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The ultimate Warriors

Nansemond River High School held their Fall Sports Awards Night on Thursday evening with eight different varsity teams being recognized.

On the cheerleading squad, Kelly Jones was named Most Spirited and Ashley Unmussig was honored with the Coach’s Award by head coach Vickie Stewart. Leah Fontenot was the lone four-year letter winner on the squad.

Speaking about her squad of 24 girls, Stewart said, &uot;it takes a lot for a squad this size to come together as one.

&uot;At competitions, we had cheerleaders compete with broken bones that we didn’t know about until the competition was over, and we had one of our group on the morning of a competition need an emergency appendectomy,&uot; Stewart said.

Malik McBride and Caitlin Shermer were the MVPs of the Nansemond River cross country teams. Lauren Dagenais was the only four-year letterman on either of the teams.

Nolan Butler was the golf team MVP and Rashad Hunt was named Most Outstanding Player by coach Don Horne.

Butler and Hunt were the two Warrior qualifiers for the Eastern Region tournament.

&uot;These two guys were my best players all year,&uot; Horne said. &uot;They played one and two for us every match.

Ryan Foster was also honored for being the golf team’s only four-year letterman. Foster and Butler were the team’s two seniors.

The girls volleyball team was led by the Southeastern District’s Coach of the Year, Nancy Richey.

&uot;Too often she talks about us,&uot; senior Sarah Brooks said of her coach, &uot;but she never talks about herself.&uot;

Both four-year players, Sarah McDonald and April Hines, were given individual awards by Richey.

McDonald, a second team all-district selection, received the Coach’s Award and Hines, a first team all-district member, was named team MVP.

Richey described McDonald as &uot;a coach on the floor. She didn’t care if others got all the credit…she had more than 920 sets this year and was our team’s number one server.&uot;

Hines led the team in kills and aces, Richey said, and &uot;she’s everything a volleyball coach wants, she works hard out of season and during the season.&uot;

The boys’ team finished the year with a 15-5 record and coach Chris Kosmowski said, &uot;I played in nationals in college, but I would take any one of these guys to be on my team at any level.&uot;

Athletic director Phil Braswell said about the boys’ team, &uot;this team, by far, was the best our school has ever had.

If you didn’t get a chance to see these guys you really missed something.&uot;

Kenny Nance was named Most Improved and Jason Taylor was named MVP.

&uot;We didn’t have a setter going into this year,&uot; Kosmowski said about Taylor, who was named all-district first team as the Warriors’ main setter.

Brian Briesemeister, who led the Warriors in kills, was also a first team all-district member.

For the Lady Warriors field hockey team, coach Darryl Yandle said, &uot;I’m going to try to keep it together, I have eight seniors up here.&uot;

Yandle gave co-MVP awards to a pair of seniors, Ashley Aston and Jessica Watahovich.

&uot;We began having colleges come out to little ole’ Suffolk, and a lot of that was because they wanted to see (Aston),&uot; Yandle said.

Yandle said Watahovich was &uot;someone sort of in the background, but also someone who really came on and improved a lot for us this year.

She was always the one to keep everyone going and keep spirits up.&uot;

Head football coach Brian Maus gave individual awards to Darrell Freeney (offensive player of the year), Phillip Peden (defensive player of the year) and Perry King (coach’s award).

Freeney made second team all-district as a receiver, totaling 27 catches and 540 yards.

Peden made 69 tackles and led the team in sacks with 8.5.

Maus said he would have had more tackles and sacks but, &uot;through the year, the other teams started going away from him…I guess word got out that this guy just isn’t quite right.&uot;

Maus said King, a senior, has always been a great addition to the team and has had a valuable attitude, and he had not started a game until the final game this year against Western Branch.

In that game, King made 10 tackles.

&uot;If you’d have told me that last year, I would’ve thought you were crazy,&uot; Maus said.

The football team also congratulated two four-year lettermen, Brian Pisani and Nathan Rodgers.

andrew.giermak@suffolknewsherald.com