Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014
Local Sports

Athletes & Coaches of the Year

Published:   |   Updated: June 9, 2014 at 03:17 PM

GIRLS DIVING

Shane Wirries, Avon Park

Girls Coach of the Year

Wirries was instrumental in reviving the Red Devils’ diving program, helping freshman phenom Tammy Hutchins finish with over 200 points at the Class 2A-District 9 meet.

Sara Bohan, Sebring

Girls Diver of the Year

Bohan captured the Class 2A-District 9 title, amassing an impressive 353.85 points. In the regional meet, she was one of only five girls to break the 300-point threshold. Bohan finished second with 313.00, which was good enough to earn a trip to the state finals where she capped her high school career by finishing 19th out of 24 participants.

BOYS DIVING

Shane Wirries, Avon Park

Wirries oversaw a bevy of talented divers, including sending two of his Devils to state.

Domonic Hutchins, Avon Park

Boys Diver of the Year

Hutchins reached this year’s Class 2A state finals, where he tallied 316.40 points on six dives to break an Avon Park record.

GIRLS SWIMMING

Tom Creel, Lake Placid

Girls Coach of the Year

Creel oversaw a myriad of wins at the Class 1A-District 9 meet, including several girls who won their event.

Anne Weber-Callahan, Lake Placid

Girls Swimmer of the Year

Callahan won the 100-yard freestyle at the Class 1A-District 6 championship meet, and finished third in the 50 freestyle. In the relay races, she helped the 200 freestyle team finish second. She continued to excel at the regional meet, where she finished 13th in the 50 free and 11th in the 100 free, while pushing the 400 freestyle relay team to a fourth-place finish.

BOYS SWIMMING

Tom Creel, Lake Placid

Boys Coach of the Year

Creel coached numerous Lake Placid swimmers to top 10 finishes at the Class 2A-District 6 and Class 2A-Region 2 meets.

Travis Peeples, Lake Placid

Boys Swimmer of the Year

Peeples excelled in the regional meet finishing sixth in the 50 free and eighth in the 100 free. In the team events, Peeples, Brown, Jr., Lambert, and Russell worked together for a fourth place finish in the 200 medley and a sixth place finish in the 200 free.

GIRLS BOWLING

Paul Przychocki, Sebring

Przychocki guided a very young Sebring squad to second at districts. The Blue Streaks also qualified for the state finals for the first time in team history.

Adrianna Stacy, Sebring

Stacy had the highest average on the Streaks and helped the team reach the state finals for the first time in school history. She rolled games of 247, 268, 170 and 266 in the pressure-packed qualifying round of the state tournament to help Sebring advance.

Girls Bowler of the Year

BOYS BOWLING

Rick Wiltse, Sebring

Boys Coach of the Year

Wiltse oversaw the Streaks first appearance in the state finals, and coached the boys player of the year.

David Daniels, Sebring

Boys Bowler of the Year

Daniels took his game to the next level in the playoffs to help the Streaks qualify for the state finals for the first time in school history. Sebring’s anchor, Daniels rolled a season-best 279.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

Krista Schult, Sebring

Girls Coach of the Year

Schult guided a depleted Streaks roster to the regional meet and helped several runners improve their times.

Yadira Cortes, Lake Placid

Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year

Cortes was the only Green Dragons girl to make it to Class 2A-Region 3 meet, where she finished in top 100 with an impressive time of 25:35.30.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

Jayson Bass, Sebring

Boys Coach of the Year

Bass oversaw a renaissance at Sebring, guiding the Streaks their first state finals meet in nearly two decades.

Dalton Shelton, Lake Placid

Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year

Shelton placed fourth in the regional meet with a sizzling time of 17:12.80 to punch his ticket to the state finals in Apalachee. There, he finished 12th in 16:24.61, a personal best for the season.

GIRLS GOLF

Lisa Lovett, Sebring

Girls Coach of the Year

Lovett coached the player of the year and oversaw the Streaks make it to the state tournament.

Kendall Griffin, Sebring

Girls Golfer of the Year

Griffin played a key role in the Streaks winning the Class 2A-District 18 tournament, shooting a 73. Griffin carded a sizzling 71 at regionals to help Sebring finish second to qualify for the state tournament. At state, she took her game to another level by finishing second individually to help Sebring finish 14th as a team.

BOYS GOLF

Vince Liles, Sebring

Boys Coach of the Year

Liles guided the boys golf team to its first state tournament in many years.

Nic Staffieri, Sebring

Boys Golfer of the Year

A pressure player, Staffieri capped an outstanding season by shooting 78-79-157 to finish 17th at the Class 2A state tournament.

FOOTBALL

LaVaar Scott, Sebring

Coach of the Year

Scott built a tough, physical defense that went 6-4 against a competitive schedule. He also coached the offensive and defensive players of the year.

Ladante Harris, Sebring

Offensive Player of the Year

A versatile performer, Harris had 23 carries for 262 yards with four touchdowns. At wideout, he had three catches for 69 yards. Harris also racked up 292 yards and three touchdowns on kickoff returns, 108 yards and two scores on punt returns, and for good measure, three interceptions playing safety on defense.

Jacquae Peart, Sebring

Defensive Player of the Year

Peart had a team-high 92 tackles, 13 for loss, he had two sacks and the senior defensive captain forced a pair of fumbles to help key a very stingy Sebring defense. Peart was also selected to the prestigious FACA North-South All-Star Football Classic.

VOLLEYBALL

Charlotte Bauder, Lake Placid

Coach of the Year

Bauder, a Dragons alumnus, guided Lake Placid to a 25-6 record, the Class 4A-District 9 championship and spot in the state playoffs in her first year.

Breauna Corley, Lake Placid

Volleyball Player of the Year

A four-year starter, Corley used her size and power to dominate the net from her middle hitter position and she had a remarkable 193 kills, 52 blocks, 122 digs and 38 aces.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Mike Lee, Sebring; Jackie Coyne, Lake Placid

Girls Co-Coaches of the Year

Lee and Coyne led their teams to the runner-up showings in the district tournaments, and earned berths in the state playoffs.

Jamiese Wiley, Sebring

Girls Basketball Player of the Year

Wiley was a rock at forward, starting every game the last two years The 5-foot, 11-inch senior averaged 14.6 points, 12.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals a game this season to lead the Streaks to the state playoffs.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Marty O’Hora, Avon Park; Princeton Harris, Sebring

Boys Co-Coaches of the Year

O’Hora and Harris both oversaw two of Highlands County’s most talented basketball teams, guiding their respective schools to the state playoffs.

Alfred Brown, Avon Park

Boys Basketball Player of the Year

An experienced senior, Brown averaged 10.5 points, 2.1 assists and 3.1 steals a game and fueled a remarkable comeback from a 13-point, fourth-quarter deficit in the state playoff victory over Tampa Catholic.

GIRLS SOCCER

John Merlo, Lake Placid

Girls Coach of the Year

Merlo coached Lake Placid to the Class 2A-District 10 Championship and a berth in the state playoffs.

Hannah Waller, Lake Placid

Girls Soccer Player of the Year

One of the Dragons captains, Waller netted four goals and dished 16 assists on the season. Her leadership was invaluable to the team, and she cemented her legacy at Lake Placid when she played the Class 2A-District 10 championship with the flu. Waller trudged on despite the game going into double-overtime.

BOYS SOCCER

James Ashley, Lake Placid

Boys Coach of the Year

Ashley guided Lake Placid to an undefeated regular season in Class 2A-District 10, and swept both Avon Park and Sebring in the regular season.

Osvaldo Orduna, Lake Placid

Boys Soccer Player of the Year

Orduna dominated the Dragons’ box scores, scoring 18 goals and dishing 11 assists while helping Lake Placid amass a 15-3-2 record.

GIRLS WEIGHTLIFTING

Donald Ridgeway, Lake Placid

Girls Coach of the Year

Ridgeway oversaw a young group of weightlifters alongside coaching a state finalist.

Bethany Phillips, Lake Placid

Girls Weightlifter of the Year

Phillips was the only Highlands County girls weightlifter to reach the state finals this season. Competing in the 199-pound weight class, at the state meet, she tied for 19th place, benching 140 and lifting 140 in the clean-and-jerk.

WRESTLING

Blake Germaine, Avon Park

Coach of the Year

A former state champion, Germaine coached his team to its third consecutive district title and helped Blake finish as a state runner-up.

Delroy Blake, Avon Park

Wrestler of the Year

Blake, who started wrestling as a freshman and finished fourth at state last year, posted an impressive 52-2 record this season and was district and regional champion on his way to the state finals where he lost a controversial 2-1 decision.

BASEBALL

Whit Cornell, Avon Park

Coach of the Year

Cornell guided his team to a 20-5 record, the Class 4A-District 9 title and a berth in the state playoffs.

Alfred Brown, Avon Park

Player of the Year

Brown batted a robust .378, scored 26 runs, had 12 RBIs and the senior speedster swiped a team-high 23 bases to lead Avon Park to an impressive 20-5 record and the Class 4A-District 9 championship.

SOFTBALL

Alesia Cheshire, Lake Placid

Coach of the Year

Cheshire coached Lake Placid to a 14-8 record and an appearance in the district semifinals where the Dragons lost in 10 innings by one run.

Breauna Corley, Lake Placid

Player of the Year

Corley, who played varsity softball for four years, batted .302 with 19 RBIs and had an on-base percentage of .466, while playing solid defense from her shortstop, catcher and outfield positions.

GIRLS TENNIS

Jane Hollinger, Sebring

Girls Coach of the Year

Hollinger coached the girls player of the year and coached her team to a runner-up finish in the Class 2A-District 11 tournament and a berth in the regional semifinals.

Nisha Patel, Sebring

A runner-up in both the district and regional tournaments, she amassed a singles record of 13-4. Her high school record is now an impressive 57-6.

BOYS TENNIS

Tosin Awomewe, Sebring

Boys Coach of the Year

Not much older than his players, Awomewe coached Sebring to a critical tie-breaker match with Lemon Bay for a berth in the state playoffs.

Connor Angell, Sebring; Mason Khurana, Sebring

Boys Co-Players of the Year

Arguably the most talented tennis tandem in Highlands County, Khurana and Angell were just as deadly in singles play.

GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD

Cason Harris, Lake Placid

Girls Coach of the Year

Harris coached his team to another banner season and sent an athlete to the state finals.

Quiahja Williams, Lake Placid

Girls Athlete of the Year

Williams shined in big moments this season, reaching the state finals where she finished 13th in the high jump and 16th in the 100 dash.

BOYS TRACK AND FIELD

Cynthia Cook, Sebring; Renee Crenshaw, Sebring

Boys Co-Coaches of the Year

Cook and Crenshaw oversaw both the Streaks boys and girls track and field teams, and sent three boys to state.

Jordyn Blount, Sebring

Boys Athlete of the Year

Blount made the trek to Jacksonville for the Class 3A state finals, where he finished fifth with a distance of 22-feet, 1-inch. Remarkably, Blount was able to perform despite torrential rains and nearly two inches of water that had covered the track.

BOYS WEIGHTLIFTING

Steve Berry, Sebring

Boys Coach of the Year

Berry oversaw a talented Streaks squad and coached two state finalists.

Malachi McLean, Lake Placid

Boys Weightlifter of the Year

A three-time state qualifier, McLean capped a stellar high school career by finishing ninth in the 238-pound weight class at the state finals in April. He lifted a school-record 345 pounds in the bench press at state and 245 pounds in the clean-and-jerk competition for a total of 590 pounds.

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