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Jun. 22—MIDDLETOWN — Donnie Kennedy's job description says he's a bus driver, and Shenandoah athletic director Todd Salkoski attests he's the Raiders' most dependable driver.
But Kennedy is so much more, and that's why he's been named the 2022 THB Sports Awards Heart of Sports winner.
In addition to making a "practice run" on his motorcycle any time Shenandoah adds a new opponent in football, girls basketball or softball to ensure he knows how long the new trip will take, Kennedy went above and beyond this year for senior Holly Shepherd.
After losing her grandfather during the school year, Kennedy became a surrogate without ever knowing it, and Shepherd honored him during the Raiders' top-20 senior banquet.
"It was a very heartfelt moment," Salkoski wrote on the nomination form. "Donnie showed a compassion for Holly, but I have since heard that Donnie connects with as many of our kids and coaches as he can.
"Donnie is more than a bus driver. His is a family member to the Shenandoah community."
Daleville weight room coach extraordinaire Shane Leisure and Alexandria baseball field technician Barney Maynard were this year's other Heart of Sports finalists.