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Heil, Porter garner awards
POPLAR BLUFF -- A pair of familiar faces picked up player of the year honors for the SEMO Conference.
Michael Porter of Sikeston and Dexter's Katelyn Heil were honored Wednesday night at the Poplar Bluff Letter Club's 51st annual Basketball Banquet.
The pair led their teams to SEMO Conference titles and were among those selected by the coaches to the 10-player all-conference teams.
"There are so many good players in our conference, so I was surprised," Heil said. "I knew that [Notre Dame[']s] Jane [Morrill] and Alex [Fowler] had good years too, so it was still a surprise to me."
Heil became the first two-time winner of the Gray Award since Jackson's Andrea Koeper won it in 2000 and shared it a year later. Mary Kalich of Poplar Bluff (1991-90) and Darla Pannier of Central (1987-88) also twice won the award given since 1984 to the top female player in the SEMO Conference.
Porter also won the Gibbs Award as a sophomore, sharing it with Justin Clark of Charleston and Notre Dame's Ryan Willen in 2007. Porter is the sixth player to win the award multiple times.
"This is just an award for Sikeston," Porter said. "I won't take no credit for individual stuff. My teammates make me better and I'm just blessed."
Bearcats coach Chad Allen and Charleston boys coach Danny Farmer were named conference coaches of the year.
Porter was one of five players on the all-conference team for a second straight year. He was also named to the first team as a sophomore and a freshman.
Charleston senior Antonio Riggens and Notre Dame senior Austin Greer, along with juniors Jay Raulston of Poplar Bluff and New Madrid County Central's Kony Ealy were on the first team for the second straight year.
Heil, Morrill and Central's Wendi Zickfield were also named to the all-conference team for a second straight year.
Heil has signed a letter of intent to play at Missouri S&T in the fall.
While Porter was being introduced, it was announced that the 6-6 senior had narrowed his college choice down to Missouri State, Southeast Missouri State, Arkansas State and Morehead State.
"Two weeks," Porter said on his announcement for making his college choice.
@z_agate_no tab_no indnt_bld ld:ALL-SEMO CONFERENCE TEAM
First team -- Michael Porter, Sikeston, 6-6, sr.; Kony Ealy, New Madrid County Central, 6-6, jr.; Donald Dixon, Charleston, 6-3, sr.; Josh Minner, New Madrid County Central, 6-5, sr.; Austin Greer, Notre Dame, 6-0, sr.; Riley Raulston, Poplar Bluff, 6-4, sr.; John Unterreiner, Notre Dame, 5-10, sr.; Antonio Riggens, Charleston, 5-10, sr.; Jay Raulston, Poplar Bluff, 6-5, jr.; Juqualin Wiggins, Sikeston, 6-2, jr.
Honorable mention -- Eli Jackson, Sikeston; Marcus Harris, Jackson; Drew Kelley, Dexter; Cal Lane, Sikeston; Deonte Jones, Charleston; Jacob Tolbert, Notre Dame; Dontre Jenkins, New Madrid; Bobby Clark, Jackson; Rick Russell, Central.
First team -- Katelyn Heil, Dexter, 5-10, sr.; Jane Morrill, Notre Dame, 5-11, jr.; Wendi Zickfield, Central, 6-2, sr.; Ruthie Johnson, Poplar Bluff, 5-2, jr.; Jill Temples, Dexter, 5-5, sr.; Alex Fowler, Notre Dame, 5-8, sr.; Kaylen Knepp, Jackson, 5-7, jr.; Dennisha Rice, Poplar Bluff, 5-2, jr.; Sadie Pitman, Central, 5-3, jr.; Ashten Howard, Jackson, 5-11, sr.;
Honorable mention -- Allyson Bradshaw, Notre Dame; Tori Williams, Poplar Bluff; Chelsea Pannier, Central; Ashley Taylor, Dexter.