Board President Tom McManis (right) and Superintendent Rick Brooks (left) present the one-stoplight homemade plaque to Lady Vikings’ Head Coach Rod Bentley during the April 19 meeting of the Vinton County Local Board of Education.
Board President Tom McManis (right) and Superintendent Rick Brooks (left) present the one-stoplight homemade plaque to Lady Vikings’ Head Coach Rod Bentley during the April 19 meeting of the Vinton County Local Board of Education.

The Vinton County Local Board of Education honored the achievements of the 2020-2021 Lady Vikings State Tournament Division II Runner-up basketball team during its monthly meeting on Monday evening, April 19 at South Elementary in Hamden. Coaches and players were special guests for the occasion and many signs and decorations were in place to honor the team’s great accomplishments.

The presentation was made at South Elementary because it was the only school building which did not experience the Lady Vikings’ sendoff last month when they left for Dayton for the State Tournament.  On the way west toward Dayton, the bus carrying the team went through the Central School and West School bus circles on the way out of McArthur.

Vinton County Local Schools Superintendent Rick Brooks, along with Board President Tom McManis, presented a homemade plaque to the team recognizing the symbolic onestoplight-town picture taken in downtown McArthur during the pre-tournament week.  

“The picture proves even a team from one-stoplight town/county can play anybody and we certainly did,” McManis commented.

The team was represented by Head Coach Rod Bentley, Assistant Coaches Brent Jones, Bob Grillo, and Makayla Puckett along with team members Chloe Haybron, Lakin Williams, Myriah Davis, Lydia Nichols, Allison Riddle, Tegan Bartoe, Morgan Bentley, Lydia Lenegar, Lacie Williams, Ashley Bentley, Karis Caudill, Cameron Zinn, and Rylee Ousley.

Bentley pointed out the girls are not only special playersbut the program is set up as a teaching model that is very similar to how they learn in the classroom. 

Our players have certain expectations they must meet and they're going to be successful because they learn life lessons about work, responsibility, and planning,” Bentley stated.

Board member Cindy Strausbaughsaw the State Tournament games and thought the pride the community showed was outstanding. Another emotional comment came from South Elementary School teacher Jeri Kendrick, whoobserved the girls had an impact on the elementary students.

“Our students here at South and across the district learned a lot from you,” Kendrick told the Lady Vikings. “They saw your commitment and drive and they hope that one day they can be like you and meet their goals.

Superintendent Brooks noted it was a great ride.

“The board and administration are very proud of this special year along with the special accomplishments the Lady Vikings gave to the community, Brooks said.

  Brooks also thanked South Principal Miranda Smith and her staff for hosting not only the board meeting but working with the students on the decorations and providing refreshments for the team. 

Team members posed on the stagfor a group picture and thanked the board for this special recognition. 

 The Vinton County Board of Education is scheduled to meet again on Monday, May 17 at Central Elementary School.