Katie Thornburg and Antonio Rojo better make some extra room on their trophy shelves at home.
The two senior athletes both walked off with a armful of awards Sunday at the 2004-2005 West Lincoln High School athletic awards ceremony at the James W. Warren Citizens Center.
Thornburg, who played a sport every season she was in high school, and Rojo, West Lincoln`s first individual state wrestling champion since 1986, were named the school`s athletes of the year at the close of the two-and-a-half hour ceremony.
Prior to that, Thornburg picked up team before self awards in volleyball and basketball and the MVP in softball. In addition, she was one of three seniors recognized as 12-sport athletes for participation in three sports a year for four years.
After presenting Thornburg with the MVP in softball, coach Mia Cooke announced that the multi-sport standout will play college softball at Brevard College.
Rojo, a standout in football and track as well as wrestling, was an obvious choice for male athlete of the year.
In wrestling, Rojo won the state 1A/2A individual championship in the super heavyweight class and set school records for most wins in a season (53) and in a career (154). He is the first Rebel athlete to win a state individual championship since Billy Baker accomplished the feat in the 132-pound class 19 years ago.
Wrestling coach Butch Ross presented Rojo with the MVP award, individual and career win citations, and a 2005 state championship ring. Rojo was part of a West Lincoln senior class that won 115 matches and lost only 14.
In track, Rojo won the Darrell Ledford Memorial Award as team MVP, meaning he was the top scorer during the season. He was an all-Midwest 2A Conference selection in the shot putt.
In addition, Rojo was honored as a 12-sport athlete along with Thornburg and Brandon Auton.
Other top award winners included John Harkey, MVP in cross-country, team before self in wrestling and Doyle Beam Memorial Award in track; Brittany Beeker, MVP in women`s cross-country and women`s track; Dustin Hester, outstanding defense in baseball, most improved in wrestling and team before self in football; Kellie Chapman and Caroline Houser, co-MVPs in football and basketball cheerleading.
Principal Mitch Sherrill made opening remarks, and athletics director Wayne Navey served as master of ceremonies. Incoming football coach Randall Gusler, who comes to West Lincoln from Statesville High School, also addressed the assembly.
And retiring coach Rick Rose was recognized by Navey for his 18 years of service as a member of the West Lincoln coaching staff in basketball and volleyball.
The event was sponsored by the West Lincoln Sports Boosters.
Here is a rundown of the awards by sport:
MVP, Daniel Soto; most valuable offensive player, Gene Arp and Will Tallent; most valuable defensive player, Paul Chambers; most improved, Heath Cole; team before self, Dustin Hester; Rebel award, Jon Thomas; junior varsity MVP, Logan Scronce. Presenters: the football staff.
MVP, Kellie Chapman and Caroline Houser; team before self, Whitney Goins; most determined, Nicole Davis; most spirit, Mandy Leatherman; junior varsity MVP, Jennifer Warlick.
MVP: LeeAnna Young; most improved, Anna Watson; Rebel award, Nichol Mick. Presenter: coach Ken Hildebran.
MVP, Aurelio Benitez; best offensive player, Jamie Ochoa; best defensive player, Drew Schronce; best team player, Tyler Clark; best effort, Missy Caballero; sportsmanship, Nathan Chapman. Presenter: coach Kirby Overcash.
MVP, Beverly Hutchins; most improved, Sara Elmore; team before self, Katie Thornburg; junior varsity MVP, Jessie Watts and Holly Hoover. Presenters: junior varsity coach Jaime Boyles Honbaier and varsity coach Rick Rose.
MVP, John Harkey; most improved, Matt Rednour; coach`s award, Ronnie Nicholson.
MVP, Brittany Beeker; most improved, Allyson Goins; coach`s award, Joanna Heavner. Presenter: dual coach Kim Fernetti.
Most outstanding, Antonio Rojo; most improved, Dustin Hester; team before self, John Harkey; outstanding ninth grader, Clay Heafner; most wins career and season, Antonio Rojo. Presenter: coach Butch Ross.
Best offensive player, Ryan Huffman; best defensive player, Ben Poole; coach`s award, Josh Fisher; junior varsity MVP, Casey Gee. Presenters: junior varsity coach Tom Sain and varsity coach Chad Wright.
Best offensive player, Sara Elmore and Candi Taylor; best defensive player, Tamika Werts; team before self, Katie Thornburg; most improved, Katie Davis; junior varsity MVP, Jessie Watts. Presenters: junior varsity coach Rick Rose and varsity coach Jaime Boyles Honbaier.
MVP, Kellie Chapman and Caroline Houser; team before self, Krystle Blue; most spirit, Whitney Goins; junior varsity MVP, Brittany Cook. Presenters: Stephanie Hullette (jayvees) and Ramey Peeler (varsity).
MVP, Katie Thornburg; most improved, Haley Hoover; team before self, Sheana Black and Katie Davis; junior varsity MVP, Jessie Watts. Presenters: junior varsity coach Ian Upton and varsity coach Mia Cooke.
Best offensive player, Daniel Scronce; best defensive player, Dustin Hester; best pitcher, Jake Watts; junior varsity MVP, Randall Neal. Presenters: junior varsity coach David McCraw and varsity coach Allan Chapman.
MVP, Brittany Beeker; most improved, Kristin Beeker; team before self, Lori Mauney. Presenter: coach Tom Sain.
Darrell Ledford Memorial Award (overall MVP), Antonio Rojo; track MVP, Ben Poole; Doyle Beam Memorial Award, John Harkey. Presenter: coach Chad Wright.
MVP, Greg Beam. Presenter: coach Gene Scronce.
MVP, Noah Lopez; most improved, Josh Tallent; Rebel award, Matt Limone. Presenter: coach Ken Hildebran.
Male athlete of the year, Antonio Rojo.
Female athlete of the year, Katie Thornburg.
Kemp Wehunt Memorial Award, Brandon Auton.
Ron Hoyle Memorial Award, Zeb Elmore. Presenter: Allen Hoyle.
12-sport awards: Antonio Rojo, Katie Thornburg, Brandon Auton.
Most outstanding weightlifter: Andrew Moore.
by John Mark Brooks