Conway High hosts sports recognition

Story and photos
by Sonja J. Keith

Conway High School celebrated its 531 student-athletes, including 146 seniors, at the annual All-Sports Recognition Program on Wednesday at Buzz Bolding Arena.

“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. “Today, we want to thank you for your commitment and we would like to honor our senior athletes.”

Prior to the program, the athletes were treated to a special lunch. Daniels expressed his appreciation to Scotty Bell and Virco Mfg. as well as Blake Browning and Centennial Bank for providing the meal.

Conway Corporation’s Public Relations Coordinator Jeff Matthews, also host of Channel 5 Sports, was the emcee for the event. Noting that several sports are still in conference play in preparation for state tournaments, Matthews shared team highlights from the year, including conference championships for girls golf and girls cross country and state runner-up honors for girls golf and girls basketball. In addition, Casey Ott was the overall state champion in girls golf.

Other stats:

•    Sixty-eight ninth grade students, 168 sophomore and 149 juniors participate on a high school team.

•    First-year lettermen number 130, second-year 76, third-year 37 and fourth-year 12.

•    Forty-two athletes are all conference selections and 17 are all state.

•    Five athletes have been selected for all state tournament teams or all star games.

Matthews announced the name of each senior athlete present, his/her major sports accomplishments and their plans after high school graduation. “These young men and women are your leaders on the field, in the locker room and in the classroom and have represented Conway well,” he said. “Congratulations, seniors!”

Conway Corporation representatives Jeff Matthews (left) and Linda Johnson (right) with the athletes receiving awards sponsored by Conway Corporation: Hailey Estes (from left), Austin Norris, Harrison Dawson and Meredith Ott.

Awards that were presented and the recipients:

Dandra Thomas Award – Hailey Estes, presented by CHS Lady Cat Basketball Coach Ashley Nance.

John Bailey Lady Cat Legacy Award – Mackenzie Dear, presented by CHS Lady Cat Volleyball Coach Laura Crow and members of the Bailey family, Coach Andrea Fournier and Vickie Bailey.

Kelly Dunlap Award – Untavis Ellis, presented by CHS Football Coach Clint Ashcraft.

Jim Case Award – Brayden Leach, presented by Ashcraft.

Brandon Burlsworth Award – Damontay Allen, presented by Ashcraft.

Senior Athlete Scholar Award – Conway Corporation sponsors the awards and presents each recipient with $500 for continuing education. This year’s recipients are Meredith Ott (GPA of 4.2407) and Harrison Dawson (GPA of 4.36). Both scholar athletes are members of the high school swim team.

Ruth Doyle Award For Outstanding Female Athlete – Hailey Estes.

Frank E Robins Award For Outstanding Male Athlete – Austin Norris.

Conway High outstanding athletes Hailey Estes (left) and Austin Norris.

The outstanding athlete awards are voted on by the coaches. In addition to a plaque, Conway Corporation gives each top athlete $250 for continuing education.

“These athletes demonstrate a winning attitude, hard work and dedication to their sports and teammates,” Matthews said.

Estes has been on the Lady Cat basketball team and soccer team for three years. She is a three-year letterman for both teams, with two-year all state and all conference selections and has signed to play basketball at Henderson State University.

Norris has been a member of the high school football and track teams. He is a two-year football letterman and three-year track letterman. He was selected all conference in football this year and helped his team win conference titles and many playoff games.