More than 20 local athletes and coaches were among those reporting Monday for the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star Week at the University of Central Arkansas.
Cabot softball player Lauren McCluskey found out three weeks ago she was on the East roster. She has never attended the All-Star games.
“I’m excited to play with a bunch of different girls that I’ve played against all these years,” she said.
This week will mark the end of her competitive softball career.
“I decided I didn’t want to play college softball,” she said. “I had some offers, but I’m burned out and just ready for the next chapter.”
Her plans are to attend ASU-Beebe and then UAMS for nursing school.
“I just want to make the most of this week,” she said.
Lonoke’s Haven Hunter found out Sunday night he had a spot on the East baseball roster.
“I didn’t expect it, and right now I’m enjoying it since the best people are here,” he said Monday during media interviews at the UCA Farris Center. “I’m excited to represent my town this week.”
Hunter will report to Eastern Oklahoma State College on Aug. 5. His baseball roommate will be North Little Rock’s Nick Butler, who joined him on the East All-Star squad this week.
“It’s a huge honor to be here,” Butler said. “I am very excited. I found out at our school’s awards ceremony. I was in shock. Words can’t explain how honored I am.”
Cabot baseball coach Ronnie Goodwin, a 1997 graduate of North Little Rock and an all-star baseball player that year, returned this week to where his coaching career started. He is head coach of the East.
Goodwin played one year at Westark Community College and three at Ole Miss, then a year with the Florida Marlins organization before former UCA coach Doug Clark hired him.
Goodwin was at UCA from 2002-10.
“It’s fun to come back to where I started my coaching career,” he said Monday. “The town and campus have changed so much in just a few years. I’m excited to be part of All-Star Week.
Central Arkansas Christian girls basketball coach Steve Quattlebaum said he had worked on the AHSCA executive committee since about the 2006 All-Star Week.
“I just love seeing the kids, and getting to visit with and meet a lot of coaches I’ve read about in the papers,” Quattlebaum said. “The kids enjoy it. It’s a big honor, and most of them look at it like that. It’s good being around young people.”
Quattlebaum and Mountain Home girls basketball coach Dell Leonard are assigned to baseball. This year Quattlebaum is working with the West and Leonard with the East.
“We work with the coaches and take care of the little things they don’t have time to do,” Quattlebaum said. “We make sure the games run smoothly, and I’ll stick around later in the week to introduce some of the speakers at the baseball clinic.”
Locals on the All-Star rosters include:
East football — Jordan Washington, Sylvan Hills; Easton Seidl and Chris Jones, Cabot; Travoris Akins, Marlon Jenkins and Jaden Salley, North Little Rock
East volleyball — Maddie Brown, Cabot; assistant coach Kham Chanthaphasouk, Cabot
East softball — Lauren McCluskey, Cabot
East baseball — Michael Coven and River Hunt, Sylvan Hills; Haven Hunter, Lonoke; Denver Mullins, Cabot; Nick Butler, North Little Rock; head coach Ronnie Goodwin, Cabot
West boys basketball — Tremont Robinson, Maumelle
East boys basketball — Assistant coach Johnny Rice, North Little Rock
West boys soccer — Brett Bishop, Central Arkansas Christian
East girls soccer — Hadley Dickinson, Cabot; Ella Miller, North Little Rock; Nakiya Smith, Sylvan Hills; assistant coach Michael Klucher, North Little Rock.
This week’s All-Star schedule:
Tuesday, June 20
Softball doubleheader, Farris Field, 5 p.m.
Baseball doubleheader, Bear Stadium, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, June 21
Girls soccer, Estes Stadium, 5 p.m.
Volleyball, Farris Center, 6 p.m.
Boys soccer, Estes Stadium, 7 p.m.
Thursday, June 22
Girls basketball, Farris Center, 6 p.m.
Boys basketball, Farris Center, 8 p.m.
Friday, June 23
Football, Estes Stadium, 7 p.m.