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Athletic Awards 2020-2021

This past Monday evening The ACADEMY was able to bring our High School athletes from the past two years together to celebrate our school, our teams, and our students at our annual Athletic Banquet. This was such a special day because it has been two years since we were able to have a banquet.

We have remained Griffin Strong throughout the past 18 months. We have battled a worldwide pandemic, multiple quarantines, canceled and rescheduled games, various mask protocols, facility issues, and once-in-a-generation Winter Storms and Epic Freezes. Yet we carried on and had banner years for many of our sports.

We have grown – from around 30 High School athletes in 2019 to over 50 in 2020 and plans for 70+ in Fall 2021!

– Our numbers increased allowing us to have JV teams for the first time in Volleyball and Girls Basketball.

– Our boys Basketball team improved by 18 games and advanced to the State Semifinals.

– Our girls Cross Country team shocked the state and won the schools’ 1st High School State Championship with Anna Claire Orr winning the first individual State Championship!

These accomplishments were all possible because of the grit and determination of our athletes and coaches, along with the support of our teachers, staff, administrators, and parents.

On this special night we honored the Varsity athletes in our four Core Sports by bestowing on them Varsity Letter Awards – think letter jackets and chenille pins, just without the jackets and pins! These athletes met certain standards established by our coaches in sport, attendance, character, and sportsmanship. For a list of those athletes click on the Athletic Nuntius Notes below the Principal Notes.

Our Head Coaches also selected three outstanding athletes from their teams and awarded them Team Awards:

Cross Country: Jack Spears (FR) – Most Improved, Anna Claire Orr (FR) – Female Runner of the Year, Jay Abbott (FR) – Male Runner of the Year

Volleyball: Rebekah Farley (JR) – Most Improved, Messiah Macon (FR) – Defensive Player of the Year, Liza Keller (SO) – Offensive Player of the Year

Girls Basketball: Madi Irons (SO) – Most Improved, Messiah Macon (FR) – Defensive Player of the Year, Cora Shutt (8th) – Offensive Player of the Year

Boys Basketball: Camden Jackson (SO) – Most Improved, Jackson Holdsworth (SR) – Defensive Player of the Year, Sam High (FR) – Offensive Player of the Year

Track: Aspen Ives (SO) – Most Improved, Kennedy McIntyre (JR) – Female Runner of the Year, Aiden Spears (JR) – Male Runner of the Year

The Athletic Staff had the privilege of honoring six of our athletes who were selected for an All State or All-Star award the past two years by the Heartland Christian Athletic Association. These athletes were voted on and selected by the state coaches for their athletic achievement in one of the past two seasons.

2019 Volleyball: 3A All State Volleyball Game – Blevin Garriott (FR) and Liza Keller (FR)

2020 Volleyball: 4A All State – Liza Keller (SO)

2020 Cross Country: selected to All State because of her 3rd place overall finish in the State Cross Country Meet – Esperanza Osuna (JR), and also selected to All State because of her 1st place victory in the State Cross Country Meet – Anna Claire Orr (FR)

2020-21 Basketball: All State – Sam High (FR) and All State Honorable Mention – Jackson Holdsworth (SR)

The Griffin Award, our most prestigious athletic award, is given out to one junior or senior outstanding male and outstanding female athlete who embodies what it means to be a Griffin Athlete. These two individuals are voted on by all the coaching staff for their outstanding achievements in athletics, character, and leadership. These two student-athletes are great examples of our Vision of a Griffin Athlete. This year’s award winners were:

Mr. Griffin – AJ Jackson (Senior, basketball)

Ms. Griffin – Beth Thompson (Junior, cross country and track)

And lastly, we officially honored our first two classes of senior athletes. Since the 2019 Athletic Banquet was cancelled, we brought back our first senior Ethan Whalen (basketball and cross country) to join our three senior basketball players from this year: Cameron Bryan, Jackson Holdsworth, and AJ Jackson. I am thankful for them because of the pioneer spirit they each took on in different ways the past two years. And next year we look forward to celebrating 10+ senior athletes!

At The ACADEMY, athletics are foundational to our vision of human flourishing – mind, body, and spirit. And the fifty high school athletes from 2020-2021 set a solid foundation for future Griffin athletes and teams.

Go Griffins Go!

Coach MAC

Rob McKinzie

Athletic Director