Winter sports program honors Switzerland County athletes on achievements

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The Switzerland County athletic department held its annual Winter sports program last Thursday night — two days after it was originally scheduled due to snow.

The program was held in the gymnasium, and honored students for their participation in basketball and cheerleading this year. Athletic director Kent Dunning welcomed everyone to the program, and gave a recap of the outstanding seasons that Pacer athletic programs had. He then introduced the coaches, who talked about their individual seasons, introduced their team members, and handed out awards.

— Cheerleading coach Jennifer Hon introduced the members of the junior varsity and varsity cheerleading squads, and talked about the dedication that the girls had shown throughout the year, highlighted by the varsity squad winning the Rivertown Classic cheerleading championship.

— The freshman girls basketball team was coached by Denny Bowling, and he told the audience that in spite of the girls also playing on the junior varsity team, they came together and finished with a 5-5 freshman record.

The award for the best freethrow percentage was earned by Christina Ahaus; and the award for the most improved player was earned by Karista Wengert.

— Coach Sean McGarvey said that his freshman boys basketball team really came together as the season moved along, noting that the team came very close to knocking off undefeated Jac-Cen-Del in the championship game of the ORVC tournament.

Mark Sharp earned the award for the best freethrow percentage; while Tyler Johnson earned the most improved award for the freshman boys.

— The junior varsity girls basketball team was introduced by coach Steven Konkle. He said that his squad worked hard on many different levels: helping the varsity program, practicing for the jayvee schedule, and also being a part of the freshman team.

The junior varsity award for the best freethrow percentage was earned by Tanya Sefton, and the defensive award was earned by Megan McCarty. Karista Wengert earned the most improved award for the junior varsity team.

— Brian Bowen coached this year’s junior varsity boys basketball team, and noted that a highlight of the season was winning the ORVC championship. Members of his team also did multiple duty, moving up to be a part of the varsity team; and team members also participated with the freshman squad.

Kyle Green earned the award for the highest freethrow percentage; and the defensive award was earned by Brandon Otter. Devon Armstrong earned the most improved award from the coaching staff.

— Coach Wayne Ellegood spent time discussing the outstanding season that the varsity Lady Pacers’ basketball team had. He said that he was proud of his teams accomplishments, particularly in light of losing senior Kodi Driver and sophomore Courtney Cole to knee injuries before the season even got underway.

The Lady Pacers overcame those hurdles to earn a share of the ORVC championship. with Ashley Chase and Ashley Bright earning All-Conference honors.

Awards for the Lady Pacer varsity team included: Ashley Chase earning the award for the best two-point field goal percentage; Kodi Driver earning the award for the best three-point field goal percentage; Ashley Bright earning the freethrow percentage award; and Ashley Chase earning the rebounding award.

The award for the most assists was shared by Natalie Daugherty and Ashley Bright; the defensive award was earned by Ashley Chase and Natalie Daugherty; and the award for mental attitude was earned by Courtney Cole for coming back so quickly from her knew surgery. The academic award was shared by Natalie Daugherty and Morgan Ross; and the coaching staff also awarded a “hustle award to April Thieman and Amber Smith. Ashley Chase was honored for being only the fourth player in school history to score more than 1,000 points.

— The boys varsity basketball team was the final group of honorees on the evening, and coach David Todd discussed how his team started off the year with a 3-8 record before winning 10 of its final 12 regular season games. The Pacers won three more games en route to a Sectional championship before falling to Heritage Christian in the Regional.

B.J. Shelton earned All Conference honors; and he was joined by Mat Deaton, Tyler May, and MVP Travis Webster on the All Sectional team. Tyler May was honored for finishing sixth all time in three-point field goals made; and eighth all time in assists.

The award for the best two-point field goal percentage was earned by Ben Hickman; and T.J. Sefton earned the award for the best three-point field goal percentage. T.J. Sefton also earned the award for the best freethrow percentage; and the defensive award was earned by Travis Webster. Ben Hickman earned the rebounding award; Travis Webster earned the assist award; and Josh Snow earned the “hustle award.”

The team’s academic award was earned by Kyle Green; and after hailing the unselfish nature of his team, Coach Todd awarded the mental attitude award to all eight of his seniors: Mat Deaton, Zach Getz, Ben Hickman, Tyler May, Michael Otter, Cody Peters, B.J. Shelton, and Josh Snow.