By Rocky


Kemper County Messenge

Kemper Academy captured district championships in all three team sports offered to boys this past school year. So it was no surprise the Rams racked up awards when the school recently held its 2016-17 athletic banquet.

Awards and certificates were handed out and honors recognized in football, boys and girls basketball, baseball, fast-pitch softball, cheerleading and rodeo.

Eleven different players were recognized on the school’s baseball team after the Rams captured what some believe is the first district title in school history and advanced to the state quarterfinals.

Dalton Sanderford was chosen as the District 2-A Most Valuable Player, the team’s Most Valuable Offensive Player and a Mississippi Association of Independent Schools All-Star.

Trent Lightner was also an MAIS all-star and took home the District 2-A Offensive MVP award and the team MVP award.

Other players who made All-District included Gabe Sciple, Chase Cawthorn, Logan Christopher and Tanner Owen.

Sciple also won the pitching award; Cawthorn was awarded the team’s highest batting average and team Defensive MVP award; and Christopher was named the teams’ most versatile player.

Receiving honorable-mention all-district awards were Jordan Higginbotham, Brooks McDade, Josh Mitchell and Jack Christopher.

McDade was also voted the postseason MVP, while Mitchell was the District 2-A Defensive MVP.

Branson Gully captured the Coach’s Award.

The Rams’ Class A state runnerup basketball team had seven players to receive awards, while the District 2-A champion football team had eight players honored.

In basketball, Sanderford was the District 2-A MVP and an MAIS all-star in addition to winning awards for most rebounds, most assists, most free throws and Best Offensive Player.

Owen was an MAIS all-star and all-district selection and was given awards for best defense and most blocked shots.

Cawthorn, Lightner and Jacquez Cole were all named to the all-district team. Cawthorn was chosen most improved, Lightner won the hustle award and Cole won the coaches award.

Austin Castleberry won the hustle award and J.T. McDade won the team award.

In football, Sanderford was an MAIS all-star and was chosen best offensive player, best defensive player and All-District 2-A.

Lightner was also an MAIS all-star and was chosen all-district and best offensive back.

Owen, Cawthorn, Cole, Logan Christopher, Austin Castleberry and Shane Castleberry were each named all-district.

Cawthorn was chosen most improved, Cole was given best defensive back and Shane Castleberry won the coaches award.

In girls’ basketball, Jena Bobo, Libba Dudley and Allie Redmond were all named to the All-District 2-A team.

Dudley also won awards for most rebounds and most free throws; Bobo won awards for best offensive player and most assists; and Redmond won most improved.

Abby Stokes won the team’s hustle award, Jordan White was chosen most improved, Anna Cumberland won the coaches award, Lillie Haskins won the team award and Jordan Gully won the sportsmanship award.

In fast-pitch softball, Kristen Cook took home the team’s most valuable player and pitching awards.

Bobo had the highest batting average, Dudley was voted most versatile, Redmond won the fielding award and Hannah Roberts was chosen most improved.

Miranda Cumberland was chosen as KA’s cheerleader of the year, while Dudley won the Sissy McDade Award. Stokes was given the captain award and Leah Bobo the coaches award.

Matt Watt was recognized with the rodeo award, while Owen and Bobo captured the “Fly High” awards in honor of Lee Sciple.