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Kirby Gets Another Player Of The Year Honor

[The following article appeared in the June 5 online edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
By Todd Holcomb
AJC Sports
The COVID-19 pandemic that brought an early end to high school sports during the 2019-2020 academic year also has taken on a toll on end-of-year team awards and individual recognition.
Only 11 of the Georgia High School Association’s 25 championship sports reached their conclusions. Champions were crowned in the six fall sports (football, fast-pitch softball, boys cross country, girls cross country, volleyball and cheerleading) and five winter sports (boys basketball, girls basketball, boys swimming, girls swimming and wrestling). The 14 spring sports were just getting into full swing when the GHSA was forced to cancel their seasons.
One of the state’s most prestigious awards was one of the casualties, when the Georgia Athletic Directors Association decided in April not to declare winners in the Directors Cup competition. The Directors Cup, presented to the top overall athletic program in each classification, had been awarded every year since 2000. Although the school year was about two-thirds complete when the shutdown came, fewer than half of the sports had been able to crown state champions.
Westminster, which has won 19 Directors Cups in the program’s 20-year history, earned the most state titles this school year with four (boys and girls swimming, boys and girls cross country). Blessed Trinity, McIntosh and Woodward Academy won three each.
Individually, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has recognized an athlete of the year in each GHSA sport every year since 2003 and is continuing that tradition today. This year, however, only the sports that were able to complete their championships were considered for the honor.
Class AA
Player of the year: Ja’Queze Kirby, Jeff Davis
Coach of the year: Brice Hobbs, Swainsboro
First team
G/F Carl Cleveland, Banks County, 6-6, Sr.
F Ja’Queze Kirby, Jeff Davis, 6-6, Sr.
G Jarden Maze, Washington County, 6-2, Sr.
G Roman Son, Therrell, 6-0, Sr.
F John Whitehead, Glenn Hills, 6-5, Sr.
Second team
G Re’Sean Frederick, Therrell, 6-5, Sr.
F Emmanuel Jones, Glenn Hills, 6-8, Sr.
G A.J. Kingsbury, Swainsboro, 5-9, Sr.
F Fredrick Seabrough, Swainsboro, 6-4, Jr.
G Jaylin Sellers, Spencer, 6-4, Jr.
Honorable mention: Righteous Chester, KIPP Atlanta Collegiate; Clifford Davis, Thomasville; Ja’Quavian Florence, South Atlanta; Immanuel Hackett, Swainsboro; Tquavion King, Dublin; Johnny Kittles, Jefferson County; Bernard Pelote, Woodville-Tompkins; Jamarious Pledger, Douglass; Payton Rhoades, Pepperell; Jonathan Taylor, Laney.

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