Scottsdale Unified School District has held the All-District Athletics Banquet for the past 15 years, where student-athletes from SUSD’s five high schools are acknowledged and presented with well-earned awards for their sports seasons.
This time around, five Arcadia Titans – Tatum Longnecker, Ryan Sheedy, Avery Bowling, Quintyn Isabell and Carter Pruitt – were presented with accolades.
There are three events per season for each school year, with keynote speakers from the school board, athletic directors and school principals all in attendance.
“The purpose is simple: to honor and recognize the very best student-athletes in Scottsdale Unified School District,” Athletic Director Nathan Slater said.
He explained that the award criteria depend on team sports versus individual sports.
“With sports like cross country, swim/dive and golf, there are SUSD Invitational events that, to qualify for the banquet, an athlete needs to win,” Slater said. “In team sports, the coaches determine who best represents their sport since all five schools don’t necessarily play each other during the season.”
The five Arcadia winners joined their fellow athletes in receiving an 8 x 10 plaque commemorating their accomplishments. Around 50 students were in attendance, along with parents and coaches. There was a dinner and a keynote speaker.
Volleyball player Tatum Longnecker has an extensive list of accomplishments: in addition to leading her team to the state championship game, she was selected to the All-Conference and All-District Teams, named All-Region Player of the Year, AVCA All-Region HS Team and Under Armour All-America Nominee.
She will play D1 volleyball at the University of Missouri in the fall and plans to major in nutrition and exercise physiology.
“It was an honor representing Arcadia volleyball with Coach Bunker and fellow teammate Ryan Sheedy at the ceremony. Meeting other athletes, coaches from our district and Mayor Ortega was a great way to end the season,” Tatum said.
Tatum’s teammate Ryan Sheedy said that going to state was one of her most memorable accomplishments.
“Another highlight was the final four game in Tucson against Salpointe. They had never lost and had beaten us once, so when our team came together and won, it made me tear up. I was so proud of my teammates,” Ryan said. “Being awarded feels good because this is the sport that makes me happiest. I truly didn’t expect any awards. I am so grateful for all the people and teammates that have helped me get to where I am today.”
Ryan said she will not continue court volleyball – but may try out for sand volleyball – in her college career.
Junior Carter Pruitt has plans to play college football. His favorite highlights of his athletic career thus far include getting two interceptions in Arcadia’s game against Arizona College Prep, getting an interception in his first varsity game sophomore year and hitting his first out-of-the-park homerun in little league.
“I felt honored and am thankful I have such good parents and coaches that helped me achieve this award,” Carter said. “I want it next year too. And with the title of Arcadia’s Defensive Player of the Year for this season, I’m on my way.”
Sophomore swim and diver Avery Bowling plans to attend college after graduation, but where is to be determined.
“My favorite moments are winning districts two years in a row, placing sixth last year and third this year at state, and also having an awesome team to practice and compete with,” Avery said. “I feel honored to receive this award in consecutive years. Being able to represent Arcadia and those on my team is an honor I will never forget.”
The banquet is funded by the SUSD Foundation and has representatives from the Scottsdale Charros.
“In Scottsdale, we are blessed with tremendous student-athletes, families, coaches, and staff. The SUSD Athletic Banquets are an opportunity to honor some of the athletes that make our district amazing,” Slater said. “We are very proud of all of our schools and the student-athletes that participate each and every day.”