By Jeremy Costello

Okay, here’s the thing about my Awards Week.
I cover a lot of games all school year. I see just about every athlete at Augusta High School, most of them multiple times throughout each season.
So when I do this Awards Week, I have a pretty good idea of the athletes who worked the hardest, had that extra bit of talent, and so on. I try to do my best to cover as many athletes as possible, though of course, it’s impossible to get every single one of them (I’d say I came pretty close, though).
All that to say, Awards Week is simply my way of giving the extra little bit of recognition to the athletes whom I feel stood out among the rest.
These awards in no way are an attempt to devalue, insult, neglect or ignore all the athletes who may not get this special mention. There quite simply aren’t enough to go around. But that doesn’t mean a lot of other athletes didn’t deserve extra mention, also. On that note, I hope everyone believes me when I say I, in no way, ever show favoritism in my coverage. Again, I try to interview, take pictures of, write about and generally give coverage to every athlete possible.
I  know I’ve made some mistakes through the school year, but I thank you all for your patience with me on those as I continue to work to eliminate those.
I’d like to give a special thanks to all the coaches, assistant coaches and the AHS athletic department for working so well with me and making my job a lot easier. They provide invaluable information and insight that I simply don’t always have the means to obtain by myself.
Finally, just remember that these awards are the opinion of just one person and aren’t to be taken seriously to the point of having issues with them.
Anyway, on to the awards!

Leedom earns Gazette’s top freshman girls athlete honor

Even as a freshman, Maddy Leedom was always one of the top players on the basketball court.

When Leedom entered the game for Augusta’s girls basketball team, the Orioles elevated to a different level of play.

For her efforts, Leedom is named the Gazette’s girls freshman athlete of the year.

There are plenty of other reasons why coach Tracy Anderson had confidence in a freshman handling all the responsibilities of an upperclassmen. Leedom played poised, tough and never stopped hustling. Her basketball IQ is extremely high, and she’s only going to get better. She ran the offense well, she almost always made smart passes and decisions. It won’t be long before she’ll learn to assert herself as a primary scorer, either.

She has shown flashes of it on the court, but there’s word around about her near-mythical speed, as well. Hopefully we’ll see more of that in the future.

RUNNER-UP: Carley Phillips, who was a dominating hitter for the volleyball team, has great speed and athleticism and will be a key player for the softball team.

Marcotte named Gazette’s boys freshman athlete of year

Gannon Marcotte was the Orioles’ best freshman football player this year. He was a big contributor for the basketball team. And during baseball season, he slowly, but surely, became a legitimate varsity starter. For Marcotte’s effort, he is named the Gazette’s boys freshman athlete of the year.

Marcotte is tough and physical in all sports. During football season, he led the freshman team in touchdowns and was a huge part of the offense. By the end of the season, Marcotte got his first varsity start against Rose Hill—and led the team with 12 tackles and a fumble recovery.

During basketball season, he was a great all-around role player who could score, pass and play defense.

For the baseball team, Marcotte got off to a slow start hitting and fielding, but as the season progressed, he became acclimated to his positions. By the end of the year, he made a few key hits and showed signs of being a great varsity infielder.

RUNNER-UP: Cole Howerton, who dominated most of the boys basketball season as the Orioles’ leading scorer.