Senior athletes honored at Tecumseh High School banquet

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Tecumseh High School Principal Griff Mills congratulates Rachel Waite and John Terry as the Scholar Athletes of the Year during the Senior Athletic banquet. Photo by Mickey Alvarado.

It was no surprise to those attending Tecumseh High School’s Senior Athletic Banquet on Wednesday, May 22, when principal Griff Mills announced the names of Rachel Waite and John Terry as this year’s Scholar Athletes of the Year.

Waite, a state swimming champion, has a grade point average of 4.047 while Terry, the class Salutatorian, carries a grade point average of 4.109.

The two scholar athletes had been called upon many times during the evening, also being the recipients of the school’s prestigious Marsh Award, honoring the best male and female athletes in the senior class as voted on by the varsity coaches. These athletes have displayed values of citizenship and integrity and have set great examples for the athletes who follow in their footsteps.

The Tilton Awards were presented to Kendra Randolph and Anthony Lesko. The Tilton Award is presented to the senior male and female athletes who have contributed most to the success of the entire athletic program as voted on by all of the varsity coaches. The recipients have demonstrated dedication to the THS athletic program through their participation, hard work, spirit and hustle.

The banquet, presented by the Student Athlete Advisory council, also presents an award to honor the service of former coaches. Tecumseh High School’s Distinguished Service Award, presented by former THS coach Ed Oxley, was given to Ron Spagnoli.

“It certainly is an honor for me to present this year’s Distinguished Service Award for Tecumseh athletics to coach Ron Spagnoli, or coach Spag as we used to call him and still do,” said Oxley. “Ron had over 40 years in teaching and coaching in that particular profession... He coached with class, discipline, dedication, attention to detail and was respected by the athletes who played for him.”

Spagnoli was a THS girls basketball coach for 23 years, from 1981-1999 and 2002-2005, earning conference championships in 1981, 1991 and 2004 and district championships in 1990 and 1991.

Spagnoli was the THS boy’s basketball coach for six years, from 1970-1976, winning conference, district and regional championships in 1976.

He was a Hall of Fame Inductee in 2001. Spagnoli was Ann Arbor News’ Regional Coach of the Year in 1981, 1990 and 1991. He was a THS guidance counselor for 18 years, a THS physical education teacher for four years and TMS counselor for seven years.

“God has blessed me in many ways in my life,’ said Spagnoli. “One of which was the opportunity for my wife and I to live and raise our family in Tecumseh and for me to be a member of the education and coaching staff of the school system.”

Spag made sure to thank administration, coaches and even athletes who raised him up during his teaching and coaching career and pointed out that he could not have done any of it without his wife.

“She has always supported me and was the wind beneath my feet,” he said.

In his final analogy of his coaching career he said what was important wasn’t the final tally of wins and losses.

“The true value of high school athletics is the lessons that you’ve learned and hopefully will serve you well in life; the values that you form that will guide you along life’s journey; the friendships and relationships that develop down through the years, some of which will last a lifetime and of course the many memories that you’ve made and shared will go on forever.”

Also during the evening, the Premier Varsity Letter Award winners were announced.

The girl’s winner was Paige Cadmus with five letters in cheerleading, two in track and one in lacrosse.

The boys had a four-way tie with eight letters each. The winners were Kyle Bryan (2 football, 2 basketball, 4 track), Lesko (3 cross-country, 4 wrestling, 1 track), Charlie Haesler (2 football, 3 lacrosse, 3 wrestling) and Terry (4 football, 2 track, 1 basketball, 1 baseball).

The three Sport Athlete award winners included those who earned three varsity letters during their senior year. Receiving the award were Spencer Adams (football, bowling, baseball), Bryan (football, basketball, track), Melanie Curtis (sideline cheer, competitive cheer, lacrosse), Eric Eldred (football, basketball, baseball) and Casey Hunt (football, basketball, baseball).

Eighteen college bound athletes were asked to stand up for recognition during the evening including: Maria Abode (Cleary University, soccer), Spencer Adams (University of Dayton, football), Amelia Balinski (Siena Heights University, lacrosse) Jacob Britt (University of Toledo, baseball), Kyle Bryan (Mt. Morris University, football), Ben Dreslinski (Northwood University, football), Charlie Haesler (Olivet, lacrosse), Kylie Hill, Indiana Tech, softball), Jared Kimmitt (Siena Heights University, track), Anthony Lesko (Alma College, wrestling) Emily Maves (Davenport University, softball), Joey Rebottaro (Defiance College, football), Atlanta Roberts (Siena Heights University, bowling), Matt Scheffler (Aquinas College, lacrosse), Kelsey Schoenberger (Siena Heights University, soccer), John Terry (Hillsdale College, football), Rachel Waite (Oakland University, swimming), and Paige Watkins (Aquinas College, golf).

The Detroit Free Press nominees were John Terry and Rachel Waite.

Tecumseh’s Michigan High School Athletic Association Scholar Athletes are Eric Eldred, Rachel Waite, Paige Watkins, Sarah Tritt, John Terry, Anthony Lesko, Joey Rebottaro and Leigh Kapnick.




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