Photo by Jeff Helmkamp
Alton's Maurice Edwards is defended by Edwardsville's Mark Smith from behind in a recent game earlier this year. Both Edwards and Smith were named to the all-Southwestern Conference game.
The Edwardsville Tigers had 21 athletes named to this year's all-Southwestern Conference winter sports teams.
Three of them earned an all-conference award in their second sport in the '16-'17 season. They are senior A.J. Epenesa and juniors Rachel Pranger and Kate Martin.
The Alton Redbirds had 11 all-conference selections and the Granite City Warriors had 10. All-league teams were released on Wednesday.
Epenesa earned first-team honors in boys' basketball. He was named first-team defensive lineman in football last fall.
Epenesa was one of five Edwardsville players named on the all-SWC boys' basketball team. Seniors Mark Smith and Oliver Stephen were named on the first team and juniors Jack Marinko and Caleb Strohmeier earned third-team honors.
Epenesa, who plans to play football at the University of Iowa next year, and Smith were named to the all-SWC boys' basketball team for the third year in a row. Stephen and Strohmeier earned an all-conference boys' basketball award for the second straight year.
Martin and Pranger earned first-team all-conference honors in girls' basketball. Last fall, the Edwardsville juniors were named on the all-SWC volleyball team.
Seniors Makenzie Silvey and Criste'on Waters and junior Myriah Haywood join Martin and Pranger on the all-conference girls' basketball team. Silvery was named on the first team, Waters earned second-team honors and Haywood was voted onto the third team.
The Tigers had 10 wrestlers receiving all-league notice. Luke Odom (106), Noah Surtin (113), Rafael Roman (145), Baylor Montgomery (152), Markell Deberry (170) earned first team honors, Guy Brown (160) and Josh Anderson (220) were named on the second team and Ben Schlueter (132), Joe Griffin (138) and Connor Mikulait (182) were named on the third team.
Hunter Noud was the lone Edwardsville athlete on the all-SWC boys' bowling team. He earned third-team honors.
Edwardsville won conference titles in boys' and girls' basketball and wrestling. The girls' basketball and wrestling teams were undefeated in conference play.
Alton had a pair of second-team selections on the boys' basketball team – senior Maurice Edwards and Kevin Caldwell, Jr. Edwards earned all-conference honors for the third year in a row, while Caldwell picked up his first all-league award.
The Redbirds had three bowlers earning all-SWC honors – Tyler Stevenson (second-team) for the boys and Ashley Heistand (first-team) and Paige Snyders (third-team) for the girls.
Alton had six wrestlers on the all-conference team. Keontay Holmes (182) and Garrett Sims (113) earned second-team honors and Christian Everage (170), Keyondrick Russell (195), Grady Womack (220) and Ryan Kane (285) were named on the third team.
Out of Granite City's 10 all-conference selections, eight of them were wrestlers. Kyle Thompson (195) and Korinthian Nabors (285) were named on the first team, Josh Harsh (120) and Reide Wilson (170) earned second-team honors John Hirsch (145), Cordele Mackin (160), Chase Nelson (182) and Chris Santiago (106) were named on the third team.
Addaya Moore and Donyai Garrett were the Warriors' representatives on the all-conference girls' basketball team. Moore was named on the first team and Garrett earned third-team honors.