February 2020 Elite Athletes of the Month
Elite Stone Supply, in conjunction with WBHF and Bartow Sports Zone, presents the ELITE ATHLETES OF THE MONTH. Each month, local high schools are provided opportunity to name an Elite Athlete of the Month from their varsity programs and present the information on their honoree through Bartow Sports Zone and on 100.3FM and AM1450, WBHF in Cartersville.
Recipients for February 2020: Angel Banda -- Adairsville High School
Yecenia Hernandez -- Cass High School
Jaxon Smith -- Woodland High School
Micah Tart -- Cartersville High School
The February Elite Athlete of the Month representing Adairsville High School is Angel Banda. A senior member of the Tigers’ wrestling and soccer teams, Banda was also a member of Adairsville High’s national championship JROTC Raiders team.
As a captain on the wrestling team, Banda won the GHSA state championship in the 113-pound weight class of Class AAA. His state title came on the heels of placing third in the state during his sophomore and junior seasons.
“Angel is a standout student,” said Tigers’ wrestling coach Ryan Torrence. “He won the state tournament handily this year. He pinned every opponent on his way to the title. He didn’t start wrestling until he got to high school and worked his way to becoming a captain the last two seasons. Whichever college program lands Angel will benefit from his talent and leadership.” “Angel has been a true Tiger for his entire high school career,” added Adairsville athletic director Meredith Barnhill. “He works hard at every task ahead, is kind to others, and is quick to lend a hand when needed. He will be missed at AHS.”
“Angel inspires and motivates those around him,” continued Adairsville JROTC First Sargent Jerry Queen. “He is well respected, honest, hardworking, dedicated, and his integrity is beyond reproach. His focus and passion to his personal and team goals is unmatched." Banda carries a 3.8 GPA enrolled in Honors classes. He plans to major in sports management or business in college. “Angel is one of the most positive, respectful and hard-working students anyone would want to have in their classroom. His smile and personality light up a room. He truly is an advocate for his fellow students as he not only completes his work, but he looks out for his fellow classmates. This young man has and will continue to do big things.” concluded Adairsville High Healthcare Instructor, Rhonda Hendrix. He is the son of Aswell Banda.
Yecenia Hernandez is the February 2020 Elite Athlete of the Month for Cass High School. A junior captain and goalkeeper for the Lady Colonels’ soccer team, Hernandez trains non-stop and has one of the strongest work ethics of any other player. The daughter of Maria Fernandez and Ricardo Hernandez, Yecenia has 28 saves in the early season and has not allowed any scores off corner kicks. Hernandez maintains a 4.0 GPA and is taking all Honors and Advanced Placement courses. She is a member of the Interact Club, National Spanish Honors Society, HOPE, and Beta Club. Following high school, she hopes to play soccer at the college level and plans to pursue a degree in computer engineering.
The Woodland High School Elite Athlete of the Month for February 2020 is Jaxon Smith. Smith, a junior on the Wildcats’ state championship wrestling team, earned his second consecutive Class 5A individual state championship recently at the 2020 State Traditional Championships. He added team bonus points in each of his state tournament matches this season and was a major contributor as the Wildcats won their fourth consecutive state team title (Team Duals and Traditional, 2019 and 2020). The son of Jeremy and Tonya Smith, Jaxon maintains a 3.82 GPA in the classroom. He has committed to continue his education and wrestling career at the University of Maryland where he plans to major in engineering.
Micah Tart is the February 2020 Elite Athlete of the Month representing Cartersville High School. A senior captain on the Hurricanes basketball team, Tart led the team in assists and averaged better than 10 points per game. “Micah was a major contributor for us this season,” said Canes’ coach Mike Tobin. “He improved greatly throughout his high school career.”
Tart is the son of Branden Stanberry.
Editors Note: Photos and bios are supplied to Bartow Sports Zone and WBHF by the respective schools and their athletic departments. Elite Stone Supply Co., LLC is the monthly sponsor. Athletes receive a plaque along with recognition during a radio feature on WBHF.