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IL honors winter stars

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Aces of mats, hoops, cheers earn awards

By Robert Howey

 

INDIAN LAND – A wonderful winter of athletic success was highlighted at the annual Indian Land High School winter sports awards Monday, March 10 in the IL gym.

Warriors stars of the mat and hardwood along with those who provided cheers were honored.

The Indian Land High wrestling team, which produced an individual state champion in sophomore 120-pounder Dalen Byerley, drew its share of honors. Byerley, who went 48-2 with a state title and Upper State crown, earned the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award.

Byerley captured the Class A-AA 120-pound state crown, winning by a technical fall, 19-4 over Aynor High’s Landon Lawson, the Class A-AA Lower State champion.

Byerley’s state crown marked the third time he has captured a state title after winning two as a star middle school wrestler.

Eric Komorous, who finished 42-3 as a state runner-up, along with Devin Curtsinger, 43-5 as a state runner-up, were honored for their stellar seasons.

Curtsinger was presented the Coach Mike Kersey Award for his outstanding mat campaign.

The award was presented by Kersey’s daughter, Madeline, in memory of her late father.

Komorous, an all-region wrestler at 182 pounds, was named Most Dedicated.

Senior George Morris, an all-region winner at 152 pounds, received the Leadership Award. David Ovecka, an all-region wrestler at 170 pounds, received the Most Improved Award after placing fourth in the Class A-AA state wrestling tournament.

The 2013-14 Warriors qualified six wrestlers for the Class A-AA individual tournament, which resulted in Byerley’s state title and two state runner-up finishes.

The Warriors, 26-12 on the dual season, were seeded eighth in the Class AA state duals field, but had a strong run to the semifinals before falling to eventual Upper State champion and state runner-up Liberty High School.

In boys basketball, a host of Warriors were honored, led by team MVP Darnell Rogers, who was named the Region IV-AA Player of the Year. Rogers, who averaged 25.1 points a game, was also named to the Class AA all-state team.

Lee McCall, an all-region pick who averaged 12.3 rebounds and 10.8 points, was selected as the IL Defensive Player of the Year.

Derries Hampton, who reaped all-region honors, was tabbed as the Warriors Rookie of the Year with an 11.7 scoring average. Damien Foreman, who rebounded from a summer knee injury to average nine points a game, was named as the IL Comeback Player of the Year.

The Lady Warriors basketball team saluted a host of players, including all-region picks Monae Brown, Kate Komorous and Jessica Reynolds.

Brown averaged 10.7 points and 8.8 rebounds a game, while Komorous hit 9.2 points with 4.4 assists a contest. Reynolds tallied 10.9 points and had 9.1 rebounds a game.

Mary McGunegle earned the Most Improved Player Award and Tianah Miller was selected as the Rookie of the Year.

Senior Shalyn Dougherty was selected as the Lady Warriors’ Comeback Player Award after making a solid contribution to the team with her play in the second half of the IL season when the Lady Warriors earned a playoff berth.

In cheer, senior Kayla Groll was named the Most Valuable Cheerleader. She shared the spotlight with Dominique Willis (Coaches Award), Brenna Dickerson (Spirit Award) and Dae Dae Brown (Most Improved Award).

IL athletic director Mike Mayer noted the next IL Booster Club meeting is set for April 22 at Showmars at 7 p.m. when officers for 2014-15 will be elected.

IL senior athletes were reminded that applications for the IL Booster Club’s scholarships are due April 30.

Other awards:

Jayvee girls basketball

MVP – NiKiyea Gordon

Team Spirit Award – Meghan Martin

Most Improved – Dejaria Benjamin

Jayvee boys basketball

Warrior Award – Caleb Blue

Hustle Award – Seth Belvins

Coaches Award – Jeremy Mongomery

Jayvee cheer

Best Team Player – Abby Waldo

Coaches Award – Shelly Williams

Most Versatile – Chandler Gladu