FULTON — In it’s first-ever virtual athletic recognition ceremony, the Fulton City School District (FCSD) recently honored all senior athletes from G. Ray Bodley High School (GRB).
GRB’s Class of 2020 senior athletes were honored for the time they spent playing on sports’ teams, and for their academic and leadership strengths, among other highlights. Christopher Ells, Fulton City School District Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, said when opportunities such as spring sports had been taken away due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is how the athletes and supporters chose to respond and come out stronger.
“Now, more than ever, we look at our athletic program as a positive influence on us all,” he said. “We eagerly await the return to the arenas that provide us with so much energy, enthusiasm, friendship and pride.”
Ells recognized the following teams for their sectional accomplishments: girls bowling, the swimming and diving team, and the wrestling team. Each team member will receive a special plaque from the Fulton Athletic Booster Club.
Guest speaker and former FCSD physical education teacher and coach, Mike Conners, said the challenging times have taught the athletes about adversity, “the ultimate lesson we learn through athletics.” While it’s not about being the greatest athlete, Conners said much strength and resilience comes from being a great teammate and a champion in life.
“We have the satisfaction of knowing our journey still continues,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ells praised coaches who have reached out to the student athletes for workouts, to keep the momentum going. When GRB senior athletes graduate, they will continue to have the support of their athletic coaches and the entire department.
Awardees include: Fan of the Year (Greg Hackett), Barney Naioti Leadership Award (Brittney Baum and Sam Cary), Joe Castiglia Effort Award (Ashley Jackson and Jadon Lee), Gene Adams Most Improved Athlete (Alyssa Kurak and Seth Grimshaw), Sox Stuber Sportsmanship (Alicia Merritt and Hayden Sachel), Dan McGinnis Senior Athlete of the Year (Madison Gilmore, Cam Galvin and Mark Tallents) and Section III Scholar Athlete (Chloe Hurlbut and Sam Cary).
Additional awards were presented in honor of the following: Rick Luciano (Patrick Galvin), Brian Dodge ( Laura Hayden), Kunzwiler/Guistina (Hayden Williamson), Dominc Sciacca (Lyle Beeman), Dale Tombs (Anthony Carter), Margaret Beckwith (Madison Gilmore) and Carl Barton (Mark Tallents).