Adam Troxtell, Sports Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
There was plenty of things to be happy about at the Chickasha soccer banquet on Thursday night, with a handful of girls players taking home all-district and all-state honors.
It was also a chance for boys head coach and girls assistant Scott Parkinson to bid a fond farewell to Chickasha before he takes up an assistant coaching role at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
"The people of Chickasha remind me of the people back home," Parkinson, who hails from Liverpool, England, said. "Hard working, blue collar and very kind. It's been a pleasure to be apart of it."
After an undefeated district season, the girls team had ten players earn post-season honors. Senior Amanda Black, juniors Kayla Branch, Ashley Owens, and Tara Arnold, and sophomores Lucia Avila and Taylor Lessig were named All-District.
Black and seniors Madison Snyder and Katie Hinch were named All-State honorable mention, while seniors Alyssa Willetts and Shorty Clift were named to the All-State West team.
"We've built our team on sheer fight," head coach Bethany Goble said. "We proved what it takes to fight as a team. To the seniors, I wish you the best of luck. To the underclassmen, next season has already started, so keep putting in your hard work."
Goble also announced this year's team awards. Avila was named most improved player, while Hinch received the coaches award. Black was chosen as best defensive player and Willetts got best offensive player. The team MVPs were Owens and Branch, both switching positions this season and adapting seamlessly.
Junior Cody Ray was named team MVP for the Fightin' Chicks. Cooper Mosley, also a junior, was given the coaches' award, while Jonah Roberson, a sophomore, got most improved.
Two players who had never before played high school soccer, seniors TJ Filer and Montana Stonecalf, were named best defensive players of the year. Cole Young, who finished the season with five goals in a single game, was named best offensive player.
The end was saved for Parkinson, who told of how he came to Chickasha five years ago on scholarship to play for the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. He began his time at Chickasha High School as a volunteer assistant before being named head coach for the 2013 season.
"You all know my motto: express yourself," Parkinson said to the players gathered at the Activity Center. "Express yourself in everything you do."
He said he is grateful to Athletic Director Yohance Brown for giving him this opportunity, and without it he would not be on his dream path to coach a collegiate program. Parkinson also had kind words for Goble, who also served as his assistant with the boys team.
"You were sent to us by God," Parkinson said. "It must be the care of this town and these girls that keeps you here. You could work in any educational institution in the world."