Jr. high sports honors in Mansfield

Mansfield/Waterville’s junior high football team members and coaches are: back row, from left, coach Ric Bayless, Kody Angus, Adam Holcomb, coach Henry Austin, Jaimen Schmidt (most improved player), Kayden Browning, Evan Simmons, Tristen Marden (best defensive player, most inspirational player), Daniel Youngblood, Caiden Price (best offensive player) and Riley Voie; front row, Braxton Jessup, Gannon Gormley, Xavier Tedder, Chase Voie and Eddie Tapia. (Photo provided by Renee Bayless)

 

By Adrienne Douke
Empire Press Correspondent

Mansfield School hosted a fall awards banquet Nov. 3 in the school cafeteria to honor Mansfield and Waterville junior high athletes. There were three categories of athletic competition: the Mansfield/Waterville Kernels combined seventh grade girls basketball team, the Mansfield/Waterville Kernels combined eighth grade basketball team, and the Mansfield/Waterville Kernels combined boys seventh and eighth grade football team.

After a dinner of spaghetti, salad and rolls, Mansfield Superintendent Cora Nordby welcomed the audience of over 100 parents, friends, families and community members from Mansfield and Waterville. Then, Mansfield Athletic Director Ric Bayless thanked his wife Renee for the spaghetti dinner. He also acknowledged the parents for their tireless support of the young athletes.

Bayless thanked the Mansfield Booster Club, Mansfield/Waterville Kernels assistant football coach Henry Austin, and Mansfield custodian Patty Hanson for their combined efforts of coaching, keeping the football field in good condition and keeping the school clean. Bayless also said that, “All the teams were great, and it was a pleasure to watch them grow.”

He then handed the mic to Mansfield seventh grade assistant girls basketball coach Paulette Bridgewater, who spoke about how pleased she was with the girls’ athletic progress. “A year ago I would have laughed if you told me I’d be standing here announcing these awards as the assistant seventh grade girls basketball coach,” she said.

Certificates of participation were presented to Claire Ashley, Katelyn Donaglia, McKenna Gurnard, Joslyn Lucero, Charleah Munson, Beau Nordby, Ella Osborne and Bailey Viebrock.

Awards went to Claire Ashley, most inspirational player; Beau Nordby, best defensive player; Bailey Viebrock, most improved player; and Ella Osborne, most valuable player. “Thank you, all the athletes and parents who made this year’s combined basketball season a success,” Bridgewater said.

Next, Mansfield head coach Michael Hughes went to the podium to introduce the eighth grade girls Mansfield/Waterville Kernels combined basketball team. They included manager Marissa Garcia, and players Meredith Mittelstaedt, Elizabeth Katovich, Brooke Willms, Alex Poppie, Codee Fry, Emily Thomsen, Presley Avenell, Sarah Mullen, Grace Shriner and Abbi Smith. Awards went to Abbi Smith, most improved player; Brooke Willms, most inspirational player; Alex Poppie, best defensive player; and Elizabeth Katovich, most valuable player.

After presenting those awards, Bayless again took the mic, this time as Mansfield/Waterville Kernels junior high boys football coach. Bayless thanked the concessions team of Diana and Jim Mickelson, and Luke and Lisa Hall. He also acknowledged Ken Peters and Adam Foged for working the score clock. Bayless also expressed thanks to Nordby for “great pep talks that really helped keep me going,” and to Lynn Poole for providing vouchers for free milkshakes for the team.

Bayless introduced the Mansfield/Waterville Kernels combined football team. Seventh-graders included Kody Angus (45), Adam Holcomb (52), Jaimen Schmidt (36), Evan Simmons (34), Eddie Tapia (88) and Xavier Tedder (7). Eighth-graders included Kayden Browning (22), Braxton Jessup (32), Tristen Marden (24), Caiden Price (56), Riley Voie (47), Daniel Youngblood (10), manager by default Gannon Gormley, and videographer Chase Boyd. “Thank you, I really enjoyed coaching again after four years,” Bayless said.

Bayless announced awards, voted on by the team, that went to Jaimen Schmidt, most improved player; Caiden Price, best offensive player; and Tristen Marden, best defensive player (35 unassisted tackles and 15 assisted tackles) and most inspirational player.

As the banquet concluded, Nordby said, “These are truly exciting times for both of our communities. I’m glad we were able to offer more athletic opportunities for our kids through the Mansfield/Waterville Kernels combined sports program. It was a very successful combination fall athletic program.”

Bayless agreed, “I appreciate all the parents’ support, especially for something nobody knew what the outcome would be. We weren’t sure how the combination sports program would turn out, and it turned out better than we expected.”

 

Mansfield/Waterville's eighth grade girls basketball team and coaches: back row, from left, coach Mike Hughes, coach Paulette Bridgewater, Emily Thomsen, Alex Poppie (best defensive player), Elizabeth Katovich (most valuable player), Brooke Willms (most inspirational player) and Codee Fry; front row, Meredith Mittelstaedt, Sarah Mullen, Presley Avenell and Grace Shriner. Not shown is Abbi Smith, who was awarded most improved player. (Photo provided by Renee Bayless)

Mansfield/Waterville’s eighth grade girls basketball team and coaches: back row, from left, coach Mike Hughes, coach Paulette Bridgewater, Emily Thomsen, Alex Poppie (best defensive player), Elizabeth Katovich (most valuable player), Brooke Willms (most inspirational player) and Codee Fry; front row, Meredith Mittelstaedt, Sarah Mullen, Presley Avenell and Grace Shriner. Not shown is Abbi Smith, who was awarded most improved player. (Photo provided by Renee Bayless)

 

Mansfield/Waterville's seventh grade girls basketball team and coaches: back row, from left, coach Paulette Bridgewater, Claire Ashley (most inspirational player), coach Mike Hughes, Charleah Munson and Tessa Johnson; front row, Katelyn Donaglia, McKenna Gurnard, Bailey Viebrock (most improved player), Beau Nordby (best defensive player), Joslyn Lucero and Ella Osborne (most valuable player). (Photo provided by Renee Bayless)

Mansfield/Waterville’s seventh grade girls basketball team and coaches: back row, from left, coach Paulette Bridgewater, Claire Ashley (most inspirational player), coach Mike Hughes, Charleah Munson and Tessa Johnson; front row, Katelyn Donaglia, McKenna Gurnard, Bailey Viebrock (most improved player), Beau Nordby (best defensive player), Joslyn Lucero and Ella Osborne (most valuable player). (Photo provided by Renee Bayless)