Madras Student Athletes of the Month
Each month a Madras Student Athlete of the Month is selected by an Eagles coach to represent Madras Middle School in Coweta Game Day magazine. Coweta Game Day is a community-based publication that focuses on youth athletes in Coweta County, including county middle school and high school athletics and recreational leagues. Publisher Tom Debole has published the magazine for five years.
Debole says the magazine focuses on the student athletes themselves, more than the athletics. “We don’t just focus on the championships or big match-ups,” he said. “We focus on the kids first. Who they are as students, as community members. It’s about the person on the bench as much as anything."
Coweta County’s Game Day magazine was honored by the Georgia School Boards Association with a Beacon Award, for its exceptional work in reporting on schools and students in December of 2015. Madras Middle School appreciates the service Mr. Debole provides to the Coweta County community.
Luke Vega, Madras Eagles nose guard and left tackle knows that communication among teammates is a big key to success on any team. “One thing I’ve learned in my second year on the football team is that we as players can’t function alone. It takes effort, intensity, and playing as hard as you can each and every game.” Head Coach Roy Hitchcock agrees that this type of attitude molds leaders commenting that “Luke has made tremendous progress for us and will be an asset to his high school team next year.” Teacher Phillip Sykes added that “Luke is a hard worker who comes to class focused and ready to learn. He serves his peers as a great leader during collaborative settings and ensures that everyone within his group is comprehending key concepts. Luke stressed that school must always come first.” He sets high standards for himself, and makes sure homework is the first thing completed when he gets home from practice each evening. Luke is a big Alabama football fan and enjoys hanging out with friends in his spare time. He’s headed to Northgate High School next year and hopes to play football at the next level.
Lady Eagles Volleyball
September Student Athlete of the Month Emily Justice is a member of the Madras Middle School Lady Eagles’ Volleyball team, and has been playing at Madras for two years. She is passionate about the game, and is happy her twin sister, Anna, is also a Lady Eagle this year. Her favorite thing about being on the volleyball team is the camaraderie. She enjoys meeting new new friends and working together as a team. “It takes a lot of patience and encouragement, because everyone is on different levels, but whether we’ve played club or not, we are always patient and we learn from each other. Coach Michelle Clarke says, “ Emily Justice is a leader on and off the court. She has stepped up as a leader both in practices and during the games. Her volleyball skills are phenomenal, and she is a positive force on the court..” Her teachers have high praise for her off the court as well. “In class Emily shines with her never-give-up attitude and work ethic,” says Mrs. Foster. “She is a kind and compassionate young lady who is well like by her peers and students.” Emily followed Olympic volleyball closely this summer and hopes to play for Northgate High School next year. After high school, she would like to pursue a college degree in Veterinarian Science. In her spare time she enjoys her dogs Bentley and Sadie and spending time with friends.
Bryson Houston is a member of the boys track team at Madras and is a standout athlete. He recently broke a school record, running the mile in 5 minutes and 11 seconds. While this is Bryson’s second year on the Eagles track team, he also played football for the Eagles and continues to enjoy playing baseball. He hopes to make the track team at Newnan next year where he wishes to be a long distance runner. Bryson is also a standout student. Mrs. Seebode, his language arts teachers says, “Bryson has a unique sense of wit and humor that enriches our class atmosphere each day. He is a respectful and well-mannered young man who works hard and is determined to do his best in class on a daily basis.” In his spare time, Bryson enjoys going to the lake and hanging out with friends. He takes monthly flying lessons and one day plans to be a Navy pilot.
Dillon Wade started playing basketball for Madras as a seventh grader. As the starting eighth grade point guard for the Eagles basketball team, Dillon says his experience has helped him become more responsible and has helped show the importance of good sportsmanship. Sports have been a big part of Dillon's life. He played both basketball and football for Madras this year, taking after his mother who ran track in high school. Dillon loves the outdoors and going to the gym, and in his spare time he enjoys watching his two favorite teams: Ohio State and Pittsburgh Steelers. He especially admires Pittsburgh player Le'Veon Bell and hopes his playing time in middle school will serve him well as a freshman at Northgate next year where he hopes to play both football and basketball.
Alexius Sewell, an 8th grade student, is Madras Middle School’s Student Athlete of the Month. Alexius plays point guard for the Lady Eagles basketball team and has always loved to play the sport. She was a member of Smokey Road’s seventh grade team and also played for a summer league last year. Alexius enjoys playing basketball because it has taught her the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship. This carries over to the classroom as well. Her language arts teacher, Mrs. Pitts, describes her as energetic, hardworking, and friendly. Her short-term goals are to try out for the Lady Eagle’s track team in the spring and to play for the Newnan Cougars basketball team her freshman year.
Justin Sanchez is the Madras Middles School Student Athlete of the Month. He plays on the school soccer team as forward and help scores goals for the team. He began playing for Madras as a 7th grader. Coach Haselwood has helped Justin find his potential as a forward. This was evident when Justin scored in the Championship game. Justin has always wanted to win the championship, and this was accomplished for him and the Madras team this season.
Justin loves soccer and plays yearly on the local recreation team, too. Currently, he plays indoor soccer. Everyone in Justin’s family plays soccer. Justin started when he was little and has been inspired by his father. He has an older sister who plays varsity soccer for Newnan High, and he wants to do the same when he is in high school. Justin dreams of being a professional soccer player. He would rather be outside playing soccer than inside playing video games. When not playing, he likes to spend time with his little brothers; some of this time is spent helping them with soccer skills so they can become even better. Church is also a big part of Justin’s life, and he goes every Wednesday and Sunday. Justin does well in school. One teacher described him as a “hard working and very kind young man.” Justin plans to go to college at Brigham Young University in Utah. If he doesn’t become a professional soccer player, he hopes to become an engineer
Elissa loves playing the game of soccer and has played since the age of 5. While playing organized soccer on SSA, AFC, and Cannon’s soccer teams, Elissa enjoys playing center back for the Madras Eagles the most. “I like being on the field and playing the game,” she said. “ I don’t worry about anything else when I’m out there. Playing for Coach Strickland has taught me towork as a team. Coach has really developed us as players and has made us better.” Elissa’s older sister plays soccer for the Northgate Vikings, a goal she has set for herself as well. For now, she’d like to see the Eagles win another county championship and hopes to help the team accomplish this goal. Elissa’s teachers say that she is the ultimate student athlete, “serving as a role model, unrivaled in her positive attitude towards all aspects of academics. Her winning and genuine demeanor shines both on and off the soccer field, and she shows compassion, encouraging all around her to shine.”
As a standout football player eighth grader, Jake Barberio had one goal to start the 2015 football season: to make it to the championship game. Under his leadership as starting quarterback, he was able to fulfill that dream as the Madras Eagles finished runners-up in the CCMSAL championship game. Mr. Syke’s, Jake’s team leader and social studies teacher, attributes his strong work ethic to his success in the classroom. “Jake is a great student who works hard to excel in his academics. While sometimes quiet, he knows just the right time to extend a discussion and is a role model to his peers, often leading them during various group activities.” In his spare time, Jake plays basketball, baseball, and track and enjoys hanging out with his friends, watching his older brother play football, going to Northgate games, and cheering on the Florida Gators. “I will always remember this season because the coaches made our practices fun, and Coach Hitchcock taught us the importance of setting goals for ourselves,” Jake said. “It was an exciting season I will always remember.”
An eighth grader at Madras Middle School, Tanner Hughes is both an academic and athletic standout. His teachers say he is well liked by his peers and works hard academically, always focusing on the task at hand. Head Coach Roy Hitchcock says, “Tanner is a great student athlete. He does everything that is asked of him on and off the field. He truly leads by example." A prolific scorer, Tanner ran for six touchdowns early in the season. He contributes his success to all of his former coaches. “I think the coaches I’ve grown up with and have taught me have made me the player I am today.” Tanner has played football for eight years and plays running back and linebacker for the Eagles. In addition to playing football, he is on the Madras Eagles track team and plays baseball. In his spare time he plays both piano and guitar and enjoys watching UGA football, but on Friday nights, he’s cheering on his older brother who plays varsity football at Northgate High School. His ultimate goal this year is to bring the county championship back to Madras
Emily Moore is a member of the Madras Middle School Volleyball team, and to her coaches, peers, and team, it is no surprise she has been honored as Student Athlete of the Month. She has always enjoyed athletics. When she was younger, she participated in gymnastics, swam, and played tennis; however, volleyball is her passion. In addition to playing with Madras, Emily participates in the Tsunami Volleyball club. "It's a lot of fun, and the members of the team are all friends," she says. "When you are with your team, everyone considers you family and they have your back." Emily is inspired by a family of athletes. She has strong family ties; her family has always been active, athletic, and supportive. She began playing volleyball, following after her older sister who plays Division 1 volleyball at Troy University. Emily also draws inspiration by her mother who went to Auburn and ran track and her older brother who is a swimmer at the University of North Carolina.