November 2023 - GMSD is excited to announce the November nominations for Athlete of the Month, presented by Alisha Dumas with State Farm. These nominations are based on athletic work ethic, attitude, and sportsmanship, but these student athletes are just that - students first, athletes second. They must have good academic standing, maintain a good attendance record, and have a positive outlook towards their education and their community. Receiving a nomination is an honor in itself!
Each month the community will get to vote on which athlete they would like to see become the GMSD Athlete of the Month. There is a High School category and a Middle School category. Voting for these categories will be kept separate, so each month there will be an Athlete of the Month from the High School and the Middle School. The winners will be announced towards the end of each month.
Here are the November High School nominees:
Addie Causey - Junior, Cheer
During Addison’s time at Houston Middle and Houston High, her spot on the Varsity cheerleading teams has afforded her the title of 2x Regional Champion, 2x State Champion, 2x National Champion and a Worlds Champion. She has also been part of the Sting Ray All Stars in Marietta, GA where her level 6 team won the highly coveted Summit competition, as well as the NCA championship. Addison is self-driven and wants to succeed at everything she puts her heart into. From tumbling and cheering to making great grades, her competitive spirit along with her dream of cheering on a competitive college team motivates her to work hard in the classroom, just as much as on the mat. Addison leads by example and encourages her teammates to go the extra mile and put forth their best efforts in perfecting their stunting and tumbling skills. On the practice mat she brings a positive attitude and is always pushing her teammates to strive for more. She attributes her love for the sport to her cheer coaches, Chris Crabtree and Ryan Jackson for always pushing her to be her best, for being encouraging when she was on the middle school team and leading her to a place of confidence, resilience and leadership on the high school team.
Chandler Day - Junior, Football
Chandler plays both football and baseball, and he works hard to be successful in both sports. As the signal caller he has gone 17-4 in the last 2 years for the Mustangs. He has been selected to first team all region QB in both seasons. He has thrown 53 touchdown passes at Houston and is 3 Touchdown passes away from holding the all time record for TD passes in a career at HHS. He has thrown 26 TD passes this season and is 5 TD passes away from tying the record of 31 TD passes in a single season. In baseball, he plays centerfield, 1st base, and pitches. He is ranked the number 1 Left handed pitcher in the state of Tennessee by perfect game and is ranked number 13 Nationally for the class of 2025. Chandler is very self motivated and really enjoys being part of a team as much as anything he does outside of school. Chandler wants to be remembered as one of the best teammates to play with, just as much as he wants to contribute during game times. When you see Chandler in the hallway or at practice, he is known for the smile he is always wearing, and when the lights come on, he turns into the fierce competitor that his teammates know him as.
Annie Phillips - Sophomore, Cheer
Annie’s love for cheerleading began at age 5 when she started taking tumbling classes with her uncle as her coach. By the time she reached 6th grade, she successfully tried out and made the Riverdale Middle School cheerleading squad. Cheerleading runs in her family! For the past five years, Annie has proudly carried on the family legacy by cheering for RMS for three years and now HHS for the past two years. Whether she is cheering on the football team or competing at the UCA National Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, FL, Annie loves everything about cheerleading. She is a dedicated individual with a strong work ethic both in the gym and in the classroom. She maintains the same level of drive and commitment in the classroom, where she excels as a straight-A student. She is a great leader who always strives to see her team succeed on the competition floor, and she works hard to set an example for her teammates. Annie is known for her kindness, loyalty, and positivity, and she always strives to maintain a happy heart in everything she does. Additionally, she is a member of Horizons, Houston Hearts, and Honors Treble Choir at HHS.
Alison Roth - Senior, Swim
Alison started swimming at age 10 and is now a year round swimmer. She has qualified for South Regions, and she has made the high school state team every year. She has won first place for Southeastern swimming, and she is known for being determined and persistent to be her very best. She's become a mentor to a lot of her teammates and they can count on her to be a positive voice in the swimming competitions. She's a great teammate, friend, and works hard at that every day.
Connor Shimko - Senior, Swim
Connor has only been swimming for a few years, but he is a hard worker and puts all his efforts into his sport and teammates. He is passionate about his sport, and his team. This has led to him being a team captain. Connor has overcome challenges in his life that have allowed him to be successful and driven. Connor is so appreciated for all that he does and has received a full ride to the University of Alabama. A word that describes Connor is genuine. He is an authentic person that is real to himself, and he cares deeply for others.
Owen Waggener - Junior, Football
Owen is a multi sport athlete. During his time at HMS, Owen was a state champion in basketball.
For his freshman year as a HHS Mustang, he played varsity football and baseball. In his sophomore season, he was named All-Region tight end. Currently, he plays middle linebacker and tight end. Owen strives to be better at anything and everything he does. He gives his best in the classroom, in practice, and on the field. Owen has a great relationship with all of his teammates past and present. He prides himself on being a leader on and off the field giving his best effort to lead by example. Owen has been coaching youth football (GFL) in his spare time after school and practice for the last three years.
Here are the November Middle School nominees:
Connor Brown - 8th Grade, Houston Middle School, Football
Connor has been playing football since the age of 7. Connor played on the 7th grade team during his 6th grade year and has been a starter every year on both offense and defense. Connor has helped lead his teams to multiple league championships over the years. Over the past 2 seasons at HMS he has 20 touchdowns in his position as wide receiver, and counting. He is known for his speed on the field but more so for making difficult catches under heavy defensive coverage. He also has a vital role on defense as a defensive end. Connor has always been internally driven to be the best athlete he can be for himself and his team, putting in hours of training outside of practice. He also strives to maintain the same standard in the classroom. Connor has a great relationship with his coaches and teammates. He is known for his leadership, dedication, focus, and team first approach. He maintains a positive attitude and inspires them to reach their full potential. His coach said of Connor, “In my 10+ years of coaching middle school football, Connor Brown is not only the best wide receiver I ever coached but he is also one of the best teammates I have ever coached. Connor not only plays football at the highest level but also exemplifies how a young man should interact with his teammates and carry himself off the football field.”
Jiles Bryant - 8th Grade, Houston Middle School, Football
Jiles is a multi sport athlete. He plays baseball, football, and basketball at a competitive level. In baseball Jiles plays for Easley Base Club/EBC 14u and was recently rewarded Most Valuable Player. Jiles is driven and inspired to be such in sports and in the classroom by giving his best work. He strives to be, live, and think beyond other’s expectations. He believes that his best is yet to come. Jiles is really known as a gentle giant. He has several nicknames that his coaches refer to him, most notably from football, his coach calls him “Jelly” because of his smile. Being a multi sport athlete, Jiles has learned to balance his time to all of his endeavors.
Paige Cho - 8th Grade, Houston Middle School, Cheer
Before joining the HMS cheer team, Paige was a competitive gymnast for 2 years. She finished her last year of gymnastics as 4x TN state champion and 2x regional champion in her division. She has also earned 7 scores on America's top 100. During her 1st year in HMS cheer, she and her teammates won both the National and World Championships and also were awarded the Nations Cup given to the highest scoring team in each country. She was one of the two 7th graders on the team consisting of all 8th graders. Paige is motivated to always improve her cheerleading skills and at the same time earn good grades. Paige tries her best to motivate her teammates and also loves working with her team to always get better. Paige is in Beta Club and serves as a parliamentarian for NJHS.
Luke Cole - 8th Grade, Houston Middle School, Swim
Luke has been swimming since he was just 4 years old. He was the Silver State Champion in the 100 Backstroke. Luke is driven by the support of his family. They hold each other accountable and support one another. He loves his teammates and is a good leader, and he is known for being joyful and cheerful with everyone. Luke works hard, and he is truly happy in his pursuits as a student athlete. He works hard not only on his sport, but in the classroom as well.
Sutherlynn Gibbons - 8th Grade, Riverdale, Cheer
Sutherlynn's journey in sports has been marked by determination and success. Among the various sports she has explored, softball stands out. Her standout moment came during a championship game, where she received the game ball for an outstanding performance. But, Sutherlynn went on to discover her true passion when she decided to pursue cheerleading. With a background in gymnastics and dance, she continues to incorporate those skills into her cheerleading. Sutherlynn's commitment extends beyond the athletic field into her academic pursuits. She consistently maintains an impressive academic record. Her leadership qualities shine through her interactions with teammates. As an 8th grader on the Riverdale Cheer team, she is a role model to younger cheerleaders, providing guidance and support. She takes on a leading role during cheers at games and demonstrates genuine care for her fellow teammates. Sutherlynn's compassion and generosity are truly remarkable. She’s made a significant impact through her philanthropic efforts as well, whether selling bracelets to donate the funds to various charities, or giving baked goods to first responders, Sutherlynn works hard to be a well rounded student athlete.
Emma Scoggin - 6th Grade, Houston Middle School, Swim
Emma has been swimming since she was 8, and in the 10 and under category, she was Southeastern Best All Around at Southeastern Championship. Emma has a desire to always do her best, and she is intrinsically driven. Emma is a supportive and encouraging teammate. She always provides support to her team and drives excitement from seeing her teammates succeed. Emma has a quiet drive and is soft spoken, but she is a hard worker and an uplifting teammate.
Click here to cast your vote! Voting is set to close on Thursday, November 30 at 12:00pm.