Celebrating Academic and Athletic Achievement at Ocracoke School
The first, on Wednesday evening, was a special assembly to recognize Ocracoke’s fine student athletes. It was the first athletic awards ceremony to honor all the new sports that have sprung up in recent years.
Emilie Burrus and Ashley Harrell kicked off with awards for their Cheer Club participants: Vanessa Lora, Mackenzie O’Neal, Iris Trejo, Taylor Fuller, Teresa Hadley, Emily Trejo, Ingrid Contreras, Starr Ely, and Mila Ortiz.
Kitty Mitchell and Shea Youell presented awards to the Ocracoke School Running Club and High School Cross Country team.
Kitty and Shea have been training the Running Club kids to compete in 5K races all over eastern N.C. Participants were: Vanessa Lora, Cole Gilbert, Reese Gaskins, Ethan O’Neal, Jesus Morales, Lee Winstead, Russell Stevens, David Styron, Mason Fuller, Juan Morales, Kalai Samick, Ingrid Contreras, Taylor Fuller, Mila Ortiz, Lupita Martinez, Sierra Winstead, Sydney Austin, Kevin Perez, Sam Evans, Dylan Esham, Colby Austin, Karen Perez and Jeyson Resendiz. High school student Carlos DeLao was assistant coach. Special prizes were awarded to Karen Perez and Jeyson Resendiz for fastest girl and boy, respectively. Kitty also announced that Ocracoke earned the distinction of Fastest Elementary on the Outer Banks!
The cross country team spent their season coming to practices at 6 a.m. Kade Nagakane, Andrew Tillett, William O’Neal, Wyatt Norris, Echo Bennink, Abigail Morris, and Hunter Collins ran for the Dolphins; teammates Adam Carter and Carlos DeLao qualified for the state championships. The team’s runners of the year were Allin Tellez and Carlos DeLao.
Coach Noel Goodwin has a 25-4 record at Ocracoke School with the middle school girls basketball team. She awarded prizes to Kaylee Gaskins (most improved), Josie Winstead (coach’s award0 and Sydney Austin (MVP).
Middle school basketball coaches Jason Wells and David Scott Esham awarded prizes to Jordi Perez (most improved), Matteus Gilbert (coach’s award), and Evin Caswell (MVP).
It was an historic moment when the first ever awards were handed out to the first ever middle school baseball team. Coaches Bill Cole, John Kattenburg, Vince O’Neal, Doug Eiffert, and Andrew Spencer thanked parents, community members, and Ocracoke Booster Club for helping them have a great first season. The baseball Dolphins were: Evin Caswell, Eldon Robinson, Josie Winstead, Colby Spencer, Jordi Perez, Kyle Tillett, Carson O’Neal, Matteus Gilbert, Spencer Gaskins, Hunter O’Neal and Dylan Sutton.
High school girls basketball coach Adam Burleson, thanked his assistant coaches Mary McKnight, Scott McNally, and Jetta Brown, and managers Leslie Espinoza and Virgina Downes for their efforts. He was proud to mention the Lady Dolphins’ 17–6 season, co-conference champion status and invitation to the state play-offs. Awards went to Katie O’Neal (most improved), Lucy O’Neal (coach’s award), and Echo Bennink (MVP). Echo scored over 1000 points in her high school career and has a plaque on the Dolphin Wall of Fame.
High school boys basketball coaches David Allewalt and Denny Widener congratulated their team on a great season, mentioning the highlights: beating Hatteras (“that’s always good,” quoth Coach Dave) and the first ever win over Columbia High School! Awards went to Hunter Collins (most improved), Walker Garrish (coach’s award), Andrew Tillett (MVP – it should be mentioned that Andrew ranked 11th in the U.S. for rebounds by sophomores), and Wyatt Norris (unsung hero.)
Special recognition was given to Mel Perez and Daniel Palacios. These men saw a need for Ocracoke-based referees, got certified, and volunteered their services for all the middle school home games. Thanks, guys!
Echo Bennink was awarded a $250 student athlete scholarship from Greg Honeycutt, representing WOVV, Ocracoke’s community radio station.
All the coaches thanked principal Walt Padgett and school secretary Lisa Caswell.
On to the next day for the Academic Excellence Banquet, catered by Jason’s Restaurant. Ocracoke School and Hyde County Teacher of the Year Gwen Austin welcomed the students and their families to the annual celebration of good grades and dedicated students. Senior Virginia Downes introduced the evening’s speaker, Dr. Randolph Latimore, superintendent of Hyde County Schools. Principal Walt Padgett and school board member David Tolson handed out the awards to the following students:
Earning all A’s and B’s each grading period were: Colby Austin, Sydney Austin, Alston Belch, Hannah Belch, Echo Bennink, Evin Caswell, Ariana Contreras, Virginia Downes, Sam Evans, Alma Flores, Mason Fuller, Taylor Fuller, Amanda Gaskins, Walker Garrish, Zoe Huppert, Nayely Jiminez, Dalton Kalna, Mac Kalna, Sam Marinace, Lupita Martinez, Alexander O’Neal, Katie O’Neal, Mackenzie O’Neal, Mila Ortiz, Karen Perez, Diana Perez, Cody Pinter, Jeyson Resendiz, Lee Winstead, and Sierra Winstead.
Earning all A’s, all year long were: Liam Caswell, Darvin Contreras, Dylan Esham, Cole Gilbert, Carson O’Neal, Russell Stevens, Dylan Sutton, Samantha Sutton, Alin Tellez, Andrew Tillett, Kyle Tillett, and Josie Winstead.
Congrats to all the students and athletes at Ocracoke School for another successful school year!