The fall sports awards ceremony held Dec. 15 at York Comprehensive High School included the recognition of student-athletes as well as emotional tributes to unsuspecting recipients.
Prior to announcing player of the week selectees for the 2009 season, WRHI's Robert Earl Carter lauded John Barrett for his contributions to the coaching profession and for his commitment to molding lives and preparing young men for life's challenges beyond the football field.
The receptive audience responded to Carter's tribute with a standing ovation for Barrett.
Carter, who once played for Barrett, said after the ceremony he was honored to bring the message to the 400-plus in attendance.
Later in the ceremony, YCHS volleyball standout Courtney Doster spoke of how head coach Julie McGee had influenced her life.
“Coach McGee inspired me to be the person I am today,” Doster said. “She's my second mom.”
YCHS athletic director Steve Boyd praised the student-athletes for their classroom achievement.
“The average GPA of all of our fall sports participants was 3.0 or better,” he said. “We have found that students involved in extra-curricular activities perform better in the classroom.”
Boyd recognized the YCHS Athletic Booster Club for budgeting more than $30,000 for the total athletic department.
He welcomed those in attendance, declaring, “Next year we'll have the awards ceremony in our new auditorium.”
Awards recipients included:
Football: Whatever It Takes recognition – Reggie McClain, Michael Dover, Kent Thompson, Corey Dover, Matthew Haynie, Cory Troutman, Michael Dills, C. J. Pendergrass, Zach Hudson, Eric Simpson and Jensen Fisk; Impact Player of the Year – Corey Dover; Captains – Michael Dover, Michael Dills, Matthew Haynie and Kent Thompson.
Girls golf: Most Valuable – Cyndi Smith; Coach's Award – Kristen Moose; Most Improved – Katie Childress.
JV volleyball: Most Valuable Player – Savanna Wells; Cougar Hustle Award – Kara Powers; Most Improved Player – Denetta Smith.
Varsity volleyball: Most Improved Player – Amber Hyatt; Team Academic Award – Laura Caruso; Coach's Cougar Pride Award – Courtney Quinters; Player of the Year – Courtney Doster.
Tennis: Cougar Pride – Brandi Neely; Coach's Award – Hannah Whitesides; Most Improved – Allison Rogers and Kate Shirley.
Girls cross country: Most Valuable Player – Ashlyn Barnwell; Most Improved - Gabrielle Garrison; Coach's Award – Kate Harper.
Boys cross country: Most Valuable Player – LeGrand Guerry; Most Improved – Jakob Kirchman; Coach's Award – Ethan Brown.
Girls swim team: Most Improved – Mary Lynn Mitchell; Most Spirited – Katia Patrick; Coach's Award – Breanna Dawkins.
Boys swim team: Most Improved – Adam Gombka; Most Spirited – Tyler Thompson; Coach's Award – Jacob Phillips.
JV Cheerleaders: Most Dedicated – Bailee McCoy; Most Spirited – Kendall Whitesides; Coach's Award – Camille Arce.
Varsity Cheerleaders: Coach's Award – Tiffany Mefford; Most Dedicated – Kayla Graham; Sportsmanship – Heather Moody; Most Spirited – Kayla Dover.
Athletic Trainers: Extra Mile Award – Chae Childers.
Football: Michael Dover, Kent Thompson, Corey Dover and Jensen Fisk.
Volleyball: Shealy Bigach and Courtney Doster.
Girls Golf: Cyndi Smith and Katie Childers.