Courtesy Paulding County School District
The Paulding County School District selects a Player of the Year from each sport that all its schools compete in at the region and state level. This award is sponsored by Tim Mitchell of Paulding Sporting Goods.
Fall sports include cross country, football, softball and volleyball. The head coach at each school makes a nomination form their team. They then vote on the nominees until a majority vote is reached.
The five Players of the Year for Fall 2012 were recognized during the Jan. 14 meeting of the Paulding County School Board.
Cross Country Female Player of the Year
Lilly Kidane is from East Paulding High School. She is a senior and led the Lady Raiders to back-to-back region titles. Lilly was the 5-AAAAA region champion as well as a two-time county champion. She was the Paulding County School District Runner of the year in 2011 as well.
Kidane has a 5K personal best of 18:46 and holds the course record at White Oak Park with a time of 19:10.
Kidane plans to attend college and continue running. She is considering UGA, Kennesaw State, University of North Georgia and Clemson.
Cross Country Male Player of the Year
Michael Williams is from South Paulding High School. He is the son of Matt and Angela Williams.
Williams is a junior at South Paulding and had an exceptional year for the Spartans. He was the 5-AAAAA region champion and took second place at the Paulding County School District meet. He has a 5K personal record time of 16:47.
Williams plans to attend college and enlist in the Air Force after college.
Football Player of the Year
Miles Hemphill is from East Paulding High School. He is the son of Bob and Sandy Hemphill and the brother of Rob, J.C. and Chase.
Hemphill was a senior place kicker and an important part of the success at East this season. On the year, he was 11-for-14 on field goal attempts, 56-for-57 on point-after attempts and 64-for-72 on touchbacks.
In the second round of the state playoffs versus Stephenson, Hemphill kicked a 61-yard field goal, the third longest in Georgia high school history. He also was selected to kick in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association North/South Game, as well as selected first team All-Region and first team All-State by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Georgia Sportswriters Association.
Hemphill has been in contact with several schools and is hopeful of kicking in college.
Softball Player of the Year
Ansley Weatherford is from South Paulding High School. She is the daughter of Keith and Sondra Weatherford and the sister of Haley.
Weatherford is a senior at South Paulding and was an instrumental part of the team that advanced to the Elite 8 in Columbus, home of the Georgia High School Association State Softball Tournament. She played shortstop and finished the year with a .471 batting average, an on-base percentage of .527 with 14 RBI’s and 12 stolen bases. She was selected first team All-Region, Georgia Dugout Club All-State and a Georgia Athletic Coaches Association All-State Honorable Mention.
She plans to attend Southern Union to play softball.
Volleyball Player of the Year
Catherine Conley is from North Paulding High School. She is the daughter of Charles and Christina Conley and the sister of Chris and Xavier.
Conley, a senior at NPHS, led the Wolfpack this season to an area runner-up finish and advanced to the state tournament. Her stats this year included 42 aces, 169 kills, 72 solo blocks, 38 block assists and 12 digs.
Her future plans include attending college and to continue to play volleyball. She would like to major in film.