October 28, 2020

HHS hosts 1st Annual Fall Athletic Banquet

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(Franklin) — A capacity crowd filled the school cafeteria Thursday night as Heard High School hosted its first annual Fall Athletic Awards Banquet.

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

The brainchild of HHS athletic director Shane Lasseter, the large-scale awards program was introduced this year as an alternative to the traditional individual sports banquets. Well over 500 people attended the first time event.

“This is the first time that we have tried this and we are hoping to make this an annual event,” says Lasseter. “We came to this type of event in hopes of getting our kids recognized in front of a larger audience and just to raise the bar in rewarding these kids in a first-class environment.”

Lasseter welcomed everyone to the event and thanked the numerous people who helped put the program together. He also recognized the high school’s new athletic trainer, Megan Anthony. Megan was extra busy during the fall tending to a plethora of injuries in football, softball, and cheerleading.

“Megan has probably been the greatest addition to our athletic program since I have been here in the amount of service she has given to our kids,” Lasseter said. “She has saved many kids missing school, coaches missing to take them, parents money in treatment — and just her being able to evaluate a kid on the spot is just something that we are super grateful to have.”

The Heard AD also thanked coaches and parents for their involvement in fall sports as well as the wives, husbands, and significant others of the coaches.

Surprisingly, one of the interesting part of the athletic banquet was the presence of a large number of scholars. Of the 147 student athletes in attendance at the banquet, 100 were recognized by Principal Rodney Kay and Assistant Principal Maggie Williams as scholar athletes for maintaining a 3.5 or higher GPA during the fall semester.

The Golden Brave scholar athlete awards for each sport went to Austin Barron (football), Anna Shelnutt (softball), Brittany Witcher (cheerleading), and Brian Hill (cross-country).

One-year, two-year, three-year, and four-year lettermen in each sport were also recognized as well as All-Region 5-AA players and Region 5-AA Players of the Year: Anna Shelnutt, Austin Barron, Matt Brown, and Jordan Watson.

Impressive four-year lettermen awards were earned by Alexis Emory, Madelyn Rusinyak, and Angel North in cheerleading along with Brian Hill and Carl Lipford in cross-country.

In football the four-year letters were earned by Austin Barron, Jacob Bishop, Rad Brooks, Matt Brown, Andrew Cannon, Kinley Cantrell, Quay Daniel, Austin Dean, Ethan Hand, Hunter Lane, Chandler Moon, Collin Nutt, Chandler Polk, and Emily Pate (trainer).

The four-year softball letters were presented to Anna Shelnutt, Alexis Raines, Johanna Beyer, Madison Whitehead, and Jordan Watson.

Football and softball players were presented with lettermen jacket patches and other wards for winning Region 5-AA Championships.

The top cross-country awards were awarded to Holly Moreland (Best Female Runner), Carl Lipford (Best Male Runner), and Garrett Callahan (Coaches Award) by coach Thomas Sickman.

The cheerleading captain awards went to Passion Whitlow, Madilyn Rusinyak, Brittany Wotcher, and Alexis Emory. Emory also received the Pom-Pom coach’s award presented by cheer coach Amanda Horn.

The top softball honors were awarded by softball coaches Matt Hornsby, Trent Bianco, Heath Horn, and Ryan Duffey to Anna Cosper (JV Offensive MVP), Haley Bennett ( JV Defensive MVP), Aspen Barker (Breakout Player of the Year), Madison Whitehead (Hustle Award), Johanna Beyer (Braves Award), Sarah Schofield (Defensive MVP), and Anna Shelnutt (Offensive MVP).

Football coaches presenting awards included Tim Barron, Shane Lasseter, D.J. Curbow, Randall Curbow, John Brant, Rich Fendley, Kyle Yates, and Zack Janney.

The top football honors went to Mike Holmes (Hit Man Award), Rad Brooks (Iron Man Award), Chandler Polk and Austin Dean (Coaches Awards), Chandler Moon (Hustle Award), Andrew Cannon (Best Offensive Lineman), Diamond Delgado (Best Defensive Lineman), Dayvin Troy (Best Offensive Back), Jaden Moreland (Best Defensive Back), Austin Miller (Receiver of the Year), Peyton Ehlers (Linebacker of the Year), Trey Wiggins (Special Teams Player of the Year), Emory Jones (Offensive MVP), Matt Brown (Defensive MVP), and Austin Barron (Team MVP).

Lasseter hopes to continue this type of banquet in the future including a winter/spring sport version later this year.

To see more photos from the event visit the Heard County Brave Nation on facebook.


  1. Wylene Spearman, teacher at Heard High School says

    A great idea! Congrats to everyone!

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