LONDON — With more than 500 spectators attending the event, the third annual Trispy Awards were held at London Community Center Tuesday honoring the outstanding achievements of Tri-County high school athletes, coaches and teams for the 2018-19 school year.

“The Sentinel-Echo and The Times-Tribune reporters are working in our communities every day and watching our communities grow,” The Sentinel-Echo and The Times-Tribune Editor Erin Cox said. “The Trispy Awards are just one way we get to honor the communities we are part of and get to watch grow each year. Our panel of community members that chooses the nominees and winners definitely had a hard time choosing nominees and winners this year because there is so much talent here.

“Sports are such a big part of the Tri-County — we have some of the best athletes, coaches and teams in the state and the Trispys give us a chance to review the year in sports and celebrate the accomplishments of our Tri-County athletics,” she added. “The Sentinel-Echo and The Times-Tribune have tried to make this event a classy evening that allows all of the athletes to come together and enjoy an evening together off the field, support each other and just have fun. We have tried making changes to improve it each year and I think the inclusion of Bubby’s BBQ and Shep’s Place this year was a big step for us. Also having the Balloon Garden do our decorations was a step up from last year’s event. In an effort to rotate the location, we moved the event from the Corbin Arena to the London Community Center this year. The turnout was more than last year and we will definitely take that into consideration next year when choosing the location.”

Corbin High School’s Chase Estep and South Laurel High School’s Phoebe McCowan were named Boys and Girls Athlete of the Year while Lynn Camp’s Dalton Cook and Corbin’s Samantha Spady were named Boys and Girls Player of the Year. Dennis Hammonds’ South Laurel High School Bass Fishing team captured Team of the Year honors.

Whitley County’s River Braden and Corbin High School’s Kami Garland were named Student-Athletes of the Year while South Laurel High School Bass Fishing Coach coach Dennis Hammonds was named Coach of the Year.

Mary Weddle Hines received the Lifetime Achievement Award while North Laurel High School’s Raegan Hubbard and Knox Central High School’s Zach Patterson received the Girls and Boys Inspirational Story Award.

Boys and Girls Athlete of the Year

Chase Estep, Corbin

Estep excelled on both the baseball diamond and the football grid this past school year.

As a quarterback for the football Redhounds, Estep guided Corbin to a 13-2 record, district and region championships, and an appearance in the Class 3A state championship game for the second year in a row. He threw for more than 3,000 yards and 38 touchdowns while also rushing for 603 yards and a team-best 11 touchdowns.

Estep also played a key role in the Redhounds’ success in baseball. He led the team with 62 hits and a .512 batting average. He had also scored 58 times, drove in 42 runs, and delivered eight home runs.

Phoebe McCowan, South Laurel

McCowan was able to repeat as state champion by finishing in first place during the KHSAA Class 3A State Track and Field Meet’s 800 Meter Run with a time of 2:13.28. She also earned runner-up honors in the girls’ 1600 Meter Run with a time of 5:08.63

McCowan’s freshman year, she took home a state championship during the KHSAA Class 3A State Track and Field Meet, while also setting a new state record in the Girls’ 800 Meter Run. McCowan has continued to dominate in both cross country and track and field in her sophomore year, including placing first in the 800 Meter Run, with a time of 2:16.22, and first in the 1600 Meter Run, with a time of 5:08.63, during the Class 3A, Region Track and Field Meet. McCowan also led the Lady Cardinals in the Class 3A KHSAA Cross Country State Meet in November where she finished in 23rd place.

Boys and Girls Player of the Year

Dalton Cook, Lynn Camp

Cook has had an impressive football career with the Lynn Camp Wildcats. He ended his career with 6,710 rushing yards on 657 carries and 76 touchdowns as a Wildcat, and he covered 2,495 of those yards in just his senior season. The running back finished the season with 29 touchdowns, while catching four passes for 131 receiving yards and one touchdown. Cook helped to lead his team to a 10-2 record in his final year as a Wildcat. Cook was also named Co-Player of the Year during the Class A-2A Southeastern Kentucky Football Conference (SEKC) awards.

Samantha Spady, Corbin

Spady continued to dominate on the hardcourt. She showed she’s one of the best tennis players in the state by winning her fourth straight 13th Region Girls Tournament singles title while helping Corbin capture its 11th consecutive regional team title during the process. She also collected two wins while advancing to the Round of 16 in this year’s KHSAA State Girls Tennis Tournament.

Team of the Year

South Laurel Bass Fishing

The South Laurel Bass Fishing team has been known as the elite fishing program in the region for several years and this year, the team proved that it’s also elite in the state. Though South Laurel didn’t capture the region title this past spring, the Cardinals were able to send three teams to the state championship after finishing in the top 17. And once at state, South Laurel finished in first place, taking home the program’s first-ever state title. The team will also be sending several anglers to the High School Fishing World Finals and National Championship at the end of June.

Boys and Girls Student-Athletes of the Year

River Braden, Whitley County

In his four years at Whitley County High School, Braden made school history, not only as an athlete but also in academics.

He is a four-year member of both the Whitley County High School cross country and track and field teams. In those four years he has progressed from an inexperienced runner to captain on both teams and record holder.

Braden qualified for state in cross country this year and that excellence carried over into the track and field season where he has broken four school records: the 60 meter hurdles, 110 meter hurdles, 300 meter hurdles and the 2x110 meter hurdle relay. He is the only track athlete in school history to break more than three school record in one season.

Braden is also the first student in Whitley County history to score a perfect score of 36 on the ACT. He is a highest honors graduate and is in the top percentile of his class. He has secured enough college course hours to enter college as a sophomore at the University of Louisville, where he has accepted a full academic scholarship.

Kami Garland, Corbin

As a sophomore, Garland excelled off the field while still participating in three sports.

Garland scored a perfect composite score of 36 on the ACT this school year.

Karen Garland, Garland’s mother, said her daughter has always been a “go-getter.”

She said her daughter has participated in extracurricular activities since she was just 3 years old, including playing several sports, being active in her church, singing in her school choir and participating in Girl Scouts.

Corbin High School Principal John Crawford said that Garland is a well-rounded student who has kept straight A’s all throughout school and participates in several high school sports. Garland plays on both the Lady Redhound soccer and basketball teams and is a member of the track team.

“She’s always motivated herself to be the best she could be in anything that she was doing,” Karen Garland said. “If she received less than 100 percent on any assignment, she would find out why she made the score she did, study similar questions, make adjustments and not make the same mistake again.”

Coach of the Year

Dennis Hammonds, South Laurel

Hammonds’ South Laurel Cardinal bass fishing squad sent three teams to the KHSAA State Bass Fishing Championship with the duo of Shawn Coots and Trent Keltner coming away with the state championship. His team of Jackson Douglas and Hunter Jones finished 31st while Isaac Mosley and Sidney Hale finished 60th.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Mary Weddle Hines

Hines was an assistant coach at Corbin High School from 1995-2002 and 2005-2008. In 2003 and 2004, she assisted with the Corbin Middle School team.

She has a great history with baseball and softball.

In 1953, Hines played professional fastpitch softball for the Phoenix, Arizona Queens and in 1954 she played for the Fort Wayne Daisies as part of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League — the league made famous in the movie “A League of their Own”.

After the league ended, she continued to play softball until she was 68 years old. After her playing career was over, Hines still continued to help with little league, middle school, and high school softball until she was 75 years old. Even in her 80s, she rarely misses any girls sporting events and you can always see Coach Mary in the stands. Hines was also inducted into the KY Prep Softball Hall of Fame in 2018.

Girls Inspirational Story Award

Raegan Hubbard, North Laurel

Hubbard started her North Laurel basketball career as a sophomore weighing over 300 pounds and she wasn’t happy with her athletic abilities. After finishing that season she decided not to play again her junior year, but when she started back to school that year, she realized she was letting her weight stand in the way of her basketball career.

So Hubbard made changes.

She changed her eating habits, cutting out foods that were not good for her body — it was a hard change to make, but Hubbard did it. Then she made the change that was the hardest for her to make, adding exercise to her daily routine. Hubbard would wake up at 4 a.m. to go to the gym before school, go to school and then work — making for a long day.

Hubbard admits she was physically and mentally tired, but she knew she had to keep pushing to meet her goals. By the end of her junior year, she said she was a whole new person. She was happier, had more energy and even had a different outlook on life.

She asked Coach Eddie Mahan if she could be back on the team and she was so thankful that he allowed it. In her senior year, “the girls welcomed me back with open arms, we discovered a bond that can never be broken, and even though so many people doubted us, we pushed through throughout the season. We won district, the region, and made it to the Elite Eight at the state tournament — not many people get that chance,” Hubbard said.

Her journey has led her to losing more than 100 pounds and helping her team make history.

The Lady Jaguars made their first appearance at the state tournament after winning their first-ever 13th Region title. The Lady Jaguars also finished the season with a program-best 31-7 record, which led to Hubbard being selected as the 13th Region’s KABC Player of the Year while being named All-State Honorable Mention.

Boys Inspirational Story Award

Zach Patterson, Knox Central

While battling an injury, Zach Patterson was still able to help his team as they played in the state basketball tournament. Knox Central basketball’s Patterson played the last five regular season games with a stress fracture without knowing, thinking it was just a high ankle sprain. Patterson went on to play three post season games just to inspire his team. He would only say his ankle hurt and refused to sit. Finally in the second round of the region tournament he said he had done all he could to help his team and looked at his coach and said the pain was too much, he couldn’t go. He then went to have x-rays which showed the stress fracture had gone almost all the way through his fibula. After realizing he wasn’t going to get to play, he said he would do anything he had to do to help his team. He turned into a leader from the sideline, his coach said. He encouraged, coached and motivated the coaching staff and his teammates with his huge heart.

In all, 39 categories featured awards in the event. A complete list and pictures of all winners in each category will be included in the TRISPY Awards special section, which will be included in the Friday edition of the Sentinel-Echo and Times-Tribune.

Note: Trispy winners photos by Les Nicholson

Complete list of winners:

Female Cross Country Runner of the Year

Selena Mattingly, Williamsburg

Male Cross Country Runner of the Year

Sean Simons, Corbin

Female Golf Player of the Year

Whitney Messer, Barbourville

Male Golf Player of the Year

Cole Brown, Whitley County

Football Player of the Year

Chase Estep, Corbin

Volleyball Player of the Year

Emily Prewitt, Corbin

Female Soccer Player of the Year

Emily Royster, South Laurel

Male Soccer Player of the Year

Trevor Smith, South Laurel

Female Basketball Player of the Year

Ally Collett, South Laurel

Male Basketball Player of the Year

JJ Ramey, South Laurel

Female Swimmer of the Year

Elle Hays, Corbin

Male Swimmer of the Year

Keller Brown, North Laurel

Female Bowler of the Year

Shayla Atherton, Corbin

Male Bowler of the Year

Kevin Allen, Corbin

Male Wrestler of the Year

Victor Zamora, Whitley County

Female Wrestler of the Year

Jaine Stephens, Whitley County

Cheer Team of the Year

North Laurel High School

Bass Fishing Team of the Year

Shawn Coots and Trent Keltner, South Laurel

Male Archer of the Year

Blake Osborne, North Laurel

Female Archer of the Year

Savannah Hoffman, Barbourville

Male Tennis Player of the Year

Alex Smith, Knox Central

Female Tennis Player of the Year

Samantha Spady, Corbin

Baseball Player of the Year

Chase Estep, Corbin

Softball Player of the Year

Emily Sizemore, North Laurel

Male Track and Field Athlete of the Year

Jacob Robinson, North Laurel

Female Track and Field Athlete of the Year

Phoebe McCowan, South Laurel

Coach of the Year

Dennis Hammonds, South Laurel

Team of the Year

South Laurel Bass Fishing

Male Breakout Player of the Year

Reed Sheppard, North Laurel

Female Breakout Player of the Year

Raegan Hubbard, North Laurel

Female Athlete of the Year

Phoebe McCowan, South Laurel

Male Athlete of the Year

Chase Estep, Corbin

Female Player of the Year

Samantha Spady, Corbin

Male Player of the Year

Dalton Cook, Lynn Camp

Female Student-Athlete of the Year

Kami Garland, Corbin

Male Student-Athlete of the Year

River Braden, Whitley County

Male Inspirational Story

Zach Patterson, Knox Central

Female Inspirational Story

Raegan Hubbard, North Laurel

Lifetime Achievement Award

Mary Weddle Hines

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