Week of activities honors games’ best

By Donna Stephens Originally Published June 20, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated June 19, 2013 at 10:51 a.m.
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Fifty-three athletes from the Tri-Lakes Edition coverage area were among the 458 who reported Monday for the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star Week at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

Laney Gibson of Magnet Cove said she was shocked to be one of two Magnet Cove softball players chosen.

“I thought we’d only have one make it, and Erin (Pankey, the Panthers’ pitcher) would be it,” she said.

Instead, she and Pankey will have an opportunity to play together one more time for the West.

Representatives from the region will be involved in all six sports, as well as cheer and dance.

“Being selected to participate in the all-star game is a great honor and a great opportunity, just to be able to be around some of the better talent, the more talented players in the state of Arkansas,” said Roddy Mote of Harding Academy, head football coach for the East. “Being able to compete and develop new friendships is a big deal.”

Coaches reported on Father’s Day, and players followed on Monday. Practices for all sports began Monday. Baseball and softball doubleheaders took place Tuesday, and soccer and volleyball were played Wednesday. Basketball will go today, and football will conclude the week’s festivities on Friday.

Those squads that had not yet played their games attend the other all-star contests during the week to cheer on their new friends.

“You’re always getting ready for the next game; there’s always a next game, but this is it,” Mote said. “Those who are chosen as all-stars have had an opportunity to do the very most they can as a high school player, and it’s very rewarding for them. They feel very honored and very humbled.”

Fresh off the Class 2A state softball championship, Gibson and Pankey had one more goal in mind to cap a stellar year. The Lady Panthers also finished runner-up in the Class 2A State Track Championships and reached the quarterfinals of the state basketball tournament.

Heading to Henderson State University next year, Gibson will hang up competitive sports, making All-Star Week even more precious.

“I just want to end on something good,” she said.

Representing the Tri-Lakes region in baseball are Andrew Seymour of Lake Hamilton, Coulton Lee of Benton and Marcus Wilson of Bryant, all competing for the West.

The East girls basketball roster includes Peyton Herrell of Jessieville. Mary Crow of Bauxite and Logan Davis of Bryant are on the West team.

The West boys basketball roster includes Ricky Gipson of Benton, Jamal LaFord of Mountain Pine and Bryan Torres of Benton.

The West football roster includes Hayden Bolding of Hot Springs Lakeside, Chase Pique and Wallace Foote of Benton, Trey Broughton of Malvern, Collin Hunter and Skyler Hix of Glen Rose, Andrew Barber of Fountain Lake, Josh Hall of Mount Ida, and Hunter Linam and Zack Garrett of Magnet Cove.

On the West girls soccer roster are Lexie Balisterri and Shelby Gartrell of Bryant and Shara Robbins of Hot Springs Lakeside. Jacie McMahan of Bryant is the team’s manager.

In boys soccer, the West squad includes Daniel Ramirez and Anthony Shank of Benton and Justin Victoria of Bryant.

Besides Pankey and Gibson, the West softball roster includes Korie Parker of Benton. Abby Stevens of Magnet Cove is the manager.

Playing for the West volleyball team are Hannah Rice of Bryant, Erin Jackson of Benton, Alyssa Stanfill of Lake Hamilton, Maggie Hughes of Hot Springs Lakeside, and Katie Lampo and Ashley Wake of Fountain Lake.

The East cheer squad includes Jacob deLinde of Fountain Lake, and Lexi Huddleston and Payton Hicks of Hot Springs Lakeside. The West team includes Alex Dyer and Sydney Golman of Benton, Bailey Keaton of Bryant, Morgan Robbins of Bauxite and Rusten Godwin of Lake Hamilton.

Katie Dodd and Dariann Farnam of Glen Rose are part of the East dance team. The West squad includes Ariane Arroyo and Haley Blumfelder of Bryant, Jordan Brown and Audrey Ramsey of Benton, Monica Norman and Jerilyn Robin of Lake Hamilton, and Brianna Massey of Bauxite.

None Donna Stephens can be reached at .

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