By BRIAN WOODSON
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
There has been a small change to the Pocahontas Coal Association/ Bluefield Daily Telegraph Player of the Year reception that will be held on Thursday at the Princeton Elks Lodge.
Twenty-two area high school basketball players will be the guests of honor at the event that will begin at 7 p.m. Attendees should eat a full meal prior to the reception.
“This year we will not have dinner as in the past,” said Rick Taylor, the president of the Pocahontas Coal Associa-tion. “This year we will have a reception format with light hors d’oeuvres and drinks.”
Outside of the nourishment, the remainder of the event will remain the same. Eleven boys and 11 girls will be presented trophies for being selected as player of the week during the season,
In addition, a player and coach of the year will be announced for both boys and girls.
This will mark the 13th year at the Pocahontas Coal Association has combined with the Bluefield Daily Telegraph to honor area athletes, not only in basketball, but also in football.
“I just think for us it is just another way that coal supports our community,” said Taylor, who was attending a New York Yankees spring training game on Friday in Tampa, Fla. “We appreciate all the people that support coal because it is our future and our heritage.”
Here is a look at the 2013-14 boys honorees, and a few stats from the season.
•Anthony Eades, Bluefield (19.3 points per game, 3.3 rebounds, 84.8 free throw pct).
•Ben Brown, Richlands (13.2 ppg, 12.3 reb, 2.2 steals, 2.1 assists).
•Colby Hill, Graham (19.4 ppg, 4.0 reb, 2.5 ast, 2.0 stls, 81 percent FT).
•Aaron Ferguson, Princeton (20.2 ppg, 12.3 reb, 2.3 blocks).
•Michael Yost, Bluefield (limited to 15 games by injury).
•Lykel Collier, Bluefield (12.6 ppg, 8.0 ast, 2.6 stls).
•Chandler Burton, Narrows (17.4 ppg, 7.3 reb, 67 percent FT)
•Taylor DeHaven, River View (19.3 ppg, 9.7 reb, 4.1 ast, 2.8 stls).
•Zach Meadows, PikeView (19.4 ppg, 9.4 reb, 72 percent FT, 53 FG pct).
•Roman Workman, Graham (13.4 ppg, 6.2 reb, 1.8 stls, 1.6 ast).
•Caleb Spencer, James Monroe (10.1 ppg, 41 pts vs. River View).
Ditto for the girls.
•Morgan Hall, Grundy (22.8 ppg, 10.5 reb, 52 ast, 28 stls, 18 blks, 80 pct FT)
•Brandi Morrison, Summers County (17.0 ppg, 8.0 reb, 3.0 ast).
•Lexi Kiser, Graham (15.1 ppg, 2.3 stls, 1.4 ast).
•Lyndsay Hatfield, PikeView (14.2 ppg, 7.0 reb, 38 stls, 33 ast).
•Shelby Baker, Narrows (16.2 ppg, 13.3 reb, 3.2 stls, 2.1 ast, 2.0 blks).
•Brittany Allen, Richlands (21.9 ppg, 7.3 reb, 6.4 ast, 2.1 stls).
•Whitney Saunders, Tazewell (14.5 ppg, 4.0 reb, 4.0 ast).
•Tiffany Perdue, Narrows (12.7 ppg, 3.1 stls, 3.0 reb, 2.5 stls).
•Dejah Carter, Graham (10.4 ppg, 10.1 reb, 64 blks).
•Madison May, PikeView (15.0 ppg, 4.6 reb, 2.9 stls, 31 ast)
•Katie Dobbs, Twin Valley (16.7 ppg, 17.4 reb, 2.4 stls, 2.4 blks, 1.6 ast).
Eleven different boys have taken home the last 12 player of the year honors, including Anthony Eades (2013, Bluefield), Lykel Collier (’12, Bluefield), Tommy Symns (’11, PikeView), Craig Ponder (’09, Bluefield), Jason Palmer (’08, Graham) and Ansel Ponder (’07, Bluefield).
Dexter Moore of Bluefield won in ‘07 and ‘05. Pocahontas’ Mark Little took top honors in ‘06. Mercer Christian’s Ben Shrader also won twice, once in ‘03, and he shared the honors in ‘04 with Graham’s Ahmad Bradshaw.
The first winner in ‘02 was Daniel Reed of Princeton.
Summers County has won six of the past 12 girls awards, including two-time winners Jolysa Brown (’08, ‘07) and Hallie Gunnoe (’11, ‘11), along with Sierra Brown (’06) and Candace Brown (’12).
Another two-time winner was Mercer Christian’s Brittany Cook in ‘04 and ‘02. Cook went on to have a successful career at Virginia Tech.
McKenzie Akers (’13, Princeton). Laurel Hankins (’09, Bland County), Shari Walker (’03, James Monroe) have also won the top award. Tonya Wright of Bland County and Wyoming East’s Cassidy Smith shared the honors in ‘05.
This will be the sixth year that a coach of the year has been honored.
Past winners for the boys have been Bluefield’s Buster Large, who has won the last two, along with Mark Cooper (’11, Hurley), William Anderson (’10, PikeView) and Glynn Carlock Jr. (’09, Graham).
Five different girls coaches have been honorees, including Dennis Palmer (’13, Richlands), Karen Miller (’12, PikeView), James Cochran (’11, Richlands), Wayne Ryan (’10, Summers County) and Jason Lambert (’09, Bland County).
“We at the Daily Telegraph are proud to have been a part of an area tradition for the past 13 years,” Bluefield Daily Telegraph sports editor Brian Woodson said. “It couldn’t happen without the Pocahontas Coal Association, and we certainly appreciate their contributions to area youth.
“We are looking forward to continuing this relationship long into the future.”
— Contact Brian Woodson