Top Cavalier athletes say goodbye

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 6, 2005

Katelyn Smither claimed she wasn’t sure.

&uot;Of course,&uot; the Lakeland senior said when she doubted she’d get Female Athlete of the Year at her school’s spring sports banquet Wednesday. &uot;Throughout your whole life, you never expect things. You never take anything for granted.&uot;

Even after four years of varsity field hockey (two of which ended with Southeastern District Player of the Year honors), four years of varsity softball (two of which ended on the First All-District team), three years of cross country, one year of basketball and more individual awards than any other Cavalier athlete in history, Smither wasn’t counting on anything.

Email newsletter signup

But everyone else was.

&uot;Could there be any doubt?&uot; a gleeful Daniel Waller said to the crowd while calling Smither’s name as the top athletic female at the banquet. The first Lakeland student to receive a full athletic scholarship, Smither will continue her field hockey career at Old Dominion University this fall.

&uot;I worked hard for the past four years, as did everyone else here,&uot; said Smither, who hopes to study business education between Lady Monarch games. &uot;Once you’ve gotten to the senior year, everyone’s equally deserving. There’s athletes all over the school that could have definitely won. I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by players who want to be out there and have fun.&uot;

&uot;Four years of boys volleyball,&uot; Waller said, reading from the athletic resume of the male honoree. &uot;Three years of soccer, and he made the second All-District team this year. Three years of cross-country. A member of the academic team. A class act.&uot;

It was Jake Conrad.

&uot;I was a little surprised,&uot; said Conrad, who will attend Virginia Tech and major in engineering. &uot;There’s a lot of good athletes in this school, but I couldn’t have done this without my teammates.&uot;

He and Lindsay Kelly, a future Christopher Newport University student, received $500 scholarships from the Lakeland booster club, and Kelly became the first recipient of the $1,000 Edward Smither Memorial Scholarship, given in honor of the longtime athletic director, who died in November.

Over the next few months, Smither, Conrad and Ashley McCord, who will attend Virginia Commonwealth University, will be seen on the photographic wall of the finest athletes in Lakeland history. McCord also made several All-District softball and field hockey honors.

Smither was the softball team’s Most Valuable Player, and Kelly, who pitched every inning this season and scored her first win over Western Branch, was the top defensive player. Erica Rimasse, who batted a team-high .369, got the offensive honor.

Conrad was named the top male soccer player, with J.P. Sanchez getting the defensive award, Chris Smith the offensive honor and Chris Ashcraft Most Improved .

Just as she did for the field hockey team last fall, Kelsey Cutchins blocked enough shots in goal to get a spot on the All-District girls soccer team. Jessica Estienne got the Coach’s Award, and Deshonna Smith the best newcomer. Rachel Davis, the only graduating senior, announced that she’d attend Sweetbrier Womens College.

L.T. Twitty was named the top boys tennis player, with Kate Rawls winning the girls honor. Marianne Carr got the Sportsmanship award, and Whitney Smith the top rookie honor.

Bryan Bess, the baseball team’s only senior, won the team’s top fielding award, with David Morean snaring the Hustle award and Chad Cross the Coach’s Award.

Predist Walker, ranked in the top 10 in 110- and 300-hurdles, was named the Most Valuable Player on the boys track team, and Rodney Bell won the Coach’s award.