2016 High School Athletes of the Year

View by School:

Jackson Central-Merry High School
Jackson Christian School
Liberty Technology High School
Madison Academic High School
North Side High School
Sacred Heart of Jesus High School
South Side High School
Trinity Christian Academy
University School of Jackson

Dajá Chatman
JCM’s female athlete of the year, Dajá Chatman, played basketball and volleyball and was a member of the cheerleading squad. In basketball, Chatman was named best defensive player of the year two seasons. She was also the leading scorer for six of the regular season games this past season. She takes all honors courses and has always strived to succeed as a scholar and athlete. Chatman plans to attend Middle Tennessee State University to study criminal justice and cheer.

Reginald “Reggie” Davis III
JCM’s male athlete of the year, Reginald “Reggie” Davis III, played football and baseball for the Cougars. For football, Davis played full back, tail back, and tight end on offense and linebacker and safety on defense. During his senior season, he was defensive captain and team captain. He participated in the Nike Combine in 2014 and 2015 and the Under Armour Combine in 2015. He attended football camps at Louisiana State University, Murray State University, Vanderbilt University, Middle Tennessee State University, and University of Miami. He was invited to participate in the NoKaOi National Football Showcase in Honolulu, Hawaii, this summer. On the baseball field, Davis played all positions in the outfield. Davis was a member of National Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars, and he was recognized with the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists Award of Excellence and Freshman Student of the Week in 2013. Davis is very active at his church, East Jackson Church of Christ, and within the community, serving at RIFA, Carl Perkins Child Abuse Center, and St. Jude. With a 3.46 GPA, Davis ranks 22 in his class and plans to attend the University of Memphis in the fall.


Amelia Grizzell
Jackson Christian’s female athlete of the year, Amelia Grizzell, played soccer and basketball and ran track for the Lady Eagles. In soccer, she scored 113 career goals, breaking a school record (previously 76) and landing her in the top 20 all-time in Tennessee. She also had 57 career assists, breaking another school record (previously 44) and ranking 7th all-time in Tennessee. She had 283 career points and led the state in goals, assists, and points in 2014. Grizzell was named Tennessee Sports Writer’s All-State twice, Tennessee Coaches’ All-State three times, All-District three times, Offensive District MVP three times, District and Regional Tournament MVP three times, Jackson Sun All-West Tennessee First Team three times, and Jackson Sun West Tennessee Offensive Player of the Year twice. On the basketball court, Grizzell had 728 points, 530 rebounds, 259 steals, and 190 assists over her career. She was named Honorable Mention All-District in 2014 and All-District in 2015. She was top three in West Tennessee for steals in 2014 and 2015. In track, she broke the JCS 100 and 200 meter record and placed fifth in the region in the 400 meter race. Off the field, Grizzell was president of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, member of the National Honor Society, Jackson Rotary Club’s Student of the Month in March 2016, Homecoming Court representative, and Jackson Symphony Ambassador. During high school, she accumulated over 120 volunteer hours and served on mission trips in Leon, Nicaragua, and Zimbabwe, Africa. Grizzell boasts a 3.98 GPA and plans to attend Harding University to play soccer in the fall.

Clay Lewis
Jackson Christian’s male athlete of the year, Clay Lewis, played football, basketball, and soccer for the Eagles. He is recognized for his combination of toughness, value to his team, and character. On the football field, Lewis had over 2,100 offensive yards, 17 career touchdowns, 197 tackles, four interceptions, four fumble recoveries, and two forced fumbles. Lewis was named All-District and JCS team MVP in 2014 and 2015. In basketball, he scored 328 points and had 182 rebounds and 196 assists during his career. In soccer, he started in all 17 games in 2015 and was named All-District and runner up for District Defensive Player of the Year. Lewis maintains a 3.15 GPA and plans to attend Harding University to major in business.


Destinee Higgs
Liberty’s female athlete of the year, Destinee Higgs, played volleyball and softball, ran track, and was a member of the cheerleading squad. In volleyball, Higgs was a key part of the team as libero. She has been a member of the Beta Club for three years and DECA, and qualified to compete in the state DECA competition. Higgs is very committed to her academics, ranking sixth in her class with a 3.95 GPA. She plans to play collegiate volleyball and major in pre-law with a minor in computer science.

Malique Bowen
Liberty’s male athlete of the year, Malique Bowen, played football and tennis for the Crusaders. On the football field, Bowen had 65 tackles with 12 for loss during his senior season. His team went 13-1 and won the Regional Championship for Division 1 AAA. Bowen was named to the West Tennessee All-Star Football Team 2015-16. Off the field, Bowen was Vice President of the Beta Club and achieved honors 9-12th grade. With a 3.92 GPA, he ranks tenth in his graduating class. He plans to attend either Florida Southern College to study Marine Biology or North Carolina State University to study Zoology.


Sydney Simpson
Madison’s female athlete of the year, Sydney Simpson, played basketball for the Lady Mustangs and was involved in various school organizations. She was named to the All-District team and All-Tournament team for the Christmas Tournament at Oman Arena her senior year. During her senior season, Simpson averaged 15.1 points per game, 7.2 assists per game, 3.1 steals per game, and 4.3 rebounds per game. She was a winner of the prestigious Wendy’s Heisman Award and has led her fellow peers as Class President 10th, 11th, and 12th grade. She was a member of National Honor Society, Young Life, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, choir, and yearbook/newspaper staff. She served for various relief ministries, volunteered at her church nursery, participated in Project Acts, and went on a week-long mission trip to New York to serve for the New York School of Urban Ministries. Simpson boasts a 3.89 GPA and plans to major in animal sciences and become a veterinarian.

Adam Joyner
Madison’s male athlete of the year, Adam Joyner, played soccer and ran cross country for the Mustangs. In soccer, he was named All-District twice, All-Tournament, All-West Tennessee, and TSWA All-State his junior year. He had 21 goals and 28 assists over his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons. His team was regional champions and played in the state semi-finals his sophomore year, and they were district champions and played in the state quarterfinals his junior season. In cross country, he led his team as captain his junior and senior year, was named to the All-West Tennessee First Team and All-Region team, and placed 17th at the state meet his senior season. Joyner was a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Junior Honor Society, Junior Rotarian, Pep Club, and Galloping Gazette staff as a sports columnist. He was recognized twice by the Madison faculty as Best of the Best and was awarded the Alpha Scholar Award by Alpha Kappa Alpha his senior year. Joyner boasts a 4.0 GPA and 32 ACT score, and he signed to play soccer at Lee University in the fall.


Madison Nickell
North Side’s female athlete of the year, Madison Nickell, played soccer for the Lady Indians and a travel league. She was captain of her school team and started all four years. She has won over 20 medals playing for her travel team. Nickell boasts a 3.9 GPA and plans to attend either University of Memphis or University of Tennessee to major in sports management.

Malik Smith
North Side’s male athlete of the year, Malik Smith, played football for the Indians. He was named All-District Honorable Mention and Regional Second Team All-Defense. His team was the 4A regional champions in 2015. Over his career, Smith had 57 solo tackles, 16 assists, 14 tackles for losses, and four sacks. Off the field, Smith was a member of the Gamma Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. for sports and National Beta Club. With a 3.5 GPA, Smith plans to attend Middle Tennessee State University to major in nursing and play football.


Emily Whitaker
Sacred Heart’s female athlete of the year, Emily Whitaker, played soccer and was a member of the cheerleading squad for the Knights. Whitaker was named All-District First Team (9, 10, 11), All-Region First Team (9, 11, 12), Star High School Athlete of the Week multiple times, and High School Soccer Super Senior. During her freshman season, her team was district champions, region champions, and state quarter finalists, and she was inducted into the Sacred Heart Sports Hall of Fame. She led both her soccer and cheerleading team as captain her junior and senior year, and her cheerleading squad won the Tennessee State Championship in 2013. Whitaker excelled in the classroom as well and received multiple awards, including Community Service Award (9), Outstanding Achievement in Wellness and Physical Education, Outstanding Academic Achievement, Knight Award for Excellence in Spanish III, and Excellence Award for Developmental Editor for Multimedia Publications. Whitaker was also a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club, and she has volunteered for Dream Center, Elmcroft, Knights of Columbus Christmas Drive, Vacation Bible School at her church, Relay for Life, and City of Gibson Fire Department. With a 4.5 GPA, Whitaker plans to attend Murray State University to pursue a nursing degree with a specialty in labor and delivery.

Nick Merwin
Sacred Heart’s male athlete of the year, Nick Merwin, played basketball, tennis, and soccer and ran cross country. He was named All-District Honorable Mention (basketball), varsity tennis team MVP, and set a school record in cross country for his 5K time. His soccer team was a state semi-finalist his junior year, and he led his basketball team as captain his senior year. Merwin was also a National Honor Society member, Beta Club Delegate, newspaper writer, Student Ambassadors Club Founder and President, Senior Class Vice President, and Spanish Club Founder and Treasurer. Merwin has volunteered for Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Boy Scouts of America Champions for Life, Knights of Columbus Christmas Partners, RIFA, Dream Center, and Champions Day. With a 4.67 GPA, Merwin was admitted into the Honors College at The Ohio State University and will major in biology.


Kiya Sain
South Side’s female athlete of the year, Kiya Sain, played basketball and volleyball. As outside hitter for her volleyball team, Sain had 437 career kills and led her team to back-to-back state tournament appearances. She was named All-District, All-Tournament, District MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, Jackson Sun’s Super Senior, and Jackson Sun’s All-West Tennessee First Team. She also received the Most Blocks Award and participated in the first West Tennessee All-Star Volleyball game. On the basketball court, Sain had 253 total points, 126 rebounds, and 48 steals during her senior season. She shot 83% from the foul line and averaged 10.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, and two steals per game. She was named All-District, All-Region, and All-Academic, and her team was District Champions for the 2015-2016 season. Sain is part of South Side’s Advanced Choir and the Youth Praise Team at Cane Creek Next Level Ministries. She was recognized as Exchange Club Student of the Month for December 2015 and South Side’s Who’s Who Best All Around. Sain holds a 3.2 GPA and plans to study sports medicine in college and play basketball or volleyball.

Terrandus Smith
South Side’s male athlete of the year, Terrandus Smith, played baseball and basketball. On the basketball court, Smith had 303 total points, 96 rebounds, 24 assists, and 72 steals. He had 12.6 points, four rebounds, 1.3 assists, and three steals per game. He was named All-District and All-Academic. In baseball, he was named All-District and received the Best Defense Award. Smith was also recognized by his fellow peers as South Side’s Most Athletic and Best All-Around superlatives. Smith holds a 3.2 GPA and plans to play basketball or baseball in college.


Katie Tillman
Trinity’s female athlete of the year, Katie Tillman, played volleyball for the Lady Lions. During her senior season, Tillman had 260 kills, 307 digs, 319 receptions, and 75 aces. She was named All-District three times, District All-Tournament twice, 2015 District Tournament MVP, 2015 All-West Tennessee, and 2015 All-State. Tillman played in the 2015 West Tennessee All-Star game and holds a state record for most digs in a game. She was also a member of National Honor Society and boasts a 4.2 GPA. Tillman plans to attend the University of Memphis in the fall.

Andrew Goldsmith
Trinity’s male athlete of the year, Andrew Goldsmith, played football for the Lions. Goldsmith was named Tennessee Titans Mr. Football, Jackson Sun Player of the Year, WBBJ Player of the Year, Max Prep Small School All-American Player, Examiner Offensive Player of the Year, and Jackson Sun Player of the week four times in a single season. He was also named to the USA Today All-Tennessee team and the All-Academic team three times. Goldsmith holds two state records – second highest rushing yards in a single season (3,139) and most touchdowns in a single game (8). Goldsmith plans to attend Tennessee Tech University on a full scholarship.


Suzanna Camp
USJ’s female athlete of the year, Suzanna Camp, played soccer and tennis. Camp was named to the All-West Tennessee tennis team and All-West Tennessee Honorable Mention soccer team. The Lady Bruins soccer team had four state appearances and was runner-up in 2013. She had 11 career assists, and her team had 13 shut-outs (9 in a row) and a 17-4 record for the 2015 season. Camp also played soccer for the Jackson Futbol Club; her team was state champions and Region III President’s Cup finalists in 2016. In tennis, Camp was #1 player in the 2016 season and helped her team earn a state berth as #2 player in the 2015 season. Her record was 8-2 in 2015 and 6-2 in 2014. Off the court, Camp was president of National Honor Society, secretary of National English Honor Society, an AP scholar, and a member of the Science and History National Honor Societies and Mu Alpha Theta. Camp boasts a 4.56 GPA and remains undecided on where she will attend college.

Nate Schwindt
USJ’s male athlete of the year, Nate Schwindt, ran cross country and participated in track and field. In cross country, Schwindt placed 14th at the TCA Invitational, seventh at the USJ Invitational, and 16th at the 2015 Jamboree. His team placed third at the 2014 and 2015 regional meets, advancing them to place fifth and sixth as a team at the TSSAA State meet. His track relay team placed fourth in the 4x800 meter relay at the TSSAA D-II Sectional meet. His career best stats include 18:11 for cross country 5K, 2:11 for 800 meter run in track, and 8:35 for school 4x800 meter. Schwindt received the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award and Yale Bock Award and was named an AP Scholar with Distinction and National Merit Commended for his academic excellence. He participated in Boys State and was a member of Rotary Club and Honor Council. With a 4.94 GPA, Schwindt plans to study chemical engineering in college.

View Other Recipients: 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019