Natchez spring athletes receive awards for efforts

Published 10:33 am Thursday, May 17, 2007

Natchez held its spring sports award banquet Wednesday night at the multipurpose building at Natchez High.

Athletes, family members, coaches and school officials dined while Natchez High 2002 graduate Burton Brody served as the guest speaker. Brody is also a University of Southern Mississippi graduate and the son of the Bulldogs head track coach Larry Wesley.

Following Brody’s speech, players were awarded not only for their achievements on the field as athletes, but also for their work as students in the classroom.

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Wednesday night’s banquet honored girls and boys basketball, track, tennis and bowling teams, as well as baseball, softball, golf and powerlifting teams.

“Everything went real smooth,” Natchez powerlifting coach Joseph Johnson said. “I only wish more athletes would have been there.”

Besides some missing athletes, another face that was missing at the banquet was Lady Bulldogs head basketball coach Sue Johnson. Johnson was unable to attend the banquet due to an injured ankle. However her written message of congratulations and encouragement to her senior players and returning team was delivered.

Among the many players and athletes receiving multiple honors was Ke’airra Jones. Jones was a senior standout for the track and basketball teams. She set a new state record in the high jump, and for her efforts was nominated for the Pop Star Award in track. The Pop Star award is presented to the top athlete of each girls and boys sport in Mississippi. Only three candidates statewide qualify from each sport.

“It is one of the biggest honors you can receive at this school,” Natchez head track coach Larry Wesley said.