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Home News-Telegram Sports Sulphur Springs athletes honored at banquet

Sulphur Springs athletes honored at banquet

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It was a night to honor the athletes at Sulphur Springs High School.

Each of the 17 sports were introduced by the coach or coaches of that sport and received acclaim from the overflow crowd in the SSHS cafeteria Monday night at the all-sports banquet.

The James Cameron Fighting Heart awards went to Krista McMahan and Jake Russell.

Sulphur Springs softball coach David Carrillo presented the award to McMahan. He called McMahan “ a person with character and a great teammate who led by example.”

The animated coach had to stop getting emotional saying he had gotten “crunked up.” Carrillo said, “She has overcome a lot and been very determined. She will be successful in life because of all the hard work she does.”

Coach Triston Albon called the  James Cameron male recipient Jake Russell a person of great character who always went above the call of duty.

“He competed in three events because of his size and speed. He was a linemen in the lineman challenge, 4A football and also a powerlifter,” Abron said.

Russell was described as being the No. 1 student in his class and will attend Texas A&M University majoring in engineering and will attempt to walk-on to the football team.

The Lady Cats MVP award also known as the Forrest Gregg award was presented by head volleyball coach Rachel Curtis to Mackenzie Cross.

Cross was lauded for playing hard in three sports. “She’s a play maker, a person you can depend on in the tough situations.”

Offensive coordinator Jeff Riordan presented the Forrest Gregg award to senior Tyrik Rollison.

During the introduction, Riordan was overcome with emotion as he spoke of the young man he has spent many hours with and had to stop to compose himself.

“Ty deserves this award and he will be missed. He led his team to victory in football, he also competed in basketball and track. He was an unbelievable leader,” Riordan said.

The coach recited Rollison’s honors which included being all-state both his junior and senior year in football as quarterback. Also being a Parade magazine All- American and Army All Star All American.

“He made me better, as a coach. He will never be replaced, now he’s going to attend Auburn,” Riordan said, even calling his Rollison his son as he handed him the award along with a big bear hug.

Following the invocation by Eddie Arciga, the program began with a welcome by local sports enthusiast Craig Roberts. Roberts welcomed all persons in attendance and thanked the booster club for the meal.

Athletic director Greg Owens also expressed his appreciation to the support groups and the groups which bring spirit to the school. He gave awards and recognition to the cheerleaders, the Cat Pack, Blue Blazes drill team and award-winning Wildcat band.

Owens also gave the Special Olympics award to Susie Nguyen saying she brightens up everybody’s life. Susie thanked her parents.

Head athletic trainer Tammy Carrell thanked local doctors and Joe Sant for giving up time to help the training staff.

Carrell thanked parents and student trainers for also giving their time.

She detailed the jobs of the trainers and how they attend the needs of 900 athletes from the middle school to the high school.

Carrell introduced all members of the student training staff.

MVP awards went to Emma Lee Spivey and Bailea Godwin.

Volleyball coach Rachel Curtis told how he team came together during the season. She thanked her assistant coaches Eric Buck and David Carrillo for doing “an excellent job.’

Curtis explained she would not be coaching due to her pregnancy and staying home with her new child, she said she would miss the girls and coaching.

MVP awards in volleyball went to Bailey Butler and Krista McMahan.

Owens took over the podium and told of the special year in football and winning state. He thanked the school administration and all persons in the community who took part in special events for the team and activities. He introduced all coaches and  spouses. He also thanked middle school coaches.

Owens recognized players receiving varsity letters, all-state  and academic awards.

Named to the State Farm Academic team were: Jake Russell, elite; Eddie Arciga, Ben Barrows, Johnny McSheffery, first team; Richard McCloskey, second team and Jace Jackson and Blake Wheeler, honorable mention.

Owens told of the team’s accomplishments from winning the game on ESPN2 over Wichita Falls Rider to taking the Class 4A, Division II title against Dayton, winning 69-49 in the highest scoring 11-man championship game in Texas football history.

Owens gave the MVP award to the entire team.

“This team raised the bar for all teams to follow,” Owens remarked of the state champs.

Andy Holt presented the awards for cross country. Named MVPs were Ayana Taylor, Megan Massey. The boys team won district for the fourth straight year. Named MVP was Ross Hicks.

Tina Carrillo gave out the girls basketball awards.

She remarked, “They played game 28 harder than they played game one of the season. They taught me about perseverance and character. I’m so proud of these girls.”

The MVP award, for the third year in a row, went to senior point guard Mackenzie Cross.

Tina Carrillo said good teams are coming with the JV going 16-11 and the freshmen team winning district. She also thanked parents and assistant coaches.

Boys basketball coach Braughn Curtis told of his job of blending two teams together. The one he had while the football playoffs were continuing for 16 weeks and the team afterwards which combined the grid players with the team which had been on the court. The Wildcats made the basketball playoffs for the first time in nine years.

Curtis gave the MVP award to Jonathan Lee for his consistent effort and pushing himself and others.

Joel Bailey, girls soccer coach told of his team making the playoffs and advancing to the second round.

Bailey also joked about getting the bus stuck in the mud on a road game.

The MVP award went to Brittany Lamphere.

Holt gave the boys soccer awards and said his team made the playoffs for the 16th consecutive year and finished district at 7-2-2.

The MVP award went to Bailey Booher.

Powerlifting coach Rodney Flowers told of how his team continued the winning streak from football taking first place in four meets with a third place finish in regional, sending three lifters to state. Jake Russell got the MVP award.

James Lovett tennis coach gave MVP awards to Robert Stevens and Karen Mora.

Girls golf awards were handed out by coach Steve Carter. Carter told of how his team won state, but the credit really goes to the girls who did the work and the parents who also helped them have a love for the game and practice.

Girls golf MVP awards went to Kirstie Wallace and Britney Cheatham.

Boys golf, coached by Ross Funk, also presented awards. The team took second in district and advanced to regional. The MVP award went to Adam Perry.

Funk joked that his team has hit the weight room pretty hard.

Matt Young, girls track coach told of the event track season. He described it as “cold and fast.”

Young said, “It was cold and the season was short and fast and we ran against some fast teams. Track is not fun, it is not fun to work out at 6 a.m., but it pays off.”

MVP awards went to Ayana Taylor and Ashanti Ivery.

Riordan, boys track coach, also told of the fast season.

“We had some injuries, it was a wild ride. Sulphur Springs is a great place to be and raise a family,” Riordan said.

The MVP awards went to the three participants who will take part in the regional track meet May 12-13 in Denton. Awards went to Shane McQueen, 300-meter hurdles; Bryant (Day Day) Jackson in the long and triple jump and Ross Hicks in the 3,200-meter run.

Softball coach David Carrillo said, “I have the best job in the state. I am blessed to be here, this is awesome.”

He thanked the players and their parents along with assistant coaches.

“We’re 22-9, we’ve had a great season, we were co-champions of district,” Carrillo said. “And we are not finished yet. This is a great group of girls to coach.”

The Lady Cats begin the bi-district playoff series May 14 at home against Kilgore at 7 p.m. and May 15 in Kilgore at 6 p.m. The third game of the best two-of-three series will be played after the second game.

MVP for softball went to third baseman Mac Morgan. Carrillo said the award was voted on by the team.

Baseball coach Jerrod Hammack also explained that his season was still continuing, being delayed by the swine flu ruling by the UIL. No baseball MVP award was given.

Hammack said, “These seniors now are special, they were freshmen when I started here. We went 2-4 in district, but turned it around to finish with the best record in district in the second half and make the playoffs.”

The Wildcats end the regular season May 12 at Hallsville in a game set for 6 p.m. The playoffs have yet to be set.




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