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DHS celebrates athletes at banquet

By Bill Kelly
The Dalhart Texan

Dalhart High School hosted the 2024 All- Sports Banquet at the Rita Blanca Coliseum on Thursday May 16, recognizing the athletes who competed on the various teams throughout the 2023- 2024 school year, and presenting awards to those who excelled. The banquet was catered by the Dust Bowl Bar & Grill, and the coliseum was decorated during the day by the Dalhart High cheerleaders. 

The doors opened at 5:30 p.m. Varsity athletes and coaches and families could eat for free, while everyone else who wanted to eat dinner purchased a meal ticket. Those who just wanted to watch the awards being given out didn’t have to pay for a ticket. 

Bill Kelly, who is a special education teacher at Dalhart High and is the PA announcer for the Wolves and Lady Wolves along with being the Dalhart Texan’s sports editor, served as emcee and welcomed everyone to the event and then introduced Kyler Read, who gave the invocation. After everyone had gone through the serving line, Kelly introduced the administrators and the coaches and spouses who were in attendance, and then the presentation of the different teams and awards proceeded. 

Dalhart High football coach and athletic director Joey Read started things off by introducing the football team and presenting the football awards. Read, along with the assistant coaches, presented certificates to those players who had been named All-District and the seniors who were named Academic All-State. Lane Hoppe received the Fighting Heart award, David Castro received the Offensive Line award, Ben Meyer won the Defensive Back award, Hunter Trusler won the Offensive Back award, Jett Puga and Alex Penton were named Defensive MVPs, Kyler Read was named Offensive MVP, and Ben Turner was named Football MVP for his work on both sides of the ball. 

Head volleyball coach Nicole Guidry came up on stage next and presented the volleyball team and their awards. She also presented the All-District players and Academic All-State (football, volleyball, basketball, and baseball All- District and Academic All-State players were featured in earlier editions of the Dalhart Texan. Gracie Schniederjan won the Fighting Heart award, Madi Pedraza and Elli Bezner were the Defensive Players of the Year, Jenna Pedraza received the Most Improved Player award, Kammi Maddox was presented the Golden Ball award, Emily Gaines and Bezner were Offensive Players of the Year, and the overall volleyball MVP was Dylan Moore. 

Anthony Catherall then presented the Lady Wolves’ basketball team. Emily Gaines received the Fighting Heart award, Dylan Moore was named Defensive MVP, Joie Read and Kammi Maddox were named Offensive MVPs, and the overall team MVP was Evelyn Quiroz. 

Ruben Lopez presented the boys’ basketball team next. Corbin Carnesecca and Dante Delgado, the only seniors on the team, received the Attitude & Hustle award. Talon Garcia was named Defensive MVP, and Maddix Blanco was named Offensive MVP. Kyler Read was named the overall MVP for the team. 

Kiel Kitchens then called up the varsity track teams. Certificates were presented to all the athletes who qualified for Area and Regional. Danna Arriaga and Jaron Schriber won awards for long distance running, Anthony Rodriguez and Lyli Flores won awards for mid-distance running, Hunter Trusler and Dylan Moore won the Sprinter awards, and Yiovani Orrantia and Reese Jenkins won awards for field events. Senior Alfred Rodriguez was the overall boys’ MVP and freshman Kaetlin Sundvahl, who qualified for Regional in three different events and placed third at Regional in the long jump, was the overall girls’ MVP. 

Stephanie Vogel was up next and presented the cross country teams. Both boys and girls qualified for Regional, and the girls qualified for State and placed fourth at the State meet, and were just one point behind the third place team. Creed Taylor won the Don’t Count Me Out award, Erin Cox and Israel Vasquez won the Fighting Heart awards, and senior Alfred Rodriguez was the boys’ MVR (Most Valuable Runner) and junior Danna Arriaga was the girls’ MVR. 

Tabby Pedraza is the new head softball coach, and she presented the Lady Wolves’ varsity softball team and gave out their awards. First, a representative of Ford Motor Company presented Madi Pedraza with the Ford Tough Class 3A Athlete of the Month award for March, and also said Madi will be eligible for the Class 3A Athlete of the Year. Jenna Pedraza was named Manager of the Year, Joie Read was Newcomer of the Year, Lexy Vasquez was Offensive Player of the Year, Liliana Orozco and Addison Ramirez were Defensive Players of the Year, Olivia Peavey was Utility Player of the Year, Sydni Hyer won the Golden Glove award, and Madi Pedraza was the team MVP. 

Baseball coach Chris Bird presented the Golden Wolves’ varsity baseball team next. Lane Hoppe and Kyler Read were presented the Respect the Game awards, and Chris Bird and Hunter Trusler were named the team MVPs. Keith Crosby presented awards to the golf teams next. The girls’ team of Gracie Schniederjan, Georgia Bezner, McKinlee Gordon, Lindsey Amico and Amrys Hammett qualified for Regional for the fourth straight year. The boys actually had enough players for two full teams and a few individuals. The team of Drew 

Fisher, Brynen Blanco, Thadeus Blanco, Maddix Blanco and Erik Frantz qualified for Regional, and Ryder Thompson, who played on the other Dalhart team, also qualified for Regional as an individual. The girls’ MVP was Schniederjan for and the boys’ MVP was Fisher.

Ruben Lopez presented the varsity tennis players and gave out their awards. As has already been covered in the Dalhart Texan, the tennis team won the district championship for the first time ever, and had three individuals and one doubles team qualify for Regional, with another doubles team just missing Regional. Braely Heiser, Michael Pena and Cole Kelso won the awards for Most Improved Player, and Abigail Amaya and Zach Drew won the Attitude & Hustle awards. Just like last year, Emily Gaines was the girls’ MVP and Ben Meyer was the boys’ MVP.

Jeff Metcalf then presented the powerlifting teams. Metcalf announced that Ben Turner had been named to the Elite Academic All-State Team and that Alex Penton had been named First Team Academic All-State. Elexia Dominguez was the girls’ MVP and Ben Turner was the boys’ MVP.

Alex Valdez introduced the soccer teams. Danna Arriaga won the Wolf award, and Gabriela Fierro was presented the Leadership award and Marilyn Lopez was named Most Improved for the girls. Aiden Buck 

was named Most Improved and Alberto Briano won the Leadership award for the boys. Lyli Flores was named the MVP for the girls, and Angel Avalos and Jose Armenta were named MVPs for the boys.

After all the team awards had been presented, Joey Read and Anthony Catherall came back up on stage to present the Most Valuable Athlete awards, which are given to athletes who excel in more than one sport. The Most Valuable Male Athlete was Kyler Read and the Most Valuable Female Athlete was Dylan Moore

Cheerleading sponsor Natalie Garcia came up and called up the varsity cheerleaders and gave out a few fun awards to the graduating seniors: Braely Heiser, Dylan Moore and Kendall Lockhart. She also presented the Fan of the Year award to Jimmy Richardson, who has been broadcasting Dalhart games for KXIT for a number of years. The cheerleaders then led the crowd in the singing of the Dalhart High Alma Mater to end the banquet.


Dalhart Federal Female Athlete of the Week

By Bill Kelly
The Dalhart Texan

The Dalhart Federal Savings & Loan Female Athlete of the Week is Addison Ramirez. Ramirez is a sophomore on the Dalhart Lady Wolves softball team, and this is her first time to be named athlete of the week this year, although she was named last year as well.

Athlete of the week is usually determined based on performance during the previous week, but high school sports have now ended for this year. That means, as was mentioned last week as well, that for the rest of May athlete of the week will be based on performance over a longer period of time. There are some athletes that have been missed just because multiple athletes performed well during the same week and one did just slightly better than the other, so the Dalhart Texan will do its best to catch up and name some of those who were missed.

Ramirez moved from playing first base for most of last season to playing center field this year, and was probably Dalhart’s best defensive outfielder, making multiple catches for outs throughout the season, including some the either ended innings or ended games. She had a .947 fielding percentage, recording 16 put-outs (catching a fly ball for an out) and two assists, and only had one error the entire season. Ramirez’s speed allowed her to cover the large amount of territory in center field.

On offense, Ramirez was one of Dalhart’s top offensive threats. She scored 17 runs and had 13 RBIs, and hit four homeruns during the year, which was second most on the team. Ramirez had a fairly good eye, drawing 12 walks during the season, which tied her for second on the team. 

Ramirez is just a sophomore, so she still has two more seasons with the Lady Wolves. Dalhart only lost three seniors, so the Lady Wolves will bring most of the team back from this year, and there are some talented eighth graders moving up to high school as well. Ramirez and the Lady Wolves nearly pulled off a massive upset in the playoffs this year, and should have an outstanding chance to return to the playoffs next year and possibly make a run.