‘Breakfast of Champions’ Features Prep Standouts
By Gary Shiffrin // May 23, 2014
BRIGHTHOUSE ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA — The Brevard County High School Sports Awards will be held this morning beginning at 7 a.m. to recognize the best prep athletes and coaches for 2014 in 16 sports during the annual “Breakfast of Champions” event at the Cocoa Beach Country Club.
The 7 a.m. breakfast and ceremony recognizes the below outstanding high school athletes and coaches for 2014.
The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held at 6 p.m at the same location.
IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE EXCELLENCE
Rusty Buchanan and his Space Coast Sports Promotions, Inc. organizes the annual event, and Buchanan is excited about another outstanding group of student athletes.
“We are very proud to be able to provide this event for the high school students, coaches and for all of Brevard County,” said Buchanan.
GIRLS TRACK – Gaby & Daryth Gayles, Holy Trinity
AWARD SPONSOR: Cocoa Beach Health & Fitness
Gaby Gayles’ personal best time for the 100 is 12.29 seconds. For the 200, it is 23.94, which ranked No. 6 in the state in all clasifications. For the 400, her third-ranked time was 54.76. At this year’s state meet she was the state champion in the 400 meters and the 4 x 100 relay, and then was state runner up in the 200 meters.
Daryth Gayles’ personal best time in the 100 meters is 11.87 seconds; in the 200, 25.41, and in the long jump, 20 feet. At the 2014 state meet, she kept up with her sister with a state championship in the long jump and the 4 x 100 meter relay, as well as a runner-up medal in the 100 meters.
BASEBALL – Carson Jackson, Melbourne High School
AWARD SPONSOR: Brevard County Manatees
Carson Jackson had a .471 batting average with 8 home runs, and pitched 19 innings with 28 strikeouts and an amazing ERA of 0.75. He was a three-time All Cape Coast Conference selection, FACA 7A All-State, and will represent Brevard County in the FACA all star game. Jackson’s future plans include attending High Point University in North Carolina on a baseball scholarship. In addition, he has high hopes for the major league baseball draft this summer. His coach says he is an outstanding honors student who’s best quality is his humbleness and he is a team leader who leads by example.
BOYS BASKETBALL – Jace Hogan, Holy Trinity
AWARD SPONSOR: Tom Wasdin
Last season, Jace Hogan had 25.3 points per game and 12.2 rebounds per game. He had a career high of 48 points, which was a school record. He had 608 points scored this season, which was also a school record. Hogan scored 1,162 career points in two seasons.
Hogan was named to the second team all state team and the 2014 FACA all star team. His coach said he was the epitome of student athlete. He excels in academics, along with being a person of integrity and high moral standards. His future plans include attending the United States Naval Academy.
GIRLS BASKETBALL – Rolanda Hayes, Viera High School
AWARD SPONSOR: A&B Graphics
Rolanda Hayes led the Hawks to four consecutive district championships and three consecutive Cape Coast Conference championships.
This season she averaged 19.6 points per game and 6 assists per game. Hayes was named to the 2013 all area first team and has also ben named to the 2014 7a FACA all state team. She has signed to play college basketball for the Florida Atlantic Owls.
BOYS BOWLING – Greg Young, Viera High School
AWARD SPONSOR: Saving Safari
Greg Young has won back-to-back teen masters national high school tournaments, which was aired on ESPN. He was named to both the 2013 and 2014 Junior Team USA. Young represented the USA at the tournament of the Americas in 2009, 2010 and 2012, and received multiple gold medals.
Young was inducted into the Florida USBC Youth Hall of Fame and is the current record holder of the national high school bowling average of 246. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of his bowling career has been the fact that he has won the highest amount of scholarship for a youth bowler, amounting to $168,000.
GIRLS BOWLING – Carson Hendren, Cocoa High School
AWARD SPONSOR: Safari Mail House
Carson Henderson was the Cape Coast Conference Female Bowler of the Year and district champion. This past year she had the highest average in the conference and also established a record for her school. Henderson is a distinguished member of her ROTC and she was a J Kyle Braid award winner. She has signed a scholarship to bowl at Robert Morris in Chicago and plans to major in business and enlist in the Marines as an officer upon graduation.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY – Steven Cross, Merritt Island
AWARD SPONSOR: RUNNING ZONE
This year Steven Cross won three races, including the Florida Runners Invitational, the Trinity Prep Invitational and the district championship. He broke his school’s record twice as he ran under 16 minutes four times. Cross’ fastest time was at the state championship meet where his 15:36 established a national gold standard. He was the 2013 Space Coast Runner of the Year and was a Florida Runners Athlete of the Week. Cross was the team captain and led his team to their first state appearance since 1982. His coach says Cross is an absolute coach’s dream, and is the most deserving runner in Brevard County to receive recognition.
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY – Julie Wollrath, Holy Trinity
AWARD SPONSOR: RUNNING ZONE
Last November, Julie Wollrath won her third consecutive district, region and state championship. And, during her upcoming senior year, she has the opportunity to become only the fifth girl in Florida cross country history to win four high school state championships. She has won five state championships in track and cross country, and three team titles.
FOOTBALL, DEFENSE – Ty Schwab, Merritt Island
AWARD SPONSOR: Cocoa Beach Area Hotel and Lodging Association
Ty Swab was a three year starter and team captain for the Mustangs and the leading tackler for the past two years . He was named to the All Space Coast, All Cape Coast Conference and All District team. Schwab led his team to three consecutive district titles as well as an undefeated regular season record. He will be taking his talents both on the field and in classroom to Boston College this fall.
FOOTBALL, OFFENSE – Lorrenzo Pratt, Cocoa High School
AWARD SPONSOR: Space Coast Fun Guide
Lorrenzo Pratt was the captain of the cocoa Tigers this season. He had 268 carries and gained 2,015 yards with 31 touchdowns. Pratt also caught three passes for 12 yards, and returned three kickoffs for 169 yards and a score. He is the school record-holder in total yards rushing in a season, most touchdowns in a season and scoring. Pratt is a three-year starter and was named to the All State, All District and All Conference teams. Pratt has signed a full athletic scholarship to attend Iowa Western Community College.
BOYS GOLF – Kerry Sweeney, Holy Trinity
AWARD SPONSOR: Golf USA
Kerry Sweeney is the first golfer from Brevard County to win a state championship since 1979, and this season he had a nine hole average under par. Sweeney was a district medalist for the past two years and he won this year’s Class 2A state championship after shooting 65 and 67. Next year he will be playing for Jamie Howell at Eastern Florida State College on a golf scholarship.
GIRLS GOLF – Michelle Hawkins, Viera High School
AWARD SPONSOR: Sun & Skin Care Research
Michelle Hawkins helped lead the Hawks to the Cape Coast Conference championship, a sixth consecutive district championship, a regional runner-up finish and a FHSAA 3S state runner-up. She is the 2013-14 Cape Coast Conference girls individual champion, the 3A District 16 champion, the Region 6 runner-up and finished tied for 16th at the 2013-14 state finals. Hawkins was selected to the All Cape Coast Conference team and is graduating with a 3.9 GPA. Her future plans include attending Daytona State College and playing golf on the 6-time national Lady Falcon golf team.
BOYS LACROSSE – Dylan Lowermilk, Melbourne Central Catholic
AWARD SPONSOR: Rusty’s Seafood & Oyster Bar
Dylan Lowermilk was a three year starter and two time captain. He the Hustlers to three consecutive district tournaments, and the first trip to the Sweet 16 at state. Selected as All District first team for three years, he was ranked No. 1 in total points, No. 1 in ground balls, No. 5 in goals, No. 3 in assists and No. 1 in face-off wins nationally, as reported by MaxPreps. He recently completed a week long mission trip to Jamaica and has been a constant volunteer with the Riptide Youth Lacrosse Program. Lowermilk has a weighted GPA of 3.67 and has taken 9 credits at FIT. He will continue his college studies at FSU where he also has committed to play lacrosse for the Seminoles.
GIRLS LACROSSE – Anna Griessler, Satellite High School
AWARD SPONSOR: International Palms Resort
Anna Griessler is a three-time varsity letter winner, and her move to lacrosse was a fluid one since she also is a first team all conference member of the soccer team. Two summers ago Griessler spent a month playing for a lacrosse club team in Albany, New York, where she gained valuable experience. She had a 66 percent shooting percentage with 25 goals and 11 assists in just 10 games this season. Griessler is the the second Lady sScorpion to be honored with this recognition.
BOYS SOCCER – Micah Smoak, Melbourne High School
AWARD SPONSOR: Space Coast Daily
This past season Micah Smoak had 25 goals and 35 assists, was All State first runner-up and named the Dairy Farmers Player of the Year. He is a state Olympic Development team player and was the leading scorer in the state. Smoak was the captain of the 4A state championship Melbourne Bulldog team. His coach said he is always training when others are not and is a great team leader and motivator. He plans to take his talents to the next level at Eastern Florida State on a full soccer scholarship.
GIRLS SOCCER – Hannah Debose, Melbourne High School
AWARD SPONSOR: Space Coast Daily
This season Hannah Debose had 19 goals and 9 assists in 18 games as she lead the Melbourne Bulldogs to the 4A state championship, who were also named the Max Preps Tour of Champions top school in the nation. She was named a 2013 National Coaches Association of America High School All American, four-time all Cape Coast Conference and selected to the 2014 East All Star Team. Debose performed on the under 14 national team in Costa Rica. Her coach said she is dedicated, trustworthy and a relentless soccer player who leads by example and motivates others in a positive way. In the fall she will be taking her amazing talents to the University of Central Florida to play for the Knights.
SOFTBALL – Kylie Young, Astronaut High School
AWARD SPONSOR: Tropical Teez
Kylie Young is a junior who hit .379 this season, with five home runs. She has been the starting shortstop for the Lady War Eagles since her freshmen year. According to her coach, she is the unquestioned leader of the team, both on and off the field, but her best attribute is the fact that as great a softball player, she is even a better person. Young is currently entertaining several offers to play at the next level and will be making a decision sometime next year.
BOYS SURFING – Corey Howell, Eau Gallie
AWARD SPONSOR: Fishlips Waterfront Grill
Maybe you have noticed Corey Howell on Ron Jon Billboards on I-95, the Beachline, I-75 and other locations. He has been surfing since he was four and started to compete in surf contests by age five. By age eight, he was traveling up and down the East Coast competing. Howell has held many East Coast titles in the National Scholastic Surfing Association and Eastern Surfing Association, and has won several junior pro and pro contests. Last year he travelled with the Melbourne surf team to compete in the Nationals in California. Even though surfing is his main focus, he also knows education is important as well. Howell has been dual enrolled at Eau Gallie High School since 10th grade and has earned a 4.48 weighted GPA and 53 college credits. In August, he will be moving to the University of North Florida to pursue being an athletic trainer and be a member of the UNF surf team.
GIRLS SURFING – Nikki Viesins, Melbourne High School
AWARD SPONSOR: Victory Casino Cruises
Nikki Viesins is a senior graduating with an AA degree from Eastern Florida State College. She has been a part of the Melbourne High surf team, winning their first women’s national title in California this season. Viesins has surfed on Team USA for the past five years representing the East Coast. The team posted their best results since its inception with Viesins bringing home bronze and individual bronze medals in the Worlds, which is the Junior Olympics of surfing. She went on to receive her second USA Women’s National title, ranking her No. 1 in the nation. She plans to continue her surfing professionally.
BOYS SWIMMING – Cameron Johnson, Satellite High School
AWARD SPONSOR: International Palms Resort
Cameron Johnson earned first place honors at every diving meet he participated in during his senior year including district, regionals, and Class 2A state competition. In his junior year, Johnson was third at district, regionals and state. He set a conference record this year for the most points scored. Johnson’s future includes attending FSU where he will compete on the dive team for the Seminoles.
GIRLS SWIMMING – Skye Carey, Satellite High School
AWARD SPONSOR: Grills Seafood Deck
Skye Carey is currently being considered for All-American honors in the 100 freestyle. She placed fourth in the 100 backstroke and fifth in the 100 freestyle at this year’s 2A state championship. Carey was named the Space Coast Swimmer of the Year for the past two years and was undefeated in the 100 free up to state in the last two seasons. This is Carey’s second year in a row to receive this recognition and has been crowned her team MVP for the past four years. She will be taking her swimming talents to Florida International University on a swimming scholarship.
BOYS TENNIS – Jakob Mostyn Kolb, Melbourne High School
AWARD SPONSOR: Florida Air Academy
Jakob Mostyn Kolb had a 17 and 3 singles record, and a 20 and 2 doubles record this year. He led the Bulldogs to the Cape Coast Conference championship and the district and regional finals. Kolb was district champion at No. 1 singles and reached the state singles quarter finals. He was the state doubles champion and silver medalist. Kolb plans on attending Florida Gulf Coast University, and play on the tennis team.
GIRLS TENNIS – Katie Sidor, Rockledge High School
AWARD SPONSOR: Florida Air Academy
Katie Sidor played No. 1 for her school for three years and has gone undefeated in regular season play. This season, she was the state runner-up and had a record of 21 wins and 1 loss. Sidor has been the Space Coast Tennis Player of the Year for three years in a row, and twice has been the Brighthouse tennis player of the year. Her coach says she is a leader and encourages other players to do their best and to not fear competition. As a freshman, she challenged her fellow players and her team finished second at districts. Sidor plans to play Division 1 in college and study premed.
BOYS TRACK – Chauncey Gardner, Cocoa High School
AWARD SPONSOR: Rusty Buchanan
Chauncey Gardner is a sophomore and was the conference champion in the 100, 200 and long jump. He was also a part of the conference runner-up in the 4 x 100 relay. Gardner was the district champion in the 100, 200, and long jump, was a state qualifier in three events and came in second on the 4 x 100 relay. In addition, Gardner was a standout football player for the Tigers with 38 tackles, 3 interceptions with 1 touchdown on defense; and 18 catches for 306 yards and 3 touchdowns on offense. He has committed to play football at the University of Miami.
VOLLEYBALL – Alyssa Wolensky, Merritt Island
AWARD SPONSOR: Dr. Roger Goudy, AAU Volleyball
The Mustang’s Alyssa Wolensky started playing volleyball at age 8 with the Cape Coast Volleyball Club. She also participated on top teams at the Orlando Volleyball Academy. As a freshmen, she was the starting outside hitter for Merritt Island and was selected to the all conference team. Wolensky had 89 aces, 355 kills and 181 digs. Her plans for the future is to go to college and get a good education and continue to play competitive volleyball. Her coach said she made an immediate impact as a freshman. Not only was she a leader in stats, but she was a leader off the court as well. Wolensky works hard and is very coachable and is dedicated to workouts on school days at 5:30 in the morning to increase flexibility and strength.
WRESTLING – Travis Ahrens, Astronaut High School
AWARD SPONSOR: Green Gloves Garden Center
Travis Ahrens is a four year letter winner and three time captain. On three ocassions he has placed at state. Ahrens has 145 wins and only 39 losses. He ranks fourth at his school in career pins with 70. He is the All Space Coast wrestler of the Year and was named to the All Cape Coast Conference team. Ahrens has a class rank of 16th out of 262 graduating seniors and is dual enrolled at EFSC. His coach says he pays close attention to detail, shows great leadership and truly leads by example. His future will take him to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in the fall.
FEMALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE – Haley Cook, Satellite High
AWARD SPONSOR: Bright House Sports Network
Haley Cook participated in four sports during her four years at Satellite High School including swimming, golf, soccer and even volleyball as a freshman. In her four years on the soccer team she lettered each year, was rookie of the year, most valuable player, presented the stinger award, elected captain, was All Cape Coast Conference, All Space Coast team, and this year participated in the North/South All star game. Cook carries a 4.1 weighted GPA and is ranked 50th out of a class of 277 graduates. She was a member of the National Honor Society and the Latin Club, and placed first at the regional science fair three consecutive years. Her future plans include attending King University in the fall where she will both play soccer and work towards her bachelor’s degree in forensic science. Her long term plans include attending dental school.
MALE SCHOLAR ATHLETE – Sean Kutzner, Rockledge High
AWARD SPONSOR: Bright House Sports Network
Sean Kutzner of Rockledge is a two sport letter winner in both cross country and tennis. In cross country he was the 2012 and 2013 district team runner-up, team captain, Cape Coast Conference team championship and FHSAA state finalist. He was awarded the Space Coast Honor Roll, varsity top performer, scholar athlete and Bob Jackson Memorial Scholarship. In tennis Kutzner was a four year letter winner, 2013 District 8 semifinalist at No. 4 singles, 2014 District quarterfinalist at No. 2 singles and No. 2 doubles. He was awarded the sportsmanship award, most improved player and scholar athlete. Kutzner is a recepient of the Wendy’s High School Heisman school winner. He is the class of 2014 salutatorian and honor grad with a 4.49 weighted GPA. Kutzner had a perfect 5 on the FCAT reading in both 2011 and 2012. And, he was the only sophomore at his school to earn a perfect 6 on FCAT writes. Kutzner is a life member of the national Eagle Scout Association. He also is a member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Society and Ethics team member. His goal is to graduate with a Masters degree in aerospace engineering from the university of Florida. As a professional, he wants to revolutionize the aviation industry by creating fast, safe and efficient airplanes.
COACH OF THE YEAR – Scooty Carey, Merritt Island
AWARD SPONSOR: Ocean Partners Associates
Scooty Carey has coached soccer for 17 years at Merritt Island High School. This past season his team was 22 and 1, including the state championship which was his second. His overall career record is 297 wins, 38 losses and 27 ties. In his career Carey has won three Cape Coast Conference titles, seven district titles, six final four appearances and two state titles.
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR – Jeff McLean, Merritt Island
AWARD SPONSOR: Florida Today
For the past 32 years, Merritt Island High has been home to Jeff McLean, the Brighthouse Athletic Director of the Year. And of those years, he has been athletic director for 20. Under his leadership the Mustangs have won six state titles, including two in baseball, two in boys soccer, 1 in girls soccer and 1 in volleyball. In addition there have also been seven state runner-up titles as well. As head football coach McLean has consistently taken the Mustangs to the state playoffs, and this year had an undefeated regular season record. He said he has been blessed to be supported by a great community with great players, parents, coaches and administrators.
ADMINISTRATOR OF THE YEAR – Jim Willcoxin, Mel-Hi
AWARD SPONSOR: Florida Today
The Brighthouse Administrator of the year goes to the Melbourne High School Principal Jim Wilcoxon. It is said that the principal is ultimately responsible for everything that takes place at their school. That includes many responsibilities like curriculum, discipline, facilties, and of course athletics. And needless to say measuring the worth of this individual must take into consideration results and outcomes. In athletics what better way to determine success than by looking at championships, sportsmanship and all sport trophy results.
COMMUNITY SPORTS AWARD – Dr. James H. Richey, Eastern Florida State
AWARD SPONSOR: Space Coast Office of Tourism
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT – Bill Jurgens, Florida Institute of Technology
AWARD SPONSOR: Bright House Networks
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gary Shiffrin, the former principal of Merritt Island High School, retired last year after an association with the public school system that spanned 42 years and several schools. At Merritt Island High, he racked up a full decade. Before that, he spent 14 years, 10 of them as principal, at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Merritt Island. For six years, he was assistant principal at Cocoa Beach High School. Tack on four more of assistant principal duties, this time at Cocoa Beach High School. He served at Stone Junior High School for a year just after he had left Melbourne High School, where he started his teaching duties as an educator and coach. Shiffrin was also a coach and athletic director; and served as the commissioner of the Cape Coast Conference for 23 years and was the Space Coast’s representative on the FHSAA assembly. He was induced into the Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame last month.