ELKHART — Elkhart High School recalled a successful 2017-18 athletic season with a banquet on Monday in the cafetorium.
Athletes from the following sports were recognized: Cross country, volleyball, football, basketball, powerlifting, softball, baseball, track and field, golf and tennis.
Special recognition was given to all-District 18-3A performers, and all athletes in attendance received participation certificates.
New Elkhart head football coach/athletic director Jason Fiacco welcomed the audience, and academic all-state softball player Molly Ormand concluded the ceremony with a prayer.
The Elkhart football team had tough sledding after a key injury to running back Johnathon Simmons.
The Elks' lone District 9-3A-I victory came versus rival Westwood, and the team finished 3-7.
Elkhart had several standouts at various positions, including All-Pine Empire selections Nate Bell (linebacker), Jacob McSwane (punter) and David Morrison (offensive line).
Elkhart's volleyball team went on a late-season surge to capture the fourth and final playoff spot in District 18-3A. The Lady Elks defeated Buffalo in four sets, including a thrilling 30-28 Game Four.
However, Elkhart was bounced from the playoffs in the opening round by Grandview, the District 17-3A champion.
The Elkhart boys' and girls' cross country teams both qualified for the 3A-Region III meet.
Maraj Khan had the best finish for the Elks during the 18-3A meet (20:13) while Ava Trim and Kathryn Esparza were seventh and ninth, respectively, among girls — with Trim clocking in at 14:11 and Esparza 14:16.
Elkhart's boys' basketball team didn't make the playoffs; but, players Ky Thomas, Landry Mays and Cade Starr were all second-team all-district choices. The girls played a junior varsity schedule limited by a six-player roster.
Powerlifting was Elkhart's bread-and-butter sport during the winter months, and three Elks qualified for state meets.
Ryan Lindsay placed fourth at state in the 181-pound division. T.J. Jones earned eighth in his weight group. Harleigh McEnturff earned her second state medal in as many years, taking fifth overall.
The Elkhart baseball team finished second in District 18-3A, and head coach John Adair surpassed the 550-win plateau during the season.
Elkhart finished 18-14 overall as Zerick Warren was named defensive player of the year and Bryson Adair newcomer of the year. Trent Huff (second base), Brady Johnson (pitcher) and Landry Mays (utility) were all first-team all-district selections.
Elkhart head softball coach Terry James was especially proud to see every starter receive some form of accolade this season as the Lady Elks finished third in District 18-3A.
Elkhart's Gracie Johnson earned 18-3A pitcher of the year honors and Molly Ormand was co-utility player of the year. Makayla Walker was named as newcomer of the year. The Texas High School Coaches Association also chose Ormand for the academic all-state team.
First-team selections were Ashlyn Mattern (catcher), Rylee Reeves (outfielder), Allie Hays, Holly Crouch and Macie Gonzalez (infielders).
Track and Field
Relay performers John Ashford, Trent Huff, Joseph Casal, Demarkus Ray and jumper Madison Crader all were given special recognition as state qualifiers.
The Elks and Lady Elks both won Area 17/18-3A championships at Keene's Smith High School in April.
Brody Chapin excelled on the course this year, and he finished fourth at the District 18-3A meet at Tri-County Golf Course in Teague. He also earned medalist honors at the Jacksonville Invitational.
The girls' doubles team of Hayley Warner and Kinsley Laney advanced to the Conference 3A-Region III meet in College Station.
Head coach Kathy Marlowe reported that tennis participation is up, and there will be a junior camp from June 11-13.