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Longhorn baseball team wraps up challenging season with awards banquet

Despite a very tough season filled with challenges both on the field and off, the JCHS Longhorn baseball coaching staff was still very proud of their team’s ability to persevere. That pride shone through last week at the annual baseball awards banquet as both Head Coach Pete Pavusek and Assistant Coach Nicholas Perkins recognized some of the players and dedicated fans that have made the program so successful not only this season but over the past few years.
Held in the high school commons area, the banquet kicked off with a slideshow from Missy Newman, the mother of senior Judd Hammons, who has also been a regular on the field getting some spectacular shots of the team whether at home or on the road. Because of her dedication, Coach Pavusek expressed his appreciation to Newman in helping to preserve the team’s many positive memories over the past few years.

Following the slideshow, Pavusek gave a speech about the season noting the many hardships that the team has faced, ranging from some of the worst weather the coach has seen in nearly 20 years to numerous injuries that left many of the best players on the team either out of commission for part of the season or playing in a reduced capacity. Despite that fact, Pavusek was still very pleased to explain that this year’s extremely talented group of seniors was still able to pull of 49 wins in the last four years making them one of the most successful classes in JCHS history.
As a result it was no surprise when Pavusek listed off the many college signees who are now preparing to move on to the next level of their careers. Each member of the senior class was also awarded a special plaque to commemorate their time on the team. A few players including River Cazire and Andy Woods were not able to attend, but Pavusek still made a point to say a few words about each senior’s contributions.
Wrapping up his speech, the Coach turned to the awards part of the ceremony with Assistant Coach Nicholas Perkins coming to the front to address the Junior Varsity. Perkins went on to explain that this year was actually one of the longest and most successful that the JV has ever had, playing 21 games including some underclassman only games. Although the team did face a rough early start, the JV eventually went on to defeat some of the toughest teams in the conference including Elizabethton.
Both Pavusek and Perkins began by recognizing fellow assistant Coaches Tyler Fenner and Ryan McQueen who stepped up to not only help with the Varsity program but the JV as well. The first student award that Perkins presented was the 110%, which he gave to sophomore Adam Worley. The coach’s award was given to freshman Logan Sargent who had a phenomenal year from the mound, while Alex Tressler was awarded the Golden Glove for his defensive work.
The top hitter for the JV, Brandon Vannoy received silver slugger, while Junior Sam Thomas took JV pitcher of the year. A dedicated part of the team who always worked to keep his teammates in the game, Thomas was also given the honor of being co-team MVP along with Samuel Icenhour.
Taking over for the varsity, Coach Pavusek was keen to point out Coach Perkin’s dedication to the program, noting that he “could not have done it with out him.” Pavusek also recognized the efforts of several other individuals who have been essential to the team this season. Some of those mentioned were other students who have been a big part of the team although they may not have actually been on the field. Ryan Gambill in particular was recognized for his role as team manager where he was busy keeping the score, updating the team’s stats, ensuring that they were put on the Longhorn’s website, and generally anything else that the coaching staff asked of him. Gianna Lay and Abby Campbell were also noted for their work taking tickets and selling concessions.

Moving into the player awards, Senior Daniel Helm was the big winner of the night taking both Golden Glove and Silver slugger because of his reputation as a second baseman and powerhouse at bat. Although the senior was not able to attend, Helm’s family was present to receive the awards, which also included a special plaque for receiving all-tournament.

To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.