Lady Eagles basketball named top team at all-sports banquet

Seahawks surprise football team with $20,000 for new equipment



Seahawks players surprised Cleveland’s football team with a $20,000 donation for new equipment and uniforms on May 23 at the first annual Talon Awards. Players Tedric Thompson, Marcus Smith and Dion Jordan spoke with the Eagles in a private team meeting before taking the stage at the all-sports recognition banquet.


After churning out some major upsets on their road to a Metro League Championship title, it came as no surprise that the Lady Eagles were named Team of the Year at Cleveland’s 1st Annual Talon Awards, an all-sports banquet honoring student-athletes.

While CHS athletes were the honorees, it was the Seattle Seahawks who stole the show after taking the stage to present the football team with a $20,000 donation for new equipment. The announcement brought a roar of cheers from the crowd that filled Cleveland’s gym. Seahawks players Tedric Thompson, Marcus Smith and Dion Jordan took the stage along with two Sea Gals and mascots Blitz and Boom to present an oversized check to the Eagles.

Head football coach Paul Arnold said the grant would help provide his team with better equipment, which will in turn open the door for having funds for transportation.

“We got an opportunity to tell our story to the radio, and the … public took interest,” Arnold said. “Through that we were able to get hooked up with the Seahawks rep, and we found out that they have different grants, so we applied … and they awarded us that grant.”

With an upcoming summer-league game in Portland, Arnold explains the grant couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

“We’re just going to use this money to upgrade our program and use it to lift the spirits of our players,” he said.

The donations didn’t stop there. The school also received 250 cases of healthy snacks and $3,000 in gift cards from Safeway to feed all Cleveland athletes and to provide meals on game days.

With the promise of a good time, players took their seats in anticipation for their chance to take home a trophy. Categories included Best Male and Female Athlete, Scholar Athlete of the Year, and Breakthrough Performance. The nominees were selected by coaches then narrowed down by a select group who worked directly or closely with sports programs at the school. Many of nominees and award winners were surprised but grateful for the recognition.

“I didn’t know if I was going to win … because there was a lot of great athletes in the school,” said senior Jahleel Breland, who was named Athlete of the Year. “I was really happy when I won, and it felt good to be recognized.”

Although there were many individual nominees, there was no shortage when it came to the awards dedicated to teams. Girls swim took home the Scholar Team award and boys basketball was crowned Fan Favorite based on an online vote.

The idea for an all-sports banquet came from media teacher Teresa Scribner, who took her idea to Athletic Director Chris Bryant. With the help of Activities Coordinator Bryan Gordon, the three worked with the Seahawks organization and Jones Barbecue to pull off the event. Scribner co-hosted the awards ceremony along with KIRO Radio Host Gee Scott. Seahawks team DJ, SupaSam, kept the crowd hype by spinning tunes between awards. More than 300 people attended. According to Gordon, the event will be a yearly event.

“I think with everything else at Cleveland, we’re trying to make new traditions and have special moments and experiences for our students,” he said. “This is just another one of those opportunities that focuses on sports. This is everybody together supporting each other and recognizing each other.”

The Lady Eagles Basketball team was named Team of the Year. The girls were the only team to bring home a post-season title after winning the Metro League Championship.

2018 Talon Award Winners

Community Partner Award – Phil Petty

Most Valuable Eagle – Ruth Mulugeta

Courage Award – Seriah Hall-Brown & Rasheal Spikes

Breakthrough Performance – Dominic Jacobs, Track

Best Moment – Cheerleading

Manager of the Year – Amy Lin & Angelina Tran, Football

Best Female Athlete – Dominique Bungay, Volleyball, Girls Basketball

Best Male Athlete – Charles “CJ” Elleby, Boys Basketball

Comeback Athlete of the Year – Savion Galloway, Wrestling

LaTonya Breland, mother of senior Jahleel Breland, screams in delight after her son was named Athlete of the Year. Jahleel was the football team’s quarter- back and played on the basketball team.

Scholar Athlete of The Year – Dominick Ta, Tennis

Scholar Team of The Year – Girls Swim

Freshman Athlete of the Year – Fiona Clayton, Softball

Coach of The Year – David Rosario, Wrestling

Athlete of The Year – Jahleel Breland, Football, Boys Basketball

Team of The Year – Girls Basketball

2018 Fan Favorite – Boys Basketball