WNC sports awards banquet honors local athletes
In front of a record capacity crowd of 941 on May 19 at Omni Grove Park Inn, more than 120 local high school athletes and teams were recognized and honored at the 58th WNC Sports Awards Banquet - presented by Ingles.
Conducted by the Mountain Amateur Athletic Club, the banquet presented plaques to winners of 24 awards and presented 16 scholarships of $1,500 each to deserving student athletes through the John & Darlene McNabb Charitable Foundation.
TThe event, first held in 1959, also served as the induction ceremony for the WNC Sports Hall of Fame, presented by Dixon Hughes Goodman.
The Hall, established in 1978, welcomed four members to the Class of 2019 — former East Henderson High and Western Carolina football player Tiger Greene, long-time Enka coach Susan DeWeese, basketball coach Tom Pryor and football coach Carroll Wright.
The Moog/Gene Ochsenreiter Award for Lifetime Achievement was presented to long-time coaches Buddy Baldwin of Roberson High and Gene Hammonds of Asheville High.
The Pamfilis/Roden/Welch Special Olympics Award went to Erin Holland of Fletcher, who participates in baseball, cheerleading, dance and swimming.
Holland's Henderson County chapter of Special Olympics received a $1,500 grant from MAAC.
The MAAC also announced the creation of a new award, the Riley Carl Howell Courage Award.
The award is named in honor of Riley Howell, the former Roberson High soccer player who lost his life in a heroic act of bravery during the April 30, 2019 school shootings at Charlotte.
The award will recognize a high school athlete who embodies the spirit with which Riley lived in life.
Wells Fargo Advisors/Aiken, Meyer, Whatley Division II Female Athlete - Major Sport: Hannah Tipton, Mountain Heritage basketball.
Carole Martin/Northwestern Mutual Division II Female Athlete - Olympic Sport: Madeleine Bauer, Carolina Day swimming.
Homewood Suites Division II Female Team - Major Sport: Mountain Heritage basketball.
Mills Manufacturing Division II Female Team - Olympic Sport: Murphy track.
Merrill Lynch/Keller Ferrell Division II Male Athlete - Major Sport: Navy Shuler, Christ School football.
White & Williams Division II Male Athlete - Olympic Sport: Jake Justice, Polk County track.
Fields Auto Group Division II Male Team - Major Sport: (co-winners) Murphy baseball; Murphy football.
Blue Ridge Division of EmergeOrtho Division II Male Team - Olympic Sport: Asheville Christian Academy cross country.
Dr. Lary & Jan Schulhof Division I Female Athlete - Major Sport: Chesney Gardner, Owen basketball.
First Citizens Bank Division I Female Athlete - Olympic Sport: Ana Tsiros, Asheville High golf.
HomeTrust Bank Division I Female Team - Major Sport: Franklin softball.
Nat & Carolyn Arthur Division I Female Team - Olympic Sport: Brevard cross country.
Goforth Builders Inc. Division I Male Athlete - Major Sport: Luke Ellenberger, Brevard multi sports.
Massasoit of North Carolina, Inc., Division I Male Athlete - Olympic Sport: Anthony Johnson, Roberson wrestling.
McKinney/Nationwide Insurance Division I Male Team - Major Sport: Reynolds baseball.
Rodeway Inn & Suites Division I Male Team - Olympic Sport: Pisgah wrestling.
Paramount Kia Division II Female Student Athlete Academic Award: Ellie Martin, Murphy golf and basketball.
Blue Ridge X-Ray Division I Female Student Athlete Academic Award: Madison Polyasko, Smoky Mountain tennis.
Heath & Nikol Shuler Division II Male Student Athlete Academic Award: Caleb Pritchard, Mitchell baseball and basketball.
Beverly-Hanks Realty Division I Male Student Athlete Academic Award: Morgan King, North Henderson wrestling.
Apollo Flame Division II Female Athlete of the Year: Rachel Kuehn, Asheville School golf and tennis.
Young Transportation Division II Male Athlete of the Year: Hunter Shope, Murphy basketball, football and track.
Asheville Citizen Times Division I Female Athlete of the Year: Haeli Bryson, Franklin softball and volleyball.
John & Darlene McNabb Division I Male Athlete of the Year: Alex Flinn, Reynolds baseball and football.
Pesented by the John & Darlene McNabb Charitable Foundation.
Dan Hill Jr. Memorial Scholarship - Casey Brown, West Henderson.
Dan Hill Jr. Memorial Scholarship - Micaiah Darity, Hendersonville.
Dan Hill Jr. Memorial Scholarship - Zane Edwards, Tuscola.
Buck Cannon Memorial Scholarship - James Stewart, Robbinsville.
Advent Health Scholarship - Ansley Lynch, Polk County.
MAAC Scholarship - Slade McTaggert, Murphy.
CP & Brenda Medore Scholarship - Jade Monday, Tuscola.
Buncombe County Commissioners Scholarship - Pali Smith, Reynolds.
Buncombe County Commissioners Scholarship - Max Wells, Roberson.
Bill Owen Memorial - Colton Roberts, Madison.
Ingles Scholarship - Madison Polyasko, Smoky Mountain.
Reid & Pauline Jarrett Memorial Scholarship - Jack Stuckey, Swain.
George & Sandra Beverly Scholarship - Caleb Potter, Polk County.
Tom & Connie Rodgers/Ronald Rogers Memorial Scholarship - Chrislyn Shuford, Mountain Heritage.
Judd Construction Scholarship - Shelby Glance, Tuscola.
Tom & Betsy Bolton Scholarship - Luke Walters, Robbinsville.