On a warm spring night, 380 Clarksville Academy Cougar athletes, parents and friends gathered on Procter Court to honor CA’s athletes. The Annual Billy Frank Smith Sports Banquet was held on April 26. The night held much excitement, sadness for those who are moving to the next stage in their lives, and even a few surprises. Each sport awarded their top athletes and celebrated the successes of their seasons.
Early in the evening, Matt Wallace, Athletic Director, spoke in regards to our football program and its head coach, Todd Hood. “I had the unique opportunity to be around Coach Pat Summit for two of the Lady Vols National Championship runs, but never have I been so effected, so touched, and learned so much about life as I did this year. I think Coach Todd Hood showed us all how to love our teams, and more importantly, how to love our families unconditionally. Being able to sit back and watch Todd has taught me how to be a better coach, a better husband and a better father.”
After this moving introduction by Coach Wallace, Dr. Salyers was called to the podium. He recalled Coach Hood’s courage, strength and character in the face of personal tragedy and what a powerful life lesson this provided our young men. Even in the face of significant hardship you can persevere and achieve your goals. With this in mind and a desire to honor Coach Hood’s late wife Marisa, Dr. Salyers contacted the CA development Office to see if he could solicit funds for a practice field, which has been a dream of Coach Hood’s. After preliminary drawings and surveys were made (donated by David Smith Engineering) we realized this project was within our reach. The graduating football player parents were contacted first and have provided a majority of the necessary funds. Several others closely connected to the program donated the rest of the fully funded project.
On Thursday night at the sports banquet, Dr. Salyers was pleased to announce that the Marisa Maples Hood Memorial Practice Field would be built! This field will be 65 yards long and will be available for all sports to use. The field should be completed by fall. This was something that had been kept a secret from Coach Hood and the Maples family.
After the banquet Hood said, “I was pleasantly surprised at the banquet with the announcement of the new practice field being named after my late wife Marisa Maples Hood. My family and I were honored and very grateful after hearing the announcement. We are truly thankful for the efforts of so many people here at Clarksville Academy and in the community. Marisa was a great mother, wife, daughter, and teacher. She absolutely loved football. Marisa had a very strong desire and will to live and I think that spirit will live on through our team and now with the practice field, for many years to come. This is a blessing for many people and I know Marisa would say, “When are you going to start practicing?” Thanks again to everyone, we are truly blessed. “
Rick and Karen Maples were just as surprised and moved by the gesture, “Since Justin was in kindergarten we have heard the phrase ‘Clarksville Academy family’. We now know exactly what that means.
When it was announced at the Sports Banquet that the new practice field was going to be named in our daughter’s memory (this had to be the best kept secret in history of C.A.!) we immediately began thinking of the many loving gestures that you have extended to our family.
When you heard that Marisa’s time here was coming to an end it was as though an army of Clarksville Academy angels had arrived to help us. You brought us food, baskets of snacks for the hospital, even gas money for Todd! Your prayers continue to bring us comfort and strength.
We will never forget at Marisa’s funeral the sight of your precious young sons standing quietly in line waiting to offer a handshake and a hug to Justin and their coach. At the following football games your beautiful daughters in their pink bows acknowledged our grief and touched our hearts.
Kay Drew was Marisa’s dear friend and trusted confidant. When Todd was named head coach Marisa knew he would be there with their boys. This gave her tremendous peace of mind.
Your unwavering emotional and spiritual support for Todd, Justin, and Dylan has given us strength as well. Honoring their mother in such a thoughtful and generous way will only become even more significant to Justin and Dylan as they grow older. Your compassion for our family has lifted us up more than you can ever know.
We are so blessed to have you in our lives and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. May God bless and keep you all.”
This night designed to honor our athletes, named after Billy Frank Smith in memorial to him for his love of all things CA and his dedication to the sports programs here was one of the best ones yet. A complete list of all awards given can be found below. We want to congratulate each athlete for their hard work this year.
List of Awards:
Football MVP– Dylan Ragsdale & Morgan Burman
Football “Offensive MVP Award” –Josh Marciano
Football “Defensive MVP Award” – Daniel Miller
Volleyball MVP– Lauren Maki
Volleyball “Most Improved Award” – Hope Askew
Volleyball “Most Improved Award” – Meg Askew
Boys Soccer MVP – Clay Goad
Girls Soccer MVP – Mallory Burman
Girls Soccer “Most Valuable Offensive Player Award” – Shannon Murtha
Girls Soccer “Most Valuable Defensive Player Award” – Nicki Goad
Girls Golf MVP– AnnaMichelle Moore
Boys Golf MVP– Tyler Phillips
Boys Golf “On the Rise Award” – Collin Welker
Boys Golf “Cougar Award” – Zach Nussbaumer
Cheerleading MVP– Sarah Elrod
Cheerleading “Spirit Award” – Candice Swaffer
Cheerleading “Scholar Award” – Brandi Phillips
Dance Team MVP – Caroline Burchett
Dance “Most Improved” – Elsa Meyners
Dance “Scholar Dancer” – Ashleigh Edlin
Girls Basketball MVP– Lauren Maki
Girls Basketball “Defensive Player of the Year Award” – Carleisha Hanns
Girls Basketball “Most Improved Player of the Year” – Shelby Chapman
Boys Basketball MVP– Montel Lavelanet
Boys Basketball “Most Hustle Award” – Cole Swaffer
Boys Basketball “Cody Hanna Most Dedicated Award” – Kyle Cain
(1st Recipient of this Award)
**Cody Hanna was recognized at the BFS Memorial All Sports Banquet with the Inaugural Cody Hanna Most Dedicated Award.
Wrestling MVP– Adrian Ortiz
Boys Bowling MVP – Bryan Dirksen
Boys Bowling “Most Improved Award” – Blake Taylor
Boys Bowling “Triumph Award” – Will Bourne
Girls Bowling MVP – Brandi Phillips
Girls Bowling “Most Improve Award” – Shannon Murtha
Girls Bowling “Triumph Award” – Amelia Mathis
Softball MVP – Not Named Yet
Softball “Lady Cougar Award” – Jenny Whitford
Softball “Hustle Award” – Lacey Rainville
Baseball MVP– Not Named Yet
Baseball “Coaches Award” – Bennett Evans
Baseball “Scholar Award” – Brian Conn
Girls Tennis MVP– Anne Marie Darke
Girls Tennis “Most Improved Award” – Anna Kinney
Girls Tennis “Inspirational Award” – Whitley Thompson
Girls’ Tennis “Integrity Award” – Merideth Hinson
Boys Tennis MVP– Shelton Covington
Boys Tennis “Best Performance Award” – Daniel Huang
Boys Tennis “Sportsmanship Award” – Adrian Ortiz
Inaugural Cougar SOAR Award – Austin Esposito
Female Scholar Athlete Award – Lauren Maki
Male Scholar Athlete Award – Brian Conn
Scott Uffelman Award – Daniel Miller
Billy Frank Smith Award – Montel Lavelanet