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Comets earn player, coach of the year honors

The Halifax County High School varsity softball team reaped the benefits of one of its best seasons in school history by placing nine Comets on the All-Western Valley District team announced recently. Halifax County (23-2) swept both the regular season and tournament titles in the Western Valley District for the second straight year, and the Comets were both Northwest Region Tournament runner-ups and a VHSL AAA State Tournament quarterfinalist.

Comets’ junior pitcher Samantha Gibson, a First Team selection, was named Player of the Year for the Western Valley District, while coach Melanie Saunders was named Coach of the Year.

The First Team infield is comprised of all Comets, with senior catcher Jill Trickey, junior first baseman Kate Bane, sophomore second baseman Meg Bane, senior shortstop Jameshia Smith and junior third baseman Sydney Puryear all named All-Western Valley District.

Junior center fielder VeVe Brandon also is a First Team selection, while senior outfielder Jamilia Smith and junior outfielder Jennifer Lacks are Second Team selections.

Patrick Henry High School had four First Team selections and one Second Team pick, with senior pitcher Hannah Otterman, senior catcher Grace Putney, senior center fielder Bailey Marshall and sophomore shortstop Rachel Hale named to the First Team, while sophomore third baseman Alexis Cox was a Second Team selection.

Franklin County High School had four First Team selections, including senior catcher Sadie Wallace, senior center fielder Sally Lyle, junior pitcher Brittany Flora and junior shortstop Ashley Searing, and the Eagles had two Second Team picks, junior right fielder Shelby Wray and senior third baseman Alicia Eichenlaub.

William Fleming had two Second Team selections, including sophomore catcher Shanta Morgan and senior pitcher Autumn Booth, and GW-Danville had one Second Team selection, sophomore utility player Deja Womack.