With the 2023 Delaware County fall high school sports season coming to a close, it’s time to look back at the athletes and teams that stood out amongst the fray.
Before I go on, I’d like to give two big shoutouts to Ball State second-year David Moore and first-year Kyle Stout. These gentlemen helped me continue my goal of covering every team and athlete in the 765.
Here are your 2023 Delaware County fall sports awards.
Best boys’ soccer player - Burris senior Asher Donahue
The Burris boys’ soccer team finished their successful year with a 14-4-1 record and captured a sectional championship. Leading the way was Donahue.
He led the team with 37 goals and averaged 1.9 goals per game. He leaves the program with 61 goals in three years with the Owls.
Best girls’ soccer player - Burris senior Sarah Edmonds
Just like the boys’ team, Burris girls’ soccer went on a tear that included a sectional championship. Edmonds went off this season with 26 goals and 19 assists.
One of her best performances was when she scored four goals against Indianapolis Shortridge. She leaves the program with 75 goals and 73 assists.
Best girls’ cross country runner - Delta senior Nicki Southerland
In her final year as an Eagle, Southerland accomplished things she has done throughout high school. With six first-place finishes, Southerland went into the state tournament with a season full of highlights.
Yet she was just beginning. After running the fastest girls’ sectional time in Indiana, giving her first place and taking first at regionals, Southerland ended her last high school cross-country race with a second-place finish at the state finals.
Best boys’ cross country runner - Wapahani senior Nick Cook
During his high school career, Cook has become one of the best boys’ cross country runners in the county.
His 2023 season was no different as he placed first in multiple races, which included the sectional meet. He finished in second at the regional meet and finished his high school cross country career in 39th at the state finals.
Best volleyball player - Yorktown junior Charlotte Vinson
When Vinson was on the court, no one had an answer for her. The Indiana University commit broke the school record for most kills in a season with 759.
Her season high was 39 during the Tiger’s 3-2 win over Noblesville.
Best girls’ golfer - Yorktown senior Kayleigh Agugliaro
During the 2023 season, Agugliaro showed flashes that her senior year was going to be special. She led the Tigers in multiple matches and shot her season low of 34 four times. She also fired a 77 (six over par) at the Delaware County Tournament, which earned her second place.
After coming in third (72, even par) at sectionals and third at regionals (73, one over par), she was the lone Delaware County golfer to advance to the state finals, where she finished in 48th place (83, 86) She will continue her golf career in college as she recently committed to Trine University.
Best boys’ tennis player(s) - Delta seniors Dalton Royal and Preston Shanayda
Delta’s No. 1 doubles pair finished their high school tennis careers with a 23-4 record. One of their biggest wins came against Fort Wayne Carroll which advanced to semi state.
Their only losses came to teams that had deep runs during the state championship. Those included Homestead (state champions) and Columbus North (state runner up). They were also added to the All-Hoosier-Heritage Conference team.
Best quarterback - Muncie Central senior Leo Boyd
The decision for best quarterback came down to a vote by the entire Daily News sports staff. In the end, Boyd took the win. With his resume, it’s not that surprising. Even though a senior, this was his first time ever playing quarterback.
He recorded 771 passing yards, seven touchdown passes, and 11 interceptions. While he was effective through the air, Boyd proved to be a dual threat. With his legs, he finished the season with 1,044 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Even with dealing with personal factors, Boyd was able to overcome them and shine for the Bearcats.
Best offensive football player - Yorktown senior Ayden Ewing
In his final year with the Tigers, Ewing put on a show as he led with 1,170 rushing yards and 16-rushing touchdowns.
His best game of the season is when Yorktown faced Fort Wayne Concordia in the first round of sectionals. He recorded 324 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.
Best defensive football player - Delta senior Braxton Russel
Russel was one of the biggest forces in the county this season. He leads the Eagles with 90 tackles (37 solo, 53 assisted) and 11.0 sacks.
The senior defensive linemen also caused a fumble and recovered a fumble.
Best fall coach - Jim Craig
In his twenty plus year career, Craig had never won a state championship before this season. That changed this year as he guided Burris volleyball to capture the 2A IHSAA State Championship trophy at Worthen Arena.
Breakthrough fall athlete - Wes-Del freshman girls’ golfer Jane Armington
Armington started out the 2023 campaign well as she led the Warriors in many matches and shot a 33, which was the lowest nine-hole score in the county. However, the freshman broke on to the scene when she fired a 76 (five over par) to become the champion of the Delaware County Tournament, which was the first time a Warrior had won the event.
She shot a 72 (even par) at sectionals and ended her season at regionals after a sixth place finish with a 78 (six over par.).
Best fall team - Burris volleyball
The Owls went on a histropic run this season. Their 31-4 led them into the state tournament with some momentum and a strong mindset.
That mindset led them to the state championship game, where they became state champions for the first time since 2014. During the state tournament, they never dropped a set.
Best fall sports moment - Burris volleyball’s first state championship since 2014
Burris has been to 25 volleyball state championships in its history and won 23 of them. With that, the Owls wore the phrase 23 in 23’ on their warm up shirts. About an hour later, that slogan became the truth, making it one of the best moments of the fall sports season.
Best fall sports performance - Delta senior girls’ golfer Belle Brown’s sectional round
Brown has been a key piece of the Eagles’ success over the last four years. That did not change this season as she had one of her best performances of her career at sectionals.
During her round at Crestview Golf Club, Brown fired a 66 (six under), which went as the current girls’ course record. This achievement also crowned her as the sectional champion and led Delta to its fourth straight sectional title.
Contact Zach Carter with comments at email@example.com or on X@ZachCarter85.