Vance-Granville Community College celebrated Vanguard student-athletes at its annual Athletics Banquet, held on March 31 in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus.
VGCC Coordinator of Student Activities & Athletics Jermiel Hargrove started the event by praising the students for their hard work, both on the court and in the classroom. He noted that the VGCC athletics program is growing, with the 2016 addition of the “Vanguard Spirit” cheerleading squad, while the men’s basketball and women’s volleyball teams have celebrated historic successes.
Serving as guest speaker for the event was Carlos Fields, a football standout at Northern Vance High School and Winston-Salem State University who is currently a linebacker for the Los Angeles Chargers. Fields spoke about his “idol,” his mother, Sheila Kearney, who was also an outstanding student-athlete and became an educator. “She motivated me to be a great athlete, but most of all, to give back to my community,” he said. Fields plans to go into coaching and teaching once his professional playing days come to an end. To the VGCC athletes, he emphasized the importance of character, “being coachable,” and working hard “while you wait to get your opportunity to excel.”
Hargrove started the presentations of awards by recognizing VGCC women’s volleyball players. He presented the award for Most Valuable Player to Kiyanna Kearney of Henderson, the Team Captain award to Jesse Edwards of Henderson and co-Freshman of the Year awards to Stormi Abernathy of Yanceyville and Hannah Arneth of Oxford.
Other volleyball team members recognized included Nicole Bowman of Oxford, Allyson Cash of Grassy Creek, Ashley Parker of Henderson, Katelynn Ray of Henderson, Madison Waddle of Kittrell and Hanna Williams of Oxford, along with assistant coach Rachel Thomas, a former VGCC student-athlete.
VGCC staff member Tina Ragland, who coaches the cheerleading squad, presented the Most Valuable Cheerleader Award to Latessa Wilkerson of Henderson, the Most Spirited Cheerleader award to Seniqua Turner of Henderson and the Most Versatile Cheerleader award to Stackia Burwell of Henderson.
Other cheerleaders recognized included Anaya Brown of Henderson, Sequoyah Jones of Oxford, Latia Thomas of Henderson, Chiatyra Turner of Ebony, Va., and Kaela Williams of Henderson.
Vanguards men’s basketball head coach DeMarcus Oliver presented awards to members of his team. He named TyQuon Reid of Goldsboro as MVP, Christopher Pernell of Raleigh as Teammate of the Year, and NiQuan Cousins of Raleigh as Freshman of the Year. In a first for the program, the coach also presented commemorative basketballs to Reid, for scoring the 1,000th point of his VGCC career on Feb. 22 and to Pernell for scoring his 100th career three-pointer on Feb. 9. Both set new records for the Vanguards program, the coach noted.
Other basketball players recognized included Antonio Adams of Raleigh, William Beck of Raleigh, Darius Buford of Cary, Kenneth Finley, Jr., of Raleigh, Lynn Henderson of Henderson, Jaylen Jones of Warrenton, Calvin Manley of Louisburg and Thomas McCaffity of Warrenton, along with assistant coach William Clements and team manager Mycal Elam, another former VGCC student-athlete.
Hargrove also recognized four students for their service as support staff for the VGCC athletics program this year: Micah Roberts of Stem, Daniel Reece of Henderson, Alana Towles of Oxford and Angelique Taylor of Macon.
In closing remarks, Stacey Carter-Coley, VGCC’s vice president of employee and public relations, congratulated the student-athletes on the past year and thanked their family members for their support.
Current or prospective students interested in participating in VGCC athletics during the 2017-18 year should contact Jermiel Hargrove at firstname.lastname@example.org or (252) 738-3246.
Above: NFL player Carlos Fields addresses VGCC student-athletes and their families. (VGCC photo)
Above: From left, VGCC women’s volleyball players Hanna Williams, Stormi Abernathy (Co-Freshman of the Year), Kiyanna Kearney (MVP), Jesse Edwards (Team Captain), Hannah Arneth (Co-Freshman of the Year), Allyson Cash, Nicole Bowman and assistant coach Rachel Thomas, gathered at the VGCC Athletics Banquet. (VGCC photo)
Above: From left, VGCC men’s basketball team manager Mycal Elam, players William (Mitch) Beck, Chris Pernell (Teammate of the Year), Lynn Michael Henderson, Coach DeMarcus Oliver, and players TyQuon Reid (MVP), Thomas Isaiah McCaffity and NiQuan Cousins (Freshman of the Year), all gathered at the VGCC Athletics Banquet. (VGCC photo)
Above: From left, VGCC “Vanguard Spirit” cheerleaders Anaya Brown, Chiatyra Turner, Latessa Wilkerson (Most Valuable Cheerleader), Seniqua Turner (Most Spirited Cheerleader), Stackia Burwell (Most Versatile Cheerleader), Latia Thomas, Sequoyah Jones and Kaela Williams, gathered at the VGCC Athletics Banquet. (VGCC photo)
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