View Past Recipients: 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020|2021|2022
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Sacred Heart of Jesus High School
Madison Academic High School
Liberty Technology High School
Jackson Christian School
North Side High School
South Side High School
Trinity Christian Academy
University School of Jackson
Sacred Heart’s female athlete of the year, Gale Fitzgerald, played softball, soccer and basketball for the Lady Knights. As team captain, Fitzgerald received the Team Before Self Award in both basketball and soccer for her humility and servant’s attitude. She led her basketball team in points scored over her senior season. With a 4.6 GPA, Fitzgerald received the highest GPA award in Latin, math, history, science, English and religion. Fitzgerald plans to study biology at either Southeast Missouri University or Washington University at St. Louis.
Sacred Heart’s male athlete of the year, Christian Nava, played football and soccer for the Knights. Nava led his football team to win the 8-man national championship. Nava put up strong stats, with the most tackles on his team. Nava’s soccer team placed third in the state tournament, and he was named All-District Honorable Mention. With a 4.2 GPA, Nava was recognized as an AP Scholar and Golden Door Scholar for his academic accomplishments in AP, honors and dual enrollment courses. Nava plans to study political science at Sewanee University.
Madison’s female athlete of the year, Wells Johnstone, ran cross country and track for the Mustangs and swam competitively. As a Wendy’s High School Heisman National Finalist, Johnstone holds school records for the 200 and 500 yard freestyle, 5K run, and 4x800 meter race. She was a top 16 finalist in the TN state swim meet 2015-18, cross country state meet qualifier 2014-17, TSSAA regional cross country meet runner-up 2014-17, and TSSSAA sectional track meet qualifier 2015-17. She consistently placed in the top 10 at cross country meets, top four in track meets, and top three in swim meets. Johnstone served as swim team captain in 2016-18 and cross country team captain in 2017. Johnstone’s academic accomplishments include National Merit finalist, U.S. Presidential Scholar candidate, and United States Academic Decathlon national runner-up and state champion. She also received the Tennessee School Board Association Student Recognition Award. Johnstone participated in National Honor Society and French National Honor Society, and served as Student Body President and Model United Nations President. With a 4.0 GPA, Johnstone plans to attend the United States Naval Academy in June 2018.
Madison’s male athlete of the year, Evan Holt, ran cross country and track for the Mustangs. As a Wendy’s High School Heisman School Winner, Holt led his cross country team to the state race all four years and ranked top four discus thrower in the region. He served as Boys’ State President, Leadership University Class Spokesman, and Student Body Vice President. Holt participated in Junior Rotarian, TN Governor’s School for the Arts, All-West and All-State Choir, Beta Club, and National Honor Society. With a 4.0 GPA, Holt ranks in the top five of his class and plans to study chemistry in college, with hopes of becoming a pharmacist.
Liberty’s female athlete of the year, Yasmine Fuller, cheered and ran track for the Crusaders. As captain of her cheerleading squad, Fuller received the prestigious honor as All-American by the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA). Fuller also led her track team as captain and anchor in the 4x100 meter relay. She won multiple meets in the 100 meter dash, 4x100 meter relay, and long jump. With a 3.6 GPA, Fuller has consistently been named on the Honor Roll and Principal's List for her academic performance. She also participated in Beta Club, DECA, and Leadership University. Fuller plans to attend the University of Memphis to study nursing.
Liberty’s male athlete of the year, Malik Cross, has been a critical member of the Crusaders basketball team. Cross was named to the All-District, All-Academic, and All-Tournament teams for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. He averaged 14 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds per game this past season. Cross achieved a 3.6 GPA while taking dual enrollment college courses. He participated in Beta Club and has been named on the Honor Roll and Principal’s List consistently. Cross plans to attend the University of Memphis to study physical therapy.
JCS’s female athlete of the year, Sophie Dunavant, played softball and basketball for the Lady Eagles. Over the 2017 softball season, Dunavant recorded a .528 batting average, .561 on-base percentage, 1.008 slugging percentage, 10 homeruns, and 48 RBIs. For the 2017 season, Dunavant was named West Tennessee Player of the Year and received All-State honors by both the Tennessee Sports Writers Association and the Tennessee Softball Coaches Association. She was recognized as Max Preps All-American (2017), District 15-A All-District, All-Academic by the Tennessee Softball Coaches Association (2017), and Jackson Christian’s Offensive Player of the Year (2015, 2016, 2017). On the basketball court, Dunavant completed 34 steals, 99 rebounds, and 48 assists over the 2017-18 season. Off the court, Dunavant participated in the National Honor Society. With a 3.8 GPA, Dunavant plans to attend Freed Hardeman University on a full softball athletic scholarship.
JCS’s male athlete of the year, Gunnar Lewis, played football and basketball for the Eagles. For his accomplishments on the football field, Lewis was named All-State, Academic All-Region, 2017 Team MVP, 2017 All-District Second Team, 2016 All-District, 2016 Defensive MVP, and 2016 West Tennessee Junior of the Year. Lewis also played in the Tennessee All-Star Bowl. During the 2017 football season, Lewis had 680 yards rushing with eight touchdowns and 1,475 yards passing with 15 touchdowns. On defense, Lewis crushed 221 tackles, five interceptions, and two blocked field goals. Over the 2016-17 basketball season, Lewis averaged 4.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 6.1 points per game. He was also recognized as Defensive Player of the Year that season. Off the field, Lewis participated in National Honor Society and received academic awards in Spanish, English, math and photography. With a 3.9 GPA, Lewis plans to attend Harding University in the fall.
North Side’s female athlete of the year, Destiny Nichols, played as shooting guard for the Lady Indians basketball team and goal keeper for the soccer team. Despite several injuries, Nichols accumulated 505 points and 300 rebounds and averaged eight points per game over her career. She served as team captain all four years and was named to the All-District basketball team in 2015 and AAU Blue Book Hall of Fame in 2014. Nichols was recognized as Most Athletic by her senior class, and she received the Founders Day Alpha Scholarship by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Nichols plans to attend the University of North Alabama to continue her basketball career.
North Side’s male athlete of the year, Jerry Robertson, played basketball and baseball for the Indians. On the baseball field, Robertson achieved a 2.265 ERA, 1.1414 WHIP, .235 batting average, .316 on base percentage, and .333 slugging percentage. Over his senior season, Robertson scored 241 points, averaging 9.3 points and 7 rebounds per game. He served as team captain and was named to the All-Academic team. Robertson has been a long-time active member at Springhill Missionary Baptist Church. With a 3.3 GPA, Robertson will graduate with honors and plans to study computer engineering in college, while continuing to pursue his passion for basketball.
South Side’s female athlete of the year, Makayla Transou, played basketball and ran track. Over her basketball career, Transou achieved 792 points, 423 rebounds, 200 steals, and 80 assists, shooting 60% from the field and 50% from the free throw line. This season, Transou averaged 17 points, nine rebounds, four steals, and one assist per game. During her sophomore and junior seasons, she made the All-District and All-Tournament teams. She was also recognized as the team-leading rebounder two years in a row, Team MVP, and All-West TN Honorable Mention her sophomore year. In 2017, the Lady Hawks made school history by being district champions, region champions, and making a state tournament appearance, which hadn’t been done since 1994. Transou personally made school history by making state track meet appearances two years in a row, placing seventh in long jump her freshman year and third her sophomore year. She was named All-State her sophomore year and All-West TN her freshman and sophomore year. Transou was a member of the Spanish Club, Honors Chorus, Beta Club, and Bethlehem Baptist Church, where she is a part of the Young Teen Ministry, Youth Choir, Young Adult Choir, Hospitality Ministry, and Usher Ministry. With a 3.3 GPA, Transou plans to attend college on a basketball or track scholarship.
South Side’s male athlete of the year, Bryce McBride, played basketball for the Hawks. Over his senior season, McBride averaged 18.3 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game. He was named to the All-District, All-Tournament, and All-Academic teams. As a junior, McBride averaged 14.3 points, 1.5 assists, and 1.7 rebounds per game. He was also named to the All-District and All-Tournament teams. McBride was honored as Mr. Beautillion for 2016-2017, and is an active member of West Bemis Baptist Church. With a 3.5 GPA, McBride was dedicated to his academic success and consistently made Honor Roll. He plans to attend college in the fall and continue pursuing his passion for basketball.
Trinity’s female athlete of the year, Savannah Lee, played basketball and soccer and ran cross country and track. As a four-year starter for the basketball team, Lee holds three school records: second leading scorer with 1,700 career points, second in rebounds with 1,012 career rebounds, and most rebounds in one game with 17. She was named to the All-District, All-District Tournament, All-Region Tournament, and All-West TN teams. As goalie for the soccer team, Lee had 132 saves, two assists, and two goals over her junior and senior seasons. Lee also qualified for the TSSAA Cross Country State Championship for four years. Lee is an avid artist, with her artwork displayed at the Bank of Jackson gallery. She was a member of Health Occupations Students of America, Junior Rotarian, National Honor Society, and Latin Society. She served as SGA Secretary, Vice President of the National Honor Society, and Junior Representative of the National Honor Society. With a 4.4 GPA, Lee made the Principal’s List all four years, and plans to study biochemistry and pre-medicine in college.
Trinity’s male athlete of the year, Noah Holsinger, played football and soccer for the Lions. As kicker for the football team, Holsinger was honored as Tennessee Mr. Football Kicker of the Year semi-finalist and Region 6-2A Kicker of the Year. Holsinger was named to the TN Sports Writers All-State Team, Jackson Sun All-West TN Football First Team, and Tennessee Football Association All-State Team. He was selected to play in the Toyota East/West All Star game. Over his junior and senior seasons, Holsinger made 145 tackles and recorded 93% accuracy on extra points attempted. In 2017, Holsinger kicked the longest field goal in the state at 54 yards and had 33 touchbacks. In soccer, he was named to the All-Tournament and All-District teams multiple times. Off the field, Holsinger served his peers as Senior Class President and was a member of the National Honor Society. With a 4.2 GPA, Holsinger plans to attend Harding University to play football and study criminal justice.
USJ’s female athlete of the year, Annabelle Reese, played soccer and ran track for the Bruins. Reese ranks 15th all-time for points scored in USJ’s girls’ soccer program history with 56 career points. She also boasts 18 goals and 18 assists over her career. In track, Reese holds school records for the high jump and 100 meter hurdle, and she is a member of the school record-holding 4x100 meter relay team. Her personal track records are 19.03 seconds for the 100 meter hurdle and 13.93 seconds for the 100 meter dash. With a 4.8 GPA, Reese is recognized as a National Merit Commended Scholar, Junior Marshal (top 10% of class), Junior Rotarian, and AP Scholar with Distinction. She received the Sewanee Book Award and attended Volunteer Girls State. Reese served as SGA Vice President, National French Honor Society President, and Chaplain of the National English Honor Society. She was also a member of the International Thespian Society.
USJ’s male athlete of the year, Griffin Laird, played baseball and football for the Bruins. A five-year letterman on the baseball team, Laird helped lead his team to a state championship in 2014 and state runner-up finish in 2017. On the football field, Laird had 67 tackles, 41 solo tackles and two interceptions over the past two seasons. He was named to the All-District Second Team (2016) and All-District Honorable Mention (2017). With a 4.8 GPA, Laird is recognized as an AP Scholar and Head of School Scholar. He participated in National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society, National Social Studies Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, and Science National Honor Society. Laird plans to attend Rhodes College in the fall.