CELEBRATED: Goshen High School hosts its first ever sports banquet honoring all GHS athletic teams

Published 3:00 am Friday, April 24, 2015

Seniors receive the MLB award during Goshen’s first all sports banquet Thursday evening. The high school honored 175 student athletes during the event. MESSENGER PHOTO/SCOTTIE BROWN

Seniors receive the MLB award during Goshen’s first all sports banquet Thursday evening. The high school honored 175 student athletes during the event.

For the first time in its history, Goshen High School athletics hosted a sports banquet, which honored all sports and student athletes participating in them.

Goshen Athletic Director Bart Snyder said the school presented certificates of recognition to 175 student athletes, and he couldn’t have been prouder of the work the athletes had put in over the course of their respected seasons.

“This is a great event for our students,” Snyder said. “This is an event that culminates a year full of sporting events and life events that have occurred at Goshen High School. We’ve had a lot occur in terms of educational and athletic events that we have had, and we are still preparing for the softball tournament that will be next week.”

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Athletes were honored from football, basketball, cheerleading, volleyball, softball, baseball and even swimming. But, students weren’t the only ones glorified during the event. Major Lane, principal of Goshen High School, commented on the extensive work that had been done in and around the school to make it a better place.

“We’re proud of our students, and we’re proud of our facilities,” Lane said. “We just built a $3.9 million gymnasium, had $300,000 raised and spent for the softball complex, and we hope to raise an excess of $50,000 for the baseball facility. Things are on the positive end for Goshen High School. We’re proud of our students. Everywhere you go in Pike County and the southeast region you hear people talk about the positivity of our students.”

Mike Pelton, a former Goshen football player and currently Georgia Tech defensive line coach, was the keynote speaker for the banquet, and Pelton spoke highly of the work high school coaches could do in their athletes’ lives.

“Football started for me here at Goshen High School and for you coaches here tonight, I’ve had a lot of coaches in my life, but the three I remember the most are my first three coaches here at Goshen,” Pelton said. “I’ve had many coaches since then, but those were the guys that really started it for me. They instilled everything, from discipline to work ethics.”

Pelton said coming home for him was often the greatest reward of all after receiving so much support from Goshen.

“I took pride in being from Goshen,” Pelton said. “When I left school I had a young man tell me when I signed at Auburn I would never play. I wanted to prove I could and make people proud. The support I got from Goshen was unbelievable. Those coaches that were in my life, those teachers, everybody had a hand in helping us get raised in this community.”

Pelton also spoke on his faith and how crucial it had become in his life, and said he often tells people his greatest accomplishment while coaching in Troy was founding the FCA.

Pelton said along with his faith, his family had pushed him to become the man he was today.

“Your family is so important,” Pelton said. “Someone brought you here tonight, thank them for it. Someone is making a sacrifice when you’re young. You don’t understand that when you’re here. When I was young and playing in Goshen, I couldn’t wait to get out, but now that I’m older I can’t wait to get back. Coaches, thank you for what you’re doing in these people’s lives. Some of the best times I had playing football was right here at Goshen.”

Pelton left students with the advice of not letting anyone get in the way of accomplishing your dreams.

“Don’t ever let anyone tell you, young people, what you can’t do,” Pelton said. “You can accomplish anything. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. If people tell you you’re from a small town and you can’t do anything, that’s a lie. My faith, my family and my football are what made me who I am because they take me to new heights that I’ve never dreamed.”