Over the past few years, organizers of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® have been fine-tuning and elevating in stature the “program within the program” that is the Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast Student Honors. These prestigious recognitions are presented each year to deserving students from local high schools, private schools, and Shenandoah University; students who not only achieve success on the playing field and in the classroom; but, also exhibit obvious qualities of leadership. These students and their parents are invited to attend the perennially sold-out Sports Breakfast; mix and mingle with the celebrities [like Cal Ripken in 2016, and Hines Ward in 2017]; and, receive their awards from these famous sports legends. As always, the Festival is trying to build indelible memories even as it strives to entertain. This year’s nominees are as follows:
School: Clarke County High School
Parents: Ellen and Noel Hicks
Career Highlights: During her freshman year, Megan was a member of the JV Volleyball team, the Varsity Basketball team, and the Varsity Softball team. At the end of basketball season, she tore her ACL and meniscus during the state qualifying game. Megan had surgery and physical therapy that summer; and, was released just in time to play on the Varsity Basketball and Varsity Softball teams for her sophomore year. She received Second Team All-District Honors that year in softball. At the beginning of her junior year, Megan was able to play volleyball again. She was on the Varsity Volleyball team that year, and played Varsity Basketball and Varsity Softball. She received First Team All-District, First Team All-Conference, First Team Winchester Star, and Second Team All-Region honors that year in softball. For her senior year, Megan has completed her final year of Varsity Volleyball and Varsity Basketball. She received First Team All-District, Second Team All-Region, and Second Team Winchester Star honors this year for basketball and hopes to have a great last year in softball. Megan is also a member of the National Honor Society and the Vice President of the SCA.
Future Plans: Megan plans to attend James Madison University in the fall where she will study biology.
School: Millbrook High School
Parents: Tami and Erick Green, Sr.
Career Highlights: Madison is a 4-year starting point guard for Millbrook High School Girls’ Basketball. She scored over 1450 points and had over 900 assists in her career. She is a 3-time First Team All-Winchester Star choice. She has been named 3-time First Team All-Northwestern District, 2-Time First Team All-Region, and a 2016-17 Second Team All-State selection. In 2017-2018, she was named First Team All-State, VA High School Coaches Association Player of the Year, and VA High School League 4A Player of the Year. Madison led the 2017-18 Millbrook High School Lady Pioneers to the 4A State Basketball Championship. She is the fourth member of her family to win a State Championship, joining brother, Erick; sister, Courtni; and, father, Erick Sr. She carries a 3.5 GPA; and, has been nominated to the 2017-2018 McDonalds All-American Team.
Future Plans: Madison has accepted a Full Athletic Scholarship to James Madison University.
School: John Handley High School
Parents: Andrea and Thaddeus Brown
Career Highlights: Mike was voted 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-Region, 1st Team All-State, and Conference Player of the Year as a junior. This season, Mike averaged 13.7 points/2 offensive rebounds/5.1 assists and scored a team high 425 points. He was voted 1st Team All-District, 1st Team All-Region and 1st team All-State as a senior; and, was also voted District and Region Player of the Year. Mike played a large role in Handley’s 25-4 record. He scored in double figures 23 of the 29 games. In the State Semi-Final game, against defending state champ Loudoun Valley, Mike lead the team with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assist and 3 steals to help the Judges get back to the State Finals. The game was won in overtime and Mike scored all of Handley’s 10 overtime points. Mike is a 4-year varsity letter winner and a 2-year Captain. In the last two years, Mike has helped lead the team to a 51-7 record. He finished his Handley career with 983 total points.
Future Plans: Mike has signed a Letter of Intent to play basketball at NCAA Division II University of Mt. Olive.
School: Legacy Christian Academy
Parents: Tracy and Jerry Hogbin
Career Highlights: Madison has played volleyball at Legacy Christian Academy for the past 4 years. She has been a leader on the team since the outset of her career, and she has represented Legacy as a Captain the last 2 years. She led the team in aces and digs. Madison stepped up to take on the role as a setter this year as well. She was named to the All-Tournament Team at the National Association of Christian Athletes in Dayton, Tennessee, this season. Her other activities include varsity cheerleading [the team won several national championships] and she is the manager of the varsity baseball team. She is a model student with a 3.0 GPA.
Future Plans: Her future plans include serving in Costa Rica on a Mission Trip for three months in the fall.
School: Mountain View Christian Academy
Parents: Deborah and Michael Coughlin
Career Highlights: Jackie has played both volleyball and basketball in her high school career. A dual enrolled student at Lord Fairfax Community College, Jackie has maintained a solid GPA as a student athlete. Jackie has received awards for both basketball and volleyball, with her most significant award being the 2015 North American Christian Athletics All-Tournament Offensive Player and All-Tournament Athlete. She was one of only ten American Christian student/athletes in the nation to receive this award. In addition to her high school teams, Jackie also played volleyball for the Blue Ridge Travel Volleyball Club. Jackie maintains a GPA of 3.7.
Future Plans: Jackie intends to go to Virginia Commonwealth University to study business and computer science. She is not planning on playing full-time, organized sports in college, preferring to focus on school work; and, trying to take advantage of possible internship opportunities.
School: Sherando High School
Parents: Amy and Marcel Banks
Career Highlights: Aaron had a very successful high school football, basketball, and track career. In football, he has earned three varsity letters. His junior year he was 1st Team All-Conference at receiver and 2nd Team All-Conference at Defensive Back. His senior year, Aaron was named 1st Team All-Conference and 1st Team All-Region at both receiver and defensive back. He was named 1st Team All-State at Defensive Back and 2nd Team All-State at receiver. He holds several All-Time Sherando football records including first All-Time in receptions for a season, and career interceptions; second All-Time for receptions in a career, and yardage in a season; and third All-Time for receptions in a game, yardage in a career, and interceptions in a season. In basketball, Aaron is a three-year letter winner. He was named 2nd Team All-Conference his junior year; and, 1st team All-Conference, and second team All-Region his senior year. He was a Team Captain in basketball his senior year. Aaron is a two-year member of the track team and placed 4th in the high jump at the Conference meet. In addition to football, basketball, and track, Aaron has also lettered in varsity baseball.
Future Plans: Aaron is attending the University of Richmond in the fall to continue his football career.
School: James Wood High School
Parents: Alyson and Mario Rosso
Career Highlights: Rene is one of the most accomplished track and field athletes in James Wood history. In outdoor track, she has established new school records in the 100-meter hurdles, the 300-meter hurdles, and the triple jump. She is tied for second all-time in the long jump; and, is tied for fourth all-time in the 200 meter dash. In 2016, she placed 2nd in the 100m hurdles at both conference and regionals; 4th at conference and 2nd at regionals in the 300m hurdles; and 3rd in the 200 meter dash at conference. She also placed 2nd in both the high jump and long jump at conference and was the conference champion in the triple jump. She earned all-state honors in all three jumps and both hurdle events. She also competed in five events in the state meet as a sophomore. In indoor track, she is ranked third all-time at JWHS in the long jump, second in the 55 meter hurdles, and fifth in the triple jump. She has scored a total of over 900 points both on the track and in the field in her career. In the classroom, Rene has received A/B honor roll recognition the past two years.
Future Plans: Rene has signed a Division I Letter of Intent for track and field at Mount St. Mary’s (MD).
School: Shenandoah University
Parents: Becky and Greg Wessel
Career Highlights: Alex has been a major presence on defense on the Shenandoah University Ladies’ Soccer Team during her entire stay at S/U. As a freshman, she played in 18 of 20 games and scored two goals. As a sophomore, she appeared in 19 games and started 15. As a junior, she started 11 of 18 games she played in, and was named first team Academic All-District. As a senior, she started 16 of 19 games she played in, and scored one goal. She was the Team Captain her senior year, and was named a Third Team Academic All-American. During her junior and senior years, she was President of the Political Science Society, was selected to ODK National Leadership Honor Society, and was named to the President’s List for Academic Excellence.
Future Plans: After Graduation, Alex is accepting a job in the defense industry.
And, who might our Student Honorees associate with at one of the nation’s premier Sports Festival events? Please allow the Festival to blow its own horn as it lists the Festival’s Sports Marshals since the Year 2000. There is really very little a sports fan can say after he/she reads this list except to pause and say: “Wow!”
2000 – Frank Beamer, Hall of Fame Virginia Tech Football Coach
2001 – Dick Vitale, Hall of Fame College Basketball Announcer
2002 – Michael Vick, Legendary Virginia Tech and NFL Quarterback
2003 – Bobby Allison, Hall of Fame NASCAR Driver
2004 – Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Legendary Gold Medal-Winning Olympic Sprinter
2004 – Whitey Ford, Hall of Fame New York Yankee Pitcher
2005 – Don Shula, Hall of Fame Miami Dolphins Head Coach
2006 – Johnny Bench, Hall of Fame Cincinnati Reds Catcher
2006 – Jerry West, Hall of Fame WVU and NBA Basketball Legend
2007 – Terry Labonte, Hall of Fame NASCAR Driver
2008 – Nadia Comaneci, Legendary Gold Medal-WinningOlympic Gymnast
2009 – Ward Burton, Legendary NASCAR Driver
2010 – John Riggins, Hall of Fame Washington Redskins Running Back
2011 – Bonnie Blair, Legendary Gold Medal-Winning Olympic Speed Skater
2011 – Barry Sanders, Hall of Fame Detroit Lions Running Back
2012 – Doug Flutie, Heisman Trophy-Winning, College and NFL Quarterback
2013 – Bill Elliott, Hall of Fame NASCAR Driver
2014 – Joe Morgan, Hall of Fame Cincinnati Reds Second Baseman
2014 – Bill Walton, Hall of Fame College and NBA Basketball Player and TV Announcer
2015 – Marcus Allen, Hall of Fame NFL Running back
2016 – Cal Ripken, Jr., Hall of Fame Baltimore Oriole Shortstop and Third Baseman
2017 – Hines Ward, Legendary Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver
2018 – Richard Petty, Hall of Fame NASCAR Driver