The Waxahachie Daily Light has proudly compiled and produced the first-ever All-Ellis County volleyball teams as part of the first-of-its-kind countywide celebration of prep sports all-stars.

The Daily Light staff first announced plans to launch the inaugural All-Ellis County high school all-star preps awards, which will include individual players- and coaches-of-the-year recipients, in late December.

This yearlong celebration of athletic achievements will culminate at the 2019 All-Ellis County All-Star Preps awards banquet to be held Tuesday evening, June 11 at the Waxahachie Civic Center. The banquet will honor the top prep athletes from 14 high schools within the county.

The banquet will also feature a keynote speaker, who we hope to announce in the coming weeks after a contract is signed, that is a high-profile professional athlete from a Dallas-Fort Worth area sports team.

The All-Ellis County first- and second-team honorees will receive invitations to the banquet, as well as all of the county's state championship qualifiers in track and field, cross-country, swimming, golf, tennis and wrestling. Student-athletes and coaches will also be selected for prestigious overall awards. All of our honorees will attend complimentary thanks to our generous sponsors.

The sports from which All-Ellis County teams are selected include football, volleyball, boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, baseball and softball.

The awards banquet will be open to the public and ticket information will soon be available at www.WaxahachieTX.com/Preps.

So how were the student-athletes chosen?

Our selection committee first compiled a list of all players who received all-state, all-region and regional tournament awards and then sorted those student-athletes based on stats per set. We did not rely as much on cumulative statistics because of the discrepancy in the number of matches played. Tiebreakers came down to firsthand observations, classifications, overall team success and input from county coaches.

The first- and second-teams are organized with two outside hitters, middle blocker, defensive specialist, libero and a setter, while the honorable mention list consists of players who just missed the cut for the second team.

When it was all said and done, 26 volleyball student-athletes and three coaches found their names on the list. And there could have easily of been more added.

One thing is certain: It was an excellent year for volleyball in Ellis County.

We can not pull off something like this without the communities help. If you or your business is interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities, please call (972) 937-3310.

So, without further ado, the inaugural All-Ellis County volleyball team includes: 

Player of the Year Finalists

Audrey Nalls (Waxahachie, senior) Kelsey Carpenter (Midlothian Heritage, junior) Samantha Rodgers (Midlothian, senior) Coach of the Year Finalists

Timmi Blackshear (Midlothian Heritage) Sandy Faussett-Stoops (Waxahachie) Robin Johnson (Ovilla Christian) First team

Audrey Nalls (Waxahachie, senior, outside hitter) Kelsey Carpenter (Midlothian Heritage, junior, outside hitter) Karena Tipton (Midlothian Heritage, senior, middle blocker) Ragan Ward (Waxahachie, junior, setter) Steelie Ledbetter (Maypearl, senior, defensive specialist) Kate Chambers (Midlothian Heritage, senior, libero) Second Team

Samantha Rodgers (Midlothian, senior, outside hitter) Hailey Hunt (Red Oak, junior, outside hitter) Essence Clerkley (Waxahachie, senior, middle blocker) Madison Ball (Maypearl, senior, utility) Molly Echard (Ovilla Christian, junior, utility) Allison Wells (Waxahachie, senior, libero) Honorable Mention

Aubrie Howell (Avalon, senior) Baylee Whitehead (Waxahachie, junior) Lacy Mott (Waxahachie, junior) Hanna Larson (Midlothian Heritage, junior) Tessa Henry (Ovilla Christian, sophomore) Audrey Nunes (Ovilla Christian, sophomore) Hanna Beasley (Palmer, senior) Macey Maxwell (Palmer, sophomore) Anna Woodard (Life Waxahachie, senior) Kelby Buchanan (Midlothian, senior) Aliyah Muhammad (Midlothian, senior) Danielle Schmidt (Ennis, junior) Abigail Dugan (Venus, senior) Emily Smith (Red Oak, senior)