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Commissioners honor WHHS baseball, track, HHS tennis champions

Shown, from left, are Jackson Lyda, Jake Lindsey and his father, Anthony, and Truitt Manuel and his father, Luke. Jackson’s father, John, was unable to attend.

Henderson County commissioners on Monday night honored team and individual state champions that have brought home the top trophies in prep sports this school year.

The feel-good story of them all may be West Henderson High School’s state championship victory. The Falcons defeated J.H. Rose High School of Greenville on Saturday to sweep a best-of-three series and capture the state 3A baseball championship, its first state title since 1992.

Coached by Jackie Corn and assistant coaches Chip Koontz, Ryan Anderson, Jimmy Gash, Jason Livingston and Anthony Lindsey, the team is made up of Lukas Kachillo, Alex Alexander, Cayden Saltz, Jackson Lyda, Hudson Pressley, Bradley Clark, Jude Lyda, Colin Ingle, Isaac Johnson, Truitt Manuel, Ryan Kasney, Nicky Stanko, Logan Oliver, Jackson Lynn, Eli Shinn, Jake Lindsey, Cameron Grady, Grant Putnam, Amani Perin and Robert Waters.

The roster includes three players whose fathers played on that 1992 championship team — Truitt and Luke Manuel, Jake and Anthony Lindsey and Jackson and John Lyda.

“Ecstatic and proud of our school, and our team and our staff for the wonderful experience they gave us,” Luke Manuel, who is also WHHS principal said after the team was honored. “Our kids have earned all that, plus our coaches. They did a really good job.”

“It was awesome,” Truitt, a centerfielder and pitcher who batted .376, said of the win. “I still can’t believe it. It’s like a dream.”

The Lyda family holds a significant place in local sports lore. Jackson’s grandfather, James, was a renowned baseball player in his day.

“How unusual is it that the grandson would come up and do the same thing his father did and his grandfather holds all these records, too,” said Katie Sanders, who is James’s sister.

Commissioners also honored state tennis champions from Hendersonville High School and track standouts from West Henderson.

In November, the Bearcat women’s tennis team of Eliza Perry, Ramsey Ross, Raleigh Prichard, Anna MacDowell and Katherine Graham won the school’s fourth straight state 2A title. Perry and Ross also won the individual doubles championship — Perry’s third straight and Ross’s second straight title. Perry was named Championship MVP and Ross won the Sportsmanship Award. Perry also was named the Mountain Amateur Athletic Club Division 2 Female Athlete of the Year. The team is coached by Michael Jones and Lane Perry.

WHHS sprinter Emma Hall won three state titles this year — in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles this spring and the 55-meter hurdles in indoor track, the second straight year she swept all three events. Hall was also named the Mountain Amateur Athletic Club Division 2 Female Athlete of the Year in an Olympic sport. “Bad news for everyone else in the state, Emma has one more year of high school to go, so good luck with the three-peat,” Commissioner Daniel Andreotta said. Hall is coached by women’s track coach Aaron Saft.

On the men’s side at WHHS, Tayman Howell won the state 3A title in 110-meter hurdles. Howell, coached by men’s track coach Randy Lytle, has two more years of eligibility.