All-Conference Roundup: Nelson named Coach of the Year
Benji Nelson of Northern Vance is the 3-A Big Eight Conference baseball Coach of the Year.
Nelson guided Northern to the state playoffs despite the Vikings losing six senior starters from the 2013 season. Northern clinched the league’s fourth and final playoff berth in a dramatic, extra-inning win over J.F. Webb to close the regular season.
Webb sophomore sprinter Rainesha Taylor is the Big Eight girls track and field Runner of the Year and Southern Vance senior thrower Ja’Quez Bullock was named the top athlete for field events in the 2-A Northern Carolina Conference.
Here are the remaining area honorees from the Big Eight and Northern Carolina leagues as well as the Eastern Plains Independent Conference and Carolina Christian Conference:
BIG EIGHT BASEBALL
Northern’s Nate Arrington and Kevonte Hanks each earned all-conference honors for the Vikings and Webb’s Taylor Williams rounded out the area’s Big Eight honorees.
The Warriors earned the Sportsmanship Award with Orange’s Brad Debo taking Player of the Year honors and Chapel Hill’s Andrew Miller is Pitcher of the Year.
BIG EIGHT GOLF
Northern’s Tommy Alicardi and Jonathan Byrom are all-conference in golf and Charles Swoboda of Cardinal Gibbons took top player honors. The Crusaders’ Robert Guzzo is Coach of the Year.
BIG EIGHT LACROSSE
No area players earned all-conference lacrosse honors.
Cardinal Gibbons’ Gannon Morrison and Chris Lappin took top player honors and Northwood’s Kevin McDaniel is Coach of the Year.
BIG EIGHT SOCCER
Northern’s Hannah Burgess and Webb’s Elizabeth Grisham and Carla Pike (goalkeeper) each earned all-conference soccer honors.
Burgess, a junior defender, and Pike, a sophomore, each were also named all-region by the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association.
Cardinal Gibbons’ Morgan Reid, a Duke recruit and current U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team member, is Player of the Year with her teammate the Goalkeeper of the Year and coach, Michele Miller, taking top honors.
BIG EIGHT SOFTBALL
Webb earned the league’s Sportsmanship Award and Brooke Wheeler, Bre Lewis and freshman Hailee Cutts each earned all-conference honors for the Warriors.
Player of the Year went to Logan Barefoot of Cedar Ridge, Pitcher of the Year to Northwood’s Anna Jasper and the Coach of the Year is Butch Edenfield of Northwood.
BIG EIGHT TENNIS
No area players earned all-conference tennis honors and player and coach of the year awards were swept by Cardinal Gibbons.
BIG EIGHT TRACK AND FIELD
Webb rounds out area honors by claiming the Sportsmanship Award.
Kacia Vines of Cedar Ridge is Fielder of the Year and Coach of the Year is Nicholas Mangum of Cardinal Gibbons.
The boys Fielder of the Year is Alex Ives of Cedar Ridge. Chapel Hill’s Collin Vilen is Runner of the Year and the Tigers’ Isaac Marsh is Coach of the Year
Southern’s Dustin Brummitt and Warren County’s Hayden Sullivan and Tyler Thompson each are on the All-Northern Carolina Conference baseball team.
Honorable mention selections from Warren County are Pete Johnson, Antonio Thompson and Darian Sellers.
Southern’s honorable mention selections are Montavis Gray and Matthew Perkins.
The Player of the Year is South Granville’s Ty Adcock and Pitcher of the Year went to Christian Sledge of Bunn.
Bunn’s Chris Cullom and South Granville’s Curt Watkins each received the top coaching honors.
No area players earned all-conference golf honors and the Player of the Year is Bunn’s William Lewis.
Coach of the Year is South Granville’s Joe Williams.
Southern Vance goalkeeper Kendall Harris was named to the all-conference team.
Franklinton’s Hannah Rayman is Player of the Year and teammate Anna Moss Goalkeeper of the Year.
Coach of the Year is Amy Green of Durham School of the Arts.
Brittany West and Kiyanna Kearney of Southern Vance each are all-conference as is Warren County’s Kassie Clary.
Honorable mention selections for Southern are Megan Hight, Mikayla Sellers and Bree Simmons. Kelsie Clary is honorable mention for Warren County.
Erin Boone of South Granville is the Player of the Year and Erica Davis of Bunn took the top pitching honors.
Coach of the Year is Bunn’s Melanie Lovin.
No area players earned all-conference tennis honors and Danny Oh of N.C. School of Science and Math is Player of the Year.
Coach of the Year is Richard McClenny of N.C. School of Science and Math.
NCC TRACK AND FIELD
Joining Southern’s Bullock as a top honoree, Franklinton’s Malik Tarbell was named the league’s top male athlete in track events.
Trent Sanders of Franklinton is the boys Coach of the Year.
The girls field MVP is Tainasha Vines of Bunn and Hannah Ratcliff of Durham School of the Arts was named the top athlete in track events.
Girls Coach of the Year honors went to Tony Ford of Durham School of the Arts.
Bryles Cutts and Price Wester each earned all-conference honors in Kerr-Vance’s Eastern Plains Independent Conference and Cassidy Tucker is an honorable mention selection.
Daniel Wilkerson is all-conference in baseball for the Spartans along with teammate, Dustin Smith, and KVA’s Damon Stevenson is an honorable mention selection.
In golf, KVA’s Joseph Burnette earned all-conference honorable mention honors.
In Crossroads Christian’s Carolina Christian Conference, Caroline May received all-conference soccer honors for the Colts.