By Ed Greif
March 17 is celebrated as St. Patricks Day, but the Cumberland County High School Basketball Booster Club used the day to honor the Lady Jet and Jet teams for having another successful season. The event was held at the Church of Christ.
The Lady Jets finished fourth in the District 6AAA Tournament, but lost to Bradley Central in the Region 3AAA Tournament opener, while the Jets won their second District 6AAA Tournament crown in four years, but lost to Cleveland in the region tournament at CCHS.
Booster club president Brian McLaughlin served as master of ceremonies "thanked everyone for coming out" to support the teams and then introduced the coaching staffs.
Lady Jet coach Radhika Miller said," It is great to see everyone here today," and then thanked her family, assistant coach Leslie Eldridge, Lynn Burgess, Steve Randall Trevena, Greg Maxwell (scorekeeper), the school administration, Kim Herring, the booster club officers, Katherine O'Rourke, Lane McAnally (transportation director) and Steve Dishman (bus driver) for their support this season.
She announced that Brad Eldridge, Tracy Graham, Scott VanWinkle and Scott Davis will coaching the Lady Jet AAU teams this spring.
"I enjoyed watching the boys play. Need to ask them to give tips to my girls for taking charges," said Miller, as she thanked boys coaches Will Foster, Blaine Moore and Scott Davis.
Leslie Eldridge recognized the Lady Jets who posted a GPA of 3.5 or higher during the school year.
Those with a 3.5 were Maddi Potter, Courtney Smith, Jalen Holt, Skylar VanWinkle, Rebecca Forte and Sloane VanWinkle.
Those with 3.75 were Bailey Davis, Camie Threet, Kelsie Eldridge, Victoria Lee and Kassidy Sommer. Those with 4.0 were Madison Wyatt, Madi McLaughlin, McKenzie Iles, Alli Hyder, Allison Graham, Gina Dick and Rebecca Teeple.
After recognizing the Lady Jets for the academic prowess, she recognized Lynn Burgess, Kendal Johnson, Madison Wyatt, Jalen Holt and Rebecca Forte for their work this season.
Sydney Brewer, Camie Threet, Allison Graham, Jenna Morton, Bailey Davis, Iles, Hyder, Eldridge, McLaughlin, Potter, Smith, Lee, Skylar VanWinklle, Sommer, Dick, Teeple and Sloan VanWinkle were recognized for playing either the freshman/sophomore team, junior varsity and/or varsity.
Varsity players receiving letters or bars were Sloan VanWinkle, Teeple, Dick, Sommer, Lee, Smith, Potter, Eldridge, Hyder, Iles and Holt.
The freshmen/sophomore team finished 8-3 and won the district tournament, while the junior varsity team posted a 7-5 record.
"I am very proud of them and am looking forward for the next three years," said Eldridge.
Miller pointed out the varsity finished 10-22 overall and 2-6 in the district, and was the only team to beat Cookeville during the regular season. CCHS finished fourth in the district, and placed three players on the All-District team — Iles, Sloan VanWinkle and Dick, who was honorable mention All-District.
For the 16th year, the Crossville Lions Club has presented awards to the two Lady Jets and Jet players who had the Best Three Point Shooting Percentage and the Most Three Point baskets made in their 'Shoot for Sight' program.
The two teams combined for 387 three pointers made to raise more than $2,000 for the Lions program.
Iles had the best three point percentage (34.74) on 41 of 118 from the behind the arc, while Sloan VanWinkle made the most (61 on 203). The team was 172 of 596 for 28.86 percent.
Smith and Eldridge won Most Improved Awards.
Smith was at every game and every practice and was a force to be reckoned, before suffering an season-ending illness. She tallied 14 points with eight rebounds and six blocked shots in her last game, according to Miller.
Eldridge " really came out like lightning" and "is a great shooter," according to Miller. Eldridge had 12 points in the win over Cookeville.
Hyder, who was the Freshman of the Year, did "everything we asked of her." She recorded 204 points, 33 rebounds, 39 steals and 33 assists this season for the varsity.
Dick won the Dish It Assist award, Defensive Player of the Year Award and MVP Award. She tallied 291 points, 161 rebounds, 61 steals and 93 assists, and also set the school record for throws against Stone Memorial this season.
"She has an unbelievable work ethic," said Miller.
Iles won the Best Dunker/Free Throw Award and the Best Offensive Player Award.
She tallied 315 points, 90 rebounds, 63 steals and 47 assists, and was 62 of 87 from the charity stripe for 71.26 percent.
Teeple won the Beast of the Boards Award for leading the team in rebounds with 175 total rebounds (82 offensive and 93 defensive).
"She played with hustle, heart and desire," said Miller, whose team had 827 rebounds (357 offensive and 470 defensive) or 29.49 per game.
Wyatt received a Coaches Award for having "positive impact on the team and her support, loyality and commitment" to the Lady Jets.
Skylar VanWinkle won the Most Spirt Award for her desire and leadership.
Sommer won the Hustle Award. She had 179 points, 121 rebounds (52 offensive, 69 defensive), 33 steals, 24 assists and eight blocked shots.
The other two senior awards went to Forte (manager) and Sloan VanWinkle, who also won the UNITY Award.
Sloan VanWinkle had 245 points, 55 rebounds (18 offensive, 37 defensive), 26 steals and 26 assists.
"This is a remarkable group of young ladies. I have high expectations for their return in 2013-'14," said Miller. "I'll end this with a quote, 'get our goals and not stop until we get there.'"
Assistant coach Blaine Moore first recognized manager/trainer Allayna Kerley and Stephen Thompson, director of basketball operations, before he introduced the junior varsity squad.
Members of the junior varsity squad were Tyler Daugherty, Tanner Christopher, Alex Dixon, Jordan Graham, Nolan McClain, Cade Smith, Ty Tabor, Drew Vaden, David Elliott, Jason Hicks, Wesley Griffis and David Hutchens.
Sophomores Kenny Brewer, Ross Martin and Jordan Buckner were not present.
Head coach Will Foster recognized bus driver Chuck Howe "for taking us everywhere," and then presented letter awards and bars to the Jet varsity.
Receiving letters were Brown, Christopher, Dixon, Blake McLaughlin, Brandon Myers, Smith and Tabor.
Receiving bars were Logan Parsons, Diego Poore, Jon Elmore (captain's pin), Tayler Houston, J.J. Miller, Cameron O'Rourke, Dylan Qualls, Bryan Young and Thompson (captains pin).
"We had an up and down year. We won more than we lost," said Foster. "They played with a lot of determination and put in a lot of hard work. We were prove everyone wrong."
O'Rourke won the Most Improved Award. He tallied 93 points, 104 rebounds, 35 steals, 26 assists, three blocks and 31 charges in 33 games.
"He has a big heart and took over 50 charges this season. He did everything we asked him to do. Cameron has so must determination and desire to be successful," added Foster.
The "Who Will Award" went to Elmore and Young.
"I saw Jon grow up as an individual into a young man. He worked so hard and made everyone mad at him in practice as a coach for me and Blaine. Bryan was known as 'Big Red' for four years," added Foster.
Young had four points, eight rebounds, three steals and three assists this season, while Elmore added five points, three rebounds, four steals and four assists.
Tayler Houston received the Crossville Lions Club "Shoot for SIght" award for making 84 three-pointers this season and was co-Offensive Player of the Year.
Houston tallied 516 points, 72 rebounds, 34 steals and 41 assists, and was 83 of 190 from two-point range, 84 of 267 from three-point range and 98 of 124 from the free throw line. He was named All-District and All-District Tournament, and finished his career with 1,129 points.
Qualls also won Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Rebouder of the Year.
He taillied 449 points, 145 rebounds, 59 steals, 68 assists and 20 charges, and was 95 of 135 from the free throw line, 132 of 232 from two-point range and 30 of 107 from behind the arc. Qualls was named All-District, All-District Tournament and All-Region 3AAA.
"Dylan did everything we asked," said Foster. "How did he get all of those rebounds against White County?"
Miller also won the Defensive Player of the Year.
"J.J. would guard anybody and is a phenominal athlete," said Foster.
Miller was 16 of 23 from the free throw line, 37 of 98 from two-point range and six of 23 from long range with 108 points, 128 rebounds, 40 steals and 36 assists.
Diego Poore was the third recipient of the Defensive Player Award and had the best three-point percentage in the Lions Club "Shoot for Sight" program.
He was 21 of 35 from the free throw line, 70 of 136 from two-point range and 18 of 51 from three-point range with 215 points, 70 rebounds, 41 steals and 81 assists. Poore was All-District Tournament.
Parsons also won the Rebounder Award for the Jets, who were tallied 785 rebounds (278 offensive, 507 defensive) or 24 per game, and was also All-District and All-District Tournament.
He was 49 of 80 from the charity stripe, 94 of 186 from two-point range and 40 of 150 from three-point land with 357 points, 140 rebounds, 64 steals and 42 assists.
"I feel fortunate to do what I do. I love your kids and love to teach because I want to work with these young men. I am really proud of them," said Foster, whose team won two District 6AAA Tournaments in the last four years.
He also thanked the coaches wives — Sandy Moore, Kristi Foster and Beth Davis; assistant coaches Scott Davis and Blaine Moore, Greg Maxwell, the booster club and Steve Randel Trevena and the school administration.