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FCHS athletics honors student athletes

When students take part in athletics they learn a lot of lessons you can’t get in a classroom.

And those who work hard, and achieve success, are honored for their efforts.

At last month’s Franklin County High School awards banquet, on May 19 in the cafeteria, these students, all who took part in a middle, junior or high school sports, whether the typo athletes or the bench cutters, all of them, were honored for their commitment, teamwork and dedication.

Athletic Director Dirk Strunk oversaw the event, which featured all the teams, including the baseball and softball teams, which each planned a separate recognition dinner as well.

Following an opening prayer by Alex Sterling, the night’s emcee, Torey Blackman, whose powerful voice announced a broad range of sports this past year, handed out the awards.

It opened with volleyball, which was coached last season by Rebecca Montalbano, and next year will see the return of longtime coach Tara Klink.

This year’s varsity team included seniors Meredith Alford, Ariel Andrews, Sage Brannan and Myia Maxwell, junior Autumn Loesch, Mya Brown, Skylar Johnson and Kylee Smith, sophomore Hannah Abel and freshman Ryan Brown.

Many of the younger junior varsity and middle school players were honored as well.

The Seahawk Volleyball Awards for Outstanding Attitude went to Autumn Loesch, Grace Adair, and Valerie Shattuck; while the Hustle Awards went to Hannah Abel, Madison Millender, and Hailey Loesch.

The Most Kills awards went to Skylar Johnson, Maleah Bell, and Alexis Webb, while Most Blocks went to Skylar Johnson, Sarah Ham, and Mia Thomas; the Most Digs to Ryan Brown, Alexcia McNair and Brooklyn Klink; the Team Leader to Myia Maxwell and Kylee Smith; and the Most Improved to Ariel Andrews, Kylee Smith, Haleigh Miller, Luci Paul, Reese Cargill, Kate Ward and Jayla Creamer.

With the football program, under the direction of coach Strunk, the players on both the middle school and varsity football teams were honored.

With the varsity program, the Offensive Most Valuable Player award went to junior quarterback Evan Stanley, who completed 49 of 115 passes, for an average of 77 yards per game, and six touchdowns. He carried the ball 53 times for 179 yards and three touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball, the MVP was senior Larry Winchester, with 47 solo tackles and 21 assists. Winchester was also the team overall MVP, as he carried the ball 24 times for 133 yards and one touchdown, and caught 11 passes for 87 yards and one touchdown.

The Academic Award went to junior Ethan Shirley and sophomore Alex Sterling, while the Seahawk Award went to junior Kevin Sullivan. Rookie of the Year was junior Parker Mock.

In boys golf, coached by Mike Todd, two juniors took part – Colin Wefing, a five-year letterman, and River Sheridan, a two-year letterman.

The cheerleading teams were honored as was middle school girls basketball, as well as the cross country and track teams.

In boys basketball, the middle school, junior varsity and varsity teams were honored, all under the direction of Ray Bailey.

The Offensive Player of the Year honors went to junior Owen Poloronis, who hit 89 out of 177 field goal tries, and 36 out of 112 three-point shots, plus 44 of 74 free throws. He averaged about 12 points per game, just behind senior Jerymiah Stephens, who scored 13.8 points per game, and ahead of senior Carter Kembro, who averaged 11.6 points per game and sophomore Ethan Kembro, who averaged 10.9 points per game.

The Defensive Player of the Year was junior Jaidyn Rhodes, who had 27 offensive rebounds and 52 defensive caroms, along with 50 steals and two blocks.

The overall MVPs were seniors Jerymiah Stephens and Carter Kembro. Stephens had 54 offensive rebounds and 106 defensive ones, along with 154 assists, 76 steals and seven blocks. Kembro had 60 offensive rebounds and 123 defensive ones, along with 45 assists, 36 steals and 31 blocks.

The Winner of Life Award went to senior Jamal Robinson, and the Academic Award went to senior Carter Kembro.

In girls weightlifting, under the direction of Scott Collins, the team honored seventh grader Lilah Millemder who qualified for regionals in the 101-pound class.

In girls soccer, under the direction of Anna Bull, the Academic MVP award went to senior Alondra Jimenez, while the Athletic MVP awards went to freshman Jade Lively, who scored two goals, and junior Miranda Diaz.

In boys soccer, under the direction of Bill McCullough, the Academic MVP was Ethan Shirley and the Athletic MVP was sophomore Gideon Dively, who had 30 goals and 12 assists for the season. Dively was also the Top Lifter on the boy’s weightlifting team.

The newly inaugurated Flag Football team, under the direction of coach Julia Mathews was also celebrated,

The Offensive MVP was freshman Jade Lively, and the Defensive MVP was junior Bobbie Pedrick, who also took home the Academic Award.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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