Panthers and Lady Panthers host athletic banquet
MABANK–Mabank hosted their annual athletic banquet to honor and celebrate all 2018-19 student-athletes and staff at Mabank High School May 6.
To lead off the evening, the thankless job of the athletic training staff, headed by Alex Medrano and Maria Lopez, were honored for their tireless work to help all the athletes with different injuries and game preparations throughout the entire school year. The Panther Heart award went to Alyssa Smith, Newcomer of the Year went to Lily DeGarmo and Student Athletic Trainer of the Year was awarded to junior Kathryne Handley.
For the Mabank cheerleading squad who cheer on the Panthers and Lady Panthers every season and compete at competition, the cheerleaders begin their work in the summer and carry it into August to begin the football and volleyball seasons. The cheer squad qualified for the finals at the State competition for the first time in school history and finished 14th out of 80 teams at State. For awards, the Panther Heart award went to Cain Guillory, the Newcomer of the Year was Cullen Smith and the Cheerleader of the Year was Cameron Dyer.
Next up, the Panthers tennis team doubled in size in 2018-19, increasing their success overall individually and as a team. The tennis Panther Heart award went to senior Laynee Tanksley, Girl Player of the Year went to Samantha Carter and the Boy Player of the Year was Keagan Bakke.
The volleyball season began on August 1 with two-a-day practices before the school year even got underway. Together, the volleyball squad finished fifth in district overall in 2018. The Panther Heart award went to senior Emma Compoc, Most Improved Player was Landi Ross, Defensive Player of the Year was Laura Dyer, Offensive Player of the Year was Brooke Smith and team MVP was Drew Neighbors.
The girls’ cross-country team saw great improvement in 2018, finishing second place in district along with two second-place, two third-place and two fifth-place finishes as a team. The team also qualified for the Regional meet, with Shalyn Minshew winning the Individual District championship. Minshew would go on to finish 11th at Regionals to qualify for the State meet. Chloe Reese took home the Panther Heart award with Lauren Carter being the Most Improve Runner and Shalyn Minshew being the Runner of the Year.
In boys’ cross-country, the team finished 2018 in second place in district with one first-place, one second-place, two fourth-place and two fifth-place finishes. Senior runner Konner Kemp finished second place with Kaleb Allen taking fifth place, helping the team qualify for Regionals. The Panthers finished sixth at Regionals and had Kemp, Allen and Raul Flores qualify for the State meet. The Panther Heart award went to Kaleb Allen, the Most Improved Runner was Raul Flores and Runner of the Year went to Konner Kemp.
For the girls’ powerlifting team, 2019 saw nine lifters qualify for Regionals in Fairfield with sophomore Angel Anderson advancing to the State meet for the Lady Panthers. Panther Heart award went to Chloe Coffey, Light Weight Lifter of the Year was Lauren Baker, Heavy Weight Lifter of the Year was Kati Reese and girls’ MVP went to Angel Anderson.
On the boys’ side of powerlifting, the Panthers saw four lifters finish as Regional qualifiers and junior Aaron Godwin finished as the lone State qualifier in 2019. Panther Heart award went to Caleb Chase, the Light Weight Lifter of the Year went to Jordan Nguyen, Heavy Weight Lifter of the Year was Garrett Lander and boys’ MVP was Aaron Godwin.
Under first-year Head Coach Zach Hudson, the Panthers varsity football squad picked up big wins over Canton and Ford. The Panther Heart award went to running back Garrett Lander, the Lineman of the Year was offensive lineman Gage Graham, Defensive Player of the Year was Bryson Wilson, Offensive Player of the Year was Alynn Gentry and team MVP was wide receiver/safety Hunter Penix.
The girls’ soccer squad had quite the season under second-year Head Coach Ashton Johnson as they captured the 2019 District championship with an 18-7 overall record and an 8-0-2 mark in district play. Their season consisted of 10 shutouts from goalkeeper Presley Reese to clinch a postseason berth. The Lady Panthers took down Caddo Mills to capture the Bi-district championship before falling to Paris in the Area round after two overtimes and seventh penalty kicks. The girls’ soccer Panther Heart award went to Sam Turner, the Defensive Player of the Year was Autumn Gain, the Offensive Player of the Year was Bri Martin and team MVP was Juliet Pridgen.
On the boys’ soccer side, the Panthers went 11-3 overall, winning the 14-4A District championship to clinch a playoff berth. The Panthers topped Caddo Mills 4-0 in the Bi-district round, topped Pittsburg to claim the Area championship on penalty kicks before falling to Community High School 1-0 in the third round of the UIL State playoffs. The boys’ soccer Heart award went to Antony Tovar, the Defensive Player of the Year was Kobey Nichols, the Offensive Player of the Year was given to Cade Stone and the team MVP was AJ Escalante.
In girls’ basketball, the Lady Panthers missed out on a postseason berth, but came together as a team, made up of many young players, along with lone senior Bri Martin. The Panther Heart award was given to Madison Reneau, the Defensive Player of the Year was Drew Neighbors and the Offensive Player of the Year and team MVP was Bri Martin.
The boys’ basketball team finished 2019 as the District champions with a 23-12 overall record and a 9-1 district mark. The boys’ team clinched the District title in their final game of the season on the road against Van before taking down Quinlan to capture the Bi-district championship. The Panther Heart award went to Gavin Scrimshire, the Defensive Player of the Year was Noah Johnston, the Offensive Player of the Year was Cade Bell and the team MVP was senior Caleb Dally.
The girls’ golf team finished the 2019 season with back-to-back third-place finishes at the Edgewood and District tournaments. Meanwhile, senior Madison Brown won the Individual District championship and will compete at the State tournament. Panther Heart award went to Kally Dupree and girls’ Golfer of the Year was Madison Brown.
For the boys’ golf team, the Panthers finished second place at the District tournament to qualify them for the Regional tournament with sophomore Josh German taking a spot on the All-Region Team. The Panther Heart award went to Cooper Currington with Josh German being named the boys’ Golfer of the Year.
The Lady Panthers softball squad sports a young squad in 2019 and put in the hard work together as a team and have put a program together that is moving up quickly. The Panther Heart award went to Paige Black, the Pitcher of the Year was Carlee Cline, the Defensive Player of the Year was Laura Dyer, the Offensive Player of the Year was Hannah Hanes and the team MVP was Olivia Sullivan.
In Panthers varsity baseball, Mabank came together as a team and battled through adversity, including weather and whatever else came their way. The Panthers took a third-place finish in the Malakoff tournament and will be losing six seniors but have many players behind them who will take over as leaders in the upcoming season. The Panther Heart award went to Travis Donnell, the Pitcher of the Year was Kobey Roberts, the Defensive Player of the Year was Peyton Johannesen and the Offensive Player of the Year was Chandler Carter.
The girls’ track team saw double digits in athletes who went to the Area meet with sophomores Trinity Langford and Shalyn Minshew qualifying for Regionals. The Panther Heart award went to Grace Hinojoza, the Distance Runner of the Year was Shalyn Minshew, the Sprinter of the Year was Raylee Welch, the Most Improved Panther was Sky Wolf and the High Point Athlete was Trinity Langford.
In boys’ track, the Panthers had 10 Area meet qualifiers with five athletes advancing to the Regional meet. The Panther Heart award went to Angel Gallegos, the Distance Runner of the Year was Konner Kemp, the Sprinter of the Year was Caleb Armstrong, the Jumper of the Year was given to Jacob Mcray and the Thrower of the Year was Jacob Wiggins.
To wrap up the evening, the coaching staff was honored for all their hard work and dedication they have, not just in athletics but in the classroom as well. Athletic Director/Head Basketball Coach Tracy Carter was named the 2018-19 District 14-4A Boys Basketball Coach of the Year. Ashton Johnson and Weldon Killingsworth were named the 2018-19 District 14-4A Girls’ and Boys’ Soccer Coach of the Year. Killingsworth also took home the honor of the 2018-19 Mabank Coach of the Year. Senior Alynn Gentry was named the 2018-19 Male Athlete of the Year with Bri Martin taking home the 2018-19 Female Athlete of the Year award.
2018-19 was quite the year for Mabank athletics as they saw a lot of new faces and had different individuals and teams set personal records and show how improved the Panthers are on the court, on the field, on the track and in the classroom. Many athletes and coaches will be looking forward to the 2019-20 season.