Accomplishments of NHS fall student athletes reviewed in banquet
NEEDLES — Volunteers and parents were doing some last minute things to make sure the Needles High School fall sports banquet that honored the cross country team, volleyball team, cheerleading squad and football team was perfect.
The banquet was held Nov. 30 at Needles’ BPO Elks Lodge 1608.
The teams sat in the middle tables of the banquet hall with the parents and friends taking the outside tables, full of joy and pride for their NHS athletes. The awards ceremony was finally underway after everyone got in line for food.
The first coach up to present the awards was Chuck Stahl, head coach of the NHS cross country team. He started his speech by thanking the parents and friends who traveled with the team since all of the meets were out of town. Stahl thanked the Needles Unified School District for their support throughout the season and thanked the student athletes who in his words, “Made my job fun every time we had a meet or a practice.”
“Our season had some ups and downs and we did have some injuries and illness in our team but we were able to overcome and have a good overall season,” said Stahl.
The most improved runner award went to sophomore Christian Zuniga, the coach award went to Bianca Otero, the most valuable runner award went to Justyce Adamo. Sophomore Cameron Otsby had a good year but was one of the runners who fell to illness. Still, he was awarded Academic All League and Academic All State.
Needles High School cheerleading coaches Karen Smith and Lindsey Payson were the next to present their awards. “We are still in the season since we still have basketball coming up,” said Payson. “But the girls have been working very hard throughout the season learning all of the cheers that we have and they’ve been a wonderful group of girls to coach.” The coaches called all of the cheerleading squad on the stage in order for them to receive applause for their season. While the cheer squad was on stage the coaches handed out the dependability award that went to Ryly Payson and Ashleigh Lopez and the Academic All League award that went to Halley Palacios and Ivy Stone.
Next up was the NHS junior varsity and varsity volleyball teams coached by Christina Howard and Patricia ‘Trish’ Phelps. “I’m happy to say that the girls had a great attitude whether it was a win, loss or a draw,” said JV coach Howard. “We had an okay season but what matters is that the girls on the team always gave their best in every game that we had.” Awards included Paige Murch, Academic All League; Riley Breaux, Academic All League and All State. Brooklyn McCorkle took home the second team All League outside hitter award. Bruke Zozaya was named to second team All League.
Next it was the JV football team to receive some awards.
“The guys really pushed themselves this season in every game,” said Isidro Ramirez, head coach. “They learned what it was to play ironman football and Needles football in every game that we played in. The guys really came together in every game and we played teams where we lost really bad but the guys left the field with their heads up, knowing they left everything on the field and gave 100 percent effort every game.” As coach Ramirez called the players on stage to receive their certificate he would give a little description about them. Gabriel Belt was introduced as having lots knowledge of the game and one day he could be a coach, Nathan Parker for having lots of potential, Blake Hanline for always making funny jokes, Mario Hernandez always gave 100 percent in any position they put him in, Lucas McCann for being quiet but always giving full effort, Anthony Leslie-McMahon for looking like he didn’t know a lot of football but got it and was really good at it, Jose Romero for giving 100 percent at any position, Michael Necochea for having the ‘eye of the tiger,’ Raymond Jenkins for playing hard every game, Tyler Weiss for always working hard every day, John Perez for showing lots of growth since last year, Trevyn Diaz for playing with lots of confidence every game, Jesse Zamora for showing lots of heart throughout the year and Dillon Herd for joining at the last minute and being a great athlete.
Head coach of the Needles High School Mustangs football team Matt Fromelt started off by saying thank you to all of the people, businesses, coaches, parents and administration who supported the Needles High School Mustangs football program throughout the season. “I think we made a pretty good run this year, being 9-2 on the season and 8-1 in the league. We reached the state semifinals for the second year in a row, which is something to be very proud of and we finished second in our league which is a great year for us,” said Fromelt. “One of the many things that made this team very special to me was the work ethic they had in practice every day. It showed on Friday nights during the games. We had a bye week when the season was done going into the playoffs, which can be very hard on the players since there is no game to keep them motivated, but our bye week was great and it couldn’t have been better. One of the highlights that stuck out in my head was our first meeting in the classroom. Everyone was a little nervous but Derek was beating the table and screaming because he was so excited for football. Another highlight was when we were eating at a restaurant and Marshal asked JJ to give him a cone and JJ got up, didn’t give him ice cream and a cone but just handed him an empty cone. I thought that was funny. A big memory that sticks out was our last week of practice Gilman was running out and saw a bee hive. The next thing I saw was Gilman running across the field and a whole swarm of bees also crossing the field and I’ve never seen 15 to 18 year old boys turn into little boys that fast, running away and screaming. The last thing that stuck out in my head was just after our playoff victory when they dealt with the adversity and how proud they were of themselves and how proud I was of them. It was just a great moment for our program: the players and the coaches to have dealt with adversity like that. It was really great to see.”
Fromelt added some description to the awards distribution. “Always helpful and focused Jayden Yeager, always had a positive attitude Frankie Garcia, willing to mix it up with the big guys now that he’s 16 Dillon Darrow, stepped up for us in many different positions Gilman Jenkins, always smiling and stepped up for us when we needed him Marcus Turner, ready to play wherever we needed him even at D-tackle Nathan Parker, loves to play football Derek Wagstaff, Spirit Run I’ll give you some plays off Shane Gates, do your work hard and improve during the season Tyler White.” Coach Fromelt continued: “Very hard worker and disappointing we had to lose him before the season started but he’ll be ready for next year Tristan Pletcher, so close to Mauricio but yet so far away Dylan Hetrick, always working hard and putting extra time in and showed a lot of improvement Isaiah Garcia, season was cut short and it was fun at times to ride in a car with him for eight hours in a day Teran Woody, willing to learn and improved during the season Anthony Lopas, always on time and worked hard Carlos Adamo, learned on the run and played a lot of different positions for us Marshal Jewell, stepped up for us in crucial times during our season Michael Necochea, gets some sleep Isaiah Turner, hey! he caught it! Doogie Harvey, he worked very hard for us through practice and on the scout team Robert Hancock, ready to do whatever the team needed Trey Tsosie, fun to watch and improved during the season even though he had an injury Ezrah Ponce, stick it out for 11 weeks of practice but never really saw action on the field and learned what Mustang football was all about Jess Pierce, always gave 100 percent when she was on the field Brenna Chavez, showed endless support for the team and we always appreciate everything she did for us Amaya Harvey, glad to have you on board and keep working hard Cameron Chambres, and last but not least did good this year showed steady improvement and will be a force next year John Perez.”
The players went back to their seats after they got their certificates which meant it was time to hand out the awards starting out with the NHS Mustang football team offense All-League awards: two time player of the league running back Derek Wagstaff, first team running back Frankie Garcia, first team wide receiver Trey Tsosi, first team O-line Dylan Hetrick, second team tight end Doogie Harvey, honorable mention quarterback Jayden Yeager. Then coach Fromelt handed out the All League defensive and special team awards: first team D-line Doogie Harvey, fist team D-Line Dylan Hetrick, first team linebacker Shane Gates, first team defensive back Gilman Jenkins, honorable mention defensive back Dillon Darrow, second team return specialist went to Frankie Garcia and first team punter went to Dylan Hetrick. The All League Academic awards went to Brenna Chavez, Frankie Garcia, Dylan Darrow, Nathan Parker, Marshal Jewell, Ezra Ponce and the All State Academic awards went to Brenna Chavez, Frankie Garcia and Dillon Darrow.
The Needles Mustangs football team also handed out All-State offensive, defensive and special teams awards that went to: first team running back Derek Wagstaff, first team running back Frankie Garcia, first team wide receiver Trey Tsosi, first team O-line Dylan Hetrick, first team D-tackle Dylan Hetrick, first team linebacker Shane Gates, first team defensive back Gilman Jenkins, second team D-line Doogie Harvey and second team punter Dylan Hetrick.
The Mustang football team also gave out several ‘Mustang’ awards to the team. The first was the Mustang Award for 2016 to a player who showed great work ethic, kept up with his academics, didn’t get in trouble and was overall a first class citizen: Marshal Jewell. Trey Tsosi won the Mustang Award for being the most versatile player and being a great team player. The Mustang lineman of the year was Dylan Hetrick, Shane Gates won the Mustang defensive player of the year, Frankie Garcia won the Mustang offensive player of the year and Derek Wagstaff won the Mustang most valuable player of the year award.