Male Athlete of the Year — Tony Tonkovich, senior, cross county, swimming, track and field
The final athletic event of the 2018-19 school year for Athens High School saw Tony Tonkovich earn all-Ohio honors.
Tonkovich finished seventh in the state in Division I in the 1600 meter run at the state track and field meet inside Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Tonkovich graduated from Athens High School as a record holder in four different events.
In the fall, Tonkovich qualified for the state cross country championships in Division I. He has the school 5K record at 16:07.
In the spring, Tonkovich is a record holder in the 800 (1:55.61), the 1600 (4:17.39) and the 3200 (9:32.53).
Tonkovich certainly had a winning senior season with the Bulldogs. In the fall, he took first place in eight difference cross country races, cruising to an individual Tri-Valley Conference championship.
Tonkovich qualified for state competition for the third time in his cross country career despite competing against Division I competition.
In the spring, Tonkovich won TVC titles in the 800 and the 1600. He advanced to regional competition in both the 1600 and 3200 runs.
He focused on the 1600, placing second in Division I, Region 3 to advance to the state tournament.
Tonkovich even helped Athens win league and sectional titles in the swimming pool in the winter.
Tonkovich will join the Ohio University cross country and track and field teams next year. He will do so after completing one of the best running careers in Athens Bulldog history.
Female Athlete of the Year — Kaylee Stewart, senior, volleyball, basketball, softball
Kaylee Stewart was a role player who did all the little things in the fall and winter, before taking center stage during the spring softball season.
Stewart graduates from Athens High School after spending her time as a three-sport athlete, playing volleyball, basketball and softball.
Stewart landed on all-TVC teams as well as all-district teams in both basketball and softball. She was also an honorable mention all-district selection in volleyball.
Stewart was a three-year starter on the basketball court. A dependable scorer, rebounder and defender, Stewart helped Athens win eight games in hoops.
Stewart did her best work on the softball field. A four-year starter, she led Athens on the field as a pitcher and at the plate as a hitter.
One of the highlights of Stewart’s season was an 8-5 win at Meigs. She pitched a complete game and launched a three-run home run in the seventh inning for Athens’ first softball win over the Marauders since 2012.
Stewart again pitched a complete game in a 12-2 win over Meigs in the rematch to sweep the season series.
Athens finished the season at 9-12, with the nine wins the most for Stewart during her four years inside the pitching circle.
Coach of the Year — Ryan Adams, football
Ryan Adams went out on top after one of the most successful coaching tenures in school history.
Adams led Athens to a 9-2 record last fall. The Bulldogs were TVC-Ohio champions and made the postseason in Division III. It was the first time Athens had accomplished those feats since 2014.
The Bulldogs were able to bounce back from a week 2 loss at Fairland to win their final eight games in a row. Athens needed every win, as it finished eighth in the Region 11 standings.
Along the way, Athens was able to defeat Logan for the second year in a row. The Bulldogs capped off the regular season with a 49-14 win at Nelsonville-York.
Adams’ final game on the sidelines was a 51-14 loss in the opening round of the playoffs to Bishop Hartley.
Adams was named the TVC-Ohio Coach of the Year.
Adams announced that he was stepping away from the program shortly after the conclusion of the season. In 12 seasons, he had a record of 96-37 and is the program’s all-time leader in seasons coached and games won.
Adams led Athens to six TVC-Ohio titles, going 52-10 in league games. The Bulldogs made the playoffs five times under Adams and went 10-0 three times.
Adams coached Athens to eight playoff wins, including advancing to the Division III state championship game in 2014.