By GREG MENGELT
> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
With the 2014 spring sports season coming to an end last Saturday, the News and Tribune has determined its spring Players of the Year.
Each of the six players — along with 13 from the fall and spring — will be honored next Thursday, June 26 at the News and Tribune Sports Performance Year (NTSPY) award ceremony at the Ogle Center on the campus of Indiana University Southeast in New Albany.
Future Louisville Cardinal Drew Ellis was the clear choice for baseball Player of the Year after a senior season in which he batted .488 with 13 doubles, seven home runs, 25 RBIs and scored 33 times in 29 games. Ellis also had an on-base percentage of .632 and a slugging percentage of .917 during the Red Devils’ sectional-championship season.
Providence sophomore Jacquie Hornung was a close vote with Borden freshman Paige Schindler and Floyd Central senior Taylor McClure for the softball Player of the Year honor. Hornung had a .485 average with seven home runs, 13 doubles, six triples, 42 runs scored and 34 runs driven in for the Pioneers. She also helped lead Providence to its third consecutive sectional championship and its second straight regional crown.
New Albany senior sprinter Jayla Bethel won three sectional championships on her way to the girls’ track Athlete of the Year honor. Her 400-meter relay team also set a sectional record at Corydon Central. She was runner-up in the 100 and third in the 200 at the Bloomington North Regional. The 400 relay team also was second for Bethel to qualify for state in three events. Her best state finishes were 24th in the 100 and 11th in the 400 relay.
Fellow Bulldog senior Javen Reeves is the 2014 boys’ track Athlete of the Year after winning the high jump state championship. After claiming the Hoosier Hills Conference crown, Reeves won the sectional title with a leap within a quarter-inch of 7 feet. He went on to win the state title at 6 feet, 9 inches, beating Warren Central’s Jarrell Dennis with fewer attempts.
Silver Creek senior Kat Hebble is the girls’ tennis Player of the Year after finishing runner-up to Floyd Central’s Olivia Boesing a year ago. Hebble went 22-3 in her senior season, including a sectional championship. She advanced to the singles’ regional championship with a 6-0, 6-0 semifinal win over Princeton’s Emily Pedigo before bowing out against Bloomington South’s state champion Denise Azcui.
Floyd Central senior Connor Welch won a very close Golfer of the Year competition with teammate Jack Sparrow and the Providence duo of Kevin Crone and Mitchell Allender with a four-stroke sectional championship victory. Welch shot 4-under-par 68 to win medalist honors at the Providence Sectional.
Note: Player of the Year features and All-Area teams will run throughout next week.
All 19 of our Players of the Year will be honored at our June 26 NTSPY Awards ceremony. Each will be our invited guest to the event. If you or your child is one of the 19 and you haven’t heard from your athletic department, please contact News and Tribune publisher Bill Hanson at 812-206-2134 or at Bill.Hanson@newsandtribune.com.
2013-14 PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
Baseball — Drew Ellis, Jeffersonville
Basketball (boys) — Calvin McEwen, Clarksville
Basketball (girls) — Kaitlynn Henning, Charlestown
Cross Country (boys) — Julien Magallanes, Borden
Cross Country (girls) — Lydia Kotowski, Floyd Central
Football — Tuwan Payton, New Albany
Golf (girls) — Eliza Hudson, Floyd Central
Golf (boys) — Connor Welch, Floyd Central
Soccer (boys) — Varun Alse, Floyd Central
Soccer (girls) — Lauren Wyatt, Floyd Central
Softball — Jacquie Hornung, Providence
Swimming (boys) — T Martin, Jeffersonville
Swimming (girls) — Meg Taylor, Floyd Central
Tennis (boys) — Logan Charbonneau, New Albany
Tennis (girls) — Kat Hebble, Silver Creek
Track and Field (boys) — Javen Reeves, New Albany
Track and Field (girls) — Jayla Bethel, New Albany
Volleyball — Remi Bowman, Floyd Central
Wrestling — Gavan Jolley-Little, Jeffersonville