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Packers basketball celebrates athletes during banquet

Apr. 24—MOULTRIE — After taking 22 charges during the 2023-24 season, junior Jakari Byrd received an award for this feat during the end of season banquet.

"Being willing to sacrifice your body at the speed he is going it is a huge thing," said head coach Andy Harden. "That's more charges than some teams."

In addition to Boyd's solo individual award, all Packers, from eighth grade up, were given a brief introduction.

Only two eighth-graders were in the program this year: Kaleb Singletary and Brodie Stone.

Seventeen more athletes were in the program for the 2023-24 season with them primarily being ninth graders.

None were sophomores and juniors, and three were seniors.

Quan Kinsey, Byrd, Jay Lamar, A'Zhiyan Alridge, Alexis "Juicy" Barge, Cason Harden, Arbashuan Curry, Athen Bennett, Keyentae Simpson, Jalyn Pace, Carlton Keaton, Jashar Kinsey, Toney Thornton and Za Rian Robinson.

Seniors Jahni "Lollipop" King, Za'mari Williams and Markese Wilson will be the three Packers graduating this year, and they were each given a special senior award.

King was the student manager this year and worked tirelessly to assist the Packers any way he was able.

Next to receive his senior award was Williams, who is continuing his football career at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Also continue his football career is Wilson, who will be attending Reinhardt University in Waleska.

Two Packer athletes received the academic award for this season: Cason Harden, with a GPA of 98.5, and Alridge, with a GPA of 94.6.

Voted on by the other coaches, three of the Packers made all-region teams.

Harden earned a spot on the first team after scoring the ball with a high rate, and Byrd was placed on the second team for his lead in charges and being a top scorer.

Finally, also receiving an award for being an honorable mention for the region, was Williams, who had the lead in steals.

"There are four stages to a program," said Harden. "Lose big; lose small; win small; win big — last year we lost big; this year we lost small. Next year? Well, great things are happening."