“It was a season I’ll never forget and I was sorry to see it end.” So said Sherman’s cross country coach Arden Downey at the Awards banquet held recently. Unbeknownst to him, the banquet was also to honor him for being selected by the Section 6 Class D cross country coaches as “Coach of the Year”. He has coached the Sherman Central school cross country and track teams for 41 years.
Coach Downey welcomed the teams and guests and Todd Cole gave the invocation. Following the meal, Downey addressed the teams, parents, grandparents and friends present. He read congratulation letters to the girl’s team from the school Superintendent Tomas Schmidt and Principal Kane Kelly who were unable to attend the banquet. Both men stated they were proud of the girls and their accomplishments and in receiving the championship of Section 6 Class D cross country and the whole team going to the states meet.
Downey spoke highly of the girl’s team in regards to their working well together and cheering each other on as they practiced and ran races. “They are all Champions,” he stated. He told about how the girls were called to the school office one day and given a compliment that the school had received from an adult from a competing school. The individual said that the Sherman girls team members were kind and that they cheered on and encouraged opposing runners from every school as they ran. “That’s the way Champions are,” Downey said.
Coach Downey also commended the boy’s team for the good job it did over the season. He said he was proud of them all and especially of Peter Odani who also went to states and did well there.
Basketball coach Mel Swanson congratulated the girl’s team for being the section 6 Class D champions and for the whole team winning the privilege to compete at the states competition. He also congratulated Downey on being chosen as coach of the year. He stated that “there’s lots of options for young runners” and the methods that Downey uses in preparing his runners to race is good. Downey said that “It’s easy to be coach of the year when you have seven cross country girls chosen for All State. I encouraged the girls to each one come out of the State meet with something and they all did. Their record was the best one we ever had in Sherman.”
Hewitt Meeder gave Downey a hat and spoke briefly about having him as coach some 16 years ago. “I always respected you, “ he told Downey. The teams presented their coach with a picture of the girls team in a silver frame engraved with “Coach of the Year 2008”. He graciously and humbly thanked them all.
Downey presented the following awards to the girl’s team:
Instead of giving a most valuable player award he presented school awards consisting of a plaque to every girl on the team. They also each got a state meet certification and the school letter that was gold to signify a championship team. Lindsey Alday received a special award for attending five consecutive state meets during her years at Sherman Central.
Girls selected for the CCAA Cross Country All-Star first Team were Lindsey Alday, Alyssa Cole, Holly Eliason and Cheryl Svetz. Rachel Ottaway was selected by the CCAA for the Second Team and Nicole Damcott got honorable mention.
Boy’s Team Awards presented by Coach Downey were:
Most Improved runner, Dustin Phelps; most valuable runner, Peter Oldani; every boy received a varsity letter. Oldani was selected by CCAA for the cross country All Star Team and Phelps received honorable mention.
The evening concluded with Downey thanking the teams, those in charge of the banquet preparations, parents, grandparents, and