Smoky Mountain All-Conference athletes honored
By the time the high school baseball season comes to an end and awards are given, the halls of the school are empty.
Players who receive the awards often aren't able to get the recognition of those who compete in other sports. Hayesville High School and head baseball coach Jeff Vardo addressed that problem with a pre-game ceremony that honored award winners from the 2015 season.
Prior to the home game against Hiwassee Dam, Vardo took to the field to hand out All-Conference honorable mention awards. Sophomores Luke Barrett, Brian Voight and senior Braxton Cox accepted the honor to the applause of Jacket Nation.
Next to be honored were the players who were named to the 2015 All-Conference team. Hayesville standouts Kyle Rhinehardt and Tyler Leek accepted their awards from Vardo and assistant coach Davis Carter.
The third player to be honored was Connor Thompson. A 2015 graduate, Thompson returned to the Hayesville campus from Lenoir-Rhyne University. Not only was he named to the All-Conference team, he was also named 2015 Smoky Mountain Conference Pitcher of the Year.
"We wanted to do something special for these guys. They all had really good seasons and we felt like they earned the right to be acknowledged," Vardo said.