Cherokee High School played their last home conference game on Tuesday, Feb. 12 in the Charles George Memorial Arena against Murphy. In between the JV and Varsity Games, the seniors were honored at center court. Each senior was announced and escorted by their family to center court where they were greeted by CHS athletic director Craig Barker, Braves Head Basketball Coach Willis Tullos, Lady Braves Head Basketball Coach Chris Mintz, and Lady Braves Assistant Coach Miranda Squirrell. They were awarded a plaque stating the number of years they had played with Cherokee High School’s Varsity Basketball Team, a T-shirt, and a basketball signed by their teammates.
The only senior on the Braves basketball team is Seth Littlejohn. He was escorted by his mother, Winnie Jumper. He is a resident of Wolfetown community and plans to go to college after high school. His favorite memory from participating in CHS Athletics was “hitting the game-tying 3-pointer to go into double overtime with Swain and then winning the game.”
Littlejohn left his underclassman teammates with a little advice, “Work hard and never give up!”
There are five seniors on the Lady Braves basketball team including Deija Burgess, Alexis Maney, Angel Squirrel, Jordyn Thompson and Sabrina Wooten.
Deija Burgess was the first to be honored. She is the daughter of Brandon Burgess and Amy Anders. She was escorted by her parents and Jama Anders. Burgress is a resident of the Big Y community, and after high school, she plans to attend Mars Hill or Charleston Southern University and major in Elementary Education.
Her best memory of CHS Athletics was going to regionals last year. “It was the best feeling ever, running out and hearing all of the fans go crazy. It was also awesome [having] the whole school [come] out to watch us leave on the bus [for] Greensboro.”
Her advice to her underclassman teammates was, “Play every game like it’s your last; leave everything on the court because you’ll regret it if you don’t.”
Alexis Maney was escorted by her parents Matt and Alicia Maney. She plans to attend college and major in Business after high school.
Her favorite memory of CHS Athletics was “playing for the Lady Braves basketball team and just seeing all of our fans coming to support us everywhere we go.” She told her teammates to “always give your glory to God because He is [the] one that gave you the ability to play the sport you love.”
Angel Squirrel was escorted by Angela Squirrel, her mother; Jack and Greg Smith, her brothers; and Brenlei Smith, her niece. She is a resident of Wolfetown community and plans to attend Connors State College in Warner, Oklahoma and then transfer to the University of Kansas to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
She advised her teammates to “always do your best at whatever you do; you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Never be afraid to dream big! Always keep your worries small and your head held high. And remember all your glory goes to God!”
Jordyn Thompson was escorted by her mother Jennifer Thompson and grandparents Jannie and Walter Thompson. She is a resident of the Yellowhill community and plans to attend college and get a degree in social work after high school.
Her favorite memory of CHS Athletics was “hearing the fans cheer and all the support you get from being a Lady Brave.”
She left her underclassman teammates with a little advice, “Always put God first and never underestimate your dreams.”
The last Lady Brave honored was Sabrina Wooten. She was escorted by Kim Saunooke, her mother, and Hawk Wooten, her brother. She is a resident of the Birdtown community and plans to go to college and get a degree because she knows she will “need it to make it through life.”
Wooten said, “There is not just one memory to remember because they were all good and goofy.” The advice she left her team was to “play hard and keep your grades high, and you will go far and keep God in your heart!”
CHS officials related, “Cherokee High School is very proud of their student athletes and especially these special seniors who have accomplished a lot in the classroom and on the court. We wish them all the best as they dream big and pursue their goals. They have worked hard and played hard, and we are confident they will continue to be successful in life as they have been here on the court. As we honor them, they honor the legacy of the Cherokee Braves and Lady Braves that have come before them. These seniors have demonstrated what it means to walk the Sacred Path and encourage the classmates and teammates to do the same. Congratulations on your endurance, strength, and determination. Maintain the path despite the struggles you may encounter along the way, and you will grow in character and spirit to become the man or woman you were born to be.”
– Cherokee Central Schools