Athletes honored at Vina banquet

By Staff
Kim West, Franklin County Times
VINA – It was trophy time at the Vina High School cafeteria Thursday night.
Vina hosted its annual athletic banquet honoring boys and girls' basketball and track, baseball, softball, cheerleading and football.
Class 1A Vina is one of the smallest schools in the state, but the Red Devils field seven teams because approximately 140 out of the school's 162 high school students play sports, according to Principal James Pharr.
"It takes a special child to play athletics," Pharr said.
"Most of our students play all the sports and travel and do their classes and homework, and some of them are even taking college classes.
"It's what makes this school so special, and I'm proud of our kids. The greatest joy is to see someone working and making a good living."
All players received a certificate or medal, and each coach presented team awards and recognized all-county and all-conference performers.
Cheerleading coach and banquet coordinator Deborah Thompson recognized senior captain Jessica Wooten for earning a scholarship to Northwest-Shoals Community College.
Wooten also won awards in basketball, softball and track.
Boys track coach Greg Hamilton honored the track teams for winning both the junior and varsity county championships this year.
The varsity team carried 25 players and won the conference championship and third straight county title.
The Red Devils also featured sectional winners Paul Wilkins (100 m/long jump), Nash Creekmore (200 m/triple jump) and Blake Thorne (400 m/800 m), and all three competed at the state meet.
The banquet kicked off with a dinner catered by Jonathan's Steakhouse and served by the cheerleading teams.
After the awards were presented, Smith and Pharr thanked the players for their conduct on and off the field.
"Our records might not always show it, but we play like winners and have good kids," said Bill Smith, the school's athletic director and football coach.
Other honorees include:
Best Stunt Team (V) – LaTasha Brooks, Rebecca Edwards
Best Stunt Team (JV) – Devon Childers, Brandy White
Rising Star (V) – Jesse Norwood
Rising Star (JV) – Devon Childers
Exceptional Cheerleading Award – Toni Britnell, Kayla Raper, Devon Childers, Mandy Blackburn, Jessica Wooten
Varsity Football
Most Valuable Defensive Lineman – Tony Jennings, Patrick Cochrane
Most Valuable Defensive Back – Blake Thorn, Paul Wilkins
Sportsmanship Award – Matthew Hester
Most Improved Player – Max Weeks
Most Valuable Offensive Lineman – Anthony Hester
Most Valuable Player – Nash Creekmore
Captains – Randy Barnes, Ryan Manasco, Brent Townsend
All-County – Max Weeks, Patrick Cochrane, Anthony Hester, Tony Jennings, Paul Wilkins, Nash Creekmore, Randy Barnes
All-Conference – Anthony Hester, Nash Creekmore, Blake Thorne
Manager Award – Eddie Dees, Andrew Hester
Girls Basketball
Best Defensive Player (7th) – Courtney Watson
Best Offensive Player (7th) – Hashu Watson
Best Defensive Player (9th) – Devon Childers
Best Offensive Player (9th) – Claudia Townsend
Hustle Award (9th) – Emily Davidson
Most Versatile Player – Hannah Ledbetter
Hustle Award (V) – Lizette Martinez
Best Offensive Player (V) – Heather Holland
Best Defensive Player (V) – Jesse Norwood
Senior Award – Kayla Bridges, Jessica Wooten, LaShay McGee
JV Boys Basketball
Hustle Award – Will Sagafis
Best Free Throw Percentage – Sammy Perdew
Attitude Award – Keith Hester
Most Improved Player – Patrick White
All-County – Brent Townsend, Keith Hester
All-Conference – Morgan McCarley, Sammy Pardew
"B Team" Boys Basketball
Hustle Award – Bryan Darracott
Attitude Award – Cody Poores
Top Free Throw Percentage – Kirby Swinney
Most Improved Player – Matthew Hester
Varsity Boys Basketball
Hustle Award – Patrick Cochrane
Attitude Award – Brent Townsend
Free Throw Percentage – Morgan McCarley
Most Improved Player – Kevin Townsend
Best Rebounder – Anthony Hester
Captain – Tony Jennings
Most Valuable Player – Anthony Hester
Senior Awards – Tony Jennings, Anthony Hester, Patrick Cochrane
All-County – B.J. Beard, Anthony Hester
All-Conference – Patrick Cochrane
Most Hits – Jesse Norwood
Most RBI – Hannah Ledbetter
Highest Batting Average – Kayla Bridges
Most Versatile Award – Claudia Townsend
Most Dedicated Award – Jill Abbott
Best Attitude Award – Jessica Wooten
Most Improved Player – Devon Childers
Most Valuable Player – LaShay McGee
All-Tournament – Kayla Bridges, Hannah Ledbetter, LaShay McGee
Girls Track
2nd place, State Meet (1 mile) – Emily Davidson
4th place, State Meet (800 m) – Emily Davidson
Boys Track
Most Valuable Player – Nash Creekmore
Sectional Winner (100 m/long jump) – Paul Wilkins
Sectional Winner (200 m/triple jump) – Nash Creekmore
Sectional Winner (400 m/800 m) – Blake Thorne
JV Baseball
Pitching Award – Sonny Pardew, Adam Pharr
Most Improved Player – Channing Haithcock
Gold Glove Award – Morgan McCarley
Best Hitter – Brent Townsend
Varsity Baseball
Most Improved Player – Anthony Hester
Most Stolen Bases – Paul Wilkins
Gold Glove Award – Blake Thorne, Brent Townsend
Hardest to Strikeout Award – Max Weeks
Most RBI – Kyle Green
Hustle Award – Brent Townsend
Best Hitter – Randy Barnes
Pitching Award – Randy Barnes, Morgan McCarley