Login NowClose 
Sign In to ftimes.com           
Forgot Password
or if you have not registered since 8/22/18
Click Here to Create an Account
Close

New traditions unveiled at Rossville banquet

1 / 4
CHEER: Team award winners for cheerleading at Wednesday’s Rossville winter sports banquet included, from left, Aleahya Toney (junior varsity mental attitude), Oliviia Lawrence (varsity mental attitude) and Anna Lawrence (PRIDE Award). Not pictured is Elisabeth Porsi (most improved).
2 / 4
BOYS BASKETBALL: Team award winners for boys basketball at Wednesday’s Rossville winter sports banquet included, front from left, Jesse Cornell (junior varsity mental attitude), Bryce Oliver (varsity mental attitude and best free-throw percentage) and Dawson Jacoby (total points and PRIDE Award); and, back, Jace Jacoby (freshmen mental attitude), Chase Frey (most assists), Dirk Shaw (most rebounds) and Kirby Meeks (best field-goal percentage).
3 / 4
GIRLS BASKETBALL:Team award winners for girls basketball at Wednesday’s Rossville winter sports banquet included, front from left, Taryn Wainscott (junior varsity mental attitude) and Emma Lawson (PRIDE Award); and, back, Camryn Geheb (best free-throw percentage), Madison Miller (most assists), Michelle Rodkey (best field-goal percentage and most rebounds) and Allie Dunk (mental attitude).
4 / 4
WRESTLING: Team award winners for wrestling at Wednesday’s Rossville winter sports banquet included, from left, Devin Miller (mental attitude) and Jacob Butcher (Miller Award, winning percentage, most takedowns and most pins). Not pictured Adrian Gomez (PRIDE Award).

BY ANDREW KRULL - akrull@ftimes.com

Rossville held its winter sports banquet on Wednesday, breaking with – or starting a new – tradition by having a public event including all the winter teams in the school’s auditorium prior to breaking off for individual team banquets.

“I feel like it is extremely important for us as an athletic community and as a school to have the opportunity to recognize all of the different athletes in one collective group and understand that not only your child and your group, but all of the athletes from six through 12 are putting in a lot of time and a lot of effort into representing our school and our community,” Rossville athletic director Clay Bolser said. “I thank each and every one of you for that time and that effort.”

He noted another new tradition that began earlier this year.

“During fall awards, we began a new tradition for Rossville athletics and that was to award the PRIDE Award,” Bolser said. “This is essentially the inaugural year to present this and each year we want the athletes to vote for the award winner.”

PRIDE is an acronym detailing traits of perseverance, respect, integrity, discipline and excellence.

“(The acronym covers traits that) we feel are extremely important for our athletes to possess,” Bolser said. “It’s not something that is based on statistics. It’s not something that is based on accolades as an athlete, but is based on the qualities we feel exude what we want in our athletes.”

PRIDE Award winners from each team were recognized during the group portion of Wednesday’s banquet. Those recipients were Dawson Jacoby (boys basketball), Emma Lawson (girls basketball), Adrian Gomez (wrestling) and Anna Lawrence (cheer).

Athletes earning letter jackets with the letter they won after this season were also recognized during the group gathering. Those athletes were Gomez, Jacob Butcher, Jesse Cornell, Reid Douglas, Jayden Brown and Dirk Shaw.

Also during the group session, each coach spoke about their team’s season, with varsity players being invited on stage to be recognized.

A synopsis of what each sport’s coach had to say and team awards presented during individual team sessions after the group gathering is detailed below.

Boys basketball

Head boys basketball coach Cory Dunn highlighted one of the more successful regular seasons in recent Rossville history.

“This team had the best record (18-5) a Rossville basketball team’s had in 17 years,” he said, which included a Hoosier Heartland Conference championship and the Kitchen Holiday Classic at Delphi. “It had been a few years since we won the conference and it was nice to bring some hardware back, and I won’t lie it was nice to beat Prairie at Prairie.”

Dunn noted the success of the junior varsity (15-7) and freshmen (6-1) programs.

“I think this is a testament to our upperclassmen,” he said. “They are great role models. They are great individuals in practice and I think that trickles down to our underclassmen. I really hope they take note of what great guys they get to follow.”

Dunn noted that Dawson Jacoby, Chase Frey and Dirk Shaw received all-Hoosier Heartland Conference recognition, with fellow starters Bryce Oliver and Kirby Meeks being named honorable mention all-conference.

“I think this is the first time I’ve had all five of my starters as part of the all-conference team,” he said.

Dunn also recognized Jacoby for breaking Rossville’s 3-point percentage record “going 48.9 percent on the season.” Although not completely sure, he added that “I’m pretty positive he broke the most 3s made in a single season with 85 this year.”

Boys basketball awards presented in the team session included Jacoby (PRIDE Award and total points), Meeks (best field-goal percentage), Oliver (best free-throw percentage and mental attitude), Shaw (most rebounds), Frey (most assists), Jesse Cornell (junior varsity mental attitude) and Jace Jacoby (freshmen mental attitude).

Girls basketball

Girls basketball head coach Chad Geheb recounted how he and his coaches knew they would face some challenges after significant graduations from last year’s squad, with adversity the word for the season as injuries piled up.

“We knew we were awfully young, nine of our 13 girls were either freshmen or sophomores,” he said. “Only two letter winners were coming back from last year and as you can tell, as far as a basketball team, we’re kind of short.”

He recounted the injury to starter Sammie Malson to start the season and concussions suffered by Malson and starting freshman Michelle Rodkey in the middle of the season.

“We were playing some pretty good basketball there in January only to lose another of our letter winners, Camryn Geheb, to a broken leg,” coach Geheb said.

“Challenges were kind of the emphasis of this past year. I want to emphasize this as well that each and every step along the way these girls persevered and rose to the challenge each and every night … and I couldn’t be any more proud of this group right here.”

He noted that Camryn Geheb was recognized as all-conference and that Miller received honorable mention all-HHC.

Team award winners for the girls team were Rodkey (best field-goal percentage and most rebounds), Camryn Geheb (best free-throw percentage), Miller (most assists), Emma Lawson (PRIDE Award), Allie Dunk (mental attitude) and Taryn Wainscott (JV mental attitude).

Wrestling

Head wrestling coach Mike Fadness detailed a difficult season as the team lost wrestlers due to academic problems or other issues, with only 11 wrestlers available at the end of the season. He thanked his assistant coaches for their help as those issues arose and his wrestlers for continuing to compete despite the setbacks.

“If I was to summarize the season, it could be stated as the season of overcoming adversity,” he said. “There’s times in sports when one can not judge the success of a season on wins alone. This is true of our season. Looking on the surface, the season seemed to have more setbacks than successes. However, our teams success can be seen on an individual basis – from working hard to bring up grades that even allowed us to have a season, from a few of our wrestlers getting their first wins ever to individual championships won, to battling back from every single team season setback. Setback after setback we continued marching forward until we completed the season as a team.”

Fadness recognized 106 lb. wrestler Bryce Longnecker and Jake Butcher at 160 for Hoosier Heartland Conference championships, with Longnecker also winning the Clinton Prairie Invite and both winning the Mac Invite.

He added that both will “go up on the record board” with the most wins in a single season for their respective weight classes in Rossville history (34-5 for Butcher and 32-7 for Longnecker).

“I’m looking forward to next season already,” Fadness said in conclusion.

Team wrestling awards were presented to Butcher (Miller Award, best winning percentage, most takedowns and most pins), Devin Miller (mental attitude) and Adrian Gomez (PRIDE Award).

Cheer

Head cheer coach Jackie Wells also noted a challenging winter season, with several new faces and the addition of male cheerleaders to the squad.

“We brought on 11 new members this fall who had never cheered before and (they) had to learn everything in about a two-month time period,” she said. “That was a little difficult but we got through it.”

The season had its growing pains and ups and downs, but “they all held their heads high and carried their school pride and didn’t let those moments take over their school spirit.

“I faced my biggest challenge this year in being a coach in a female dominated and driven sport coaching males,” Wells said. “As it came with many trials, they brought a positive vibe to the atmosphere and helped the girls venture into new skills they weren’t capable of before.

“I couldn’t imagine this season being any better even with the trials as they have become a family that supports one another in all aspects of their lives and their futures. I thank you guys so much for an awesome year.”

Team awards were presented to Olivia Lawrence (varsity mental attitude), Aleahya Toney (JV mental attitude), Elisabeth Porsi (most improved) and Anna Lawrence (PRIDE Award).