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Meadowview’s McIntyre has jersey retired

Very few athletes ranging from the collegiate level to the high school get to experience what Haley McIntyre experience Saturday night.

McIntyre had the opportunity to see her No. 24 Lady Trojans basketball jersey retired.

“You make Meadowview proud and on behalf of the career that you have had here,” said Mike Cassebaum, coach of the Lady Trojans. “Your No. 24 jersey is being retired here.”

The AISA Player of the Year capped her senior season by setting the Alabama Independent School Associations record for most points with 2,755 points. The senior Lady Trojan was presented with a standing ovation as she made her way from the back of the gym to the front to be presented with her framed No. 24 jersey.

“I always believe in the team aspect of the game, but to have a good team, you have to have good individuals,” said Cassebaum. “This young lady has been a thrill to coach for the last three-years. I talked to the top newspapers in the state and I have ran out of things to say about her. The first thing I always tell people when they ask about her is what a great person she is. She’s really going to be missed down here.”

She was also named to the East All-Star team in the annual AISA basketball game. At the Meadowview Christian School Awards banquet, she was also named both the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year as well as the team’s Most Valuable player.

“Over the course of a career, a coach gets to coach a lot of great people,” said Cassebaum. “I saw her play her freshman year and I knew that she was going to be a great player. She loves the game of basketball and makes everyone around her better. I went to the sports banquet in Birmingham and I talked with Ron Ingram and he said that he had seen us play in Birmingham and talked about what a great game she (McIntyre) had. I told him the amazing thing was that she had been sick all week, getting IV’s and getting shots. But she showed up and came to play. It’s been a great honor for me to be able to coach this player.”

McIntyre was also named Miss Basketball earlier in the season beating out Christian Shelter of Faith Academy and Lori Bonds of Escambia.

As a team, the Lady Trojans finished with an exclamation point, winning both the regular season area championship and the area tournament.

In Cassebaum’s three years as coach of the Lady Trojans, his squad has accumulated a mark of 63-24.

“I want to thank these young ladies, they have come a long way,” said Cassebaum. “We won a number of invitational tournaments as well as the area championship and the area tournament.”

McIntyre signed with Auburn University-Montgomery this fall.

Along with McIntyre, seniors Ashton Smith, Brandy Moore and Joanie Laurence were recognized for their hard work on the court at Meadowview.

“I am proud of these young ladies,” said Cassebaum. “We finished with a record of 22-6 and won a couple of tournaments and had it not been for a heart-breaking shot in Montgomery, we would have still been playing. The biggest memory I have of this squad is one night after Christmas when both of my girls squads won at Morgan.”

McIntyre’s honor highlights a night full of honors for various athletes from Meadowview.

After a dinner provided by members of the Meadowview family, the junior varsity cheerleaders were honored first. The JV Trojan cheerleaders finished second at Cheer Camp this summer in the pom-pom routine. Among the various awards given out to the members of the squad, Hope Lee and Bailey Smith were selected as United Cheerleading Association All-Stars and Katherine Kirby Woods was presented with the leadership award.

From there the varsity cheerleaders were honored for their work through the regular season. The Trojan pep-sters finished second overall at Cheer Camp by scoring highly in the pom-pom, dance and cheer categories.

Maegan Stephens was named as an AISA All-Star, as well as serving as the team’s Captain. She finished her Awards Night by bringing home the most school spirit award.

Following the cheerleaders, it was time for the athletes that compete inside the lines to be recognized. First up was that volleyball team from Meadowview.

This year, the Lady Trojans finished their season with four wins, surpassing previous seasons.

“We won just four games this year,” said coach Ric Raines. “But, we pretty much started with an entirely new team this season. I had one returning player at the start of the season. We finished up with 15 girls, 14 of them were practicially new to volleyball.”

Following the awards presentation to the members of the Trojan volleyball squad, coach Rick Jackson took the microphone to recognize his 2004 football team.

This fall the Trojans bumped from AAA to AA in AISA and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.

“These young men have been playing this thing for a long time,” said Jackson. “It’s almost become a 12-month sport. I credit a lot of our success to our seniors and their commitment to winning. They have given us a year to remember and I know that these young men, 10 years from now will have a lot to talk about.”

Before the players were honored, the two water girls and then the ball-boys were honored.

After the team was announced and presented with their certificates, it was time for the presentation of the player awards. This year, though, Jackson decided to do something different in the presentation. He decided to let his seniors present the awards to their teammates.

“One thing that you’ll learn tonight is that these guys like to talk,” said Jackson. “All of our seniors will be recognized as our permanent captains because of their senior leadership for the Meadowview Christian football team. We were one of the top eight teams in AA this season. They snapped a 20-plus game drought and went 4-1 at home and 4-4 in the area. They could have lost it, but they circled the wagons. I think we came together and understood that you have to prepare every week in the second game against Evangel.”

The 2004 senior Trojans were Ryan King, Jason Longcrier, Tyler Wendell, Chris Sewell, Ryan Blackmon and Cody Smitherman. King also had the opportunity to represent Meadowview as a member of the AISA’s East All-Star team this past fall. Longcrier, Wendell and Sewell were selected as alternates to the All-Star game.

“This senior bunch, you couldn’t ask for much better,” said Jackson. “They took us where we got to this season. Their leadership, their setting goals and motivational speaking before the game and at halftime took us to where we were.”

The awards that were presented by the players were given to Dustin Lee (Mr. Runningback), King (Mr. Offensive Line), Landon MeHan (Mr. Wide Receiver), Chris Sewell (Mr. Defensive Back), Ryan Stephens (Mr. Defensive Lineman), Longcrier (Mr. Linebacker), MeHan (Mr. Collision) and then the weightroom award was presented to Jared Mott.

Lee was selected as the Offensive Player of the Year and Longcrier was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year.

The biggest award a Trojan football player can earn is the title of “Mr. Trojan.” The award was presented by Dr. Michael Gaylor, Headmaster of Meadowview. According to Gaylor, the title of Mr. Trojan embodies everything that Meadowview stands for in and out of the classroom, on and off the playing field. That award was giving to Joshua Barlow, an eighth-grader that dressed with the varsity and earned a spot on the varsity special teams.

Jackson then turned his attention to the baseball team and their season. No individual awards were presented to the Trojans due to them still being in season and in the playoff hunt. Right now the squad is 6-9 overall, they are 4-1 against AA competition and are 3-0 in their area. The Trojans have games next week, starting Monday when they play host to Abbeville, the defending Single-A state champions. Then they have a two game tilt with Evangel on Tuesday and then they will face Taylor Road Academy on Thursday.

After honoring the Trojans from the gridiron and the diamond, the attention shifted to the Lady Trojans of the hardwood.

The junior varsity Lady Trojans finished their season 13-3.

“These girls finished 13-3 and nobody everybody believed that we could do it,” said Cassebaum. “We could have easily finished the season 14-2 in that game against Abbeville, but we’ll take 13-3 because no one thought we could do it.”

Members of the Meadowview basketball, track and softball teams were also recognized for their efforts on and off the field.