VINE GROVE, KY- Last night the Heartland Middle School Athletic Conference (HMSAC) continued its newly established tradition of honoring their athletes by naming members to the All-Tournament Team. J. T. Alton 8th Graders Ayden Evans, and Luke Lynch were bestowed this honor at T. K. Stone Middle School after the Trojans Semifinal loss to the East Hardin Rebels.
Lynch said after being named that he was especially proud of this award and very honored to be thought of as one of the top players in the tourney. “I didn’t expect this, it kind of blows me away, we worked hard as a team all season and I’m extremely honored to be thought of as highly as this.”
Evans said along the same lines as his teammate, but to him having a wall of basketball awards at home already, this one was different for him. “I’m proud of this, and our team this season. This award is special from the ones I’ve gotten in the past, it’s associated with my school career and it means more to me because of that and because it came from people I’ve grown up with on the court.”
Both wanted to thank Head JTA Boys Basketball Coach Al Taft for his efforts in his first two years at the helm on the Trojans sideline. Taft says that “It's tough to pick two when you have so many that played above and beyond expectations, but all in all I think it's great that all teams that participated in the tournament have people recognized.”
About Evans, Taft said that “Ayden was a constant do it all during the tournament, rather we needed him to bring the ball up the court, defend on the perimeter or in the post, rebound, score it didn't matter he was willing to step up.” About Lynch, Taft said that “Luke’s contribution and commitment on the defensive side of ball and rebounding was relentless and was key to keeping us in the game.”
This year, coaches can select players to an All-Tournament team providing the athletes of the conference with a new type of personal recognition. The brainchild of Conference leadership Brittany Nickell and Mary Carruthers, Principal, and Athletic Director of East Hardin Middle School, the tournament host sites are trying their hand with this new concept.
“When you try something new, there’s always going to be a few kinks to work out,” says Carruthers, “but for the most part I think the kids and the fans are responding well to what we’re trying to do.”
J.T. Alton Athletic Director Richard Rowland added, “Like I’ve said before, anytime you can call positive attention to middle school sports, it's a good thing. These are two kids that pour themselves into this sport and work their tails for their team. They deserve something when it’s all said and done besides a pat on the back, and now the conference is providing that unique type of personal recognition.”
Lynch concluded by saying, “When we get to North Hardin next year, I’m looking forward to what we have translating to success up there, and I’m really looking forward to working with the kids from North Middle, they’ve been really successful these past three years, and I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen when we combine both teams next year.”