The annual Smyrna High School athletic awards ceremony was held Thursday night in the school’s auditorium to take a look back of some of the highlights of the school year and to honor the over 400 students athletes who participate in Eagles sports.
From sophomore Raven Luckett’s state title in the high jump to the lacrosse team just missing a state tournament berth in their inaugural season, there was much to celebrate.
Students athletes by grade were acknowledged for their successes over the year. Each sport chose an MVP.
Coach Maura Schafer was named coach of the year for her year-round work as the cross-country coach, indoor track coach and girls outdoor track coach.
And then came the moment everyone had been waiting for, the naming of this year’s Outstanding Male and Female Athletes of the Year. Director Bill Schultz said the school takes pride in recognizing not only the ability of the athletes on the field but the type of person they are off the field.
“He was the heart of his team and will be greatly missed. He played football and track. This year’s Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year is Carlton Nash,” Schultz said.
Then Schultz announced that volleyball and girls soccer star Gabby Russillo is the Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year.
“When coaches discuss her, they describe her as an all-around great kid,” Schultz said. “She leads not only by example but vocally as well.”
Carlton Nash — Male Athlete of the Year
Over the past few years, Carlton Nash has become known for his skills on the football field and his hard work was more than evident this year.
Nash was such a powerful force on offense, one may feel to realize he was a great defensive back too. Oh and he wasn’t a bum on the track either.
His rewards after the fall football season include being named First Team All-Conference running back and defensive back, First Team All-State defensive back and Second Team All-State running back.
After having already been named the football MVP, Nash was a tad bit surprised when he was named the outstanding male athlete.
Page 2 of 2 - “I was actually surprised but it feels good. All my hard work the past four years has paid off,” Nash said.
With graduation right around the corner, Nash said there’s plenty to miss about Smyrna High from playing for football coach Clay Lloyd to playing with his brother Cameron.
“It’s been a great four years and I’m going to miss playing sports at Smyrna High School,” he said.
Gabby Russillo – Female Athlete of the Year
Senior Gabby Russillo has been a star on the volleyball court and soccer field for quite some time. In years past, she’s also been a member of the indoor track team.
Russillo has been a big factor in helping to build the seven-year-old volleyball program that continued to prove it’s an up-and-coming program in the state with their season record of 13-2 and No. 7 seed in the state tournament.
On the soccer field, Russillo was a scoring machine and helped the Eagles return to the state tournament this year.
Her efforts earned her a Second Team All-Conference nod for volleyball and a First Team All-Conference honor for soccer.
Like her counterpart, Russillo was surprised when she was named the outstanding female athlete.
“I remember coming to these to see my older brother and I wanted to be the girl to win the award but I really wasn’t expecting it,” Russillo said.
Email Jennifer Dailey at email@example.com