The Village News honors outstanding athletic talent

COACH OF THE YEAR
Chuck Thomas, L.C. Bird

L.C. Bird coach Chuck Thomas was named the Village News’ Basketball Coach of the Year for 2010-2011. The award is given to the coach who does the most outstanding job during both the regular season and postseason.

A veteran coach of 22 years, Thomas has coached some good teams, and some bad teams, in addition to coaching both private and public high schools, he has also coached at the college level as a assistant at both William and Mary and Hampden-Sydney. The 2010-2011 season marked Thomas’ third year at the helm of the Skyhawks, and during that tenure he has coached the team to a 53-23 record including a 25-4 mark this year. A team full of sophomores and juniors, and two contributing seniors, Thomas guided the Skyhawks to their first state championship appearance, falling to I.C. Norcom 54-45.

For Thomas, Bird’s playoff run this year was a personal best. With King William in 2000, he led a team that fell in the state semi-final to New Kent, who went on to win the Single-A championship. Thomas will continue to lead a hungry bunch of Skyhawks, with rising junior Robert Johnson, and a host of returnees including rising seniors Christian Smith and Harvey Freeman.

PLAYOFF MVP
Robert Johnson, L.C. Bird

L.C. Bird shooting guard Robert Johnson was named the Village News’ Playoff MVP for the 2010-2011 season. The award is given to the student-athlete who performs the best for his or her team in the postseason.

Johnson, a developing division one prospect led the team in scoring in the playoffs, as well as the regular season. During the Skyhawks postseason run, Johnson averaged 18.4 points per contest, played great defense, and shot the ball extremely well from both inside the arc and in three-point range. He shot 47 percent from the floor, 52 percent from behind the arc, sinking 24 bombs, and 75 percent from the charity stripe.

According to coaches, Johnson was a bit of a one dimensional player last year as a freshman- a spot shooter. This year he’s added better off the dribble skills to his arsenal, improved his speed and his defense, making him a more all-around threat for opposing defenses.

For his efforts, he was named to second team all-region and the all-academic squads.

“Robert [Johnson] is a hard worker,” said head coach Chuck Thomas. “I know his dad will work with him over this offseason and push him to be better.”

In a season where older brother and fellow teammate Yahkee Johnson rushed for over 2,000 yards, some might say this was the younger Johnson’s coming out party. Look for more to come from this rising star.

BOY'S PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Marvin King-Davis, Meadowbrook

Meadowbrook center Marvin King-Davis was named the Village News’ Player of the Year for the 2010-2011 season. The award is given to the upperclassmen who performed the best in both the regular season and postseason.

King-Davis, the 6’7 senior will be attending the University of Delaware on a basketball scholarship next year. This year “The King,” as dubbed by his teammates, averaged better than a double-double this season with averages of 22.8 points per contest and 11.5 rebounds per game. King-Davis was no slouch on defense either, as he registered nearly three blocks per contest. For his efforts he was named as a first team all-region player, and was a candidate to be a McDonald’s All-American.

The big man was able to guide Meadowbrook to their first district championship with a win over Thomas Dale in the Central District final, and also through one win in the regional tournament, before falling to eventual champion L.C. Bird in the second round.

King-Davis had four games in which he scored 30 points or more, and 17 games where he scored 20 points or more. The big man also registered 17 double-doubles. The Blue Hen to be also registered a triple-double against the Knights on January 11.

King-Davis is Meadowbrook’s all-time single season record holder for points scored with 557, surpassing Devin  Johnson’s previous record of 538.

GIRL'S PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Ka’lia Johnson, Thomas Dale

Thomas Dale point guard Ka’lia Johnson was named the Village News’ Player of the Year in girls basketball for the 2010-2011 season. The award is given to the upperclassmen who performed the best in both the regular season and postseason.

If you’re looking for a gaudy stat line, Johnson can supply you with one. This season she averaged nearly a triple-double per game, with 24.3 points, 11 rebounds and 8.2 assists per contest. She recorded 10 double-doubles and 7 triple-doubles on the season, while shooting 47 percent from the floor and 48 percent from behind the arc. The soon to be Blue Devil, along with other top state player Elizabeth Williams of Princess Anne was Region Player of the Year, District Player of the Year, and a candidate to be a

McDonald’s All-American. This year’s award brought her district player of the year totals to four, and region player of the year totals to two.

Johnson, arguably one of the best one-sport athletes in Thomas Dale history finished her career as the third 1,000 point scorer and the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1913 points, surpassing former all-time scorer and Radford Highlander Brooke McElroy by over 600 points.

As mentioned, Johnson will continue her academic and basketball career at Duke University, who is a perennial contender for the women’s national title.

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