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Kiwanians honor top athletes

Jim Sparks, second from right, and Brenda Sparks McCleerey congratulate North Henderson High teacher Dot case as John Whitmire looks on. Jim Sparks, second from right, and Brenda Sparks McCleerey congratulate North Henderson High teacher Dot case as John Whitmire looks on.

IMG 0022Rick Wood, left, presents Lou Ann Morgan award to Wade King.High school athletes, coaches and teachers were honored Thursday during the 46th annual Kiwanis All-Stars Awards at the Chariot.

Started originally as a way to honor students active in sports other than major ball sports, the semi-annual event honored athletes in golf, tennis, wrestling, soccer, swimming, softball and track.

North Henderson High School was prominently represented in the 2012 Kiwanis awards.

The winner of the Ricky Sparks Spirit Award was Dot Case, a popular teacher at North.

She was introduced by John Whitmire, a longtime coach. "I coached junior high, Jayvee and varsity basketball and Jayvee football and I cannot remember any time that Dot Case was not at my ballgames. She was always there."

A history and government teacher at North Henderson, Case was the Region 8 teacher of the year in 2010.

Ricky, a special-ed  graduate of Hendersonville High School, was known as the Bearcats' biggest fan. From the front porch of the family home on Ninth Avenue he would clap and shout every afternoon as the players walked from the high school to the middle school, where practice is held. The murders of Ricky and his mother, Connie, a longtime lunchroom worker who served thousands of local children at Hendersonville Junior High, shocked the community. Two local teenagers were convicted of the murder and sent to prison for life.

Since the death of their mother and brother in 2007, the Sparks family has started a scholarship in their names and donated made other contributions that lift up the memory of Ricky and his unmatched enthusiasm for his beloved Bearcats.

"When I heard I was being given the Ricky Sparks award my main thought was how could anybody live up to the tradition and spirit of Ricky Sparks," Case said. "Ricky Sparks definitely had passion. I'm passionate about many things -- about teaching, about kids that I teach and kids that I have taught. We say the Pledge of Allegiance at North every day and sometimes I can't make it all the way through the pledge because they have passion. I get choked up."

The winner of the Lou Ann Morgan Award was Wade King, a longtime coach at North.

"I have been honored to work with the athletes in the Edneyville and Apple Valley community," he said. "I all my years of teaching I've learned two things about kids. They want love and they want discipline."

Special recognition winners were Colby Langford, A NHHS junior who has won two straight state championships in wrestling; Mitchell Langford, a freshman at NHHS who won a state championship in the 106-pound class; Bryan Wallace, an HHS junior who won a state title in the 145-pound class; and Rhett Hoy, an HHS junior who won a state title in the 220-pound eight class.

The recipient of the Lou Ann Morgan Leadership Award was Wade King. A physical education teacher and coach at Apple Valley Middle School, King has coached baseball, football, golf, cross country and basketball and taught phys-ed for 29 years.

The high school athletes honored were:

Men's golf

John Jackson, HHS

Alex Yarborough, HHS

Bryce Caldwell, NHHS

Ben Justus, NHHS

Michael Dunn, NHHS

David Capps, WHHS

Men's Tennis

Colton Jarvis, EHHS

Brackin Kirkland, HHS

Charles Colhoun, HHS

Ben Brewer-Bowman, HHS

Samit Patel, NHHS

Michael Tyrlington, WHHS

Adam Greer, WHHS

Wrestling

Bryan Wallace, HHS

Rhett Hoy

Matthew Parce, HHS

Zach Houston, NHHS

Colby Langford, NHHS

Mitchell Langford, NHHS

Daniel Mehaffey, NHHS

Jesus Vera, WHHS

Daniel Carroll, WHHS

Women's Soccer

Alexis Green, EHHS

Anna Huntley, HHS

Courtney Altman, HHS

Sierra Lyda, NHHS

Abigail Nelson, NHHS

Samantha Holmes, WHHS

Jenna Sharits, WHHS

Maddie Havener, WHHS

Men's Swimming

John Jackson, HHS

Jacob Schandevel, HHS

Andrew Baber, HHS

Andrew Cass, NHHS

Lee Fullam, WHHS

Dylon Johnson, WHHS

Women's Swimming

Anna Fosberg, HHS

Cassie Born, HHS

Allie Bushelli, NHHS

Kala Ellsworth, WHHS

Emily Albea, WHHS

Bethany Grayson, WHHS

Women's Softball

Taylor Bryant, HHS

Megan Smith, NHHS

Ellie Caldwell, NHHS

Kim Cannon, NHHS

Taylor Richardson, NHHS

Natalie Rice, WHHS

Sierra Bishop, WHHS

Men's Track & Field

Kyle Malone, EHHS

Steffon Hill, EHHS

Grant Rivers, HHS

Tristen Endaya, HHS

Caleb Lyda, NHHS

Kaleb Barner, NHHS

Saban Nuw, WHHS

Zach Bryant, WHHS

Women's Track & Field

Ashley Culberton, EHHS

Marian Rock, EHHS

Raven Thompson, HHS

Hailey Cook, HHS

Daphne Hill, NHHS

Catie Byrd, NHHS

Melissa White, WHHS

Ashley Heywood, WHHS

Angela Gross, WHHS