Teamwork, sportsmanship and dedication were celebrated Wednesday (May 21) night during the Hannibal Central School District athletic banquet.
The annual event, sponsored by the Hannibal Sports Booster Club, honored roughly 300 student-athletes who participated in junior varsity and varsity level competition throughout the school year.
“Being a part of an athletic team is much more than a demonstration of physical ability,” Superintendent Donna Fountain said. “It personifies commitment, dedication, perseverance and hard work. Our athletes spend hours practicing and strive for excellence every time they take the field.”
Echoing the superintendent’s sentiments, guest speaker and former Hannibal athletic star Taylor Sorrell spoke about her memories as a Warrior.
“The lessons I learned from playing high school sports were irreplaceable,” Sorrell said. “The moral support I got from my teammates at Hannibal is something that most teams will never experience. I can’t thank Hannibal enough for what it has given me.”
While Sorrell reflected on her past experience as an athlete in the district, the current athletes and coaches were able to reflect on their success this year. Several athletes received all-league recognition for their performance in their respective sport.
Awards were also presented for sportsmanship, leadership, teamwork and most outstanding player.
The Jimmy Butterfield Sportsmanship awards – named after a former Warrior athlete who was killed in a tragic accident – were presented to wrestler Chris Knox and football player Greg Hadcock.
“Jimmy embodied what we want to see in our athletes,” said varsity wrestling coach Michael Kitts. “(These athletes) work hard, day in and day out, and are deserving of this award.”
In addition to the Butterfield Award, coaches’ awards and all-league recognition, the booster club also issued scholarships to 15 senior athletes.
“The winners of this award play (multiple) sports and represent themselves well on and off the field,” said booster club member Meghan Welling.
Earning the $250 award for the female athletes was Devin Sorrell, while Ben Slate took home the scholarship as the outstanding male senior athlete.
Thirteen senior athletes also received $50 awards, including Ben Raymond, Page McKenzie, Zane Pointon, Erin Sly, Anthony Page, Alicia Kimpland, Greg Hadcock, Gabby Griffin, Samantha Bowers, Malana Scott, Trevor Alton, Charlie McCraith and Natasha Waloven.
Although the ceremony focused on individual and team accomplishments on the field of play, coaches and administrators also lauded the athletes’ efforts in the classroom.
“This year many of our teams achieved scholar athlete status,” Fountain said. “Staying committed to their studies as well as their team is not easy, yet they accomplished this feat.”
Looking to build off the academic and athletic accomplishments of the student-athletes, Athletic Director Pat Keefe said he was proud of the Warriors and is looking forward to the 2014-15 campaign.
“I’m excited about the future of Hannibal and I look forward to the continued success,” he said.