Parkview’s Erik Durham said he was not familiar with the Springfield Tip-Off Club heading into his senior season.
But on Monday, with time ticking down on his Parkview career, he joined players such as Dorial Green-Beckham and Parkview’s Matt Miller in being honored by the club.
Durham won the Marty Eddlemon Memorial Player of the Year award, which is presented yearly by the club to Springfield’s top player.
“It’s been fun, but I didn’t even know this existed,” Durham said. “I’ve had a good time and I appreciate everything everyone has said about me, too.”
Durham is averaging 25 points per game for the Vikings. He is the first Parkview Eddlemon award winner since Korry Tillery split the award in 2011. Previous to that, Miller was the last Parkview winner, in 1997.
The Eddlemon award is named for the legendary former News-Leader sports columnist, who was also a reporter and editor during his 50 years at the newspaper. Eddlemon, who retired in 1989, died in 2005.
Hillcrest coach John Schaefer won the Jack Roberts Coach of the Year award, and the Glendale boys were presented with the Eddie Matthews Sportsmanship Award.
The awards were decided by a panel of local media members, which was chosen by the club. The Roberts award is named for the first Glendale coach, who died in 2011. The Matthews award is named for the former Southwest Missouri State coach, who died in 1964.
Schaefer guided the Hornets to a 20-5 regular-season mark and an Ozark Conference championship with hopes of making a return to trip to Columbia for state. All of this despite losing Green-Beckham, last season’s Eddlemon winner, to graduation.
Schaefer did not have an experienced post player until Jonah Hill joined the team at midseason. Still, Schaefer was able to scheme his way offensively to get openings for his penetrators and also to defend larger teams.
“We just wanted to get everybody out of the lane because we figured we were pretty good at breaking people off the dribble and making threes,” Schaefer said. “It took us awhile to get started and do exactly what we were most successful doing.
“But after we got a handle on it, and got the right people in the right spots, it’s a different style of playing up-tempo and making baskets.”
Schaefer last won the award in 2009.
Hillcrest opens postseason play Thursday as the top seed in Marshfield’s District 10. Parkview plays Central tonight in a Class 5 District 12 semifinal at home.
“We really have to come together as a team, on defense and offense,” Durham said. “But mostly we’ve been working on our defense and getting after them and playing the way we play.”