When Monday night was over and the Greater Denton Sports Commission banquet was done, several area athletes and others in the community were recognized for their achievements on and off the field last season.
Ponder’s Andie Beer and Krum’s Brennan Ellis were selected as the GDSC’s top athletes from this past year. Beer was named the Female Athlete of the Year, while Ellis was named the Male Athlete of the Year.
The two athletes were many that were recognized from around Denton County by the commission inside the Holiday Inn off of Interstate 35E. Both athletes thought they’d be overlooked in a room full of accomplished individuals, but the two athletes took home $1,000 scholarships when their names were the two last ones called on the evening.
“I thought all the awards were over with pretty much,” Ellis said. “But when I got this, it was pretty shocking. I’m really happy to have this.”
Ellis was a key part of Krum’s baseball and football teams while also competing in track and field. Beer also played a huge role in Ponder’s softball team’s success, and like Ellis, she said she wasn’t expecting to receive the honor.
She said she was also proud to be honored in a room full of people she’s known for a long time.
“Everybody’s so sweet and amazing,” Beer said. “They’re all so friendly, and I’ve watched them play forever. Like Brennan, I grew up with him and watched him play at Krum for so long. It’s an honor.”
Liberty Christian’s Rachel Rainwater and Jon Aaron Howell were runners-up, while Denton’s Allie Shelton and Argyle’s Colton Hinnrichs finished in third place. The runners-up received $500 scholarships, while the third-place finishers received $300.
Ryan’s Reilly Martinez was given the Jim Bateman Award, an honor named after the longtime Denton head football coach. Bateman died from leukemia in 2008. Bateman’s wife, Patsy, was in attendance and received a strong ovation from those in the room.
Argyle head football coach Todd Rodgers was honored as the Male Coach of the Year after he led the Eagles to the Class 3A Division II state championship.
North Texas head football coach Dan McCarney was given the Chairman’s Award. McCarney was not able to attend because of his involvement with a tour promoting UNT’s football team, but he did accept the award with a video message recorded prior to the event.
TWU’s head volleyball coach Shelly Barberee and UNT head softball coach Tracey Kee both were honored as the area’s top college coaches.
Mitch Gaylord, a member of the gold-winning USA team at the 1984 Olympics, was the speaker for the evening. Gaylord was the first American gymnast to earn a perfect score in the Olympics.
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.