Panther, Lady Panther athletes receive honors, awards

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Parents, friends, and supporters of Bullard High School athletics gathered to celebrate the successes of the BHS athletic department in the 2017-2018 school year at the annual BHS Athletic Banquet Monday, May 7, inside the First United Methodist Church Family Life Center.

“We were proud to honor our student athletes for their successes this school year,” said Scott Callaway, Bullard Independent School District’s athletic director and head football coach. “The end-of-the-year banquet is a great time for us to reflect on the achievements of each of the teams that make up our athletic department. It’s an exciting time to hit the highlights of the year and present these very deriving athletes with the annual awards that have become a tradition in our department.”

As members of Class 4A’s District 9 during the 2017 season, Callaway and the Bullard Panther varsity football team finished with an overall record of 3-7, 2-4 in district play, missing the cut for the UIL playoffs.

Each of the Panthers’ position coaches presented awards to the best player or players at each position.

Members of the Panther varsity football team receiving position awards included Cleet Bowman, receiving the Outstanding Offensive Back award; Brody Mullican, receiving the Outstanding Linebacker award; Dakotah Walsworth, receiving the Outstanding Defensive Lineman award; Landry Lasseter, receiving the Outstanding Defensive Back award; Weston Roach, receiving the Outstanding Offensive Lineman award; Will McCowin, receiving the Outstanding Special Teams award; and Luke Bowman, receiving the Panther of the Year award.

The BHS Cross Country team competed well during their season, advancing several runners to the Regional Cross Country Meet.

BHS Cross Country coach Season Caughlin presented Emily Berry with the Outstanding Female Runner award, as well as Hayden Jeffus with the Outstanding Male Runner Award.

The Bullard Lady Panther varsity volleyball team ended the 2017 season with an overall record of 29-11, 10-0 in district play, and claimed recognition as the undefeated 2017 District 15-4A District Champions. The team earned the accolade of Bi-District Champions after defeating the Henderson Lady Lions, but was defeated in the Area round by the Texarkana Pleasant Grove Lady Hawks.

The Lady Panther varsity volleyball team’s awards were presented by head coach Cristy O’Bannon. Kailan Bellew was awarded Most Improved Player, while Sarah McKeethan was awarded Most Outstanding Player.

The Bullard Lady Panther varsity basketball team ended its 2017-2018 campaign with an overall record of 31-9, 8-2 in district play. The team was recognized as Co-District Champions, Bi-District Champions, and Area Champions, before being defeated in the Regional Quarterfinals by the Tatum Lady Eagles.

Head Coach Barry Gill awarded the team’s Most Improved Player to Erin Berry, as well as the team’s Most Outstanding Player award to both Allie Kirgan and Sydney Foster.

The Bullard Panther varsity basketball team finished the 2017-2018 season with an overall record of 7-25, 1-9 in district play, missing the cut for the playoffs.

The team’s Most Improved Player award was shared between Jerrod Shrode and Chase Chewning, while the Most Outstanding Player award was presented to Will McCowin. The awards were presented by head coach Monta Jeffley.

Bullard’s Panther and Lady Panther varsity tennis teams recently ended their regular spring season schedule by taking third place overall, with several of the teams’ members advancing to the upcoming Regional round. As individual programs, the Panthers claimed a second place finish, while the Lady Panthers finished third in spring play.

BHS head tennis coach Josh Boyd awarded the program’s Most Improved Player award to Sarah Provencher, while Kallie Hardin and Dylan Sloan were presented with Girls and Boys Most Valuable Player awards, respectively.

The Bullard Panther varsity baseball team ended the 2018 season with a record of 14-13, 7-3 in district play, and was recognized as Bi-District Champions. The team was defeated in the Area round “best-of-three” matchup by the Texarkana Pleasant Grove Hawks.

First year Panther Baseball head coach Brock Lemire announced the team’s awards at the banquet, including Nic Costas, named Most Improved Player; Jansen Mattingly, named Offensive Most Valuable Player; Colton Bowman, named Defensive Most Valuable Player; and Jacob Johnson, named Team Most Valuable Player.

The Bullard Lady Panther varsity softball team wrapped up the 2018 season with a record of 25-6-1, 9-1 in district play, and was recognized as the District, Bi-District, and Area Champions. The Lady Panthers were knocked out of the playoffs in the Regional Quarterfinals by the Emory Rains Ladycats.

Awards announced for the Lady Panther varsity softball team by head coach Megan Dobrinski included Destinee Dixon, Defensive Most Valuable Player; Ashlyn Seaton, Offensive Most Valuable Player; and Payton Hancock, Most Improved Player.

The Bullard Panther and Lady Panther varsity golf teams also had a productive year during the 2017-2018 school year, as the Panther team collected first and second place finishes at District, third place at Regionals, and third place at State, while the Lady Panther program placed third at District, advancing one golfer to the Regional event.

BHS head golf coach Tim Moore announced the program’s awards, which were presented to Caroline Calhoon, Most Outstanding Girl; and Jaxson Bellar, Most Outstanding Boy.

In its inaugural season, the Panther varsity soccer program finished the 2018 season with an overall record of 5-13-1 in club play.

At the banquet, Panther soccer head coach Darren Vossler presented awards to Offensive Most Valuable Player Will McCowin and Defensive Most Valuable Player Zach VanWinkle.

Likewise, the Bullard Lady Panther varsity soccer team ended its first season as an offered sport at BHS with an overall record of 9-10-3, 4-4 in district play, on the 2018 season. The team was knocked out of the playoffs in the Bi-District round against the Kilgore Lady Bulldogs.

The BHS Lady Panther Track and Field team competed well against the tough competition during the 2018 season, finishing with a total of eight athletes advancing to the Regional meet.

BHS girls head track coach Don Gibson awarded awards to two of the program’s athletes, including Emily Berry, Most Outstanding Runner; and Ashley Waterman, Most Outstanding Field Athlete.

Additionally, the Panther varsity track team finished the 2018 season with a strong push, as two athletes competed at the Regional level, with one athlete advancing to the State track and field meet.

Awards presented to student athletes by Panther track and field head coach Adam Varnado went to Hayden Jeffus, Most Outstanding Runner; and Will McCowin, Most Outstanding Field Athlete.

The Bullard Panther and Lady Panther varsity boys and girls powerlifting teams fought hard to outlift the competition, as the boys team sent three athletes to compete at the State event, while the girls program sent one athlete and one alternate to the final meet of the season.

Callaway was on hand to announce the award winners for the BHS powerlifting teams, including Audrey Shelton, Most Outstanding Female Lifter; and Jensen Mattingly, Most Outstanding Male Lifter.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes male and female leadership awards, given to athletes who represent the BHS athletic department with Christ-like character, were presented to Cleet Bowman and Riley Randall, respectively.

The Panther and Lady Panther awards, voted on by the coaches, are given to the athlete who is abundantly productive in several sports showing above average athletic ability while being respected by players as a leader on the team.

Will McCowin was named the recipient of the Panther award, while Ashlyn Meador was presented with the Lady Panther award.

Also announced as award winners were BHS student athletes Kailey Consford and John Campbell, honored with the annual Panther and Lady Panther Fighting Heart awards, respectively.

The final award presented at the 2018 BHS Athletic Banquet was the Jacksonville Daily Progress Scholar Athlete of the Year award, received by Kailey Consford and Tyce Johnson.

Attendees to the 2018 BHS Athletic Banquet were treated to a catered dinner by Luby’s in Tyler, with members of the Bullard Athletic Boosters Club assisted with the meal arrangements.

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