News salutes 2009’s finest

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BHS’s Banks, Hallman are top athletes

By Robert Howey

Two Buford High School athletes are The Lancaster News’ 2009 Athletes of the Year.

Buford High School softball star Jena Hallman, who as a junior led BHS to its first-ever state softball title, is The News’ Female Athlete of the Year.

Trevor Banks, who won his second straight state medalist honor in golf, is the Male Athlete of the Year.

u Hallman, who earned the Class A Player of the Year honor from one sports publication, broke three school marks in the Lady Jackets’ 26-9 season. Buford swept Johnsonville in the best-of-three state title series.

Hallman, 22-9, set a new mark for wins in a season, topping the old standard of 17 which was held by Lisa McManus in 2001.

Hallman erased the old record of strikeouts in a season with 253 whiffs. Drewid Plyler owned the old mark of 164 set in 2005.

Plyler’s record of 44 career wins was also eclipsed by Hallman, who now has 49 with a season left in her career.

Hallman, in facing 832 batters, yielded 55 runs and had a 1.71 earned run average. The Jackets softball MVP and an all-region pick, she notched four postseason shutouts, including three blank jobs to cap the BHS girls’ state title run.

Hallman also hit .379, including a .429 effort in the playoffs. She led the team in stolen bases, 20, and had 21 runs batted in.

Hallman also plays basketball for the BHS girls team and earned the Jacket Pride Award last season. She is also a member of the Buford High cheer team which placed 10th in the Class A-AA state competition in November at Columbia.

u Banks, who signed with the University of South Carolina at Lancaster last June, was the Class A state medalist last spring after taking the same honor in Class AA as a junior. He shot 148 as a junior and carded a 145 (77-68) as a senior when BHS finished fourth in the Class A state field.

The Jackets’ golf MVP for the last two seasons, Banks was also a region medalist two straight seasons.

Banks, the Conference III-A individual champion at the league tournament at the Lancaster Golf Club where BHS won the title, played in the North-South All-Star golf tournament at Quail Creek Country Club in Conway.

Buford Lady Jackets, Jackets are top teams

The Buford High School softball and golf teams took top honors as the most outstanding teams for 2009.

u The Buford High softball team, led by first-year coach “C” Davis, won the school’s first-ever state softball championship.

BHS went 26-9 and qualified for the Class A Upper State playoffs as the league’s third-place team, winning in a special play-off with county rival Indian Land.

Buford swept the Class A best-of-three state championship series with Class A Lower State champion Johnsonville 4-0 and 7-0. BHS earned the bid to the state title series, winning the Upper State crown with a sweep of Conference III-A and county rival Indian Land, 5-2 and 6-0 at the Lady Warriors’ field.

The Lady Jackets qualified for the Upstate title series, winning the District I championship with a do-or-die sweep of Dixie High of Due West, 6-0, 3-2. Buford qualified for the Class A Upper State playoffs as the third seed out of Conference III-A. During regular-season play, Buford finished as the runner-up in the York Cougar Invitational. Senior shortstop Lindsey Pressley was selected to play in the annual North-South All-Star games at USC-Aiken.

The Buford High golf team placed fourth in the Class A state golf tournament at the Wellman Club in Johnsonville.

Trevor Banks’ 145 helped the Jackets post a 654 (336-318) to finish fourth overall in the state field. Banks’ twin brother, Taylor, who earned Class A all-state honors, posted a 153 (77-76) to finish in a tie for fourth with Zac Smith of Williston-Elko.

Jackets’ senior Will Ford posted an 85 after shooting a 91 for a 176. Jalen Terry carded an 89 following an opening round 91 to give him a 180 total. Brandon Watts shot a 189 (95-94). The top four individual scores count toward the team’s total.

The Jackets went 20-2, including an unbeaten 10-0 record in Conference III-A last spring.

Davis, Moyer                                            top coaches

Buford High School softball coach “C” Davis and BHS Jackets’ golf coach Jeff Moyer are The Lancaster News’ 2009 Coaches of the Year.

u Davis, in her first season leading the Lady Jackets’ softball team, guided the BHS girls to a 26-9 mark and the first-ever girls’ state championship in school history.

Davis, who served as a Lady Jackets’ softball assistant to longtime coach Sam Page the year prior, guided BHS to the Upstate crown and a sweep of Class A Lower State champion Johnsonville for the state title.

Davis is assisted by Dickie Hunter, Wayne Boone and Ronnie Bailey.

u Moyer guided BHS to a fourth-place finish in the state golf tournament last May in Johnsonville. Trevor Banks captured the Class A state medalist and his twin brother, Taylor, earned all-state honors.

Buford was 20-2 on the season and won the Conference III-A title by 22 shots.

Moyer is assisted by Allen Banks.

In addition to golf, Moyer also serves as the Jackets’ head basketball coach and an assistant with the BHS football team, the 2009 region runner-up.

LHS’s Robinson, Hegler earn scholar honors

Lancaster High School senior football star Darius Robinson and freshman tennis player Lyndsey Hegler earned the honor as scholar athletes.

u Robinson, who has a 3.5 grade point average, played in the 62nd annual North-South All-Star game at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach on Dec. 12.

Robinson, an All-Region IV-AAAA pick, was named the Bruins’ Defensive MVP and received the annual Scotty Munn Award which reflects citizenship and sportsmanship. An all-area pick, Robinson was a co-recipient of The Lancaster News Player of the Year for the 2009 high school football season.

u Lancaster High School freshman tennis player Lyndsey Hegler earned the honor for girls sports.

Hegler competed in the Class  AAA-AAAA girls singles tournament at the Lexington County Tennis Complex in Lexington last fall.

The state singles tournament features the top 32 girls from the Class AAA and AAAA in S.C. and each region receives two bids. Hegler was the first LHS player to make the event since Abby Walker earned a bid in 2003. Hegler has been the No. 1 player for the Lady Bruins over the last two seasons when she also earned team MVP honors. She finished this season with an 8-2 region record and a 10-6 overall record.

LHS, the region champion, finished with a 13-3 mark, advanced to the Class AAAA state team tournament’s second round.

She also competes in USTA-sanctioned tournaments. In the last three years, she has finished in the top 25 USTA state rankings for her age division.

Hegler excels in the classroom as she is in all honors classes and is a Junior Scholar.

IL, LHS soccer teams are most improved

A pair of Lancaster County prep soccer teams were named the most improved teams for 2009.

u The Indian Land High School boys soccer team was named the most improved team.

The Warriors of coach Adam Cole finished 17-1, losing their lone match in the Class A Upper State playoffs in a 4-0 third-round loss to host Southside Christian of Greenville.

The Warriors were 16-0 for the regular season and captured the championship in the second annual Rose City Classic at Andrew Jackson High School and the Conference III-A crown.

By winning the Rose City Classic at AJ, the Warriors earned the right to host the third annual preseason tournament this season.

u The Lancaster High Lady Bruins’ soccer team of coach Bo Sylvia is the most improved girls team for 2009. The Lady Bruins launched the season, winning their first-ever tournament title, the Cyclone Cup at Chester High School.

The LHS girls won three tournament matches by a combined score of 20-0.

LHS, in the playoffs for the first time in several seasons, finished 14-8. LHS was 14-7 for regular-season play before falling to Region III-AAAA champion Fort Mill in the Class AAAA Upper State playoffs at the Lady Jackets’ field.

Lindsy Cooper, who signed with the University of South Carolina at Lancaster, made Lady Bruins’ soccer history as the first LHS girls soccer player selected to play in the annual North-South All-Star soccer match.

LHS also posted the most wins by a Lady Bruins’ soccer squad.