With a new calendar comes a clean slate, which makes the New Years holiday the perfect time for reflection. It was a big year for high school sports in Union County, so after much consternation, we present the top three stories of 2010.
1. Marvin Ridge completes soccer sweep
To be honest, half of this accomplishment actually took place in 2009, when the Marvin Ridge boys soccer team won the Class 3A state soccer title, the first for the school. But coach Ray Fumo wasn’t just content with winning a boys championship; he returned in the spring to lead the powerful Mavs girls team.
Since its first season in 2008, the Marvin Ridge girls had advanced to the Western Regional semifinals and finals in consecutive seasons. But it wasn’t until Kaitlyn Sulser found Toni Lashley for the game-winning goal of the 2010 title game that the Mavs would finally break through for a state title.
The girls finished 24-0, giving Marvin Ridge soccer a year-long record of 46-2-1 with two state championships.
2. Monroe wins hoops title
The past two senior classes at Monroe, which include the Class of 2011, has been a special crop of athletes for coach Johnny Sowell. As both the football and basketball coach for the Redhawks, Sowell led a fiery group of youngsters to a high level of success in both sports, but the pinnacle had to be the Class 1A state basketball championship last year.
Led by Issac Blakeney (currently playing football at Duke), Quon Threatt and current senior Jamison Crowder, the Redhawks swarmed opponents to the tune of a 32-1 record and their first basketball title since 1980.
3. Piedmont football player wins homecoming queen
When the Piedmont football team failed to find a kicker during preseason practices, it turned to one of the most logical – if unorthodox – options at its disposal: girls soccer player Jade Montgomery.
The senior had long been a mainstay of the successful Panthers soccer program but had the moxie to try a new sport in her senior year. The only real conflict came during halftime of the team’s homecoming game, during which she was awarded the title of homecoming queen. Somehow, her shoulder pads seemed to match her tiara.