By John R. Schirmer
Scrapper senior Ty Basiliere, a wide receiver who also saw duty on both sides of the ball, received the Most Valuable Player Award at the conclusion of the 52nd Rotary Football Banquet Saturday, Feb. 1, in the Nashville High School cafeteria.
Basiliere also was named Wide Receiver of the Year and was recognized for his work on defense as well.
He is expected to sign today (Feb. 5) to play college football at Henderson State University.
Rotary Club president Bill Craig and vice president Dr. Andi Green presented the MVP award to Basiliere.
The announcement of the most valuable player climaxed a night of awards for the Scrappers, who were co-champions of District 7-4A and advanced to the quarterfinals of the state 4A playoffs.
Athletic Director James “Bunch” Nichols welcomed the crowd, which included football players, coaches, cheerleaders, homecoming royalty and family members.
Nichols thanked the seniors for their contributions to Scrapper football, and he had a message for the returning players – “For those who are coming back, you know what we want to have up here next season,” a state trophy.
Coach Mike Volarvich thanked a number of individuals and groups who helped during the season. He introduced the homecoming royalty, cheerleaders and sophomores and juniors on the team before giving a quick review of the season.
“It was a great year for us,” Volarvich said. “We were 11-2. This is only the third 11-win season in the past decade. The others were 2015 and 2017.”
The Scrappers were co-champions of District 7-4A with Arkadelphia and Robinson. They were
undefeated at home for the seventh time in the last 20 years and the fourth in the past decade.
Seniors ended their careers with a 29-9 record and district titles in 2017 and 2019. “For 22 years in a row, every sophomore class has been part of a district championship” at least once before they graduated, Volarvich said.
Defensively, the Scrappers allowed 21 points per game and gave up 119 yards passing and 182 rushing. They recorded 18 takeaways.
Offensively, Nashville averaged 39.7 points per game, third in Class 4A. The Scrappers averaged 154 yards passing per game and threw for 21 touchdowns during the season. Nashville rushed for 260 yards per game and posted 47 rushing TDs.
The Scrappers were among the top three teams in Class 4A in a number of offensive categories.
Coaches introduced their seniors and commented on their careers. Seniors included Devon Reisinger, Lance Easter, Detrich Young, Davonte Witherspoon, Jakobe Jefferson, Carmillias Morrison, Benjamin Camacho, Walter Phillips, Ty Basiliere, Jhonny Pioquinto, Ryan Brown, Isaac Johnson, Ta’Kris Verge, Jonny Hagler and Kendrix Holcomb.
Coaches presented a number of individual awards, including the following:
Wide Receiver of the Year – Ty Basiliere
Defensive Back of the Year – Will Pope
Defensive Lineman of the Year – Walter Phillips
Special Teams Player of the Year – Jhonny Pioquinto
Offensive Lineman of the Year – Dalton Brown
Linebacker of the Year – Davonte Witherspoon
Offensive Backs of the Year – Ty Gordon and Keyshawn Stewart
Practice Awards – Garrett Dixon and Desmond Bailey, defense; Turner Futrell and Nick Matheny, offense
Permanent Team Captains – Kendrix Holcomb and Walter Phillips
Witherspoon and Basiliere received All-State honors.
Witherspoon was invited to play in the Arkansas All-Star game this summer in Conway.
Phillips was selected for the FCA All-Star game June 6 at Texas High School in Texarkana.