Manila honors athletes after banner year
Manila hosted its annual athletic banquet May 25, honoring the outstanding achievements of Lion student athletes following the 2009-10 sports season.
Manila enjoyed a banner year, sending five different teams to various state tournaments, highlighted by the senior boys basketball 3A State runner-up finish. Other Lion teams qualifying for state tournament play included senior boys baseball and senior girls softball as well as both boys and girls golf teams.
One of the top honors given each year is the Sportsmanship Awards. This year's recipients were Meagan Presson and Zach Birmingham.
Head Basketball Coach Bill Taylor's Lions completed a remarkable season, finishing with a 29-7 record after winning only three games the previous year. Manila finished runner-up in the 3A-3 Conference as well as taking home runner-up finishes in the District, Regional and Northeast Arkansas Invitational Tournaments.
Individual awards went to Levi Wallace for Outstanding Rebounder. Wallace pulled down 410 boards on the year, the best total of any player in Taylor's 25 years of coaching. Wallace also received honors for Best Free Throw Percentage along with teammate Blake Wheeler. Wheeler garnered the award for Most Three Pointers Made with 99 and was named the team's Outstanding Offensive Player. J.J. Helton was named Outstanding Defensive Player while Garrett Scott was given the award for Most Improved Player. Junior Kam Ashabranner was named team Most Valuable Player and received the award for Most Assists, dishing out 255.
Wheeler and Ashabranner were both named to the All-State Tournament team. Ashabranner was named All-State, All-Region, All-Conference and All-NEA while Wheeler gathered All-Region, All-Conference and All-NEA honors. Wallace was picked All-Region, All-Conference and All-NEA while Helton took home All-Conference and All-NEA honors.
Other team members included senior Jared Burks, juniors Taylor Morgan and Tracey Reinhart and sophomores Garrett Baker, Dillon Burrow, Blake Carr, Zack Day and Blake Miller.
Assistant coaches were Jason Durham and John Deaton. Zach Birmingham and Tray Malone served as team managers while Justin Barley handled video duties.
The Lady Lion basketball team qualified for the Regional Tournament after finishing third during the conference season. Manila also placed third in the District Tournament.
Lady Lions coach Jeff Priest gave awards to Kimberly Wise for Best Offensive Player, Best Free Throw Percentage and Most Three Pointers made. Katie Donner was named Best Defensive Player while Courtney Craine received the award for Outstanding Rebounder. Most Improved went to Meagan Presson while Jonna Dodd garnered the Lindsey Wells Award.
Wise was named All-State, All-Star, All Region, All Conference and All NEA and set the record for most points in a career. Carla Kemp was named All-Conference and All NEA.
Other team members included seniors Savannah Jones, Kristen Painter and Tiffany Pentecost and juniors Taylor Craig, Peyton Joyner and Jordan Robertson. Assistant coach was Mike Bridges.
Manila's baseball team went to the state tournament for the third straight season. Head baseball coach Steve Milligan's squad claimed the 3A-3 Conference championship and won the district title for the third consecutive season before finishing as regional runner-ups. The Lions ended the year with a 17-8 mark.
Baseball award winners included Tray Malone who won the Silver Slugger, Earned Run Average, Most Wins and team Most Valuable Player awards. Zach Birmingham won the Gold Glove Award. The Mr. Hustle award went to Jared Hembrey while the Rookie of the Year Award went to Zachary Reinhart. The Stolen Base award was picked up by Taylor Morgan. Blake Miller and Blake Carr were named Most Improved.
Malone was named All-State, All-Region and All-Conference. Birmingham was named to the All-State Tournament team and also garnered All-Region and All-Conference honors. Blake Wheeler and Taylor Morgan were both named All-Region and All-Conference while Tracey Reinhart was named to the All-Conference team.
Other team members included juniors Brian Borden, Jeremy Goff, Jordon Towell and Mack Vaughn. Sophomores were Justin Barley, Dillon Burrow, Damon Clapp and Rafael Maldonado and freshmen Nicholas Carmichael, Will Croquart, J.R. Dehart, Hunter Dickey, Caleb Johnson, Tyler Lewis, Tyler Ritsmon, Clayton Skelton, Trey Walker, Dylan Wicoff, Colbey Williams and Landon Woody.
Milligan was assisted by Bill Taylor and Don Nunnally.
The Lady Lion softball team, which won both the Conference and Regional championships also advanced to the State tournament. Award winners on the year for Head Coach Jeff Priests' Lady Lions included Kimberly Wise for Best Batting Average, Katie Donner for Most Steals, Jonna Dodd for Golden Glove Infield, Brooke Hill for Golden Glove Outfield and Kristen Wise for Most Improved.
Kimberly Wise picked up honors for All-State and All-Conference. Dodd was named to the All-State Tournament team. Donner, Kristen Painter and Leigha Woody all made the 3A-3 All-Conference squad.
Other team members included junior Peyton Joyner, sophomore Mikayla Shedd along with freshmen Taylor Bishop and Shelby Wallace.
The Lion boys golf team finished District runner-up and placed third in the Regionals. Head coach John Deaton gave the awards for Best Boys Scoring Average to J.J. Helton and Garrett Scott. Other team members included seniors Jerry Jaco, Andrew Nelms, and Blake Wheeler, junior Tracey Reinhart, sophomore Blake Carr and freshman Chris Seals.
The Lady Lion golfers also finished District Runner-up and placed fourth in the Regionals. Best Scoring Average award was presented to Mikayla Shedd, who was also the District Individual runner-up. Other team members included junior Brigette Yancey and freshman Taylor Bishop.
Toby Doke's senior boys football awards went to Steven Green as Outstanding Offensive Back, Outstanding Offensive Lineman Zach Birmingham, Touchdown Maker J.J. Helton, and Outstanding Defensive Lineman Seth Towles. John Wilbanks received the Head Hunter award, Brian Borden was named Outstanding Special Teams Player, Dale Butterworth was picked as Most Improved while the Bill Beall Lionheart Award went to Spencer Cain.
Three Lions made the 3A-3 All-Conference team: Zach Birmingham, Josh Miles and J.J. Helton. The Lions posted two wins on the season, defeating Rector and Corning.
Other team members included seniors Jared Burks, Lance Kilbreath, Briar Moore, Drew Byford, Tim Decker and Michael Schrader. Juniors were Jeff Brown, Tracey Reinhart, Shaun McCallie, Derek Stutts, Nick Bryan and Jeremy Goff. Sophomore team members included Dillon Burrow, Tucker Miller, Damon Clapp, Justin Barley and Shane Lee.
The Manila Lion Cheer Squad, coached by Tammi Scott, included seniors Natalie Marcus and Erica White, juniors Madison Brodie, Lindsey Green, Kalyn Harris, Caitlyn Scott, Amber Smith and sophomore Savannah Towell.
Several athletes were given awards for their academic achievement. Seniors in the 3.0 Club were Zach Birmingham, Jared Burks, Dale Butterworth, Kristen Carter, Tim Decker, Jonna Dodd, Katie Donner, Steven Green, Jared Hembrey, Brooke Hill, Carla Kemp, Lance Kilbreath, Tray Malone, Natalie Marcus, Josh Miles, Andrew Nelms, Kristen Painter, Tiffany Pentecost, Maegan Presson, Michael Schrader, Seth Towles, Blake Wheeler, Erica White, John Wilbanks, Kimberly Wise and Leigha Woody.
Juniors in the 3.0 Club included Kam Ashabranner, Madison Brodie, Nick Bryan, Taylor Craig, Jeremy Goff, Kalyn Harris, J.J. Helton, Peyton Joyner, Tracey Reinhart, Jordan Robertson, Caitlyn Scott, Garrett Scott, Derek Stutts, Jordan Towell and Levi Wallace.
Sophomores named to the 3.0 Club were Garrett Baker, Damon Clapp, Zack Day, Shane Lee, Blake Miller, Tucker Miller and Mikayla Shedd.
Freshman 3.0 Club members were Taylor Bishop, Dylan Bogle, Nicholas Carmichael, Will Croquart, J.R. Dehart, Morgan Earnest, Cori Matthews, Macey Parker, Zach Reinhart, Chris Seals, Tyler Ritsmon, Clayton Skelton, Dustin Sirmon, Geremie Stallings, Chase Thrasher, Trey Walker, Shelby Wallace, Chris Way, Landon Woody and Dylan Wicoff.