By Rocky


Kemper County Messenger

Nanih Waiya brought home four individual and team state championships during the past school year.

Recently, the school announced its athletic award winners during an end-of-the-year banquet, including 15 from the MHSAA Class 1A state championship baseball squad.

Brady Jones, Ben Cumberland, Bryce Stanton and Roper Ball were all named first-team, all-state performers for the 28-3 Warriors, while Dalton Luke, Coley Taylor and Jake Kight were second-team, all-state selections.

Cumberland was awarded the Best Offense award while Stanton took home the Best Defense award and Jones the Best Pitcher award.

Luke captured the Most Improved award and Ball was given the Warrior Award.

Cumberland, Ball and Taylor all were members of the .400 club.

Here’s a brief look at all the other winners from Nanih Waiya’s athletic banquet:

— FOOTBALL: Chris Smith captured the Best Offense award, Brady Jones won the Best Defense award and Taemaus Glass the Best Skills award for a Warrior squad which had a scintillating run to the Class 1A state semifinals.

Drew Fulcher won the Best Lineman award, Isaac Eilans won the Most Improved award and Ben Cumberland captured the Warrior Award.

— CHEERLEADING: All-American cheerleaders Rylee Holdiness and Makinsie Clark were honored.

— CROSS-COUNTRY: T.J. Redhouse brought home the Lady Warrior award.

— SLOW-PITCH SOFTBALL: The Best Offense award went to Hope Thames, while Allayna Lovorn captured the Best Defense award.

Kaitlin Nyholm won the Most Improved award and Madison Boykin the Lady Warrior Award.

— BOWLING: Ethan Ferguson was honored with the Warrior Award.

— GIRLS BASKETBALL: Hope Thames took home Best Offense honors while Essence Stricklin won Best Defense honors.

Rylee Holdiness was named Best Rebounder and Hanna Higginbotham Most Improved. Makinsie Clark won the Lady Warrior Award and Thames was named to the All-Region team.

— BOYS BASKETBALL: Isaac Eiland won the Best Offense award, while Coley Taylor was named Best Defense.

Deon Hickman was Best Rebounder, while Quinn Hodge was Most Improved and Karicous Neal won the Warrior Award.

Eiland and Bryce Stanton were honored for making the All-Region team.

— ARCHERY: Madison Boykin took home honors as the top female shooter, while Will White won the top male shooter award.

— GOLF: The Class 1A state champion Warriors gave an award to Jake Kight for winning the individual state championship, as well, while Steven Thornton won the Warrior Award.

— TRACK: Jillian Gregory and Essence Stricklin shared the Warrior Award for track and field.

— POWERLIFTING: Tykell Triplett was given the Warrior Award after winning the Class 1A individual state championship in the 123-pound weight classification; and Daniel Triplett was recognized for breaking the state record for squats in the 165-pound weight classification.

— FAST-PITCH SOFTBALL: Dallyn Nance won Best Offense and got a .400 club award, while Ashley Higginbotham was chosen as Best Defense.

Kaylee Gregory was named Best Pitcher, Jalia Cotton won Most Improved and Hanna Higginbotham won the Warrior Award.