Owls celebrate successful softball season

Seymour softball head coach Jerry Burton stood in front of his team and their parents on Thursday evening to honor the Owls’ successful season at their awards banquet in the Seymour auditorium.

Burton started out by thanking the players and coaches for the sacrifices this season, and he made sure to point out to never underestimate what the parents do throughout the season.

Then assistant coach Zabrina Nicholson took center stage to honor the junior varsity season. Seymour’s JV team went 6-7 this season, and Nicholson called it “definitely a growing year.”

Avery Stewart won offensive player of the year for JV, Alexa Dannettelle won defensive player of the year, Kaylee Waskom won the coach’s award and Zoe Shuffitt won most improved.

Nicholson thanked the team as a whole for an awesome season.

Then Burton came back up to hand out the awards for varsity.

He started out by keeping all of the seniors onstage: Stephanni Kleber, Grace Meyer, Alyssa Perry, Camryn Reichenbacker, Tori Schapker and manager Zach Thompson.

Burton said over the past two seasons, this senior class helped lead the Owls to a 13-1 conference record, including two conference titles. They helped Seymour win 56 games over the last three season, and Burton said he thinks they played some of the best softball that has ever been played at SHS.

He specifically mentioned Thompson and noted how hard it’s going to be to replace him as manager after all of the work he has done to help the program off of the field over the last four years.

Before Burton handed out the individual awards, he emphasized what the Owls accomplished as a team this season was the most important thing. He has no issues with giving out individual awards, but he wanted everyone to know it’s about the team accomplishments over everything else.

Kleber won the most valuable pitcher award, Meyer won the most valuable player award, Reichenbacker won the most improved player award, Sydney Stewart won the best defensive player award and Schapker and Camryn Sterling each won the mental attitude award.

Burton said Schapker never once complained about playing time and was one of the best teammates on the roster this season, cheering hard for both varsity and JV all season.

Perry and Kleber were both honored for getting academic all-state, and Meyer was recognized for earning third team all-state. Burton pointed out Meyer was one spot short of getting on second-team all-state.

All-conference for the Owls featured three members with one honorable mention. Meyer, Perry and Kynadee Warner were all-conference this season, while Kendrick Sterling was honorable mention.

Burton said it’s extremely uncommon for one team to have that many players earn all-conference in one season. As he read off the stats for each of Meyer, Perry, Warner and Kendrick Sterling, he was still impressed by some of the numbers those four put up this season.

Meyer had a .435 batting average with 11 home runs and 57 times getting on base. Perry hit .392 and had 15 RBI, Warner had more than 100 at-bats and never walked once, getting on base 52 times, and Kendrick Sterling had the lowest strikeout percentage on the team to go along with her 27 hits.

Burton closed by saying how proud he was of what the team accomplished this season, one of which was winning a share of the HHC title after defeating Bedford North Lawrence 8-2 at home.

“It was a tremendous year, and I enjoyed coaching all of you,” he said. “I hope you can look back and be proud of what you’ve done. I wish all the seniors that are moving on the best of luck, and when we get going again in July, I ask three things: Show up, work hard and be a good team player.”