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Local News and Views From Area Teams & Athletes

Lady Eagles honored at soccer banquet

The high school commons area was the venue for this year’s soccer banquet as families and friends gathered Sunday afternoon to honor members of the Lady Eagles’ team.
Following the meal, Coach Justin Whitford spoke to the group before presenting awards. During that time, the coach told of his confidence in the 2015 team as far back as the earliest days of practice in August. He noted that the team did not go quite as far as he had expected, then stated, “I am so proud of the continued improvement we have made as a team. From five wins to 11 to now 13 is quite a feat.”
The coach added, “We continue to accomplish things that established programs across the state desire to do but routinely fall short…..Perhaps the most important thing among all of these wins is the quality of players that we continue to show to other teams. The character that each of these young ladies has is something that is very special.”
Continuing, the coach said, “They show that they are willing to play tough, yet fair. They will battle until the very end but show the ultimate sportsmanship as soon as the game is over.”
In presenting the awards, Coach Whitford said that, in the final week of the season, members of the team voted for five different awards. The coaches did not vote on these five, he emphasized.
The first award, the Wile E. Coyote Award, he explained, goes to the player that “demonstrates their ‘hunger’ for success and the passion and heart to be the best every time they step foot on the field in a game. It is someone who never gives up and is always one to finish what they start.”

In presenting the Wile E. Coyote Award to Laurel Lloyd, he said, “The winner of this award was very fitting because this player consistently demonstrated the hunger for being the best—both personally and collectively as a team. She never let anything slow her down and strived to improve as the season progressed.”
Lloyd also received the next award, the 2015 Hustle Award. About this award, the coach said, “This player must show that she is giving her best effort in both practices and games and runs hard without the coach telling her to. She is never one to have to be told to play harder. She is extremely self-motivated and demonstrates the most hustle on the team.”
He explained that Lloyd deserved this award because she was “the one player [they] all knew [they] could count on in every game to hustle to every single ball and to be involved positively in every play.”
Coach Whitford noted that a new award, Rookie of the Year, had been added. “This player was a first-year player on our team that routinely sought to improve her skills as the season progressed. She was one that would play wherever the team needed her most and was willing to learn during each practice and game to develop her skill and become a reliable asset to the entire team.”
Sarah Skidmore received the 2015 Rookie of the Year Award. In presenting it, Whitford told the group that four years ago, he coached the winner of this award in her rookie cross country season.”
Another team-selected award was the Most Improved Player. The coach explained that this award should go to a player who “must show that she worked hard throughout the season to improve her soccer skills. She was one who did not quit. She was always focused on working hard for the benefit of the team.” He then explained that the improvement “can include from last year to this year or from the beginning of the season to the end.”
Two players---Elizabeth Dittman and Sarah Skidmore, received the Most Improved Award.
Coach Whitford explained the appropriateness that the two were the recipients. “The growth that both of these players showed throughout the season was remarkable. They routinely implemented what they were learning in practice and games to become better, asked questions all the time, tried new things when I asked and made necessary adjustments in their play,” he said.

The fifth award on which the players voted, the Most Valuable Player Award, went to Lloyd. Coach Whitford said, “This player is chosen by her peers. It is a player who practices hard, helps fellow players, plays in games at her fullest potential, will break up tension when needed, and someone you can count on. She is the one person who is admired for her soccer skills and encourages players at all times.”
Explaining why Lloyd deserved to receive the MVP Award, Whitford said, “This player is extremely deserving of this award, and we would not have had the success we did this fall without her.”
The final award was the Coaches’ Choice Award. Describing the award, Whitford said, “This is a player that exemplified hard work throughout the season, never settled for anything but the best, and often fought against all odds to succeed.” He also noted that the recipient of this award “is extremely coachable and responds well to both the positives and negatives. They are extremely focused individuals that demonstrate a desire to be successful—both individually and as a team.”
Continuing, the coach said that he and Coach Jarren Morlan “decided on two players that truly exemplified the nature of this award.” He added, “The desire and passion they show for the game and for their teammates is something we both admired as coaches.”
Makila Carr and Hollis Skidmore received the Coaches’ Choice Award.
Also recognized were the team’s All State players. Braxton’s Second Team player, Laurel Lloyd, “was voted as one of the top 13 forwards in the entire state.” Makila Carr and Quinn Hopen were selected for the Honorable Mention team. The coach said that Carr “was one of the top 24 midfielders in the entire state” and noted that she “was the stronghold in our midfield and provided a remarkable balance in both our defense and offense all season long.”
Hopen “was one of the top 20 defenders in the entire state. This player was resilient for us all season, fought through some injury without coming off the field, and despite the many changes we made back there, she consistently made up for her own and others’ mistakes,”the coach said.
The final recognition went to the All-Conference players. Hopen received the highest LKC recognition as she was named LKC Player of the Year. Lloyd, runner up for Player of the Year, was named First Team LKC. Also receiving First Team honors were Leslee Coffman, Carr, Houghton, and Hollis Skidmore.


Chicks with Sticks place at 2015 Fall Classic

Chicks with Sticks twirlers: Paige Stewart, Joy Ramsey, Grace Hammon, Kristen Cox, Brooke Wood, Anndrea Hammon, Braelyn Crinner, Addison Lloyd, Aubrey Mowery and Reece Carpenter traveled to South Parkersburg High School for the 2015 Fall Classic held on November 7, 2015. Approximately 120 twirlers from West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina competed in individual categories throughout the day.
Paige Stewart placed 1st in show twirl and 4th overall in her division.
Joy Ramsey placed 2nd in solo, 1st in strut and 2nd overall for the 15-23 intermediate title.
Grace Hammon placed 1st in 2 baton, 3rd in fancy strut and 4th in show twirl.
Kristen Cox placed 1st in basic strut, 1st in Solo, 1st in Fancy Strut and won the 13-14 Princess Intermediate Title.
Brooke Wood placed 2nd in Queen of Day, 3rd solo, 1st basic strut, 1st fancy strut, and won the Starlet 9-10 Special Beginner Title.
Anndrea Hammon placed 3rd in solo, 4th in basic strut, 4th in fancy strut and 4th overall in her division.
Braelyn Criner placed 2nd in Queen of Day, 2nd in solo, 1st basic strut, 2nd fancy strut, and 2nd overall in the 7-8 special beginner division.
Addison Lloyd placed 1st in solo, 1st in strut and won the 7-8 Special Beginner Starlet Title.
Aubrey Mowery placed 1st in solo and second in basic strut.
Reece Carpenter placed 1st in Queen of Day, 2nd in solo and 4th in basic strut.
The next competition will be held in Charleston, Tennessee on January 16 and 17, at Walker Valley High School for the 2016 Mini Nationals.


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