By Mac McLeod,
Coaches from Region 4, District 8-AA met Friday at Upperman High School in Baxter to set the rules for the upcoming district tournament and also to select players and coaches for season honors.
Unlike years past, due to the current pandemic situation, it was decided that this year’s tournament, which was set to get underway Monday, would be played, not in one central location, but at the school that was the highest seeded team.
Attendance rules were discussed and it was decided to go with the state recommendation of allowing attendance to be limited to one third of the school’s gym capacity and each participating team would get one half of those tickets. If there were unused tickets at the door at game time, they could then be sold on a first come, first serve basis.
Most schools in the district have roughly 350-400 available seats on the one-third rule, so each school would receive roughly 175-200 tickets per game. At Livingston Academy, there would be 400 tickets available, 200 for each school with any extra being sold at game time at the door.
All games will start at 7 p.m. and ticket prices are set at $7 per game.
Also accomplished at the meeting was the naming of players to the All-District teams, both boys and girls.
On the girls side, Upperman’s Reagan Hurst was named Player of the Year for District 8-AA. Joining Hurst on the district’s first team included Macon County’s Jaylnn Gregory, Haylee Johnson of York, Kadee Ferrell from DeKalb County, and Brooklyn and Emma Christensen, both from Upperman.
Named to the second team were Livingston Academy’s Aleah Melton, Macon’s Abby Shoulders, Upperman’s Torie Brooks and Aiyana Levy, and York’s Gabby Beaty.
Keaton Webb from Livingston Academy received a spot on the third team while Hailey Cronk and Allie Qualls received honorable mention.
Upperman’s Crouch was named the district’s Defensive Player of the Year. No Livingston players received a spot on this team while Mallie Coleman earned a spot on the Freshman team.
Most Improved Player award is shared by Megan Cantrell of DeKalb County and Watertown’s Brittni Allison.
With only one district loss this season, Upperman’s Dana McWilliams captured the Coach of the Year award.
On the boys side, Upperman’s Alex Rush captured Player of the Year award while Livingston’s Matthew Sells earned a spot on the district’s first team. Joining Sells on the first team were Colin Gore of Upperman, Riley Cooper, Nick Smith of York, and Cannon County’s Gus Davenport.
Eli Melton and Nick Choate earned spots on the third team. Melton also earned a place on the All-Defensive Team.
Freshman of the Year honors were shared by York’s Byson Bilbrey and Miles Leffew. Most Improved Player award went to York’s Jonathan Heddings.
This will be the final year, at least for a while, for the 8 teams that make up District 8-AA. Next year the district will be divided with York, Watertown, Smith County, and Cannon County moving out, and Livingston will move up to 3-AAA in a district that will include Cumberland County, Stone Memorial, White County, Upperman, DeKalb County, and Macon County.