Four repeat winners were among the top athletes and coaches honored Nov. 28 during the second annual ThisWeek Sports Awards banquet at Villa Milano.
The event, sponsored by Nationwide Children’s Sports Medicine, Big Sandy Superstore and Everdry Waterproofing, honored 159 athletes and 12 coaches in the ThisWeek coverage area, from all 12 fall sports.
The highlight was the announcement of the Super 25 football captain, which has been presented since 1993.
The winner was Raymell Byrd, a senior quarterback from Whitehall-Yearling High School. Byrd guided the Rams to a 10-2 record and their third consecutive playoff berth. He completed 69 of 148 passes for 1,109 yards and eight touchdowns and rushed for 1,794 yards and 28 scores on 241 carries. He was the Division II district Offensive Player of the Year. Byrd also was first-team Super 25 last season.
The Super 12 boys and girls soccer captains have been named since 1997.
The boys captain was Manny Day, a senior from Grandview Heights. Day scored 50 goals to lead the Bobcats to their fifth consecutive district title and second regional championship in a row. Day also recorded nine assists and was first-team all-state in Division III as well as the Player of the Year in the district.
For the second consecutive year, the girls honoree was Alicia Donley from Pickerington North. Donley, a senior, missed the first five games of the season with an injury but still scored a team-high 19 goals and added four assists as the Panthers reached a Division I regional final. She also was named the district Player of the Year and first-team all-state for the second year in a row.
Athletes of the Year in the other nine fall sports have been honored since 2012.
The boys cross country winner was Pickerington North junior Matt Duvall, who won OCC-Ohio Division, district and regional individual titles before placing seventh in the Division I state meet. Duvall has advanced to state all three seasons.
Olentangy Liberty senior Gracie Sprankle was a repeat winner in girls cross country. Sprankle won OCC-Buckeye, district and regional titles before earning a sixth-place finish in the Division I state meet. Sprankle is a three-time all-Ohio honoree.
The third two-time winner was Riley Wagoner, a senior from Dublin Coffman who was named the top girls volleyball player. A middle hitter, Wagoner finished with 378 kills, 329 digs and 365 serves received as the Shamrocks won their 12th consecutive Division I district title.
The final repeat winner was Sarah Charley, a senior on the Thomas Worthington field hockey team. Charley finished with 42 goals and 30 assists as the Cardinals reached a state semifinal. In her four seasons, she totaled 109 goals and 80 assists as Thomas went 77-5-1 and won three state titles.
In girls golf, Leila Raines was named the top athlete. The junior from Olentangy Berlin shot a 141 to finish second in the Division I state tournament. She played the postseason in girls golf after competing on the boys team during the regular season, in which she was first-team all-OCC-Cardinal.
Trevor Binau, a senior from Bexley, was named the top boys golfer. Binau is a two-time state tournament medalist, including this season when he won the Division II title by eight shots. He also is a three-time district Player of the Year.
The top girls tennis athlete was Sydni Ratliff of Columbus Academy. Ratliff, a sophomore, was the Division II state singles runner-up for the second consecutive season and also helped the Vikings to a third-place finish in the state team tournament.
In boys water polo, St. Charles senior Jon Sugar was honored after recording 101 goals, 63 assists and 67 steals in being named the state Player of the Year and leading the Cardinals to the state title.
On the girls side, the award went to Caroline Colombo, a sophomore from Upper Arlington. Colombo led the Golden Bears in goals with 120 and was second in steals with 66 and third in assists with 33. She scored on 80 percent of her 150 shots and scored 28 percent of her team’s goals.
Coaches of the Year were Buddy White (football, Reynoldsburg), Marc D’Auteuil (boys soccer, Olentangy Liberty), Scott Dempsey (girls soccer, Watterson), Ryan Beck (boys cross country, Gahanna Lincoln), Nate King (girls cross country, Hilliard Davidson), Jen Chapman (girls volleyball, Olentangy Liberty), Anne Horton (field hockey, Columbus Academy), Rich Ritter (girls golf, New Albany), Craig Mosier (boys golf, Wellington), Susan Storrer (girls tennis, Olentangy Orange), Geoff Gear (boys water polo, St. Charles) and Dan Peterkoski (girls water polo, Upper Arlington).