Leslie Pleasanton and Paul Reynolds took home top honors as Smyrna High’s athletes of the year at the school’s athletic awards ceremony on May 22.

Leslie Pleasanton and Paul Reynolds took home top honors as Smyrna High’s athletes of the year at the school’s athletic awards ceremony on May 22.

Reynolds, a junior, was named first team all-state in basketball this winter after averaging 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Eagles.

Pleasanton, a senior, was named first team all-Henlopen Conference this school year in two sports – field hockey and softball. Last year she received first team all-state honors in softball.

Paul Reynolds named male athlete of the year

Paul Reynolds had an immediate impact on the boys’ basketball team when stepped onto the court as a Smyrna Eagle for the first time this year.

Even though it was his first year at Smyrna High, Reynolds became a leader and his teammates rallied around him.

“He believed and expected to win every game, and he led his teammates to believe the same thing,” said Athletic Director Bill Schultz. “We look forward to seeing him on the court again next year.”

Reynolds attended Christiana High School in his freshman and sophomore years, and he helped the Vikings win the state title in his sophomore season.

When his family moved to Smyrna, Reynolds quickly formed bonds with his new teammates at Smyrna High.

After receiving male athlete of the year honors, Reynolds he felt like a part of Smyrna High and his new team right from the start.

“I felt like that the first day of basketball practice,” he said.

Reynolds said it felt good to win the athlete of the year award.

“It surprised me when they called my name,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting this.”

Reynolds said one of the keys to his success was the support he gets from his family.

“They push me,” he said. “They stand behind me.”

Leslie Pleasanton named female athlete of the year

Coaches can count on Leslie Pleasanton to leave it all on the field.

Whether it’s putting in some extra time after practice or sacrificing her body to make a key catch for the softball team, Pleasanton always gives it her best effort.

“She’s the kind of player who always puts 100 percent into every practice and every game,” said Athletic Director Bill Schultz.

After she was named female athlete of the year, Pleasanton said she was “blown away” by the honor.

Pleasanton said her success in high school athletics had a lot to do with her work ethic.

“I make sure I get a lot of time in at practice,” she said.

That’s probably an understatement.

Pleasanton said one of the highlights of her athletics career at Smyrna High was the softball team’s wins this season over Caravel and defending state champion Sussex Tech.

“That was so big for us,” she said.

Pleasanton said she’s still thrilled about being named first team all-state last year and having her picture posted in the high school alongside other athletes who received the honor.

2007-08 Smyrna High sports MVPs

Girls’ cross country – Rachel Taylor
Boys’ cross country – Matt Ryan
Field hockey – Sheree Pleasanton
Football – Justin Collison
Boys’ soccer – Zach Sherwood
Volleyball – Chelsea Markel
Fall cheerleading – Hayley Fletcher
Winter cheerleading – Alexis Haisman
Girls’ basketball – Betnijah Laney
Boys’ basketball – Paul Reynolds
Wrestling – Cody Broomall
Indoor track – Shamarr Tolbert
Baseball – Andrew Fortner
Softball – Nikki Willoughby
Golf – Chris Sapp
Girls’ soccer – Candace Wyre
Boys’ tennis – Ray Sammons
Girls’ tennis – Beth Humphrey
Girls’ track – Aarin Collins
Boys’ track – Yemi Cole

2007-08 SHS coach of the year
Danny Wandless