The Richmond Hill High School Athletic Department recently honored their cross country and basketball teams with a sports banquet held in the RHHS cafeteria. Throughout the 2006-07 season, these teams have competed against some of the best teams in the state, and this event allowed the school to recognize the endeavors of these teams.
After Assistant Principal Andy Walker welcomed the guests and introduced the coaches, girls JV coach Jodi Reagan recognized her players and commented on the growth and potential of her team.
Those receiving awards were: Most Improved - Alex Hefner, Leadership Award - Kimber Hardwick-Maes, Coach’s Award- Janell McKinney, and MVP - Dajah Davis.
This year’s girls varsity team knew that it would have to step up a notch in order to consider itself a contender in the region. Losing two starting seniors, the girls needed to come back and play harder and prove they had what it takes to win.
Coming on board after the Christmas break, Coach Wade Wright led the team through some of the toughest competition in our area.
Even though at the beginning of the season not many fans thought the team would go very far, the girls proved to be hungry enough for wins to get the taste for state competition. Once again, saying goodbye to seniors will be hard as two starters will be leaving a vacancy. Seniors Kala Hires and Sarah Reid provided a dynamic duo of offense and defense that forced turnovers and helped carry the team to the state competition.
Coach Wright bestowed upon his team letters for those that achieved this goal and the following awards: Academic Award - Kala Hires, Best Defense - Sarah Reid, Leading Scorer - Kala Hires, Best Free Throw Percentage - Jennifer Pelham, Coach’s Award - Tyler Carlson, Leading Assists - Kala Hires, Leading Rebounder - Jennifer Pelham, MVP - Kala Hires.
Kala Hires was also recognized for being a record setter in scoring over 1,000 points during her high school basketball career at RHHS.
The only other player to do that in recent school history was Sarah Brown who now plays for Armstrong Atlantic State University. Brown also wore the number five jersey for RHHS.
The JV boys also had a change in leadership this year with newcomer Zach Grage taking the reigns and trying to whip these boys into shape for varsity ball. Coach Grage saw potential in these young men and hopes to see them continue to work hard and progress in their athletic abilities. Taking home trophies were: Most Improved – Michael Shaw, Coach’s Award – Darius Loft, Leadership Award – Zach Mazur, and MVP – Zach Payne.
Coach Tom Morris summed up the boys varsity season by saying, "The boys basketball team experienced little visible-to-the-public success, lost their assistant coach at the Christmas break, and still were as intense and disciplined, and enthusiastic at giving their best efforts in the last quarter of every game as they were in the first. As their coach, I am proud to have been able to work with them at their game, and at their understanding that no matter what life may dish out it will be more palatable and taste better if it is seasoned with commitment, effort, and cooperation. If winning was all that was important, athletics would not be part of the educational system. Learning about competition, about winning and losing, and making the most of what you have, make athletics not only important, but absolutely vital to the school experience. The Wildcat boys made the most of what they had, and learned much about themselves in the process, and they had a good time in doing it. They are to be congratulated. "
Morris then presented trophies to the following players: Best Defensive Player - Melvin Johnson, Leading Rebounder - Darien Cothern, Best Offensive Player - Darien Cothern, Leading Assists - Xavier Owens, Most Improved Player - Sean Szad, Academic Award - Sean Szad, Free Throw Percentage - Alex Tucker, Coaches Award - Robbie Bynum, and MVP - Chakiris Moss.
Cross-Country Coach and Athletic Director Jimmy Hires made the room laugh when he said that no one expected his teams to do much this year because they really weren’t good runners.
His runners continued to amaze him as they practiced harder and made greater efforts in their practice and meets. He said he was pleased with the improvement that they made throughout the season, especially with the girls region championship win.
Runners receiving awards for their outstanding achievements were: Boys MVP - Josh Biering, Most Improved - Justin Caulkins and Alex Squires, Coaches Award - Adam Uhlig, Academic Award - Alex Squires, Girls MVP - Glorilli Alejandro, Most Improved - Katie Berry and Lauren Hall, Academic Award - Glorilli Alejandro, and Coaches Award - Allison Snider.