Athletes competing in spring sports at Quitman High School were honored during last Monday’s awards reception at the high school auditorium. Seniors A.J. Dunn and Molly Tanner were named the Athletes of the Year by Athletic Director Bryan Oakes.
Dunn has been involved in the athletic program his entire high school career. He played varsity football and baseball for four years and also competed in basketball and power lifting. He has been an all district performer in football and baseball as well as being named to the Academic All State football team by the Texas High School Coaches Association.
Tanner has competed in athletics all four years in high school. She was an all district performer in volleyball and basketball earning All Region and All State honors in volleyball. She also was named Academic All State by two coaching organizations.
Other awards were given as follows:
Girls basketball: Molly Tanner Most Valuable Player; Shelby Compton, Defensive Player of the Year and Madalyn Spears, Offensive Player of the Year;
Boys basketball: Garrett Peek, MVP; A.J. Dunn, Defensive Player of the Year; and Jace Reid, Offensive Player of the Year;
Power lifting: River Chaney Boys Outstanding Lifter; and Savannah Breding, Girls Outstanding Lifter;
Tennis: Diego Flores, MVP;
Girls Golf: Most Valuable Golfer, Abby Dobbs; Boys Golf: Most Valuable Golfer, Josh Medlin;
Girls Track: MVP, Kaiti Kelley; Most Improved, Moriah Lee; Boys Track, Co-MVP Sebastian Howell and Landon Bautista; Most Improved, Bryan Morris;
Softball: MVP, Madalyn Spears; Offensive Player of the Year, Kendal Wiley; Defensive Player of the Year, Shelby Hayes; Co-Most Improved, Shelby Bettis and Ashley Richey and
Baseball: MVP, A.J. Dunn; and Most Improved, Gage Tolle.
Head Boys Track Coach Josh Wade gave an emotional speech about Stephan Love, a Quitman athlete who was killed in a car accident last fall. “I love track and the bond you form with the athletes. During football this year we had a team meeting and asked ‘Who do you play football for at Quitman High school?’ and in front of everybody Steph said ‘Coach Wade’ and I will take that with me the rest of my life,” Wade said. “I miss Stephen every day. I look at my arm band every day and I miss him. That’s why I love being around you guys, that’s why I do what I do. So, thank you Stephen, I miss you.”
Athletic Director Bryan Oakes said, “I am proud of each one of these athletes. I want to thank their parents for all the support they have given the program. We gave out 132 letters in the different sports this spring. Our numbers in each sport keep getting better and we hope to continue that trend in 2018-19.”
The numbers increased dramatically in the track program. Sebastian Howle, Langdon Bautista, Utopia Henry and Madalyn Spears made it to the Region II meet in Whitehouse. The girls basketball team increased their number of district wins; both softball and baseball finished their respective seasons just one game out of the playoffs.
Both golf teams made it to the Region II tournament. Josh Medlin was first place medalist at district and the boys finished second. The girls golf team won the district championship and Abby Dobbs had a third place medalist finish. Power lifting grew in numbers with the boys able to field a team and the girls having a solid year with increased numbers over last year.
Oakes is hopeful for the future. “We appreciate all of our seniors and what they have done for our program. The good thing is we have so many younger athletes in our program.” And, he added, “All of our coaches are excited about what they have coming back next year. We have experience in every sport.”