As the school year comes to a close, so does the school sports season.
Those students at Bryan County High School that participated in the Spring Sports season were honored Tuesday, May 15 in the newly air conditioned high school gym at the semi annual Sports Banquet.
The high school holds two sports banquets throughout the year.
A fall banquet is held for those sports played throughout the fall season and a spring banquet for those sports that are played through the winter and spring. The athletes that were honored Tuesday night participated in basketball, track, golf, cheerleading, tennis and baseball. The awards for the entire year that include Athlete of the Year, Academic Athlete of the Year, Coach of the Year and the Redrock Award are also presented.
The banquet opened with Assistant Principal Rod Backman who praised the sportsmanship and dedication of the athletes of Bryan County High School.
The coaches of each sport then presented their athletes with awards of participation and excellence in each sport.
Coach Michael Butler presented his girls basketball team and awarded Amber Smith with Best Offensive Player Award, Mitzi Cross with the Best Defensive Player Award, Tara Miles with the Red Bowers Award - named for local basketball coaching legend Robert "Red" Bowers, and the Most Improved Award was presented to Monteza Bishop.Coach Bazemore then acknowledged his boys basketball team awarding Alkeem Collins with the Best Offensive Player Award, Steven Ranger with the Best Defensive Player Award, Darrell McElroy with the Coach’s Award, Trey Boatright with the Most Improved Award and the Red Bowers Award was given to Willie DeLoach.
Coach Kimberly Long then took the podium to present her cheerleading team.
The Most Improved Award was presented to Amber Myrick while the Most Spirited Award went to Brittany Holton. Amy Meredith was honored with the Resilient Red Award and Tiffany Boutwell was awarded the High Flying Red Award.
The final cheerleading honor was given to Kendra Gillard for the Leadership Award.
Golf was the next sport to be recognized and Head Coach Ron Lewis presented his boys and girls teams. The Male Low Medalist Award was presented to Chris Roberts and the Female Low Medalist was Jessica Waters.
Most Improved Awards were given to Josh Norton and Lindsay Seger. Tennis coach Tommy Gibbs was next in the program and announced his boys and girls tennis teams awarding the Girls Most Improved Award to Lindsay Anderson, the Coach’s Award to Melinda Lape and MVP went to Ashley Barfield.
The Boys Most Improved Award went to Cody Gunter, with the Coach’s Award to Michael Kennedy and Male Tennis MVP was awarded to Trey Boatright. Track Coach NeSmith was next to honor his Girls and Boys Track team.
The Girls High Point Award was given to Rebecca Horton with the Most Improved Award presented to Meghan Shuman and Jennifer Waters was given the Coach’s Award.
The Boys High Point Award was presented to Darrell McElroy and Winston Johnson was named Most Improved. The Coach’s Award was won by Mike Mitchell.
The final sport to be recognized for the night was baseball. The team had just returned from a heartbreaking "best of three series" in state competition in Turner County that left the Redskins down two games to one and ended their hopes for advancement in the State Competition.
The night was emotionally charged as players were recognized and Seniors were honored and bid farewell. Coach Al Butler acknowledged his entire team then presented awards to Team Captain Ricky Myrick. The Albert Lodge Award - in honor of baseball coaching legend and former BCHS coach Albert Lodge - was presented to Ricky Myrick. The Golden Glove Award was presented to Ricky Myrick whose yearly fielding percentage was an impressive .992. The Pearl Award was presented to team pitcher Wesley Wilkes. Wilkes ended the season with a 2.84 ERA, 112 Strike Outs and a 7-4 record. The Pearl in the award is a baseball, named Pearl, that the team adopts in the beginning of the season and is passed around among players before each game as inspiration. Pearl is then mounted on a plaque and given to a deserving player at the end of the season. Most Valuable Player was also presented to Senior Wesley Wilkes. Most Improved Player went to Kurt Shuman. The Most Devoted Fan Award was presented Assistant Principal Rod Backman for his devotion to the team and players.
The final awards were presented by Head Coach Ron Lewis and are yearly awards given to athletes and individuals for the outstanding achievements for the entire school year.
The first award was the Redrock Award named in honor Bill "Redrock" Summerford, whose devotion to and work for Bryan County High School athletics has been rivaled by few and is given to individuals who best represent this same attitude.
This year the award was presented to BCHS Booster Club President Dennis Seger. The Male and Female Coca-Cola Academic Athletic Awards were then presented to Meredith Shuman and Josh Stanfield. These athletes must participate in two sports while maintaining a high academic average. The Coca-Cola Athletes of the Year Awards were presented to the male and female students that participated in three sports throughout the year. The Female Award was presented to Ashley Barfield marking the third consecutive year that she has won this distinguished award. The Male Award was presented to Darrell McElroy. The Coach of the Year was given to Coach Karen Lynn. The Top of the Board for weightlifting was given to Justin Bostick - 1362 lbs. Mr. Charles Cross was honored by the BCHS Booster Club for his outstanding contribution and work throughout the year.
Principal Harold Roach then took the podium for closing remarks. Principal Roach expressed his respect for all the athletes and his pride in their representation of Bryan County High School.