Ridgewood girls' basketball team hosts awards banquet

Sandy Hull

    Spartan girls' basketball players were honored during an awards banquet Sunday, March 13, at AlWood High School, Woodhull.

    Coach Bryan Brooks welcomed everyone and said a number of thank yous, including thanking the parents for their support, Jenny Kruger for all her work in helping keep statistics and the parents who helped with the two fundraisers, one to help the girls get new warm ups and sweatshirts and the other one, the Leah Whittaker fundraiser.

    “This year’s group had a hard team to follow,” stated Brooks. “We had some big holes to fill after last year’s graduation, but they never gave up and always worked hard. By the end of the season they showed they could play with the best and were very competitive.”

    The Ridgewood varsity team finished with a 16-16 overall record and placed third overall Lincoln Trail Conference.

    Brooks introduced the players. They were: seniors Ella Teel, Hayley McDowell, Dani Lessard and Sammi Stevenson; juniors Ashley Kruger, Emalee Brink and Annie Gelaude; sophomores Madison Miller, Molly Jo Smith and Taylor Brooks and freshmen Hannah Garrett, Morgan Green, Ashley Collins and Jasmine Jefko.

    “I really enjoyed our group of seniors,” Brooks said. “They have a lot to offer and will succeed after high school graduation.”

    Varsity awards were presented. Kruger was presented the rebounder award for having 267 throughout the season and the coaches award. Gelaude earned the most blocked shots award with 27. Teel received four awards. Most steals with 80, most points with 403, most assists with 100 and a four-year varsity award for netting 1,000 points during her career. Stevenson received the most improved award.

    Teel and Kruger were two of the 10-player first Lincoln Trail All-Conference girls basketball team. Gelaude earned second team honors.

    Five Spartans were named to the academic all-conference list. They were Stevenson, Smith, Kruger, Brooks and Teel.

    Teel was also named to the Illinois Basketball Services fifth team, the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Class 1A third team and the Galesburg All-Area Team.

    Frosh-soph coach Joel Zaiser took the floor following the varsity portion of the night.

    “I want to thank you parents for all your support,” he said. “It was awesome this year.”

    It was also announced that a freshman basketball coach has been approved for next year since the team has such good numbers. Twelve freshman games have been scheduled.

    Members of the squad were introduced. They were sophomores Molly Jo Smith, Haley Schmoll, Brooklyn Wexell,  Taylor Brooks, Kylie Carey, Kayla Wilkinson, Amanda Harvey, Danielle Brooks and Madison Miller and freshmen Hannah Garrett, Morgan Green, Mary Koby, Caitie Allen, Kelsey Manasco, Kayleen Dennis, Savannah Walker, Addison Barman, Ashley Collins, Jasmine Jefko and Sabrina Medley.

    Frosh soph awards went to Collins for having the most steals, 30; Taylor Brooks for having the most assists, 31; Garrett for having the most blocks, 15; Smith for having the most points, 98 and most rebounds. The coaches award was presented to Miller and Harvey earned the most improved award.

    “We have a lot of talent coming up and lots to look forward to next year,” said Brooks. “Sky is the limit.”

    In closing Brooks thanked his son, Mitchell, for filming the girls games and his wife for helping keep track of stats.