May is a month that is bittersweet at times. You’re well into spring, things are new and fresh and blooming, yet the school year is winding down. Seniors are about to find out about the ‘real world’ as they close a huge chapter in their life and embark on their journey into adulthood. Monday night at Erskine College, Abbeville High’s student athlete’s were celebrated during the annual AHS Athletic Banquet. All Region and All State awards were given out. Lion’s Club players of the month awards were distributed. Food was eaten and hundreds, maybe thousands of pictures were taken as we sent our Senior class out in style. There were way too many awards given out to name them all individually. A few awards always stand out to me and I wanted to talk about those briefly.
First, Chandler Smalley was only the 20th wrestler in SC high school history to win four consecutive state championships. He received a big shiny championship ring to
honor those accomplishments. In baseball, Thomas Beauford was awarded the Glenn Ferguson Competitive Spirit Award. That award in my opinion is one of the most coveted of the night. Having known Glenn Ferguson personally, it’s nice to see his legacy continue on through that award. Thomas also won JV Football Offensive Player of the Year. It was also a touching moment to see Coach Wayne Botts present the Dennis Botts Scholarship Award to his nephew, Nate Temple, the grandson of the Panthers late, hall of fame coach. Coach Dennis Botts would have loved to coach Nate. The effort and high-motor tenacity that he plays with is exactly the kind of player Botts would have wanted him to be. I’m sure he would have
still found a reason to chew him out a time or two, just for good measure. The Panther Pride Scholarship Award was given out to David Cobb. His face lit up with a big smile and a shocked expression as he did not expect to win such an award. Cobb exemplifies leadership, hard work and relentless effort in everything he does. He’s very respectful and is the kind of young man you just want to be around. He’s headed to the Air Force this summer and without a doubt he’ll go on to do great things in his life. It was only fitting that Jake Hill won the Team Above Self Award for Football. Jake was a cornerstone on the Panther offensive line. Like most lineman, the credit usually goes somewhere else. However, Jake kept plugging
along, opening huge holes for his brothers to run through and he was a brick wall in protecting his quarterback from blitzing defenders. The Female Athlete of the Year Award went to the only female athlete invited to play in a state All-Star game. Savannah Overholt was not only a beast on the Volleyball court, but she’s a beast in the classroom as well. She will finish AHS with a perfect 4.0 gpa. That in itself is an incredible accomplishment. She led the team in serving percentage and a ton of other stats. She’ll be sorely missed next season. The Male Athlete of the Year went to the most decorated athlete in AHS history. He sports FIVE State Championship rings proudly. He was All-Region, All-State, and a Shrine Bowl participant. Courtney Jackson will be remembered for years to come for “The Return” against Southside Christian in the UpperState Championship game. He will head to Kansas this fall to continue his career at JUCO football power house Coffeyville.
It was a pleasure covering all of these student athletes this school year, and we are gearing up for even more coverage and highlights from this coming school year. We’ll turn the page quickly to the next season as the Panther Football Spring Game will be held at Hite Stadium on May 29th.
God Bless and Go Panthers!