LAURINBURG — Scotland High School hosted its annual combined winter and spring sports banquet Monday night, where coaches from 11 sports honored their student-athletes with end-of-season awards.
The proceedings opened with interim principal Corey Satterfield thanking the student-athletes, parents and coaches for their hard work and dedication during the year.
The coaches kept their speeches and awards very simple to make sure the banquet didn’t drag on. Recognizing 11 sports, each coach thanking their wives, husbands and God, handing out their awards and introducing the next speaker took about an hour and a half.
Cheerleading coach Brandi Cross was the first coach to take the podium and honored four of her girls after thanking them for another great year. The award for most dedicated went to senior Omega Roberson while the MVP for the cheerleading squad went to Jenna Graham. The Coach’s Award went to Alana Grooms and Jenna Smith won most improved.
Rangel Moore returned to Scotland High School to recognize several of his wrestlers. Moore recently accepted a position at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. The Scots wrestling team had a roller coaster season, advancing six wrestlers to the 4A East Regional.
The MVP award went to junior 152-pound wrestler Dakota McLean, who was again ranked in the Top 5 in the state. Freshman Seth English won two awards, the Coach’s Award and the Nick Key Award, named after Scotland’s only three-time state wrestling champion. English and junior Ethan Tone both won the Nick Key Award. Moore also handed out most improved to Quazay Pearson and hardest worker to Jeremiah McCrimmon.
First-year head coach Mallarie Snow started her speach off by telling the crowd the record of the Lady Scots basketball team — 8-14.
“It’s important to remember that, because that’s the starting point for me,” she said. “I wanted to make these young ladies not only athletes but citizens and characters in the community.”
The Lady Scots all-conference senior Khasiya Sellers took home two awards — Best Defensive Player and MVP. Sellers led the conference with 13.1 rebounds per game and was second in the SEC with 4.7 blockers per game. Most Consistent went to sophomore Nautica Moore and Most Improved went to sophomore Niaria Leach.
Boy’s basketball coach Matt Justin kept his speech short as the team finished the year 11-13 overall and 8-6 in Southeastern conference play. For the second year in a row the team just missed making the playoffs, but Justin said he thinks the team’s best basketball is still ahead of them.
Earning the defensive award was junior Justin McRae while senior Jordan McKeithan won the Coach’s Award. Junior Brenton Thomas took home the Most Improved while fellow junior Niem Ratliffe was named MVP. Ratliffe led the Scots in scoring with 405 points this season to go along with 59 steals and 56 assists.
Justin remained at the podium to recognize the first spring sport — boy’s golf. Justin took over after former coach Michael Way went to Richmond. Two of the Scots five golfers attended the banquet, sophomores Mason High and Nick Thompson. High and Thompson were the two golfers that qualified for regionals this season and both took home awards. High was named MVP while Thompson won Most Dedicated.
Boy’s tennis coach Atondra Ellis reflected on her team’s successful season. The Scots finished the year 10-3 overall and 7-5 in the Southeastern conference to finish in third place behind Pinecrest and Lumberton.
“The bright spot of our season was that we did beat Pinecrest,” she said. “This is my fourth year coaching boy’s tennis and I have been blessed to have coached such a fine group of young men.”
Ellis gave senior Adam Wood the Coach’s Award, before bestowing the Most Improved Award to junior Ryan Phillips. Senior-captain Shane Dubbs was named the team MVP after playing first singles all season and advancing to the second-round of the 4A East Regionals.
Girl’s soccer coach Abbi Marsh said despite battling through multiple injuries her girls always brought a great attitude to the field. The Lady Scots finished the season 1-13-2 overall and had two players earn all-conference recognitions — senior Emma Gray Beacham and sophomore Beatrice Eddy.
Marsh awarded junior Kaylee Miller the Offensive MVP and the Defensive MVP went to Angel Moore. The Coach’s Award went to the team goofball senior Anna Griswold and the team MVP went to Beacham.
“(Anna) your personality can fill an entire field and (Emma Gray) you will be missed greatly by your teammates — and me next season,” said Marsh.
Lady Scots track coach Megil McLean wheeled himself to the podium. McLean had injured his Achilles and was resting his knee on a scooter in order to get around.
“We were a very young team this season,” said McLean. “I told the other coach’s in the SEC that you can beat us this year, but you’ll have to deal with us next year.”
The field events MVP went to sophomore Dynesha McLean, junior Nahir Pegues was named the running events MVP. Rookie of the Year went to sophomore Kayla Kirkley. Freshman Shanice Thompson was given the Most Improved Award and junior Jazmine Williams was named the team MVP.
“She (Jazmine) was like my assistant coach,” said McLean. “She kept everyone in line along with running the 4×100, 100-meter dash, high jump and triple jump. At one point she even tried her hand at hurdles.”
Boy’s track coach Keith Wood recognized a hand full of his runners, throwers and jumpers. The Scots had four runners make all-conference — Tony Strickland, Zamir White, Octavis McLaurin and Brenton Thomas.
All four earned individual award as well, Strickland earned the Coach’s Award; White received the running events MVP; McLaurin received Most Improved and Thomas won field events MVP. The other award Wood handed out was given to junior Tyler Smith for Most Dedicated. Smith will compete this weekend in Greensboro in the discus throw in the 4A state championship.
Fighting a cold, softball head coach Patrick Williams had the shortest speech of the evening. Williams gave out three awards to junior Katie Lighthall for Best Offense; junior Macie Gibson for Best Defense and senior Maggie Laviner for Most Dedicated.
Fighting Scots baseball head coach Chad Hill concluded the banquet with five awards after his season ended in the second round of the 4A East playoffs on Saturday. Hill gave the Defensive MVP to junior Davon Ratliffe; Offensive MVP went to senior Donta Green; Team MVP was give to senior Justin Bowers and the Curtis Britt Memorial Award was handed to senior McKenzie White.
“If you’re a senior don’t be a stranger,” said Hill. “Underclassmen, get ready to work harder than you’ve ever worked before.”
The banquet concluded with Bailey presenting seniors Emma Gray Beacham and Donta Green with the Female and Male Players of the Year awards, which is voted on by all of the varsity coaches at the high school and students have to play at least two sports.
Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.