Riverside Rebel Senior Dustin Kelems walked away as the most decorated athlete at the annual sports' banquet Tuesday, y 13, at Lake City.
The 6'4" Kelems garnered three individual basketball and two tennis awards, as well as being named All-State in tennis and All-Conference in basketball.
Kelems own awards for Best Free Throw percentage; Field Goal percentage to go along with the prize for most rebounds. A three-year starter in basketball, Kelems ended his career with the second best single season average, 9.1 rebounds per game, in one season. Kelems also finished as the fourth best Rebel rebounder in Riverside History with 743. The shy, but popular senior will continue his basketball career at Crowley's Ridge College.
Kelems also gained all-state honors in tennis as he teamed with Junior Lee Blake to win the District Championship and a fourth place finish in the state tournament.
Several other athletes gained multiple awards as Riverside Coaches gave out honors in boys' basketball, girls' fast pitch softball, boys and girls tennis, and boys' golf.
Other boys' basketball winners were Junior Matt Owens for most assists and sophomore Zac Reynolds who had the most steals. Reynolds also tied a single game record for most three pointers in a game with seven, while Owens joined Kelems on both the All-Conference and the all-Williams Baptist Tournament Team.
The Rebels were Williams Baptist runners-up and also claimed the sportsmanship award.
"We were disappointed with out overall record, 15-18," said Head Coach Buster Campbell. "But when you look at our schedule, we lost eight games by five points or less which meant we would have finished 23-10 if we had won those games." Campbell went on to say he looks forward to the Rebels returning to their usual winning ways with three starters returning and a strong junior high class coming up to join them.
Other Rebels earning letters in basketball were juniors Alex Smith, Matt Snyder, Von McDaniel, and Michael Dewitt. Sophomore lettermen included Zac Ridge, Blake Stotts, and Jeremy Mann.
Nancy Ritter's Girls round balers posted a 17-14 overall record and placed juniors Keryn Douglas and Amanda Dunigan on the 3AA North All-Conference Team. Douglas was also named to the All NEA Tournament team.
"I was very proud of our girls. We did not have any seniors, so next year's group should be really a strong group," Ritter said.
Awards went to Douglas for most assists and steals. Junior Miranda Stephens won the free throw award, while junior Chelsea Couch had the best field goal percentage. The award for most rebounds went to Amanda Jo Churchill.
Letters were given to juniors Hailey Faulkner, Amanda Dunigan, Carrie Schoolfield, and Conseulo Pollard. Sophomores earning letters included Amanda Milligan, Miranda Boyd, and Ashley Foster.
The team gave a special award to Coach Ritter who is leaving to return closer to home. The team highlight was the first game of the year when the Rebels beat eventual state champion Guy-Perkins.
Kevin Hall's baseball Rebels continued their domination in conference play, although they did suffer their first league loss under Hall. The Rebels placed six players on the all Conference Team, led by Junior lead off hitter Michael Dewitt who also won awards for best batting average .340 and most stolen bases 22. Joining Dewitt on the all-League team were Junior Matt Owens, the teams homerun leader as well as leading the team in pitching victories and strikeouts. The teams' only senior, Shannon Timms, won the earned run averae for the third consecutive year and also matched Owens in wins. Junior Matt Snyder led the Rebels with 24 RBI's.
All four were named All-Conference along with junior Alex Smith and Sophomore Kevin Winford.
Others earning letters were sophomores Jeremy Mann, Daniel Winford and Josh Davis. Freshmen receiving letters included Tyler Timms, J.J. Emery, Anthony Reece, Kris Kelton, and Adam Seger.
The Rebel Tennis Team coached by Terry Conner gained a District Championship and a fifth place finish in the state by the boys. The girls finished third in the district and with a ninth place showing in the state.
Individual awards went to Kelems, for best net percentage and best winning percentage. Blake won the award for least unforced errors, while junior Von McDaniel won the award for best serving percentage.
Chelsea Couch claimed the best net and serve awards, while senior Casey Peaster won the least unforced errors and best winning percentage awards.
"We had a great year and were one of the best AA teams in the state," Conners said.
Other boys receiving letters in tennis included seniors Allen Luff and Chris Poindexter, junior Josh Ball, and sophomores Cody Weathers and Brian McCormick.
Earning letters for the lady netters were senior Chasity Chisnall, junior Hailey Faulkner, and sophomore Miranda Boyd.
The boys golf team led by Coach Larry Nowlin consisted of three players; Regional qualifier Charlie Davis, a sophomore, and freshmen Willis Holcomb and Clayton Miller.
"I really had a good time with these boys and they showed a lot of improvement. We will play more matches next year with golf moving to the fall so we should get a lot better," Nowlin said.
In Senior Girls fast pitch softball, Miranda Stephens picked up All Conference honors. Individual awards went to Stephens for most RBI's, Senior Heather Shasteen, best on base percentage, junior Amanda Dunigan most stolen bases and sophomore Whitney Shasteen best batting average.
The team highlight was a 12 run win over Conference Champion Rector.
The Senior High Cheerleaders boasted three All-Americans led by Senior Col-Captain Casey Peaster and Junior Co-Captain Megan Poskey. Sophomore Tiffany Timms also claimed All-American honors. Peaster won the Amy Carlton cheerleading scholarship. Rounding out the squad were junior Raven Howell and sophomores Breigh Dudley, Jessica Tucker, and Rebecca Stevens. Cheerleading sponsors are Kristin Emery and Brandi Wallace.
Athletic Director Buster Campbell praised all the student athletes and coaches as well as parents.
"We are very proud that we are self-supporting when it comes to raising funds for our sports' teams. It also helps that we have the best fans in the area," Campbell said.