More than Score and Stats

Amy Blalock


Photographer: Amy Blalock

   Coach White honors Samantha Schott on December 16 at the Fall Sports Banquet  

Story by: Bailey Ratcliff, Yearbook Editor

Hours of practice before school, after school, and on weekends. Game days on weekdays and weekends. Summer practices and athletics during the day. This schedule is the reality for many Spring Hill athletes, who put in hours upon hours of work, perfecting their talents in order to perform the highest possible in their sport. The students were recognized for all the work they have put in on Sunday, December 16, at 6 p.m. in the Intermediate School auditorium at the Spring Hill Fall Athletic Celebration. The event was attended by players, parents, coaches, administrators and school board members, all in celebration of the achievements earned by fall competitors receiving various awards for these achievements. “Thank you so much to the families and kids,” Head Athletic Director, Kelly Mercer said. “For all you do for Spring Hill ISD.”


The banquet opened with Coach Mercer expressing his appreciation and gratitude towards every person who contributed to the fall athletic program. “Thank you, parents, for the many miles you drive for practices and games,” Mercer said when addressing the parents. “The way you understand more than scores and stats [and for] making sacrifices for the ones you love.”


After the welcoming from Coach Mercer, the teams and coaches of fall sports were introduced and recognized, beginning with the Volleyball coaches, Coach Hattier, Coach White, and Coach Delaney, who recognized their All-District and Academic All-District teams, as well as their “Most Valuable Player”, Kaelyn Elliott, and their “Defensive Player of the Year”, Sam Schott. Following the Volleyball team, Coach Billingslea and Coach Higg’s Sports Medicine team, gave out the “Trainer of the Year” award and “Leadership” award. The sports medicine team was followed by Cross Country coaches, Coach Alford and Coach Dowell, who commended their runners and handed out various awards. “Anything good doesn’t come to you,” Coach Alford said when introducing her team. “You have to get it.” Coach Alford and Coach Dowell had six runners compete at the state level race, bringing home the first place varsity boy’s award which was applauded as well as awards such as “Most Improved”, to Caleb Hutcheson, “Outstanding Runner” to Sam Schott, and “Outstanding Freshman” to Nick Bodenheimer. Cross Country was followed by Coach Latham and Coach Plunk who introduced all four of their Tennis teams and their accomplishments. He began with some humor. “These guys eat a lot of food,” Coach Latham said. “We never have any left.” Varsity Tennis placed seventh in the state with a season record of 12-2. Closing out the banquet was the Football teams whose participants on both Varsity and Sub Varsity teams achieved various awards such as the “Fighting Heart Award”, “Spring Hill Youth Football” award, received by Brenden Davenport, “Defensive Player of the Year”, and “Offensive Player of the Year.” “Football is a tough game,” Mercer said while validating his teams. “So is life.”


To close out the banquet, Coach Mercer, once again, took the stage to reiterate his thanks towards all attendees and participants. “Special thanks to Teri Burns, your positivity is a breath of fresh air,” Mercer said when expressing his appreciation focused on Teri Burns. “You [help] everyone and [ask] nothing in return.” Each student who participates in a fall sport contributes their best to make the athletic program of Spring Hill High School excel and will continue to strive to do their best as they head into spring. “[Athletes] don’t quit.” Coach Mercer said. “[They] go back to work.”