Julia Kennedy’s and Gavin Spurrier’s senior years included both individual success and team championships.

The two local standouts collected more hardware Tuesday night before they each graduate high school.

Kennedy and Spurrier were honored Tuesday as Female and Male Athletes of the Year, respectively, at the second annual Kentucky Super Preps presented by Med Center Health awards program at SKyPAC.

Over the course of the evening, 35 players, coaches or administrators from area high schools won awards based on performance on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

“I’m just so grateful that I got this award,” said Kennedy, a volleyball player at Greenwood. “That’s crazy. I didn’t think I was even up for it. That’s awesome and I really appreciate it.”

Kennedy was a key member of a 2018 Lady Gators team that went 36-6. Greenwood won district and region titles and made a run all the way to the state quarterfinals.

During Kennedy’s senior year, she set a school single-season assists record (1,221).

Kennedy sports a 4.0 GPA and has completed 120 hours of community service. She plans to attend Belmont University in the fall and major in entertainment industry studies.

“My senior year, by far, is my favorite year in high school,” Kennedy said. “It was so fun. There was nothing wrong that happened. We all got along.

“I love all my girls. I couldn’t have done it without any of them and I just had so much fun.”

Spurrier first took the football field as a quarterback at South Warren High School in 2017.

Joining the team helped Spurrier make new friends, he said, after his family moved to Bowling Green when his father, Steve Spurrier Jr., was hired onto Western Kentucky University’s football coaching staff.

“It completely, just exponentially changed what high school was for me,” Gavin Spurrier said of playing for the Spartans. “Just being around the football team, that gave me a set of brothers.”

Spurrier was a team captain in 2018 for SWHS and piloted the team to a 15-0 record and a Class 5A state championship. He threw for 237 yards and two touchdowns in the championship game against Covington Catholic, earning MVP honors in a 20-16 victory.

“That’s on everybody’s list is to win their final high school game,” Spurrier said. “To actually do it and to complete an undefeated season, I mean, it’s just awesome. I was so lucky to be part of that special team.”

Off the field, Spurrier is a 4.0 student who attained a 33 on the ACT and volunteered with several community organizations. He’ll head next month to Duke University, where he plans to join the Blue Devils’ football team as a walk-on.

Another football state champion, Doug Preston, was honored as Kentucky Super Preps Coach of the Year.

Preston and his Franklin-Simpson squad went 14-1 in 2018, winning a second consecutive Class 4A state title.

The crown came in dramatic fashion. Wildcat defenders Chase Gooch and Connor Rogers stuffed a Johnson Central ball carrier in the final minute on a two-point conversion attempt to seal a 14-12 victory.

Preston’s senior class finished with three straight state title appearances, two straight championships and a 48-10 record.

“To me, it represents our football program and our school,” Preston said of his award. “When I look at this, I really think about our players more than anything else.

“You’ve got to have tremendous players and coaches and support.”

Chris Decker of South Warren was honored as Kentucky Super Preps Athletic Director of the Year.

Decker started at SWHS in 2010 and is the first and only AD the school has employed. The former area baseball coach has seen several Spartans squads excel in 2018-19.

South Warren’s school year has been highlighted so far by its undefeated football state championship team.

The boys’ soccer, girls’ cross-country and girls’ golf teams all won region championships. Luke Spurrier earned an individual boys’ cross-country region title and boys’ golfer CM Mixon was runner-up in the state tournament.

Decker now hopes for strong finishes over the coming weeks from the Spartans’ baseball, softball, tennis and track and field teams.

“It’s the ultimate team award,” Decker said. “We’ve got a lot of good athletes, excellent coaches, excellent parents, booster club and administration.

“Awards like this … you can’t get them without support of everyone in the program.”

2019 Kentucky Super Preps awards

Volleyball: Riley Marshall, Bowling Green

Boys’ Bowling: Alexander Oliver, Greenwood

Girls’ Bowling: Anna Neal, Bowling Green

Girls’ Archery: Brett Knifley, Logan County

Boys’ Archery: Jarrod Sanders, Edmonson County

Girls’ Soccer: Emma Cremeens, Franklin-Simpson

Boys’ Soccer: Hunter McDowell, Russellville

Boys’ Tennis: Ronit Patel, Bowling Green

Girls’ Tennis: Delaney Embry, Butler County

Baseball: Ethan Stephens, Warren Central

Softball: Lauryn Cook, Greenwood

Boys’ Cross Country: Ethan Poore, Warren Central

Girls’ Cross Country: Cady Shoeck, Warren East

Girls’ Track: Alivia Christian, Glasgow

Boys’ Track: Walker Goshorn, Greenwood

Cheerleading: Rayne Stovall, Glasgow

Dance: Emma McLeod, South Warren

Boys’ Golf: Nathan Oliver, Edmonson County

Girls’ Golf: Allie McCoy, Glasgow

Bass Fishing: Tyler Hudson, South Warren

Girls’ Swimming: Emma Macy, Logan County

Boys’ Swimming: Ben Slack, Russellville

Boys’ Basketball: Tucker Kirkpatrick, Glasgow

Girls’ Basketball: Mallory Pedigo, Barren County

Football: Alex Rich, Butler County

Heart and Desire: Kennedy Nichols, Logan County

Extra Mile: Dawson Deel, Butler County

Comeback Player: Katie Dillard, Franklin-Simpson

Sportsmanship: Jacob Naylor, Russellville

Coach of the Year: Doug Preston, Franklin-Simpson

Athletic Director: Chris Decker, South Warren

Community Excellence: Palmer Lessenberry, Glasgow

Academic Achievement: Luke Spurrier, South Warren

Girls’ Overall: Julia Kennedy, Greenwood

Boys’ Overall: Gavin Spurrier, South Warren{&end}

– Follow Daily News sports reporter Brad Stephens on Twitter @BradBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.


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