December 5, 2020

Heard Athletes honored at Fall Banquet

2016-2017 Golden Braves Awards (L-R): Hannah Sanders (softball), Savannah Stephens (cheerleading), and Trey Alford (football)

2016-2017 Golden Braves Awards (L-R): Hannah Sanders (softball), Savannah Stephens (cheerleading), and Trey Alford (football)

(Franklin) — A standing room only audience filled the Heard County High School cafeteria Thursday night as Heard High School hosted its second annual Fall Athletic Awards Banquet.

Student athletes from each of the fall sports were recognized including cross-country, football, softball, cheerleading, journalism, and sports medicine.

An innovation of HHS athletic director Shane Lasseter, the large-scale awards program was first introduced last year as a more efficient alternative to the traditional individual sports banquets.

Lasseter welcomed everyone to the event and thanked the many people who helped organize the program. The AD also thanked coaches and parents for their involvement in fall sports as well as the wives, husbands, and significant others of the coaches.

“Parents we cannot do anything without you guys. From bringing your kids to and from practice, to fundraising, to working events, to washing clothes, and the list goes on and on,” stated Lasseter in his opening remarks. “And to the kids. We are thankful that each of you have put in the time to complete a sport. If you are here tonight you have accomplished something that many people do not do anymore. You didn’t quit. You started a task, put in the work, and finished.”

Impressively for the last two years, one of the unique aspects of the banquet has been the presence of such a large number of scholar athletes. Of the 147 student athletes in attendance at the banquet, 119 were recognized by Principal Brent Tisdale as scholar athletes for maintaining a 3.5 or higher GPA during the fall semester.

The gala kicked off with a very special surprise presentation to long time HHS employee and local icon Mr. Edward Potts. Potts was given his own all-sport letterman jacket courtesy of John Upchurch and Balfour as well as a monetary donation raised by the school.

Lady Braves basketball coach Helen Akins came up with the idea for the special presentation to Edward and he was clearly moved by the gesture. The Potts’ family was also in attendance to witness the unique honor bestowed upon Edward by retired superintendent Mr. Jerry prince and HCPR director Kathy Scott.

Seniors in each sport were given cool poster pics designed by Mrs. Penny Hood.

Following recognition of letters and scholar athletes, a plethora of awards were handed out beginning with the Golden Brave scholar athlete awards given to the senior with the highest GPA in each sport. They went to Trey Alford (football), Hannah Sanders (softball), and Savannah Stephens (cheerleading).

Impressive four-year lettermen in each sport were also recognized and included Makayla Fuller, Madison Laprade, Savannah Stephens, Trey Alford, Dylan Ball, Ethan Brant, Peyton Ehlers, Jonta Gray, John Helton, Matt Holdridge, Mike Holmes, Austin Miller, Trey Wiggins, Avery Wright, Aspen Barker, and Hannah Stephens.

Softball players were presented with lettermen jacket patches and other wards for winning the Region 5-AA Championship. Despite the tremendous success of the team, the seniors last fall were the first group to win both the regular season title and the Region 5-AA tournament in the same year.

Next up, the All-Region 5-AA and All-state players for softball and football were honored highlighted by Region Players of the Year Ally Harris and Haley Bennett (softball), and Peyton Ehlers (football).

First team All-State Players included seniors Ehlers, Harris, and football kicker Trey Wiggins. Second team all-state players in softball were Bennett and Alyssa Cosper with honorable mentions earned by Hannah Sanders, Hannah Stephens, and Aspen Barker.

The top cross-country awards were awarded to Holly Moreland (Best Female Runner), Garrett Callahan (Best Male Runner), Hollis Alsobrook (Coaches Award), and Lacey Hindman (Most Improved) by coaches Cynthia O’Reilly and Lindsay Stewart.

The cheerleading captain awards presented by coach Amanda Horn went to co-captains Dustey Reeves and Makayla Fuller along with captain Savannah Stephens. Trainer Megan Anthony shared remarks and a recap of her sports medicine team members.

The top softball honors were awarded by softball coaches Matt Hornsby, Trent Bianco, Gavin Porter, and Ryan Duffey to Marissa Garza (JV Offensive MVP), Shelby Oldham (JV Defensive MVP), Kaitlyn Baldwin (Breakout Player of the Year), Brittany Graley (Hustle Award), Aspen Barker (Braves Award), Hannah Sanders (Defensive MVP), and Ally Harris (Offensive MVP).

2016-2017 Iron Man Award recipient Dylan Ball

2016-2017 Iron Man Award recipient Dylan Ball

Football coaches presenting awards included Tim Barron, Shane Lasseter, D.J. Curbow, Randall Curbow, Jake Yates, Rich Fendley, Kyle Yates, Cory Shelnutt, and Ken Wiggins.

The top football honors went to Mike Holmes (Hit Man Award), Dylan Ball (Iron Man Award), Avery Wright, Trey Alford, and John Helton (Coaches Awards), Drew Hopkins (Hustle Award), Jaiden Cameron (Best Offensive Lineman), Ethan Brant (Best Defensive Lineman), Dayvin Troy (Best Offensive Back), Jaden Moreland (Best Defensive Back), Austin Miller (Receiver of the Year), Jonta Gray (Linebacker of the Year), Trey Wiggins (Special Teams Player of the Year), Jaden Moreland (Offensive MVP), Peyton Ehlers (Defensive MVP), and Emory Jones (Team MVP).

Coach Barron especially raved about 2016-2017 Iron Man Award winner Dylan Ball describing him as the epitome of a Brave, the ultimate teammate, a player-coach, and an awesome leader on the scout team that always put the team first above all else.

Lassetter again thanked everyone and gave some closing remarks addressed directly to the athletes in attendance.

“Be the best you can be for the sport you are in and for the team you are on,” said the athletic director. “If you do everything you can to be the best you can be for Heard County — and become the best player you can be for your team — everything else will take care of itself. One of the best compliments you can ever get is that you are considered a good teammate.”

To see more banquet photos visit the Heard County Brave Nation on Facebook later this week.

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