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Fri, Oct. 18

WHS athletes enjoy evening in spotlight at banquet

Williams High School coaches gathered early last week to honor Viking athletes at a sports banquet.

Held for the first-time ever at Max & Thelma's Restaurant, the event drew an estimated 200 people.

After dinner, the awards portion of the banquet went rather quickly. Each coach offered a rundown of the season and announced special award winners.

"The volleyball team was very competitive on and off the court," volleyball coach Ken Edes said. "We fought to make it to regionals and lost. The JV went 13-2 and I believe that bodes well for the future."

In football, Viking coach Rick Shipley reviewed the season and said three players will represent the school in the June 7 state all-star game at Casa Grande — Tell Eckel, Chase Pearson and Juan Alvarado. Shipley and assistant Richard Cox will coach the North squad.

Basketball coach Dave Green reviewed the ups and downs of the boys season. He called Eckel "one of the top all-around athletes I've seen in my years of coaching."

Lorenzo Rodriguez, girls basketball coach, said "our season didn't go as well as anticipated, but it was good enough to make it to state. Most of our preseason goals were met."

In baseball, coach Johnny Hatcher said a few words, handed out bats to seniors and announced awards.

Hatcher announced that Kyle Johnson and Eckel will play in the state all-star game on June 9.

Ann Wells, softball coach, said her team started off strong this year, ending up with a 17-5 record.

"We won the Gila Bend tournament for the second year in a row," she said while highlighting the season. "The five we lost were pretty important; that happens in sports."

Melissa Pettit will represent WHS in the state all-star softball game, playing for the North squad.

For golf, Shipley said his athletes met challenges, such as the weather. "We put on as many clothes as we can and try to find the ball," he said.

Track coach Dan Ayub called this year's squad one of his top teams in his 15 years of coaching. The team had big numbers with 13 athletes qualifying for state.

Shipley thanked Sam Slack and others at Max & Thelma's for their big part in the evening.

See graphic below for winners.

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