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Male Athlete of the Year: Semones made impact as three-sport standout

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Central’s Sean Semones picks off Stonewall Jackson’s Casey Polhemus following a infield catch on March 13 in Woodstock. Semones is The Northern Virginia Daily’s Male Athlete of the Year. Rich Cooley/Daily file

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Sean Semones returns a kickoff for a 90-yard touchdown against Clarke County on Sept. 17 in Woodstock. Andrew Thayer/Daily file

By Tommy Keeler Jr. - tkeeler@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- Sean Semones had been waiting for his turn to be a senior, to be a leader.

He had seen how the older athletes before him went about the leadership role. He had seen them allowing athletes to pick on one another and carry on, and he knew when he got the chance to be a leader it was his job to put a stop to it.

This past season, Semones did just that. He took the reins of the football, basketball and baseball teams and showed his teammates the right way to be a leader.

"I know right from wrong, and anytime I would see someone bullying someone else I would put a stop to it," Semones said. "I made sure everybody knew we're a team, a brotherhood. I think everybody followed my lead. I think that's why we won so many games -- because we stuck together as a team."

Semones, The Northern Virginia Daily's Male Athlete of the Year, showed great leadership abilities in every sport, but they may have also helped lead to his favorite moment of the season -- beating Strasburg, 27-26 in double-overtime, in football.

Semones said that he made sure to tell all the players throughout the season not to talk trash to the Strasburg players, and he felt that helped as they got motivated when the game finally rolled around.

"That was really sweet," Semones said of beating Central's biggest rival. "Strasburg's players had been running their mouths, and I had been telling the guys don't say anything at the [Shenandoah County] fair or on Facebook. Just let the game come to us. When we beat them in double-overtime, I pulled off my helmet and went running across the field.

"It was the best moment of my senior year."

Football season was full of great moments for Semones and the Falcons. Semones had 52 receptions for 879 yards and 11 TDs. He also broke several career receiving records at the school.

On top of that, the Falcons recovered from a 1-4 start and went 6-6. Along the way they won the Bull Run District title, and notched their first-ever playoff victory.

The momentum from football carried over to basketball. Semones was slowed down early in the season by an injury, but still had a very productive year.

Central boys basketball coach Mickey Clinedinst said even when Semones was injured, his leadership showed as he was constantly helping his teammates. Clinedinst said that's something Semones did throughout the season.

"Sean was always trying to help the team get better," Clinedinst said. "He's never worried about getting a lot of attention or being a star. He's just worried about the team."

The point guard finished with averages of 7.0 points, 2.2 steals and an area-best 5.4 assists per game for the Falcons.

After basketball, Semones switched to his favorite sport -- baseball. Semones helped the Falcons get off to a 4-0 start, but injuries and a lack of pitching depth caught up with the Falcons, who finished 8-12.

Semones put together yet another solid season. He batted .450 with three doubles, 18 runs scored, 12 RBIs and an area-best 26 stolen bases.

"I had a great time my senior year," Semones said. "It just flew by -- all three sports. It was the most fun I've had, and I think that's probably why it flew by so fast."

Semones isn't done playing sports. He will play in the Virginia High School Coaches Association football all-star game on July 13 in Hampton.

Then next year he will attend Chowan University, where he will be a member of the baseball team. Semones said he is very excited to play at the next level.

"It's always been my childhood dream to play in college and to get an education at the same time," Semones said. "They want me to play middle infield, and I'm going to go there and work as hard as I can."

There was one other moment that Semones won't soon forget. Semones' football jersey was retired at the Central athletic banquet earlier this month. Semones said he had heard rumors it was going to be, but it wasn't until he arrived at the banquet and was told that it really hit him.

"I teared up," Semones said of his reaction to finding out his football jersey would be retired. "I went over to [Central football] coach [Mike] Yew and hugged him and told him that I loved him. Just to think that no one will wear the No. 9 [football jersey] here again, it's just an amazing feeling.

"To know that you will always be a part of Central history is just a great feeling."

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