This week sports editor Andrew Stark takes a flyover of all that’s happening in Union County sports this spring with his game notes. These quick hitters will get you caught up on all of the action.
Awards and recognitions
• Sun Valley three-sport star Jack Wilton is among 31 NCHSAA’s Heart of a Champion Award Winners across the state, but the only one from southern Mecklenburg or Union counties. Wilton, who stars in football, wrestling and lacrosse, was nominated by Michael Harvey. The NCHSAA will recognize Wilton on April 13 in Chapel Hill.
• Sun Valley teammate Gavin Blackwell is blowing up on the recruiting circuit. The speedy sophomore receiver recently picked up an offer from Florida. Blackwell announced last month on Twitter that his top six schools were North Carolina, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Duke, N.C. State and South Carolina, although he mentioned his recruitment was wide open still. Blackwell lists Akron, East Carolina, Florida International, Maryland and Vanderbilt among his many suitors.
• Marvin Ridge (10-2) recently took two of three games from rival Parkwood (6-7).
The Rebels opened with a 7-6 win on March 26, coming back from a 6-0 hole with seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. MJ Lucas went 3-for-3, and Hunter Baden got the win for the Rebels.
The next day, Marvin Ridge got two RBIs from Steven Gonzalez and cruised to a 3-0 win over the Rebels behind a four-hit gem from Kyle McKernan, who improved to 4-0 on the season.
In the rubber match, the Mavs got four runs in the fourth and won, 6-2.
Andrew Kerry had three RBIs while Gonzales drove in a pair of runs to lead the offense. Drew Cognac improved to 3-0 after limiting the Rebels to three hits.
• After sweeping Charlotte Catholic in a three-game set, the Weddington baseball team is red-hot and now winners of six straight. The Warriors and Mavs started a three-game series this week with first place on the line in the Southern Carolinas Conference.
• Sun Valley junior Ryan Gundersen scored five goals to lead the Spartans to one of their biggest lacrosse wins of all time when they beat Cuthbertson 11-10, for the first time in school history.
Sun Valley jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but had to rally late. The Spartans scored with under two minutes to play and made two big defensive stops late. Jahzmarr Carr made 20 saves in goal.
Gundersen added a pair of assists and leads Sun Valley in goals (18) and assists (10) on the year. Tyler Vaughn also had a hat trick for the Spartans.
• The Weddington boys lacrosse team (5-1) is the two-time defending 1A/2A/3A state champs and are off to another great start.
Their only loss came in an 8-6 loss to undefeated Dublin (Ohio) Coffman High School on March 25. Maxpreps.com’s national lacrosse poll ranks Coffman No. 16 and the Warriors No. 25.
The Warriors bounced back two nights later with a 14-4 win at Sun Valley.
Freshman Ryan Kazella scored three times, all-American James Shipley had two goals and three assists, and Ryan Goldstein and Eamon Murphy both added a pair of scores.
Weddington closed the week April 1 with an 18-0 shutout of Parkwood.
Murphy, Anthony Todaro, sophomore Zach Reda and freshmen Ethan Cobb and Dane Johnson had two goals each.
Whitner Litton controlled the action with a perfect 9-of-9 faceoff run and seven ground balls. Andrew Miller and Ben Gazjuk combined on the shutout.
• The Weddington girls lacrosse team have started the season 10-0. They are ranked No.1 in the state by Maxpreps.com.
Last week, the Warriors won two games, including just squeaking past Jackson, a school located in Massillon Ohio, with a 14-13 win.
Sophomore Jordyn Case led the scoring with five goals. The Warriors got great performances from Meryl Johnson (four ground balls, three goals and two assists), Kendal Williams (three goals) and Blaire Randolph (two goals).
The Warriors had an easier time with Fort Mill on April 1, despite the Yellow Jackets coming into the match 10-2 and ranked fifth in South Carolina’s rankings.
Williams scored five times to lead a balanced attack also featuring Alex Wall (three goals), Johnson (two goals and four assists) and freshman Ella Papke (two goals).
The Warriors have an April 9 showdown with rival Charlotte Catholic, who is 7-1 as of April 2.
• The Marvin Ridge girls soccer team scored three impressive wins last week to improve to 12-1 on the year.
Sophomore Brooke Lavelle did all of the damage with a hat trick in the Mavs 3-1 win over Weddington to start the week on March 26. Logan Boggs stopped eight shots on goal to preserve the win.
Two days later, Lavelle assisted on Emma Mayer’s goal that turned out to be the only strike of a 1-0 win over Sun Valley. Boggs made 12 saves in net to preserve the shutout.
The Mavs opened April with a 7-0 blanking of Indian Land.
Lavelle scored twice and assisted on one goal. Cameron Joffe scored twice while Asha Quill, Lauren Araya and freshman Lilly Jones added the other strikes.
Track and field
• Cuthbertson set eight school records at a meet last month at Olympic High School. The girls broke five school marks, and the boys broke three. Details on those athletes and information on every county athlete who placed can be found as an online extra at www.union countyweekly.com.