Rocket athletes earn All-Conference honors

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An even dozen.

That’s how many Person High School athletes earned all-conference honors among the Rockets’ winter sports teams.

Payne Garrett, Diego Jimenez, Dawson Thibodeau, Karson Evans, Zak Lieske, Keith Thompson, Marcus Vincent, and Jailin Smith, all members of the Rocket wrestling team, earned 2A/3A Mid-State All-Conference honors. Garrett wrestled to a record of 23-22, Jimenez reached 40 wins at 40-12, Smith excelled at 35-17, Thibodeau led Person at 44-8, Evans enjoyed a successful year at 23-13, Lieske sported a 19-10 finish, Thompson reached the 20-win mark at 28-10, and Vincent topped 30 wins at 36-10.

“Each one of them are extremely important to Rocket wrestling,” said Rockets head coach Mark Litchfield Jr. “They each bring something different to the table. They are family – we spend so much time watching them grow to the next level.”

Two Person women’s basketball players, Nydriya Marner and Aaliyah Jones, were two of 17 athletes in the Mid-State 2A/3A selected to receive honors. Marner averaged 16 points per game, leading the Lady Rockets, six rebounds, four steals, and four deflections per contest in her senior season, while Jones finished her junior campaign with six points, 10 rebounds, four steals, and five deflections per game.

“They brought leadership, both on and off the court,” said Lady Rockets head coach Jay Carmichael. “NaNa’s defense helped us tremendously, especially in presses, and Aaliyah Jones led us in rebounding.”

Person’s JaSiel Bumphus and Tae Bailey earned All-Conference accolades for the Rocket men’s basketball team. Bailey averaged 16.7 points and 5.7 assists per game, while Bumphus saw stat-lines of 12.9 points and 2.1 assists per game.

“Tae has been our engine all season,” said Person head coach Charles Dacus. “He is our primary ball-handler, and came on in the second half of conference play, scoring a lot for us.”

Bumphus made great strides over the course of the season.

“JaSiel, he’s a sophomore, getting a lot of minutes in his first full year on varsity,” said Dacus. “There were games down the stretch in which he was a key component – scoring the ball for us and playing good defense – that really sank into him.”

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