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Lion cross-country’s best honored at 2008 banquet

Redning reflects on 2008 season and looks toward ‘09
On Thursday night at the Sixth Grade Center, coach Lonnie Redning took the opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of his Lion cross-country runners during the 2008 season.
Participation is definitely on the rise within the program, which was evident when the coach said it was easily the largest banquet he’d hosted in his time at Ennis High. Bubba’s BBQ catered the affair as Redning began to reflect on the events of this past fall.
“I don’t like banquets because they signify the end of the year for a sport, so this is our ‘Christmas party,’” the coach joked.
“This was a rebuilding year for us with all of the girls’ talent we lost from 2007, and it didn’t help that we were in the second-toughest district in Region 2.”
The top times of the year were posted by freshman Tori Selvera (12:36) on the girls’ side and sophomore Kevin Montemayor (17:58) on the boys’ side. Outstanding Runner of the Year honors went to Selvera and Tyler Hobbs.
Selvera now appears on three occasions in the list of the top 25 fastest girls’ times in Ennis High history. As far as the top 25 fastest boys’ times in the school’s history, Montemayor also made the list on three occasions this season and junior J.T. Florence made it once as well.
As far as the best freshman girl times in school history, Selvera owns three of the top five. For the boys, Florence appears twice in the top-10 junior list and Kevin Montemayor can be found three times among the top-10 sophomore list thanks to their 2008 efforts.
The season began at the Hewitt Midway Kiwanis Invitational and the Lady Lions got off to a great start with a second-place team finish. Selvera (first), Chelsea Raburn (fourth), Megan Holy (12th), Alex Montemayor (21st) and Calleigh Morales (23rd) all placed among the top 25. The boys’ team placed third at Midway with top finishers including Kevin Montemayor (sixth), Florence (12th) and Ben Skroh (14th).
Selvera individually had an outstanding showing at the Cleburne Invitational a few weeks later with a third-place finish.
Redning and his team hosted the largest Lions Den Invitational Meet ever with 1,200 participants. The Ennis girls placed third with top-20 finishes from Selvera (fourth), Raburn (11th) and Alex Montemayor (19th). Kevin Montemayor had a good day on the boys’ side with a 14th-place result.
The Lady Lions came away with second place at the Fairfield Golden Eagle Run, which included top-20 finishes from Selvera (fourth), Raburn (10th) and Alex Montemayor (20th). Kevin Montemayor placed seventh for the boys.
Selvera managed to finish 17th among a tough field at the Poteet Invitational.
At the 16-4A meet in Cleburne, the Ennis girls placed fifth with a top-20 finish from Selvera (13th). The boys placed seventh with Florence (27th) as the top finisher.
The Midlothian girls not only won the district meet, but they went on to win state as well.
“Out of the eight districts in our region, our girls would’ve finished first in six of them,” Redning said.
“Our guys would’ve made it to regionals in four of those districts.”
Redning thanked assistant coach Rodney Ross for his help and praised all of the volunteers who worked at the Lions Den Invitational. The coach then took time to honor his seniors. Redning talked a bit about each of the veteran’s careers on the team and then each senior addressed the crowd.
Amy Alcala, a 2008 Ennis High grad who still stands as the most successful cross-country runner in school history, made the trip down from Denton – where she’s on the cross-country team at North Texas – to address all of the current Lion runners.
“Always try your best at everything,” Alcala said.
“Time passes so quickly; why not give it your all – especially in academics. Coach Redning is there to do anything to make you a better runner; it’s up to you to go the extra mile.”
Team members who lettered in cross-country include Selvera, Holy, Alexis Zambrano, Raburn, Victoria Santos, Morales, Alex Montemayor, Chaz Kozlovsky, Tye Zmolik, Xavier Harris, Austin Fry, Skroh, Hobbs and Florence.
Always one to have fun with his athletes, Redning presented a couple of humorous honors with Morales receiving the Equipment Turn-In Award and Santos taking home the Golden Shin Splint Award.
Up and Comer Awards went to Milton Guerrero and Anna Velazquez. Redning presented Newcomer Awards to Kozlovsky and Holy.
Alex Montemayor received the Teresa Smith Most Improved Award, while Joseph Hardaway also received Most Improved honors. The 2008 Amy Alcala Heart of a Champion Award went to Raburn, as Hobbs received Heart of a Champion honors as well. Zmolik received the Most Valuable Runner Award on the boys’ side, while Selvera was named Most Valuable Runner among the Lady Lions.
To be named a captain for the 2009 season, potential candidates were required to write an essay about why they would be a good fit for the team.
Zmolik was named the new boys’ captain, while there is a trio of new girls’ captains including Santos, Holy and Raburn.
As he wrapped up the festivities, Redning treated everyone to a detailed slide show with memorable moments from the ’08 season. He also made sure to focus on the departing seniors, including the six-year career of Skroh with shots of him in competition all the way back to his seventh-grade days.
It’s going to be tough for Lion cross-country once again next season among a stout 16-4A field, but Ennis has a lot of runners coming back and the leadership is now in place for the upcoming year.

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Posted by on Dec 19 2008. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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