High Honors: Como-Pickton puts finishing touches on sports year with Fighting Heart Awards

By JOSEPH ELERSON, News-Telegram Sports Writer

May 16, 2008 - COMO - Como-Pickton wrapped up its 2007-08 sports season with the recognition of student athletes in 11 different sports Thursday night at the All-Sports Banquet in the secondary cafeteria.

Junior varsity and varsity athletes were introduced and given individual accolades in Special Olympics, volleyball, cross country, football, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls track and cheerleading.

The top honor of the night in each sport was the crowning of the Ron Heflin Fighting Heart Award, named after the former head football coach, as 11 students received the honor.

Seniors Bethanie Stinson (cross country), Noe Tellez (football), Kaycee Thomas (basketball), Chase Beck (basketball) and Juan Bautista (track), along with juniors Ole Gutierrez (cross country), Austin Darby (baseball) and Deanna Garrett (track), sophomores Hannah Manverse (volleyball) and Courtney Thompson (softball), and freshman Hunter Cain (cross country) received Fighting Heart Awards during the ceremony.

��� The coaches also awarded two players the Eagle Award, which recognizes players who show the heart of an Eagle or Lady Eagle in their respective sports. Those winners were Darby (football and basketball) and sophomore Jeff Hendricks (baseball).

��� Below are the MVP awards in each sport along with a few comments from the respective coaches:

��� Cheerleading - Sponsor Shona Brewer said, "We are bringing back an old tradition with the Eagle Spirit Award to the cheerleading program and this student deserved this award." Brewer then recognized Aeron Green as the recipient of the Eagle Spirit Award.

��� Special Olympics - Coach Sherri Tate recognized Wayne Benson for being one of the top qualifiers in the Special Olympics competitions this season.

��� Volleyball - Coach Frances Mowat named Mollye Lay and Christina Sandate Co-Offensive Players of the Year, while Katie Moss and Mary Jo Sandate were named Co-Most Valuable Players of the Year. Shea Smith was named Defensive Player of the Year, while Shelby Harrison was the Newcomer of the Year. Junior varsity awards were given to Garrett, a defensive MVP, and Skye Brumley as offensive MVP.

��� Cross Country - With only three members on the team this season, coach Tim Butts named Co-Fighting Heart award winners on the boys side to Hunter Cain and Ole Gutierrez. On the girls side was senior Bethanie Stinson. In recognizing Stinson, Butts said, "Carry that Como-Pickton pride that you have shown your whole life to Alabama and give it everything you've got." Stinson will be running for the University of Alabama-Huntsville in the spring.

Football - Head coach Paul Tullis praised the play of the team in his first year and then handed out eight awards. The Secondary Player of the Year was given to Ryan Carpenter, while James Carter was named Linebacker of the Year. Aaron Kramer was the Receiver of the Year, Mitch Lowe was the Running Back of the Year, Dylan Mowat was the Defensive Lineman of the Year and Wade Arnold was the Offensive Lineman of the Year. Sophomore Hunter Cooksey was named the junior varsity MVP.

Girls Basketball - Coach Regina Sanders named Maci Kight the Most Valuable Player for the varsity. The Co-Defensive Player of the Year was Katie Moss and Mollye Lay, the Offensive Player of the Year was Rebecca Humphrey, and the Rebounder of the Year was Shelby Harrison. Dawnyel Spaid was named the junior varsity MVP.

��� Boys Basketball - Carpenter won his second award of the night as the Offensive Player of the Year, while Tellez was named the Defensive Player of the Year by coach Ryan Aguirre. Freshman Julian Ramirez was named the junior varsity MVP.

Softball - Kight was named the Offensive Player of the Year by coach Regina Sanders, while Harrison was named the Defensive Player of the Year.

��� Baseball - Carpenter was named the Outstanding Pitcher of the Year. Coach Dustin Carr also recognized the All-District team as Carpenter was named to the Second Team, and Zach Carpenter was an Honorable Mention selection along with Austin Darby and Noe Tellez. Sophomore infielder Merced Ramirez was named the MVP for the junior varsity.

��� Girls Track - Manon Schakel was named the Newcomer of the Year as she ran on the 4x400 relay and the 400 meters and also participated in the triple jump and long jump. The Most Valuable Player was Stinson as she ran the 1,600 and 3,200 meters this season.

Boys Track - Brandt Steele was named Most Valuable Player by coach Kent Richey. Also receiving awards were James Carter for Outstanding Field Event, Ole Gutierrez as the Outstanding Distance Runner and Aaron Kramer as the Outstanding Sprinter. Joseph Thornhill was the junior varsity MVP.

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