded in record books or on a trophy but a living, enduring symbol of what King’s Fork athletes represent today and will represent in the future.&uot;

Athletic director Beth Mair gave a special thanks to students that made All-District honors in the spring.

&uot;Athletes, please work out over the summer until your next season,&uot; she said. &uot;Use this time to improve your skills and remain in the shape your coach put you in. Stray active in sports until we see you again on our fields or courts. The Southeastern District knows we are here to stay. Let us only improve in ability and character from this point on.&uot;

Fork’s football and girls basketball teams earned district sportsmanship honors this year. In its sophomore year, KF will be looking for its last firsts: victories in football, boys basketball and baseball.

Peaches Leonard, the only Fork student to achieve All-Eastern Region honors this season, was named the Most Outstanding runner in girls track, and she, Christina Davis and Tiffany Gilchrist received special recognition as the team’s graduating seniors. Ladrina Bell received the Sportsmanship award, and Kristian Smith got the Most Improved award.

In boys action, James Alexander was named Most Improved, with Justin Golden getting the Sportsmanship award, and Martel Tillman the Most Valuable Player award.

Mindy Byrd kept up the softball success she began as a Nansemond River freshman last season, charging to First All-District honors and getting the Fork top offensive player award. Emily Burrell was the Sportsmanship winner, and Whitney Holland the best defensive player. Collin Rivera got the Sportsmanship award for baseball, and Ryan Shelton the Most Valuable Player award.

Brittany Jenkins and Shane Doherty got Most Valuable Player honors for their respective tennis teams, with Adreanne Stephenson and David Wilkelis the top Sportsmen. Tamea Byrum and Michael Steingold received leadership awards.

In soccer, Kurt McIntyre was named the top rookie, and Jeff Gilmet, the only Bulldog to make the Second All-District team, the Sportsmanship award. Justin Albright got a special honor for achieving the team’s highest grade point average, a 4.0.

Megan Whitford got the Coach’s award on the girls team, and Amber Hartley the Most Valuable Player award.