Winter Sports Awards 2015-2016


(Photo taken by Nicole Haynes)

Nicole Haynes, News & Online Editor

The Winter Sports Awards ceremony was held on March 3 to honor the amazing season the Jaguars had this year. Director of Student Activities, Ms. Jeanne Kelly, opened the night by welcoming everyone and congratulating the students and coaches for another great season. She is extremely proud of all the sports accomplishments, with personal bests, district, regional, and state qualifiers this season. She also thanked the Class of 2016 for being an amazing class full of hard-working athletes.

Booster President, Jim Harris, thanked everyone for helping in the leaf raking fundraiser and Lisa Stewart for orchestrating all of the concessions throughout the seasons. He then presented a check of $25,000 to Ms. Kelly. Next was naming the athletes that maintained a 3.5 or higher GPA during the season. Ms. Kelly emphasized how important this was and how great it was that 40% of athletes are a scholar athletes.

Boys’ basketball started off the Coach’s awards with Coach Derek Gaunt giving recognition to Yoseph Minasie (12). Coach Gaunt said Yoseph made an effort to make his team better and never complained. He demonstrated what it means to be a good teammate and will be very missed next year.

Next, Girls’ Basketball Head Varsity Coach Janice Pritchett gave the Coach’s Award to senior Leann Loch. Coach Pritchett said how Leann was a true leader and inspires the team with her passion. She is a kindhearted person and put in everything, every day. Leann has been on varsity all four years and captain for two years. She has been a big key to success for this program and will be really missed.

Dance’s Coach, Coach Ashley Zimmerman, presented Sydney Witherspoon (12) with the Coach’s Award. Coach Zimmerman loved Sydney’s light heartedness and ability to make every one laugh. Sydney has improved over the past two years and has been a great leader and captain.

Coach Pete Novgrod, Head Varsity Coach for Gymnastics, gave the Coach’s award to Nithya Chaudhari (10). He made a point that he has coached over a 1,000 girls and Nithya is the hardest-working girl ever.

Next the swim program Head Varsity Coach Nikki Islein presented the Coach’s Awards to Sammie Carlin (12) and Brett Davey (12). Coach Islein started by telling a short story of how when she was new Sammie invited her in and got to know her. She said Sammie really loves her team and is motivated and competitive even through injuries. She praised Brett by saying he is self-motivated, positive, and mature. Being a captain this year, he was a model teammate and his attitude was contagious.

As a way to honor Clayton Joyner, the Swim and Dive Coach who died in 2014, the Clayton Joyner Memorial Scholarship was given to Brett Davey and Leelee Jacoby (12). This is the second time his mom, Dr. Nancy Joyner, gave this $2,000 scholarship to one boy and one girl swim and dive athlete who showed teamwork and leadership.

Indoor Track Head Varsity Coach Bobby Krause gave Beatrice Maku (12) and Albrigth Gervais (12) the Coach’s Award. Coach Krause told a short story of this past summer while in Poland, Maine. On a three-mile, completely up hill run, she was far behind because of recovering from an injury and when Coach Krause went back to check on her she insisted that she didn’t walk once. This kind of determination was evident throughout the seasons; she is known as the girl to pass out after a cross-country race. Coach Krause said that Albrigth was someone he and many others looked up to. He would do any event that he was asked to do.

The last program to present the Coach’s Award was Wrestling. Coach Dustin Payne chose Vincent Nuzzo (12) to receive this years Coach’s award. Coach Payne told a story of Vincent coming to him saying he would wrestle 106 the next year when he was 140. Coach blew him off thinking that was never going to happen, but sure enough, Vincent dropped thirty plus pounds. Vincent’s dedication was also evident in going to all the green days, camps, and clinics. This year during a match Vincent got a gash in his head, but wrapped it up and continued to wrestle. That night he got three staples put in his head and came to practice with a note saying “limited participation”.

Ms. Kelly thanked the Activities Office, trainers, and parents for another great season. The night ended with a photo slide show of some of the Winter season’s highlights.  Congratulations to everyone who was honored!