Thomas County Central High School Athletics program has won prestigious recognition for its efforts during the 2014-2015 season.
TCCHS has been awarded the All Sports trophy from Region 1AAAA and the Regions Director’s Cup from the Georgia Athletic Directors Association for its exemplary achievements in sports programs last school year.
“The All Sports trophy is awarded to the best overall athletic program in Region 1 AAAA,” TCCHS Athletic Director Sam Holland said. “We had five region champions last year: boys and girls golf, girls soccer, softball, and girls swimming.”
Both awards are based on points given for first, second and third places in the region, Holland explained.
“It means, to me, that across the board we have a great athletic program,” he said. “It means the pursuit of excellence that I talk about is the standard all our coaches hold themselves and their programs to. I think it motivates all the coaches to know they are the best in the region and this part of Georgia. There are very few places in the country where you have such a high level of competition week in and week out. So, to stand tall in this area says a lot about what is going on here at Thomas County Central.”
Coach Bill Wilhelm, who is involved in the school’s football and wrestling programs, said the recognition is “a wonderful honor” and a goal coaches have strived toward “for a long time.”
“With the win it shows how well-rounded our sports teams are athletically,” Wilhelm said. “We have athletes who are dedicated to their academics as well as their sports. We have a sign in our weight room that says, ‘It Takes A Little More To Be A YELLOW JACKET!’ We feel like our programs are doing it the right way and our athletes are the best around, bar none.”
Wilhelm’s son, Conley, was highly involved in the school’s effort to achieve this All Sports recognition: he played five sports last year, including football, track & field, cross country, soccer, and wrestling.
“I’m happy that I could contribute to more than one sport and it really reassures me that our school is one of the best in athletics,” he said. “This encourages me to do my best in everything because it gives me a great chance to succeed as an athlete.”
His favorite moment that contributed to the school’s accomplishment was when the TCCHS Boys Varsity Soccer team, “as an underdog,” defeated Veterans High School in the playoffs.
TCCHS Women’s Varsity Soccer Coach Kristy Peeples, herself a TCCHS alumna and a tri-athlete, feels “very grateful and privileged to work for such a prestigious, organized, competitive sports program.” And, she is overjoyed to be able to coach a sport she played at her alma matter.
“In our athletic programs, you can see where positive discipline and hard work pays off by our athletes’ performance,” Peeples said. “Our student athletes strive to better their performance by specialized trainings, practices, and motivation. I feel very confident that this award reflects the students’ goals and confidence when performing at their highest level they can compete in.”
A moment that stood out to her during last year’s season was her women’s soccer team winning the region title as the only undefeated team.
“They worked so hard all season long while showing enthusiasm and persistence when training,” Peeples said. “The lady jackets had not won a region title in many years, and for a squad to go undefeated in such a large region (10 teams) we competed in was unbelievable. We are going for the same outcome this year, by tackling one game at a time, winning our way to the top.”
Student athlete Kacy Jones said her school’s achieving these accomplishments means a lot to her.
“It shows how many athletes at our school put forth effort in order to succeed,” she said. “The last game for our girls tennis season (last year) mean?s? the most to me because all of our team became a lot closer, especially through the challenges of making region and moving on to state.”
Holland said it was “a combination of really good players and outstanding coaches” that made TCCHS stand out. And, this recognition speaks highly of TCCHS and its dedication to excellence.
“A lot of people put a lot of hard work, time, and effort into these awards,” he said. “Not only is excellence being attained in the classroom here, but the athletic programs are reaching for high standards also.”
TCCHS Athletics 2014-2015 Accomplishments:
Softball: region champions, state runner-up, four first team all-region selections; Coach Robyn Trammel named region coach of the year; two seniors sign college scholarships
Football: four first team all-region selections, three seniors sign to play college ball
Cross Country: girls placed second in region; boys placed third in region
Cheerleading: fourth in region and advanced to state
Basketball: one player signed college scholarship
Wrestling: Noah Harnevious won first place in area; Brooks Bradley qualified for state
Swimming: girls won region, relay team qualified for state; boys team finished third
Tennis: girls team finished fourth in region and advanced to state
Track: five girls qualify for state, Bryana Scott finished second in discus at state and Erica Edwards finished eighth in high jump; two members sign college scholarships; five boys qualify for state, Juanye Smith finished second in 100 meters sprint at state meet
Baseball: second in region and won first playoff game; three players named to all-region team
Golf: boys and girls win region; boys advanced to state tournament and finished sixth
Soccer: girls won region, Coach Kristy Peeples named region coach of the year; boys finished third and won first round playoff game