With the spring sports season now ended for all Aurora, Marionville and Verona sports teams, local athletes have racked up numerous postseason awards for their outstanding work on the field, as well as their sportsmanship and academic achievement.
The Aurora Houn' Dawgs finished the year with a handful of awards at both the conference and district level, including a Player of the Year award for Gage Singer in the Big 8 East. Singer was also first team All-Conference as a pitcher and an infielder. Carson Barr also received a first team nod as a catcher.
Also on the All-Conference lists were Aaron Fisher, second team outfield; Ryan Cline, honorable mention outfield; and Jaesik Friggle, honorable mention infield.
As for All-District awards, Singer and Barr both made the first team list, while Friggle and Cline earned second team recognition.
In Big 8 East soccer, three Lady Houns earned awards for the season: Cecilia Reyes on the first team and Lauren Willhite and Abby Smith with honorable mention. Reyes and Willhite also earned All-District nods.
In addition to high school awards, former Aurora students Zac Shoemaker and Matthew Miller earned Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association baseball awards for their play at Missouri Southern State University.
Earnie Larkin earned the first Southwest Conference MVP award for leading the Comets to the conference championship this season, joining Marionville coach Jason Grose, who earned Coach of the Year honors.
Also on the All-Conference lists for the Comets: Emmit Neely, first team pitcher; Lake High, first team infield; Jordan Williams, first team infield; Jeremy Vickers, first team outfield; James Hammonds, second team pitcher; Wesley Breedlove, second team infield and Jacksen Smith, second team outfield.
Neely, Hammonds, High, Williams, Breedlove, Vickers, Smith, Larkin and Evan Dotson were also All-District selections.
In softball, Madylon Davis made the All-District first team as an outfielder, while Kelsie Grimm (IF) and Alexus Buckert (P) were second team selections. Emma Barrickman, Kaylee Neveln and Katie Stafford were all included on the honorable mention list.
Buckert, Davis, Grimm, Stafford and Alyssa White also received Academic All-State awards.
Verona spring sports teams held their end of the year banquet this week, handing out team awards to several athletes. Of note on the night were awards such as the Ozark 7 Male Athlete of the Year Award, presented to Kolton Pinkly, as well as MSHSAA Exemplary Sportsmanship awards for Rita Castillo and Caleb Hillhouse.
Castillo also earned the offensive player of the year award for her team, joining defensive player of the year Paige Bauer and most-improved winner Marie Tarkington.
Pinkly and Hillhouse took home defensive and offensive player of the year awards, respectively, while Jere Ruiz-Diaz was the baseball team's most improved. Seth Freiburger was also given the "Beamer Award" after being hit by 14 pitches this season.
Verona baseball's All-District selections included Pinkly, Hillhouse and Austin Valdez on the first team, as well as Freiburger, Kelson Guenther, Alex Campbell and Dillin Shrum on the second team.