GHS Spring Sports Banquet honors athletes
The Graham High School Booster Club held the annual Spring Sports Banquet at the Young County Arena on Monday. Athletes from winter and spring sports were honored for their accomplishments on and off the field.
The evening started with an auction. Auctioneering was provided by Gary Tull and the proceeds went back to the GHS Booster Club. Some of the items auctioned off included a varsity Blues softball picture that sold for $100, a signed softball jersey that went for $175, a softball helmet that went for $275, a varsity Steers signed picture that went for $525, a signed Steers hat that went for $100 and a signed Steers helmet that went for $575.
Honored first was the basketball teams. The Steers were honored first. This year’s freshman team went 24-4 and the junior varsity team went 17-11. The Steers varsity team made it to the bi-district round of the playoffs against Wichita Falls Hirschi and went 14-11 on the season. Sophomore Wesley Martin was named first team all-district this season. Junior Jaxon Brockway was named second team all-district. Steven Kimberling was named offensive 6-4A Player of the year and led the team in scoring. Weston Womack was named to the TABC academic all-state team. He also got the opportunity to play in the Chicken Express All Star Game in Mineral Wells.
Senior Nick Martin and Senior David Nantz were honorable mentions to the all-district squads.
The team had a lot of success and progressed as the season advanced.
“It was one of my favorite teams I have coached because of how hard they worked and progressed,” said Steers head coach Marcus Morris at the banquet.
The Lady Blues basketball team was next at the banquet. The freshman girls had a good season and show a strong future for Graham. They went 11-8 on the season. The varsity Blues went 8-18 and advanced to the bi-district round of the playoffs where they squared off against Burkburnett.
Blues head coach Ky Graham was proud of what the team accomplished in his first season and believes a strong foundation has been laid for the team’s success in the future.
“I couldn’t have asked for any better building blocks then these young ladies,” Graham said.
The Blues made the playoffs after an exciting victory over Mineral Wells that propelled the team past the play-in game.
Ashley Gallaway was named team MVP and as a two-year letterman was also named to the first team all-district squad. Senior Rylee Zimmer was named to the second team all-district squad and also made it onto the TGCA academic all-state team.
Jasmine Sims and Nicole King were honorable mentions to the all-district team.
Graham awarded the Fighting Heart award to Madison Walker.
Next up on the evening was the boys power lifters.
“These guys live in the weight room and throw the iron around every day,” power lifting coach Brad Lang said.
Lang remarked about the team’s loss of Coach Joe Merrett to Perrin/Whitt and what it meant to the program. The team went forward and had several successes at the regional tournament. Athletes that qualified for the regionals included: Carlos Fuentes, Dallas Elmore, Jahlian Tate, Tristan Wilson, Joel Jones, David Palacios, Geo Miranda, Alfonso Duran, Matthew Beale and Justin Elmore.
Joel Jones was named lifter of the year.
Next, the girls power lifters. The girls had several regional qualifiers. The qualifiers were: Rachel McGregor, Codie Fields, Ali Dragoo, Laren Rogers, Breanna Noria, Annie Slavings, Catlin Lewis and Sydney Smith.
Senior Smith was named lifter of the year. Seniors Savanna Wilson, Smith and Lewis were named to the academic elite team all-state. Wilson will be attending Texas Tech in the Fall. Lewis will be attending Baylor and Smith will be attending Arcadia University in Pennsylvania.
The tennis teams were honored next by tennis coach Matt Birdwell. Birdwell stated that the girls team won more this season than the last three years combined.
The most improved player awards for the girls went to Emily Browning and Kaylea Wright.
The most improved player away for the boys went to Will Reagor. Victoria Ertl was named girls MVP and Alex Smith was named boys MVP. The Heart award went to Marcus Monfort.
Senior Alex Smith and doubles partner Dallas Elmore will compete in the state tennis tournament on Monday, May 16, and Tuesday, May 17. The doubles duo finished second at regionals by beating arch-nemesis Abilene Wylie.
The golf team was honored next. The girls won their third consecutive district title. The girls captured four tournament victories this season and all of the varsity girls will return next season. The boys won six tournaments and captured their 13th district title in a row. Their average team total on the year was an impressive 318.
The girls that qualified for regionals included: Delaney Sullivent, Cason Smith, Marleigh Sanders, Abbi Iles and Ashley Choate. Sanders, lles and Choate made the all-district team. Choate won three tournaments individually.
Kolton Carmichael, Baxter Loesh, Jack Lucas, Keaton Boyle and Coby Bryant qualified for the regionals. Carmicheal, Loesh, Lucas and Bryant were named to the all-district squad. Bryant qualified for the state tournament after finishing second individually at the regionals in Lubbock.
Most Outstanding Lady Blues Golfer went to Choate. The Most Outstanding Steers Golfer went to Bryant.
The track teams were honored next. The girls competed strong in one of the toughest track districts in 4A. Hailey Coyac, Ashlee Gallaway, Mackenzie Graham, Cassie Russels, Jasmine Sims, Hannah Hackler, Madison Walker, Sydney Smith and Cody Hays were all area qualifiers for the girls.
Smith and Hays were also regional qualifiers. Hays just missed out on going to the state meet by a technicality. She also won the pole vault in eight consecutive meets this season.
The girls runner of the year was awarded to Hackler. The Spirit Award was given to Walker.
The boys track team competed well this season and has three athletes in the UIL State Meet.
The JV team won the PK Relay and the district championship this season. The varsity team won the Jacksboro and Stephenville Meets this season and finished third at a tough district meet. There were 19 members on the team and 16 qualified for area. Eight team members qualified for regionals and three for state. Juan Arrendondo has the shot put record and will compete at state. Nathan Flowers was named boy’s Runner of the Year. Arrendondo, Connor Smith and Bradlee Little won the Field Events Award. The Heart Award was given to Harrison Brown.
The Lady Blues softball team was honored next. The Blues had a tough season on the varsity level and overcame a lot of adversity.
“When two teams out of the district make it to the regionals you know it’s a tough district,” Blues head coach Philip Irby said.
The Teammate of the year award was given to Rylee Zimmer. The Silver Bat award was given to the girl with the highest average and the winner was catcher Nicole King with an average of .460 on the season. The Blue’s MVP was Lexie Allen. Allen will attend Hardin-Simmons University and play softball in the fall.
The last team to be honored was the baseball team. The JV team went 11-3 this season and the JV2 team went 10-3. The varsity team is still going in the area round of the playoffs after a dramatic victory against Iowa Park to win the bi-district championship.
All of the individual awards could not be handed out yet for baseball. The Gold Glove award was given to Logan Taylor at first base. Teammate of the year was voted on by the team and given to Connor Smith. KFDX channel 3 out of Wichita Falls also awarded the Steers as this week’s team of the week for their comeback wins against Iowa Park.
Some additional overall awards were handed out. The Lady Blue’s Player of the Year award was given to Sydney Smith and Lexie Allen. The Steer of the year was given to Connor Smith. The J.B. Burke award was given to Savanna Wilson and Nick Martin.
Scholarships were also handed out. One of the Candice Martin scholarships was awarded to Rylee Zimmer and Logan Taylor. The Lu Allen Scholarship was awarded to Wilson. Another scholarship was awarded to Harrison Brown and Madison Walker. The other Candice Martin Scholarship was given to Allen. The Booster Club awarded scholarships to Zimmer, Sydney Smith, Womack, Little and Connor Smith.