KILGORE – The 2022 Longview Orthopaedic STAR Foundation Student Athlete of the Year Banquet was hosted at Landing at Joshua Farms on Thursday night, and a coach and athletes were honored during the event.

Longview High School Class of 1992 alum, and former NFL and Notre Dame football player Bobby Taylor was the event’s guest speaker, and he was introduced by Longview athletic director and head football coach John King.

“Some people call it bEASTTexas now,” said Taylor. “So many small towns, but there are some great things and people that come from this area. I’m sure all of our honorees that are here tonight, they’re going to go off and make some great things happen over time.”

Taylor was a successful multi-sport athlete at Longview. He finished his high school football career with 10 interceptions and seven blocked punts. He was also one of the best recruits in his graduating class before he signed with and became an All-American at Notre Dame.

He was eventually drafted 50th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 1995 NFL Draft, and was named a 2002 Pro Bowler during his 10-year NFL career.

Taylor also guided Longview’s basketball program to the 1992 University Interscholastic League Class 5A state championship and earned the Texas Sports Writer Association Class 5A Boys Basketball Player of the Year honor.

He was also a member of Longview track’s 1,600-meter state championship-winning relay team, and was an individual third-place state meet finisher in the 400-meter dash.

During the event, former White Oak High School volleyball head coach Carolee Musick was honored with the 2022 Longview Orthopaedic STAR Foundation Distinguished Coach Award.

“My coaching career and being a volleyball coach has been my life’s work, and I’m very honored that you wanted to recognize me for that,” Musick said at the event.

Musick earned a 648-146 coaching record at White Oak, and retired in May after a 30-year career that included an 822-251 total record. The Ladynecks won the 2010 Class 2A state championship with a 46-1 season record, and advanced to the UIL state tournament six times during her tenure.

Gilmer High School 2022 graduate and Lamar University football signee Brayden Clinton was named the 2021-2022 High School Student-Athlete of the Year, and Northeast Texas Community College soccer player and Kilgore High School 2021 graduate Zoe Craven was named the College Student-Athlete of the Year.

Five STAR Foundation Character Awards were also given to Pine Tree High School 2022 graduate basketball player Abby Short, Carthage High School freshman football player Kash Courtney, Spring Hill High School 2022 graduate Alexis Grubb, Longview High School 2022 graduate baseball player Alton Gatson, and Marshall High School softball 2022 graduate Maggie Truelove.

NOTES: Athletes of the Week recognized by Longview Orthopaedic Clinic this school year included: DeKalon Taylor, Longview; Domar Roberson, Marshall; Natalie Pitts, Christian Heritage Classical School; Jackson Richardson, Tatum; Makhai Lewis, Carthage; Za Campbell, Gladewater; Kym Sheppard, Atlanta; Cody Janner, Pine Tree; Lexi Baker, White Oak; Mia Traylor, Spring Hill; Alex Galyean, Sabine; Quinn Webb, Daingerfield; Carter Watson, Waskom; Brayden Clinton, Gilmer; T.J. Gray, Longview Christian School; Kassidy McCullough, St. Mary’s Catholic School; Mollie Dittmar, East Texas Baptist University; Morgan Demasellis, Hallsville; Zoe Craven, Northeast Texas Community College; Josue Rosas, Kilgore; Olaverr Camacho, Panola College; Gracie Winn, Union Grove; Emad Mohamed, LeTourneau University; Brayden Bolton, Pittsburg; Taylor Garrett, New Diana; Zahria Jackson, Harleton; Jon Tatum, Ore City; Ryan Yeater, Jefferson; Georgia Scott, Trinity School of Texas and Luke Elder, Avinger.

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Follow Thomas Bingham on Twitter: @Texan8thGen

Howdy y'all! I'm the Longview News-Journal's multimedia sports reporter. I have deep East Texas roots and love covering the region's stories and games. I graduated from UT, and have covered sports in different parts of Texas throughout my career.