BCE Names Benton County Athletes Of The Year

Johnie J. Logue
Enterprise Staff
Cole Camp's Athlete of the Year is none other than senior Destiny Kestner. Like most athletes, she lost softball and track due to the virus.
She went to state in her junior year in track and was All-Conference in softball. She is remembered for hitting a ball some 375 feet to centerfield at home.
In 2020, she excelled in volleyball, being named first team All-State, All-District and All-Conference.
She also made All-Conference in basketball.
In just 18 games in 2020, because of the virus, she had 22 aces, 27 kills, 5 blocks, 241 assists and 118 digs .
Her 241 assists makes her one of the best setters around and one of the best in any class in the area.
She is considering playing college volleyball somewhere.
Her volleyball coach, Abby Massingill, had nothing but high praise for her star player, “Destiny shows up everyday to work. She works hard and that has gotten her where she is today.  
Destiny loves to play sports and that shows up on the court. Her drive is what makes her stand out .”
This reporter had the chance to interview her recently. Below is our conversation.
JL-When did you start playing sports?
DK-I played t-ball at five and basketball at six.
JL-Who has been your greatest influence during your time playing ball?
DK-My siblings. My two sisters and brother all have teams on the banners in the gym.
My parents also have been supportive.
JL-What coaches have helped you?
DK-Coach Massingill and Coach Grunden.
JL-What did they instill in you?
DK- To always push yourself to be better.
JL-What advise would you give a freshman?
DK-To not be afraid to compete against the upper classmen. Play as hard as you can and always do your very best.
JL-What are your favorite memories of basketball and volleyball?
DK-In volleyball, it would just be the whole experience.
In basketball, it would be my sophomore year when we beat Tipton who was undefeated and ranked number one in the state.
(She had 14 points off the bench in that game.)
 JL- What are your goals?
DK-I would like to play college volleyball.
Thank you, Destiny. We wish you the very best.
Also considered for this honor were Ethan Shearer, Dayton Oelrichs, Desiree Heimsoth, Savannah Ward, Paityn Massingill, Ashley Luebbering  Delaney Gerken, Ean Brandt, Ethan Corpening and Austin Bunch, among others.
Note: I have written several Athlete of the Year articles over the years. However, none like this one. This young man was told by doctors that he would never play sports again but here he is,  Lincoln’ s 2020 Athlete of the Year.
Senior Devon Parrott is the BCE's Lincoln Athlete of the Year. He played football, basketball and golf.
He was named All-District and All-Conference punter and is on his way to Quincy University to play football.
He kicked for 1,182 yards, 26 kicks, a 45.45 average and three touchbacks.
He had 23 punts for an average of 39. 47.  He kicked 15 inside the 20 and six inside the ten. 
He was 16-16 on extra points. At one point last season, he had made 31 in a row.
He also threw a TD pass off of a fake field goal.
In basketball, he became a starter last season. He scored 23 points against Knob Noster in the Warsaw tournament a month ago.
Now as Paul Harvey would say, “. . . the rest of the story.”
Devon fainted while at school at the age of ten. He was then diagnosed with Long QT, a type of SADS (Sudden  Arthythmia Death Syndrome).
His career in sports was over. The doctors benched him. 
However, it was decided he could perhaps be a kicker on the football team. So his parents found a trainer in Dave Braden out of St. Louis and the ten year old started kicking and kicking and kicking.
Life was good, he was a three year starter on the two-time state runner-up football team and started playing basketball again last year.
Now, it is April,  Devon’s implanted Cardio Defibillator started acting up. So they went in for a routine surgery to replace the device with a new and better one. 
Well, Devon went into a coma. They called his family in. He coded for 13 minutes. Tears and prayers went up to God.
Devon woke up and went back to playing football. He spent the summer getting back into shape.
Well, the season started and a few games in, Lincoln made the long trip to Butler with seven starters out. Yeah, they were easy prey for a good Butler team. However, another miracle happened that night. On Lincoln’s last series, Devon lined up as a wide receiver. What is going on here? The ride home in almost every car was about this. Forget the game, Devon lined up as a wide receiver. Next game, he is a DB too. Yes, he had been cleared by his doctors to play again.
Now seven years ago, ‘Devon’s Beat’ was started. It is a 5K race, a dance and a silent auction to raise money for heart screening for kids 13-25. Almost 1,000 kids have been screened and $70,000 has been raised. This year alone, three lives were saved by early detection.
Remarkable, yes. Now let’s talk to Devon.
 JL-Who has influence you in sports?
DP-My parents for pushing me and encouraging me.
Dave Braden for training and believing in me.
Greg Zuerlein, kicker for the St. Louis Rams and now the Dallas Cowboys. We became good friends over the years.( That might be a story itself for another time.)
JL-What have you learned from your heart condition?
DP-I have learned that no matter the challenges life may throw at you, you can’t give up and you must strive to do the things you love. 
JL-What advice would you give a freshman?
DP-Work hard, stay humble, ask questions when necessary, and have fun and enjoy the ride. 
JL-Why Quincy? 
DP-The coaching staff is very supportive and approachable, the campus is amazing, 80% of the students are athletes so I know I will be well taken care of, and the coaching staff approached me and made me feel welcome and open to accepting their offer to play for them. 
JL-What are your goals?
 DP-I am motivated by my want to better myself and I strive to become the best version of me. 
JL-Would you have done anything differently looking back?
DP-Not at all.
There you have it, great kid, great drive and passion. We also wish him the best.
Other athletes considered for this award were Connor Lynde, Gabe Mehrens, Callie Spunaugle, Jenna Vandaveer, Cadyn Paxton, Tyler Betts, Caden Smallwood and many more.