Whenever Texans gather in their Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes and sit down to a delicious barbeque dinner, usually there is something to get excited about.
Such was the case on May 12 when Rusk High School held its annual All Sports Banquet at the Rusk Civic Center.
The Eagles and Lady Eagles were recognized for much more than just wins alone as academic achievement, perseverance, sportsmanship, teamwork, character and heart were at the forefront of the gala as well.
Multi-sport athlete Vijay Stingley was the recipient of the E. H. Whitehead Outstanding Male Athlete award.
The J. L. Hassell Outstanding Female Athlete laud went to Gabby Willis, who signed a softball scholarship with Hesston College of Kansas late last week.
The M. R. Philbrick Fighting Heart honors were shared by Octavion Arrington and Morgan Johnson, two stellar performers who battled through significant injuries this past year.
Turning to academics, Kara Hugghins and Justin Daughety were the winners of the Jacksonville Daily Progress Scholar Athlete honors.
Ray Foreman and Johnson were honored with the Rusk Athletic Booster Club scholarships.
Josh Ruiz picked up the RHS Sportsmanship accolade, while Vicki Lucas was honored with the Francis Townsend award.
Eagle football players Foreman and Stingley took home the Class of '63 Football Players' Choice award and the Rusk High School Football award, respectively.
Shayla Townsend, a Lady Eagle multi-sport athlete, was picked as the Rusk Rotary Club (RRC) Volleyball MVP winner — she also picked up an honor for her track and field efforts, which were highlighted by a third-place finish in the 100 meter hurdles at the UIL State Class 3A Track Meet.
Townsend signed a scholarship offer (cheerleading) with Blinn College earlier this spring.
Other honored were: Jacquez Cook (Rusk Quarterback Club (RQC) Cross Country award), Jadarian Skinner (Class of '63 Dale Dotson Players' Choice award for boys basketball) and Destinee Morris (Class of '63 Billy Watson Players' Choice award for girls basketball).