Quitman athletic department caps successful year with annual banquet

By Larry Tucker
Posted 5/11/23

A packed house was on hand last Tuesday night celebrating a banner year for the successful Quitman athletic program.

Athletes from all sports were honored and local awards given in addition to …

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Quitman athletic department caps successful year with annual banquet


A packed house was on hand last Tuesday night celebrating a banner year for the successful Quitman athletic program.

Athletes from all sports were honored and local awards given in addition to being recognized for post-season honors.

The evening was highlighted by honoring the male and female Athletes of the Year and to celebrate senior athletes who will continue their careers at the next level.

Ethan Presley was named the Male Athlete of the Year and Madyson Pence took the Female of the Year award. 

Athletic Director Shane Webber brought eight students to the stage who will be moving on to collegiate or armed forces careers: Presley who will attend Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn. to play tight end in football; Pence who will run cross country and track at Southern Arkansas University; Johntae Jones, United States Marines; Levi Thompson, basketball at Missouri Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo.; Carson Dickens, baseball at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall; Landon Richey, baseball at UT-Tyler; Kameron Farnham, cheer squad at UT-Tyler; and Garin Kisinger, football at Austin College in Sherman.   

“My first year here we had zero kids signing and last year we had four sign on with colleges. This year I am proud that at this time we have eight athletes pursuing careers at the college or armed forces level,” Webber said.

After announcing the local awards, Webber honored his coaching staff for their dedication and hard work throughout the year.

“These people (coaches) are the backbone of this program. They love your kids. They check up on them and are always there for them,” Webber noted. “We love what we do. We do it for your kids. We don’t do it for ourselves, we do it for you guys. Our purpose is our kids. We sometimes neglect our personal lives because we love what we do with these kids. We care about their future.”

Webber related that coaches, athletes, parents, teachers and all students are part of the program.

“You have to be ‘all-in.’ You can’t be on the fence, you have to have total commitment, you must be ‘all-in’ to be successful” Webber explained. “We want our kids to succeed in life. We want to thank the parents for giving us the opportunity to coach and teach your kids.”

Local awards given are as follows: 

Football: MVP, Hayden Batchelder;  Most Improved, Noah Emmons; Lineman of the Year, Johntae Jones; Defensive MVP, Ethan Presley; Co-Offensive MVP, Landon Green and Mikey Pickering, Special Teams MVP, Carson Dickens; and Utility Player,  Klayton Meadows.

Volleyball: MVP, Allie Berry; Defensive Player, Addie Marcee; Co-Most Improved, Annabelle Popek and Peyton Kruckner.

Cross Country Boys: MVP, Noah Emmons; Co-runner of the Year, Christian Plata and Dakota Jimenez.

Cross Country Girls: MVP, Maddy Pence. Coach Mike Scott noted Braleigh Wood as one of only seven Class 3A runners honored in the Super Elite of the state.   

Boys Basketball: MVP, Brady Floyd; Most Improved, Landon Richey; Defensive MVP, Hunter Jacobs; and Offensive MVP, Levi Thompson.

Girls Basketball: Co- MVP, Maddy Pence and Kaysi Parker; Freshman of the year, Annabelle Popek;  Co-Offensive MVP, Allie Berry and Ashley Davis; Defensive MVP, Addie Marcee; and Most Improved, Larkin Spears.

Power Lifting Boys: MVP, Carlos Flores (second in state); and Most Improved, Ryan Widemon.

Power Lifting Girls: MVP,  Addie Marcee, (state finalist); and Most Improved, Abby Day.

Tennis: Boys Co- MVP, Gustavo Chavarria and Enrique Olivera; Girls Kameran Farnham and Sarah Smith.

Golf: Boys, MVP, Adam Belk; Most Improved, Daniel Kernes; Girls MVP, Lila Park; Most Improved, Annika Henry.

Softball: MVP, Kennedi Elmore; Defensive MVP, Larkin Spears; Utility, Aubrey Calhoun; Co-Offensive MVP, Addie Marcee and Ashley Davis; Most Improved, Kori Hammond.

Baseball: MVP, Landon Richey; Most Improved, Brandon Hayes; Utility, Carson Dickens; Defensive MVP, Tommy Drinkwine; Co-Offensive MVP, Payton Sapp and Justin Matthews.

Track Boys: Overall MVP, Bryson Hobbs; Field event MVP, Brady Floyd; Runner MVP, Heart Award, Carter Smith; Runner MVP Dakota Jimenez.

Track Girls: Overall MVP, Madyson Pence; Most Improved, Katy DeGorostiza; MVP field Events Sadie VanderSchaaf; Coaches Award, Cadence Runyon; Runner MVP, Isis Murlin; and Heart Award, Braleigh Wood.

Elite Bulldog Award, Bonne Vander Schaaf.

Bulldog Heart of a Champion Award: Girls, Addie Marcee; and Boys, Garin Kisinger.

Bulldog Business Award: Kelly Kieke and Speak Easy Coffee Shop.