A wonderful assortment of food awaited parents, players and students when they attended the Williams High School sports awards dinner Feb. 28. Coaches and teachers were in attendance during the packed ceremony, presenting a variety of awards to the students who took part in a memorable basketball season.
Dinner began the evening, followed by a short introduction by WHS Principal Steve Hudgens. Awards for the teams' dancers came next, honoring the teams' cheering squad. Coaches Francis Schulte and Tim Pettit got the girl's team a little recognition by presenting the team their awards and playing a short DVD highlighting the girls' accomplishments throughout the season. The boys followed last with awards and a short DVD presentation to commemorate the team's well deserved 2A North Championship. Vikes basketball coach Denis Kirkley, hot on the heels of his victorious team, won coach of the year in the 2A North Division as well.
The girl's varsity team presented coaches Schulte and Pettit with basketballs that the team autographed.
"I'm glad we did something for the coaches with the basketballs," said Lady Vikes captain Amanda Bean. "The whole team signed them and gave one to Coach Tim and to Coach Francis."
The team also admitted, during the dinner, that they changed the clocks on certain occasions to shorten their practice time.
Bean, along with Breanne Schulte and Kassie and Jenise Pettit captained the Vikes team this season. Bean said the sports dinner was a lot of fun and enjoyed the film clips that were played to the parents. Clips included highlights from the season and introduced each member of the team. The presentation was made under the direction of WHS teacher Tristen Heisley, who runs the school's new media class, which began in January of this year.
Both Kassie and Jenise Pettit, along with Bean, are playing softball this season. Schulte is taking some time off from sports to "work out," though she said she plans to play again during volleyball season.
"We got a totally different (softball) coach this year than we've had for the past three years. We usually have Ann Wells but we have Mr. Heisley this year," said Kassie Pettit.
Schulte, 16, returned to Williams after a brief move to California. She's attended Williams High School since her freshman year. Twins Kassie and Jenise Pettit, both 17, along with Bean, 16, were raised in Williams.
Eyes on college
Schulte said she plans to go to school in Phoenix when she graduates. Bean hopes to go to NAU for a nursing degree. Kassie Pettit plans to get her degree in teaching, either through NAU or Yavapai College. Jenise Pettit said she plans to go to NAU as well, though she remains undecided on a degree.
"I think girls basketball is different from boys in that sometimes we have our tiffs and argue a lot more probably," said Schulte, though she said that all the girls got along quite well overall. "I thought the season started out a little rough with all of our technicals, (but) we finished out good. We started out where we got tons of technicals. We got the school officials mad at us."
Kassie Pettit agreed that it was a rough start, but said things quickly changed for the better.
"We started working out together and becoming a team," she said. Pettit filmed much of the footage of the boy's basketball team, which was used in the DVD shown during the awards dinner.
"We're all juniors," said Kassie's sister, Jenise Pettit. "All of us have been playing since sixth grade together, or probably before that. Next year should be really fun."
All four girls will play as seniors next year, though Bean said they'll be up against a whole different crowd when basketball comes around again.
"We're also going to 1A next year, so it's going to be totally different competition," she said. "The numbers of the school are getting smaller, so we're dropping down to 1A. It's going to be all new people that we're playing."
She said the schools in the 1A division include Ash Fork, Grand Canyon, Seligman, and Joe City, among other schools.
Principal Hudgens ex-pressed his views regarding the girls as well, saying the team captains rarely gave him a hard time.
"They smile a lot. They're happy kids. They like school," said Hudgens. "These are really good kids. Everybody has their bad days, but they don't have very many bad days."