LaFayette High School athletic banquet filled with awards, surprises

Published 8:04 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2019

LaFAYETTE — The student-athletes of LaFayette High School commemorated an academic year of athletic success in the ALFA building on Tuesday night.

Recent LaFayette graduate Ziontavian Turner opened the event by reading a piece of literature to the audience.

Turner was then followed up by LaFayette 2013 graduate JaQuanteiz Whitlow, who was the guest speaker of the night. Whitlow was in a life-altering car accident a few years ago, and said he dedicated his life to Christ while he was in a coma. On Tuesday, he urged the students to continue dreaming because the moment they stop dreaming is the moment they begin dying.

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Volleyball was the first sport recognized at the event. Head coach Beverly Kavookjian said that she was encouraged by the direction of the program this season because she had returners. Seventh-grader Toniya Collier and sophomore Tahia Black won Co-MVP. Turner was surprised by receiving the Volleyball Volunteer Coach Award.

Girls basketball was up next as head coach Michael Bratcher told the crowd that is moving to Texas with his family next month, and accepted a teaching job at Roosevelt High School where he’ll teach economics, become the offensive coordinator of the football team and the coach of the boys basketball team. Bratcher’s wife accepted a position as an associate dean at Texas Tech.

He grew emotional after he presented every award and reflected on his time at LaFayette. Daylan Wright received the team’s senior award, Monkeliah Morgan was named the defensive player of the year, sharpshooter Ebony Williams was named the offensive player of the year and Feliah Greer was named the MVP.

Boys basketball followed the girls as head coach Obadiah Threadgill reflected on his time in the LaFayette community as well. He said that throughout the years, he’s received offers to make more money coaching at bigger schools, but the tradition at LaFayette is something that few schools can top. The 28-5 record his Bulldogs posted last season was the best overall record that Threadgill’s coached despite the fact that the team didn’t win a state championship. 

Corey Boston was named the team’s MVP, Matavais Burton received the offensive player of the year award while Markevious Moore had the defensive player of the year. Mr. Rebound was awarded to Jordan Wallace, and most improved went to freshman center Antavious Woody.

Senior MeKevion Shealey was given the first ever Mr. Shealey’s Annual Leadership/Academic Excellence Award. Shealey is set to graduate as LaFayette’s top student in two weeks.

“We have to honor and recognize academic achievements as much as we do on the court accomplishments,” Threadgill said.

Head baseball coach Micheal Pattillo announced the winners of the softball and baseball awards because head softball coach Mary Daves’ father recently passed away.

Nadya Heard was named the team’s MVP, while Akijah Woody, Selondria Oliver, Collier, Sh’Kycia Ray, La’Dexsyia Landers, Ashanti Phillips, Destinee Strickland, Joy Robinson, Tijah Pressley, Mi’Ashia McNeil, Mackenzie Finley, Auriana Peters, Greer and Black were also acknowledged. Before Pattillo moved on to baseball, a community member reached the podium and said that she noticed how every other softball team had hats or visors when LaFayette, so she decided to buy the entire team hats to play in for next season.

For baseball, the pitcher award went to Nicholas Beaty, Trevor Vines was named the offensive MVP, Shealey was the defensive MVP, LaFrederick McCurty was given the Bulldog Pride award and Kenyon Oliver was dubbed as the team’s most improved player. Pattillo then called up seniors Markavious Tolbert, Shealey, Vines and Beaty to receive baseballs as a go-away gift.

Head cheerleading coach Shenika Threadgill then recognized cheerleaders Dinah Finley, Zykevia Calloway, Jada Robinson, Samantha Cousins and Keziyah Morgan.

Fresh off of the track and field state meet, head coach Corey Thornton approached the podium with the boys’ runner up trophy. For the girls team, the state champion 4×100-meter team of Janeria Gaines, Collier, Morgan, and Alahbra’J Todd were recognized. State champions A’Shayla James and Greer were also acknowledged. Aaziya Brooks, Heard, Wright, Kaliah Chambers, Sherriah Thomas, Aniya James, Makila Wright and Shamia Huguley also received awards for the girls team.

State champion JaQuavian Boston-Gaines was among the LaFayette boys who received awards. Beaty, Joshua Combs, TyQuavian Daniel, Jae’Lin McCurdy, Demarcus Holloway, Vines, Shealey, Woody, Xavier Holloway, Ja’Courias Webb, Devin Howell, Tamare’on Moore, Julius Bullard, Dai’Quan Giddens and Nicholas Foreman were also recognized.

To conclude the event, Jordan Walker was given the football team’s MVP. McCurdy, Jadarious Crim, Woody, Vines, Keandrae Peterson, Lajareon Bryant, Giddens, Shealey and Boston-Gaines also received football awards.