LAURINBURG — Scotland High School held its award banquet for fall sports Wednesday night, honoring players from every sport.
The ceremony got underway at 6 p.m. with a dinner, and then the awards started being given out in the auditorium 45 minutes later. Athletics director Tommy Britt started things off by honoring the volleyball team for winning its ninth Southeastern conference championship and the football team for winning its third.
Scotland had two tennis players reach the state finals, with Leslie Floyd and Sallie Wegner going to play in Raleigh. The Scots also had three athletes named conference players of the year: Madeline Milholland for volleyball and Jaylend Ratliffe and Trejon Monley, who were named the offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively.
Football coach Richard Bailey was also named the conference coach of the year.
Bailey presented several awards to the football team that was the Class 4A state runners-up and finished with a 15-1 record. Choosing the winners was not an easy task, Bailey said.
“When you’ve got a team with so many great players it’s really hard to narrow it down,” he said.
On the offensive side, Garrett Best was named the best offensive lineman, Logan Hatcher was the best wide receiver, Josh McPhatter was the best running back, and Ratliffe — the quarterback — was the offensive MVP. Defensively, Avery Simmons earned the best defensive lineman award, Marquis Williams was the best linebacker, Tasheem Tyson was the best defensive back, and Monley was the defensive MVP.
Kicker Ben Utter earned the special teams award, while Robert McKoy was named the most dedicated. Dominque Davis was given the most improved award, and Tristan Strong earned the coaches award for the way he represented the team on the field and in the classroom, Bailey said.
Coach Greg Wrape gave out four awards to the Scotland runners who ended up finishing second overall in the SEC, and eighth of 18 at the regional meet.
“I was very impressed with the effort from the team this year,” Wrape said.
Cassie Laviner was named the most improved female runner, while Jared Torgerson was the most improved male. Kendall Romaine picked up the coaches award, and Logan Ward was named MVP.
John Williams was the most improved and Daniel Williams was named the best defender. John Covington picked up the coaches award for his ability to adjust to a defensive role and help keep the ball away from Scotland’s net. Kytel Collins-Jackson was named MVP.
Coach Danny Gallagher said Collins-Jackson was always running in games and in practice, even when he had just run a cross-country event the day before.
The girls tennis team was a small group this season, composed of just six players. Despite an uncertain start to the season, however, the team came together and had two players reach the state finals. The team finished third overall in the conference as well.
Makayla Gilmore was named the most improved player for Scotland, while Wegner earned the coaches award and Floyd the MVP.
The volleyball team finished 21-3 this season on its way to its ninth-consecutive conference title.
Senior Jessi Kee was given the most improved award and Katelyn Hunt the coaches. Milholland was the team’s MVP, and coach Molly Hayes said every third ball the main hitter struck ended up as a kill.
Ashley Barringer picked up most improved and team MVP for the girls golf team. Coach Donald Barringer said she improved by 10 shots in the regular season over her score from last year, and was named to the All-Conference team for the third year in a row. Brooke Bathie was awarded the coaches award.