Sarah Stewart of St. Vincent’s Academy and Wesley Kennedy of Benedictine were named the Best of Preps Female and Male Athletes of the Year.
The pair won the highest honors at the seventh annual Best of Preps banquet held at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort &Spa on Tuesday, with former Georgia quarterback David Greene serving as the keynote speaker.
Stewart recently finished off one of the best athletic careers in Savannah History. She started the season by leading the Saints’ volleyball team to the Class 2A state title, earning Savannah Morning News co-player of the year honors. She followed with another excellent basketball season for the Saints – averaging 15.2 points per game and ending her career with a school record 1,379 points.
Stewart, a 4.0 student who will play volleyball at Mercer on a scholarship, had another prolific season in soccer, scoring 73 goals to help lead the Saints to their first state title. She finished with 202 goals in her career and was named the Savannah Morning News player of the year. Stewart also won the Hollis Stacy Award as Savannah’s most versatile high school girls athlete for the second year in a row.
“All the accolades are bittersweet because I’m ending my high school career,” Stewart said. “But I’m proud to go out with everyone recognizing everything I have done in the last four years. Now I’m starting fresh at Mercer, and I’ll be just another freshman. Everything I achieved in high school will be just a memory and I’ll have to achieve a new set of goals. My time at St. Vincent’s is something I’ll never forget, the school has shaped me into the person that I am today, and I’ll always love St. Vincent’s.”
Athletic director Dawn Odom has been at SVA since 1997, and she said Stewart is an athlete that comes along once in a lifetime.
“She is definitely the most versatile athlete I have ever seen, including from when I played in high school,” Odom said. “She has an athletic gift, but she is also one of the hardest workers I have ever seen. She is easygoing, but a leader by example. We’re going to miss her at St. Vincent’s.”
Kennedy has been an electric player on the Benedictine football team since he first stepped on the field for the Cadets as a freshman. He helped lead BC to the first state title in school history as a sophomore and did it again as a senior, when BC beat Fitzgerald 49-26 to win another 2A crown.
He was named the Class 2A player of the year by the Georgia Sportswriters Association for a season marked by incredible numbers.
Kennedy finished with 1,236 yards rushing (10.7 yards per carry) and 18 touchdowns and caught 42 passes for 895 yards and 15 more scores. Add on 693 yards in kick returns, and Kennedy finished with 2,867 all-purpose yards and 37 touchdowns for the Cadets, earning Savannah Morning News player of the year honors.
Kennedy was also a standout guard on the Cadet basketball team and a star sprinter on the Cadet track and field team. He was a member of the 4x100 relay team that finished 8th at the state track and field meet.
“It’s great to end my high school career with an award like this,” said Kennedy, who has a football scholarship to play at Georgia Southern. “It shows that all the hard work I have put in paid off. Going to BC has really helped me because we compete in everything we do, whether it’s on the football field, on the court or in the classroom. You are always trying to better yourself in everything you do.”
The 5-foot-10, 181-pound running back/receiver ended his career with a school record 7,552 all-purpose yards, 89 touchdowns and 3,605 yards rushing as the Cadets went 53-4 in his four years.
“It’s been a pleasure to be able to coach Wesley and watch him improve,” Benedictine coach Danny Britt said. “He’s not only a special athlete, but he is a great young man.
“He is an excellent leader, and has done so many good things for his teams and for the school in general at Benedictine.”
Britt is excited that Kennedy chose to play at his alma mater of Georgia Southern, so he’ll get a chance to see one of his favorites play on the same field he did in college.
“I think he’s going to be great at Georgia Southern,” Britt said. “And I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have an impact there right away and help continue the tremendous tradition at Southern.”