More than 700 female athletes from Cherokee County’s six high schools participated in the county’s annual celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Monday at Cherokee.
The day recognizes the contributions female athletes have made in their sports, acknowledging the challenges they have overcome, and celebrates the positive influence of sports participation for girls and women everywhere, as well as the impact of Title IX legislation that guarantees equal access to athletics for females.
The Cherokee County School District has hosted its own event since 2005.
“Athletic participation has shaped the lives of so many women across the country. Many females that grow up to have successful careers, attribute their success to their participation in athletics,” county athletic director Tonya Sebring said in a release. “Since Title IX, there’s been real growth in the number of women who participate in sports, receive scholarships, and benefit from increased budgets. There are more opportunities to compete at elite levels like the Olympics, world championships and professional leagues.”
The NGWSD program honors a coach each year for his/her contributions and support of female athletes. This year’s recipient was Sequoyah’s Lorri Little.
Volleyball coach John Edwards made the presentation, praising Little for her years of excellence at the school in volleyball, basketball, track and field and flag football. Little’s achievements also include a slow-pitch softball state championship which coaching at Roswell in the 1990s, multiple region championships in track and state and area championships in volleyball at Sequoyah.
This year, Little led the school’s first girls flag football team to the county championship and the state playoffs at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Sebring then presented the Trailblazer Award to the Sequoyah flag football team, recognizing the athletes who took on the challenge of starting one of the first flag football programs in Georgia this year.
Student presenters reviewed the achievements of each school’s female athletes and teams, and each school honored an alumna, an athlete of the year and a team of the year.
Cherokee honored alumna Autumn Bible, athlete Hope Jiles and selected its basketball team.
Creekview honored alumna Kristian Graham Cornelius, athlete Emily Wilkie and selected its slow-pitch softball and competition cheer teams.
Etowah honored alumna Taylor Kimber, athlete Savannah Bray and selected its fast-pitch softball team.
River Ridge honored alumna Bayleigh Lott, athlete Gabbi Phillips and selected its softball and volleyball teams.
Sequoyah honored alumna Emily Ryan, athlete Annelyssa Destin and selected its volleyball team.
Woodstock honored alumna Ashton Sutton, athlete Haley Roe and selected its competition cheer team.