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Red Level honors student-athletes at banquet

Student-athletes at Red Level School were honored at the Red Level Sports Dinner on Monday.

Student-athletes from basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball were all honored at the banquet.

The evening began with a dinner and a presentation by guest speaker Tracy Dildy, assistant basketball coach at Auburn University.

Dildy said it was a special honor to speak to the young student-athletes. He stressed the importance of academics. He also told the young student-athletes to take advice from their parents.

"You don't have all the answers," Dildy said. "Your parents were your age once, but you were never their age. They truly care about you."

He also advised the student-athletes to be mindful of the fact that they are role models, especially to the younger students at the school.

Dildy said he thinks the future will be great with young people like those attending the banquet in line to assume leadership roles.

"Looking out at you student-athletes tonight, the future looks bright," Dildy said.

The Auburn coach had to excuse himself from the banquet following his speech due to NCAA regulations, but he said he was thankful for the opportunity to visit the school on such a special night.

The Red Level B-team Basketball Team was recognized after Dildy left. Head Coach Ken Valrie recognized each member of the team and called this 2002-2003 squad "the best team I had ever had, not because of the talent or the winning record, but because you played as one."

The varsity basketball team was honored next. Head Coach Fred Kelley said the Tigers had a great year going 23-2, including a 16-0 record at home.

The Tigers also finished the regular season with a No. 2 ranking in Class 2A.

Kelley then honored the seniors and presented each of them with a plaque and other items. The seniors from the 2002-2003 squad are Antonio "A.J." Harris, Dexter "Trash Talker" Brundidge and Tanner Carroll.

Individual awards presented to basketball players included the Team Captain Award which went to two juniors in Larry Hudson and Frank Tolbert.

The Most Improved Player Award went to Brundidge and Harris. Will McInvale won the Coach's Award. Tolbert was presented with the Outstanding Offensive Player Award and tied with Doug West to win the Scholastic Award. Hudson was presented with an award for the most assists.

The Lady Tigers were also honored at the banquet. The Red Level girls basketball team was recognized by Head Coach Scott Sansom. He also presented individual awards.

Seniors Lane Harrelson, Victoria Ferrell and Daphne Crittenden were each presented with a special plaque. Harrelson was also presented with the Scholastic Award at the banquet. Crittenden was named the Most Improved Player.

Kim Anderson won the Leading Rebounder Award. Danielle DeRouen was presented with the Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award. Gabrielle DeRouen earned the Lady Tiger Award.

Ferrell earned several awards, including Free Throw Award, Outstanding Offensive Player Award and Leading Scorer Award.

Head Coach Bobby Dye was the next person to present awards for his softball team. Dye, however, did more than pass out awards. he brought the house down with a barrage of one-liners that had everyone in attendance laughing.

Dye did present awards once the laughter died down with seniors Victoria Ferrell and Daphne Crittenden being honored. Gold Glove Awards were presented to Brittany Watson (infield) and Sarina Stacey (infield). Watson also won the Batting Average Award.

Tiffany Gaines took home two awards. She was presented with the Team-me Award and the Scholastic Award.

Head Coach Tony Ingram presented awards to the baseball players following Dye.

Russell Rigdon won the Scholastic Award. Kyle Adams won the Will to Win Award. Neal Snider earned the Rookie of the Year Award. Josh O'Ferrell won the Team-me Award. Kyle Skipper was presented with the Tracy Davis Award. Chaz Maloy and Cody Warren tied for the RBI Award. Maloy also won the Tiger Tenacity Award. Dusty Lee won the Gold Glove Award for outfielders. Joseph Harper won the Gold Glove Award for infielders.

Chris Johnson won the King of the Hill Award. Larry Hudson was presented with the Batting Title Award. Kyle Adams and Kyle Skipper were named Team Captains and Cody Warren was honored for being a senior.

Sansom gave out the final award of the night when he recognized the two senior members of the volleyball team in Ashley Myrick and Pinka Shine.