With warmer weather and spring sports underway, Owensboro Parent would like to recognize a male and female athlete from each of the four local high schools for this special sports issue. We asked principals and athletic directors to nominate student athletes who represented their schools well by being good role models both on and off the field. Here is list of who was nominated from each school, and what their principals, athletic directors, and coaches had to say about them:
[tw-divider]Apollo High School[/tw-divider]
Caleb Coomes is a senior on the boys basketball team who averaged 8 points and 6 rebounds a game.
“I have been coaching basketball for thirty years. I have had several young men win many awards while coaching them. These awards were for athletic, leadership, and academic endeavors. Caleb Coomes is one of the finest young men that I have ever had the pleasure of coaching. All I have ever asked of my players is to come to practice each day and give me their all. Caleb Coomes not only does this on the basketball court, but he also has accomplished this in the classroom. He currently holds a 4.0 grade point average and plans on attending medical school after he graduates from Apollo High School. Caleb has made my new coaching position at Apollo High School a smooth transition because of his leadership on and off the floor. He will be a very successful doctor one day.”
– Steve Barker, AHS Basketball Coach
Rebecca Buchannan is a senior midfielder on the girls soccer team.
“Rebecca Buchanan fully embodies everything that a coach would want his athletes to be: she is an excellent student; she is highly involved; she is a standout athlete; and she is incredibly kind and genuinely caring. To possess a combination of these characteristics is simply exceptional; furthermore, these attributes are what make Rebecca such a remarkable leader and a genuine blessing to have coached.”
– Mason Head, AHS Girls Soccer Coach
[tw-divider]Daviess County High School[/tw-divider]
Sophomore Lauren Johnson has been a key softball player since she started shortstop as an 8th grader.
“Six years ago a small little girl with a huge a smile named Lauren Johnson participated in our summer softball camp. By the end of that camp the Daviess County High School coaching staff knew she had the potential to be a very special softball player. Through her tremendous dedication and work ethic, she has developed into one of the best sophomore softball players in the state. Lauren’s individual abilities on the field are only a small part of what makes up this outstanding young lady. Lauren is one of the most selfless players that I’ve have the pleasure to coach. As much as Lauren strives for individual excellence, it’s her goal to help ensure team success. Lauren’s family has been very instrumental in developing her into a very humble young lady who has experienced much success at a very young age.”
– John Biggs, DCHS Softball Coach
Jed Arend is a junior shortstop for the Daviess County Panthers baseball team.
“From the time that he entered our program as a 7th grader, it was easy to see that Jed was just an outstanding young man who possessed all the values necessary to make him a cornerstone of our program for years to come. He has always been an extremely mature, hard-working young man who was determined to reach his maximum potential while expecting the same of his teammates. His effort inside the school and in the community mirrors the effort that we have grown accustomed to on the baseball field over the past five years. As he steps into a true leadership role in our program, I cannot imagine a better role model for the young players following his path.”
– Brandon Dennis, DCHS Baseball Coach
[tw-divider]Owensboro High School[/tw-divider]
“Dylan Sanford is a quiet leader. What sets him apart from others is his impeccable character. He walks softly through his life demonstrating every how each of us should live our lives. Dylan always does the right thing even when the adults around him don’t know the right thing or struggle with doing what is right – Dylan just does it with no hesitation. He is immensely talented but never shows any ego or that he knows – he is gifted intellectually especially in the areas of Science and Math and is very gifted athlete. Dylan just simply gives 110 percent to everything he does and he just does it. He has more character in his little finger than most of us have in our entire hands. In all of my years as a high school principal, Dylan Sanford is one of the finest young men I have had the privilege to know.”
“I have known Brooke Anne Bedingfield since she was a little girl. What an honor it has been to watch her grow into the fine young lady that she is. Brooke Anne is very smart and hard working but what truly sets her apart is her courage. She has a keen since of what is right and wrong and is quick to defend anyone who is being mistreated. She will work diligently to right a wrong and she has the courageous heart to fight those battles knowing the wounds and scars that may come from those battles. She is a brave young lady and she will stand tall when most other teenagers would rather shy away.”
“Our future looks very bright with such young leaders amongst us. I can sleep well at night knowing that Dylan and Brooke Anne are our future leaders of our communities.” -Anita Burnette, OHS Principal
[tw-divider]Owensboro Catholic High School[/tw-divider]
Molly Thompson is a senior who was a key member and captain of this year’s OCHS regional tournament champion volleyball team. In her three year varsity career, her total stats include 1158 digs, 812 serve receptions, 69 aces, and 38 Kills.
“Molly is a very outgoing young lady with an energetic personality. She encourages and lifts others up, not only by her words, but also by her example. Her enthusiasm is contagious and not only was she an outstanding leader on the volleyball court, but she is an outstanding leader in our school.”
-Gates Settle, OCHS Principal
As a key member and captain of the OCHS boys soccer team, Dylan Payne helped lead last season’s team to their first regional championship in many years. “Dylan Payne is one of those kids who always seems to be in a good mood and is somebody that others want to be around. He has a calm demeanor that exhibits confidence, leadership, and most important of all, character. He was a very good role model for his soccer team, as evidenced by being named team captain, but he is also an outstanding positive presence in the school.” -Gates Settle, OCHS Principal