by Aaron Garcia
Local athletes grace all-conference lists
The Rocky River 1A/2A and Southern Carolina 3A/4A conferences released their spring all-conference teams this week, and each sport was well represented by Union County athletes.
• Starting with softball, Porter Ridge pitcher Lexi Davis earned Player of the Year honors for the Southern Carolina 3A/4A, and was joined by teammates Tara Loken, Courtney Prive, Whitney Haywood, Haley Secrest, Anna Wilson and Kayleigh Jonas. Marvin Ridge was next with six honorees, including Caitlyn Kurtz, Ashley Christy, Erin Kayton, Erin Robertson, Claudia Spinell and Madison Arroyo. Parkwood’s Abby Lathan, Ashley Thomas and Ashlyn Plyler also made the list, as did Sun Valley’s Anna Howell and Weddington’s Anna Rose Borrell.
Porter Ridge coach Lael Rorie was named the conference’s Coach of the Year.
The Rocky River 1A/2A all-conference list was just as full of Union County players. Piedmont led the way with four honorees, including Eileen McHugh, Taylor Flynn, Taylor Barrineau and Kaycee Stegall. Malanie and Megan Recher joined fellow Cuthbertson player Kara Salvo on the list, as did Forest Hills’ Natalie High, Dawn Harris and Kimberly Rivers. Central Academy’s Breanna Ringersen was the final Union County selection.
• In baseball, Weddington’s Jordan Newsome and Cuthbertson’s Peter Hendel won Player of the Year honors for the Southern Carolina 3A/4A and Rocky Rover 1A/2A conferences, respectively.
Hendel was just one of five Cuthbertson baseball players to make the Rocky River all-conference team and was joined by fellow Cavs John Mangum, J.D. Long, Cameron Tekker and Preston Morrison. Piedmont’s Brad Elwood, Union County Weekly’s reining Player of the Year, made the list, as did teammates Colby Burnette, Tyler Edwards and Cam Cox. Forest Hills was represented by Griffin Brazell. Union Academy’s Chandler Musselwhite was the only freshman to make the team.
Marvin Ridge advanced all the way to the Class 3A Western Regional finals and was rewarded with a league-leading five selections to the Southern Carolina all-conference team. Brian Pert, Tyler Chadwick, Josh Ferguson, Justin Brown and J.C. Howze were selected. Porter Ridge finished just 4-6 in conference play but hit its stride late, winning the Southern Carolina tournament and advancing all the way to the fourth round of the Class 4A playoffs. The Pirates’ Josh Roeder, Hayden Flores, Sergio Patsy and Luke Kwasnik were selected to the all-conference team.
Weddington’s Alex Norales and Andrew Knight joined Newsome on the list, as did Sun Valley’s Kenny Palmer, Steven Blythe and Chris Timberlake. Parkwood’s Craig Brooks was the Rebels’ lone choice.
Weddington’s Travis Poole was selected as the Southern Carolina 3A/4A Coach of the Year.
• In golf, only three schools comprised the entire Southern Carolina 3A/4A all-conference list in Marvin Ridge, Weddington and Porter Ridge. Weddington’s Matt Yelverton was chosen as the conference’s Player of the Year, while Porter Ridge coach Dale Averitte was named Coach of the Year.
Marvin Ridge had four players make the list, including D.K. Kim, Cameron Mitro, Blaine Nichols and Joshua Wright. Yelverton was joined by teammate William Baker, while Porter Ridge’s Harrison Neel and Jackson Bailey also were honored.
Fittingly, Piedmont had three players on the Rocky River 1A/2A All-Conference list after earning the league’s top seed for the Class 2A playoffs. Panthers Todd Mullis, Grant Edwards and Daniel Flitz joined coach David Smith, the conference’s Coach of the Year pick. Forest Hills was represented by Brandon Starnes, Tyler Stewart and Tommy Raddin, who won Union County Weekly’s 2010 Boys Golfer of the Year award. Cuthbertson’s David Shaff also earned a mention, as did Central Academy’s Andrew London, who was named the league’s Player of the Year.
• In tennis, both Player of the Year honors for the Southern Carolina 3A/4A and Rocky River 1A/2A conferences are Union County products. Marvin Ridge’s Joey Hatala was chosen as the Southern Carolina’s top player, while Cuthbertson’s Josh Walker received the same honor in the Rocky River. Both Marvin Ridge and Cuthbertson each had four total players selected to their respective teams. Hatala was joined by teammates Cullen Kelleher, Nick Barnas and Brett Ward. Parkwood and Weddington each had three players chosen; Weddington’s Joey Schwartz, Steven Denny and Grant Starnes were honored, while Parkwood’s Jackson Grotophorst, Ben Hanssler and Giorgi Beridze each made the list. Sun Valley’s Rory Lazenby and Porter Ridge’s Landon McNair also were selected for the Southern Carolina team. Mavs’ coach Vijay Shankar earned the Coach of the Year award.
Walker was joined by fellow Cavs Ben Lunning, Adam Schneeberger and Shaun Howell on the Rocky River All-Conference squad. Central Academy was represented by Alex Kearney. Forest Hills’ Aaron Huey and Piedmont’s John Phifer also were honored.