This week’s Taylor County Athletes of the Week are two hard working competitors who are surpassing all expectations and are sure to make names for themselves as formidable opponents.
Recent Grafton High School graduate Aubree Collins began her softball career as a freshman, being one of the only two youngest members of the team.
She quickly found her place on the team as the Lady Bearcat’s catcher, a position her coach Tyler Cox says came naturally to her.
“She has been calling games for us since she was just a freshman. As far as catching goes, Aubree is as good as they come,” Cox expressed.
With the successful Bearcat season having wrapped up, Collins garnered the attention of some prestigious coaches in the area and recently received top recognition for her hard work.
Collins has been selected to the First Team Big Ten, an achievement that Cox says is well- deserved.
In addition, she has also been chosen by the WV Sportswriters to be on the Second Team AA All-State softball team as a catcher. This opportunity places Collins among the rankings of the top five catchers in the state for the class AA division. But there is more.
Collins was also selected to play in the North-South All-Star Classic, an achievement that Cox says is the first time in his recollection to be accomplished by a Lady Bearcat softball player.
The Classic will have Collins traveling to Buffalo High School in Putman County on July 15, to play in two contests against some of the state’s toughest competition.
“Aubree has worked hard to get to where she is. Great things are in her future at the college level,” voiced Cox.
He added that he knows Collins will represent the Bearcats in great fashion, and that he couldn’t be prouder of her for earning this honor.
Grafton Gators Swim Team member Bryton Andrews has also worked to gain the opportunity to represent his team at the next level.
Andrews has been a member of the Gators swim team for four years. Even though he was only able to compete for three of those years, due to COVID-19 cancelling last season. However, a season out of the water didn’t seem to faze Andrews in the slightest.
Andrews is a natural born swimmer and began taking lessons at the local pool at just two years old. He has never feared water, but instead has been drawn to it. And now he was grown into a competitor for opponents to fear.
During a recent meet against a tough Bridgeport program, Andrews was chosen by his coaches to swim the butterfly in the Boys 9-10 50 Meter Free in order to earn a seed for a next level meet and surpassed all expectations.
According to his mother Amy Andrews, he had to record a local time in the event in order to compete in the upcoming championship meet.
When the Gator coaches shared with Andrews that he had been entered in the event he was nervous and had expected to place last. However, that was not the case.
Andrews took to the water with low expectations, but his drive, determination and competitive spirit boosted him to finish in first place, recording a time of 58.28.
His coaching staff noted that this is an amazing accomplishment, and they are excited to see what he does when he takes to the waters of the championship meet.
Congratulations to Aubree Collins and Bryton Andrews for being named as this week’s Taylor County Athletes of the Week. You both are excellent examples of hard work, dedication, passion and drive paying off.