The Elkin City Schools Board of Education recognized the high school baseball team at its meeting Monday night.
Team members dressed in white shirts and ties and bowties for the meeting, prompting more than one person to comment that they looked like a show choir ready to perform. As it turned out, the baseball players ended up listening to school officials sing praises for their great performances on the field this year.
Superintendent Dr. Randy Bledsoe welcomed the team and Coach Nick Tomlin to the meeting, who just finished his first year at Elkin High as a social studies teacher.
Elkin High School Principal Joel Hoyle told the superintendent and board members how proud he is of the team and Tomlin. “I tell you what, these guys turned it on this year,” he said. “They gave us something to be proud of.”
Hoyle said Tuesday that the school had hired Tomlin as a social studies teacher last year at about the same time that Steve Martin, former head baseball coach, decided to give up the position. Tomlin, who had been the baseball coach at North Iredell High School, agreed to take his place, he said, “and everything just kind of worked out. He did a wonderful job.
“We had a team that only had one senior and for them to advance to the western regional finals takes tremendous work.”
Hoyle told board members he had enjoyed watching the baseball games this year, not only because of the players’ athletic abilities and the fun they had playing but also the determination they demonstrated on the field. “They play with such a sense of pride,” he said, “and they all have positive attitudes.”
The baseball team finished second in the Mountain Valley (split 1A/2A) Conference consisting of seven teams, with West Wilkes High School coming in first. Hoyle congratulated the players and Tomlin on their ranking.
It’s important to note, he said, that the West Wilkes High School team — which won the conference — lost both of its games with Elkin High School.
Elkin’s team also made it to the Final Four of the 1A bracket tournament before losing to South Stanley High School.
After asking the team members to pose for a photograph with their principal and coach, Bledsoe asked Tomlin and the players to walk around the board table so that each board member could personally shake their hands and congratulate them on their winning season.
Also recognized at the meeting was Elkin High Athletic Director Tony Duncan. Hoyle praised Duncan for his dedication to the school’s athletic programs, saying he’s at the school day and night working.
Hoyle said Duncan’s dedication was a big factor in the high school winning the Wells Fargo Cup for its sports programs for the second year in the row. Awarded on a points basis on the quality of schools’ sports programs, the cup is presented every spring.
Elkin High School, which has just less than 400 students, was selected from much larger schools for the honor, he said, some with 800 to 1,000 students.
“When you have an athletic program that has done as well as ours has,” Hoyle said, “it says a lot about our coaches, our students and our leaders in the athletic department.”
Also at Monday’s meeting, Barbara Long, Career Technical Education director at the high school, recognized Ashley Adams for her service as a substitute in two different positions in the department for an entire year. Long said the experience had inspired Adams to pursue getting her certification as a teacher.
Nathan Morris, who also substituted for a year in the department, was recognized even though he was not able to attend.
Kathy Chaffin may be reached at 336-258-4058.