Fort Smith based publication Times Record has chosen to honor hundreds of local athletes for their achievements throughout the 2016-2017 school year. Among the very best the River Valley has to offer, Mansfield had six high school athletes make the list of honorees.
Makayla Bolton, Joseff Buccella, Eden Jones, Audrey Walker, Hunter Willsey, and Garrett Wilson all made the Preps All-Star Best of the River Valley in some capacity. Each has been invited to attend an upscale athletic awards banquet featuring Dallas Cowboy Darren McFadden on June 1 at the Fort Smith Convention Center.
Times Record staff members covered local Arkansas and Oklahoma sporting events throughout the year. Everything from golf and football in the fall to track and baseball in the spring was viewed. Statistical leaders, outstanding performances, and quality of skill were critiqued by the reporters. In the end, it was solely their decision as to who made the list considered River Valley Best.
Mansfield’s Makayla Bolton and Eden Jones were the only two Tigers to make a first team list. Bolton made the Best of River Valley softball first team. Eden was on the first team track and field list.
Bolton led the Lady Tigers to the second round of the class 3A state tournament. She led Mansfield’s softball team in several statistical categories, was it’s player of the year, and earned a college scholarship in softball.
Jones qualified to six events in this spring’s class 3A state finals. She was recently named the Mansfield player of the year in track. She has been a 2-time All-State and 4-time All-District runner and high jumper over her four year MHS career.
Three MHS players made the second team All-Star list in their respective sport. Walker landed on the track and field roster. Willsey and Wilson made the baseball list.
Walker was the 3A Region 1West conference high point winner this past track season. She won the 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles, and was part of the gold medal 4x100m relay team. She was second at the district high jump, 200m dash, and 4x400m relay.
Willsey was the 2017 player of the year for the Tiger baseball team. He was an All-State selection from the 3A Region 1 West conference. He led the team in wins off the pitcher’s mound, and was rated highly in several other defensive and offensive categories.
Wilson was among the area leaders in batting percentage. He was the outfielder of the year for the Tiger diamond squad. His bat and fielding helped the Tiger baseball team win its third consecutive conference title.
Buccella made the River Valley Best as an Honorable Mention member the Times Offensive Football team. The senior was the Tiger’s offensive player of the year. He led all Mansfield running backs with the most carries and the most yardage gained. He was a 3A-4 All-District Player.