By Dawn Hatfield
GREENVILLE — Student athletes, their coaches, and their families gathered at Greenville High School on Wednesday, March 2 to celebrate another fantastic year of winter sports. Coaches called student athletes to the gym floor and gave a recap of the season, highlighting special moments and players who have made outstanding contributions.
Athletic Director Aaron Shaffer kicked off the night by thanking sponsors, volunteers, coaches, community members, fans, and his own family. His focus, however, was on the honorees of the night. “Most importantly, this evening, I’d like to take this moment to thank our students athletes who have committed themselves to wearing the green and white, going out each day to better yourselves, your teams, our community — Greenville. We look forward to continuing to watch you grow in creating your legacies here at Greenville High School. Everyone is here tonight because of your hard work and dedication and commitment. We thank you for this,” Shaffer said.
David Guillozet, Varsity Wrestling Coach, commended the team on a great, improved season where 10 of 16 wrestlers were either freshmen or new to wrestling. Guillozet gave a heartfelt goodbye to his senior wrestlers, saying, “Our seniors this year, I’m gonna miss them greatly. They’ve done a wonderful job for me, and I appreciate everything they’ve done.”
Bowling Coach Travis Nicholas spoke of the tremendous growth of the boys and girls bowling teams, saying, “Big turnout — very happy about that. Last year, we struggled to have a team, and this year we had more than enough, so that’s pretty cool!”
Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Bobby Jones, in his second year of coaching at Greenville, commented on the outstanding caliber of the coaching staff. “This is the best coaching staff I have ever been a part of in 24 years of coaching.” He continued to individually thank all the coaches but highlighted the special contributions of having an alum on the sidelines, “Coach Rich, having a former player come back and being able to relate to our kids like he does is a big plus for our program.” He gave a special thanks to Mr. Fries [Greenville CSD Superintendent], saying, “… thanks for being there and coming down to the locker room after games and congratulating the kids.” Jones wrapped up his presentation with one word: character. “If there is one word I could use to describe our varsity team, and really, our seniors specifically, it’s ‘character.’ You don’t go through a season like they went through with all the injuries and dealing with COVID for a second year in a row, not knowing who’s gonna be in the starting lineup from night to night ‘cause you don’t know who you’re gonna have… Coach Hamilton made a good point in saying no matter who we put on the floor, it just seemed like the kids really meshed well with each other, and that’s a credit to our seniors.”
Cheer Coach Tiffany Labig said to her senior cheer athletes, “We are thankful for your leadership and the example you set for the future cheer athletes.” Labig also gave a huge thanks to the GHS teachers and staff who support athletes and help make the programs possible, saying, “… without them, and without, of course, academics, we would have no athletics. So, teachers, thank you for all that you do to keep our students and athletes moving forward.”
Mollie Mendoza, Swim Coach, gave a special thanks to the parents who make the sport possible. “If you don’t know, swimming is kind of, ‘all hands on deck,’ so we have to provide timers for almost every single meet. I really appreciate all the parents for stepping up and helping out with that,” said Mendoza.
Girls Basketball Coach Rachel Kerns, finished up the night with a strong focus on academics. “We couldn’t be more proud of the fact that 18 of our 24 athletes are scholar athletes.”
In addition to the many team letters and honors awarded to players, the following list highlights the winter season’s MVL award recipients:
Miami Valley League (MVL) Awards
Boys Swimming: Caden Lecklider — 500 yd. Freestyle
Wrestling: Ben Hartzell — 144 lbs.
Girls Basketball: Skylar Fletcher
Boys Swimming: Caden Lecklider — 200 yd. Freestyle
Wrestling: Aiden Dispennette — 120 lbs.; Caiden Chrysler — 132 lbs.; Logan Thatcher — 138 lbs
Boys Swimming: Caden, Lecklider, Trey Bryant, Travis Herrmann, Cooper Hunt
Girls Swimming: Elle Cannon
Wrestling: Andrew Winner — 285 lbs.
Boys Bowling: Luke Kiser
Girls Bowling: Aleiha Fenton
Boys Basketball: Alex Baumgardner, Nolan Curtis
Girls Basketball: Minaxi Pandey
Boys Swimming: Caden Lecklider — 200 yd. and 500 yd. Freestyle — District Qualifier
Boys Bowling: Luke Kiser — District Qualifier
Wrestling: Matthew Edwards — Sectional 2nd Finish and District Qualifier (165 lbs.); Ben Hartzell — Sectional 2nd Finish and District Qualifier (144 lbs.); Logan Thatcher — Sectional 3rd Finish and District Qualifier (138 lbs.); Andrew Winner — Sectional 4th Finish and District Qualifier (285 lbs.); Ashton Noggle — Sectional 5th Finish and District Alternate (106 lbs.); Cameron Preece — Sectional 5th Finish and District Alternate (190 lbs.)
Girls Basketball: Skylar Fletcher — District 9 Div. II — Coaches Team; Minaxi Pandey — District 9 Div. II — Coaches Team
Boys Swimming: Caden Lecklider — 1650 Freestyle — 19:19.30 (66 consecutive laps)
The Daily Advocate Athlete of the Week (1/28/2022) and The Early Bird Athlete of the Week (1/30/2022): Logan Thatcher, Wrestling
Winter Season MVL Scholar Athletes: Carmen Badell-Kestler, Alexander Baumgardner, Laikyn Bruner, Million Bryant, Hayden Bush, Nolan Curtis, Matthew Edwards, Justin Hadden, Benjamin Hartzell, Lillyanna Hayes, Hayleigh Head, Maggie House, Adron Howard, Jenna Hughes, Maci Lewis, Kaylie McGreevey, Truman Nicholas, Oriol Ribera Garcia, Logan Thatcher, Brina Toomey, Madison Werner, and Valerie Withrow
Dawn Hatfield covers education stories for The Daily Advocate. Have a school-related event to share? Reach out by email at [email protected] or by phone at 937-569-0066.