Conway athletes honored during all sport program

Conway High School celebrated its 136 senior athletes on Tuesday during its Annual All Sport Senior Recognition Program, held at James Clark Auditorium.

“During the school year, it can be difficult to express our appreciation for the hard work and dedication all of you put into our athletic programs,” said Conway Athletic Director Steve Daniels as he welcomed those in attendance. “Today, we want to thank you for your commitment, and we would like to honor our senior athletes.”

Daniels expressed his appreciation to Eric King and Blake Browning with Centennial Bank, Julie’s Sweet Shoppe and the Wampus Cat Booster Club for providing the meal served to student-athletes after the program.

In introducing Conway Corp’s Jeff Matthews, who served as the emcee for the event, Daniels described Matthews as an instrumental part of Conway Athletics. “Jeff has announced our athletic events as well as broadcasted our games over Conway Corporation Channel 5 and the internet. You will recognize him from the many commercials on TV promoting Channel 5 Sports and Conway Athletics.”

Conway Corp’s Jeff Matthews (center) presented Scholar Athlete awards to Conway High seniors Aaron Rieth (from left) and Casey Ott and Top Athlete awards to Holly Stewart and Jordan Wicks. The four awards are sponsored by Conway Corp. (Sonja Keith photo. See more photos on the 501 LIFE Facebook page and in the June edition of the magazine.)

Matthews described the 2017-18 athletic year as exciting, with several sports still competing, and shared some highlights:

  • There are 583 athletes on high school teams, including 74 freshmen, 189 sophomores, 184 juniors and 136 seniors.
  • Conway High has had 59 all conferenceand 17 all state selections.
  • CHS teams that were conference champions were girls cross country, volleyball, girls basketball, baseball and girls and boys track. The girls and boys soccer teams are still in the running for a conference championship.
  • Two teams were state runners-up – girls golf and girls basketball.
  • Casey Ott was an individual state champion in golf.
  • Twenty-one seniors have been awarded athletic scholarships and signed to play their sport in college.

During the program, each senior athlete walked across the stage, with Matthews announcing the student’s sport(s), athletic honors received and future plans.

Conway Corp presents awards each year to the top scholar athletes ($500 each) and top male and female athletes ($250 each).

Students receiving individual awards were:

  • Scholar Athletes of the Year – Casey Ott (GPA 4.2857) and Aaron Rieth (GPA 4.3958). Ott participated in golf the past four years. Rieth participated in swim for the past four years.
  • Ruth Doyle Female Athlete of the Year – Holly Stewart earned a three-year letter in volleyball and is expected to earn a three-year letter in softball. She has received conference and state recognition and will be attending Pensacola Junior College to play softball.
  • Frank E. Robins Male Athlete of the Year – Jordan Wicks earned a football letter and is expected to receive a three-year letter in baseball. He has received conference recognition and will be attending Kansas State University in the fall, where he has signed to play baseball.
  • John Bailey Lady Cat Legacy Award (volleyball) – Megan Solberg.
  • Luke Baker Memorial Scholarship Award (golf) – Casey Ott and Davis Zimmerman.
  • Bob Courtway Award of Excellence (swimming) – Sarah Meek and Aaron Rieth.
  • Dandra Thomas Award (basketball) – Alyssa Netherlain andCardrinaNolen.
  • Kelly Dunlap Award (football) – Jackson Freeman received this year’s award, which recognizes the outstanding player from the Conway High homecoming game.
  • Jim Case Award (football) – Zach Freedle received this year’s award, which is presented to the most dedicated senior player.

At the conclusion of the program, those attending recognized Daniels, who is retiring as athletic director, with a standing ovation.



Sonja Keith
Co-owner 501 Advertising and Publishing/Publisher of 501 LIFE

A native of New Iberia, La., Sonja is a graduate of Hartman High School (Johnson County) and Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. Sonja is active in the community, serving on various boards and committees including the Conway Regional Women’s Council, the UCA Reynolds Community Council and the Faulkner County Council on Aging. A daughter of Mary and Stan Clinesmith of Conway, she has three younger sisters, Tricia, Stacey and Lori. Sonja and her husband, Tom, have four grown children – James, Emily, Laura and Joe. The family attends Grace United Methodist Church in Conway.

Sonja Keith