The Malakoff Independent School District went back to a fun water park bash and awards program Tuesday at Tiger Stadium.
Athletic Director Jamie Driskell had water slides, a dunking booth and a gauntlet inflatable for the student athletes to enjoy following a successful 2016-17 athletic season.
“We did this three years ago and it was our first time to do it,” Driskell said. “It went fine but we knew we had some other things that we wanted to add to it. I asked the kids to see what they wanted to do. We have done a regular banquet, a Night of Champions where we had a lift-a-thon and gave them their awards and a bash like this. It was an overwhelming majority to do this because they knew they would have fun.”
Driskell said 10 students have been named to all-state teams, senior Tyler Russell won two state titles in track and field and had 141 athletes that competed in athletics this year. Ninety seven of them were varsity athletes and 81 of those students made the postseason.
“It is going to be really hard to top this,” Driskell said. “When you talk about all of the sports and the accomplishments these kids have made, it will be hard to top this. I could not ask for a better group of kids and a better group of coaches. It will be a year that we will remember forever.”
Of the all-state players, Russell, Judd Miller, QT Barker, Larry Coker, Payton Lowrie, Chase Busch, Danyal Littleton, Jack Patton were named all-state in football, Jalie Dawson in basketball and Madison Wilbanks in powerlifting.
“If you kept up with Malakoff athletics, I think you know we had a very successful year,” Driskell said. “We push these kids to the limit and most of the time, they respond really good. We worked as hard or harder than anybody in the state. That is the only way to get over the top. I think a lot of these older kids and especially the senior group has figured that out.”
Driskell said instead of giving out individual awards, it was better to recognize each athlete who played on the freshmen, junior varsity and varsity teams.
“We want to honor these kids because it is about the town and the community,” he said. “It is about these coaches and we are a bunch of people pulling the ropes in the same direction. We all want the kids and the teams to be successful. We want the community to be proud of us. I am really proud of the kids and the community.”
Abby Terzis and Meghan Miller were presented with $500 scholarship during the awards program.
Michael Voyles was presented with the Cotton Monroe Support Award, which is given to a supporter of the Malakoff athletic program.