2022 All-Area Athletes & Teams

All-Area Athletes and Teams

All-Area Athletes & Teams

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Page 37 of 39

Page 38 www.yoursun.com Josh. During my previ- ous stint here, he was a freelancer who could really turn a phrase and it has been a joy seeing him take his talents to Venice High, where he's every- one's favorite teacher when he's not handling public address duties for the Rays. Last and not least from a newspaper aspect, I would be remiss if I didn't laud the groundwork laid by my predecessor, Scott Zucker. He had carried the ball into the red zone on this year's ceremonies before leaving it to me this past February to run it in. Scott still lives in the area, so if you see him, say hey. It was a pleasure to work for him. Now, about everything else: Man, these kids can cook. I can honestly say 383 spots were not enough. This area is loaded and seems to be getting better by the year. The Venice duo of Jayshon Platt and Juliana Courville were pretty dang elite to take home our Male and Female Athlete of the Year honors. Those were two of what we informally call the "Big Five" awards handed out on Tuesday night. Charlotte's Jada Carter and Imagine's Wyett Rightmire took home our Courage Awards, given annually to two athletes who overcome challenging – and some- times tragic – obstacles to achieve success in their given sport. Our Coach of the Year Award went to Lemon Bay wrestling coach Mike Schyck. If you don't know anything about him, do yourself a favor and read up. Speaking personally, I poured more than 12,000 words into the pages of The Daily Sun regarding his fundraising hike on the Appalachian Trail, his ongoing battle for justice in the Ohio State sexual abuse scandal and, of course, his wrestling team's historic campaign, highlighted by his son's second state title. Those were the award winners. That's not to say there weren't others deserving of mention and that's what keeps me up at night. Though we also gave out Player of the Year awards in the 22 sports, it tugs at me that we could only choose one in each. I witnessed so many amazing scenes this season, too many to go into right here, but check back on Sunday and I'll regale you with a few of those tales. The easy thing for me to say right now is there's only so much we can do, only so much recognition we can provide, but I'm not the kind of person who would ever say that. So, I'm here to tell you that next year, we're going to hand out more awards than ever. We're also going to find new and interesting ways to honor academic achievement. We might already be known for our prep coverage, but we're going to double down on that reputation in 2022-23. Tentatively, we're planning media days. We're planning photo and video shoots. To the athletic directors out there – Pete Dombrowski (Venice), Tom Massolio (Charlotte), Bob Bruglio (Port Charlotte), Ryan Lavallee (Lemon Bay), Sam Holland (DeSoto County), Tony Miller (North Port) and Tony Graham (Imagine), I apol- ogize in advance for all the nagging headed your way. (Side note: What a terrific group of people.) To the coaches, thank you so much for your time and dedication. I can honestly say I did not come across a single coach this year who was anything less than totally invested in their kids. That's a blessing, folks. Not many communities can boast that. To the parents, con- tinue to advocate for your children. Continue to show up at events. Continue to berate me for misspelling their names or overlooking something they may have done. Lord knows I need a talking to in those instances. And to all of the student-athletes out there: I want to be you when I grow up. See you next year. Email Obley at patrick. obley@yoursun.com and follow on Twitter: @pmowriter OBLEY FROM PAGE 4A CHRIS BLAKE Port Charlotte wrestlers Okten Logue and Josiah Arroyo attend Tuesday night's Sun Preps All Area Awards at Cool Today Park. Lemon Bay's Kendall Steinert and Ocean Roth attend the Sun Preps All Area Awards for Volleyball player of the year.

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