HighSchoolOT Honors: See the winners in every category
Every year across North Carolina, there are incredible performances in high school athletics by coaches, teams and players.
The inaugural HighSchoolOT Honors event aims to recognize the best of the best across dozens of sports and games.
The winners were nominated by their fans and peers and chosen by a public vote. And here they are, presented in order of presentation at Saturday’s awards show in downtown Raleigh:
Richard Lopez-Hernandez (Franklinton High School)
Lopez-Hernandez led his conference in goals and assists and was conference player of the year. He was a three-time all-conference performer and two-time all-region. He also received the NCHSAA Performance of the Week award and the NCHSAA Heart of a Champion award.
Finalists: Jackson Hollenbach (Cardinal Gibbons), Liam Camilleri (Panther Creek), Patrick O’Neill (Green Hope), Trevor Berk (Heritage)
Jenna Knors & Karen Galush (Cardinal Gibbons)
Jenna and Karen were dominant throughout their season on the way to winning the NCHSAA 4A double state title.
Finalists: Bella Steffens (Panther Creek), Brenna Bryant (Tarboro), Katie Andreini (Green Hope), Nina Bohunska (North Johnston)
Caitlyn Burkett (Franklin Academy)
Caitlyn Burkett ran faster than all the rest to capture the 1A girls’ state title.
Finalists: Calli Parlier (Apex), Katherine Dokholyan (Chapel Hill), Kelsey Vogel (Green Hope), Sloan Walter (Cardinal Gibbons)
Finn McBride (Green Hope)
Finn McBride was helped the Falcons cap off an impressive season by finishing second in the 4A state championship with a time of 15:46.
Finalists: Laderique McNeill (Harnett Central), Nickolas Scudder (Millbrook), Sam Thornton (Cardinal Gibbons), Wesley Provost (Apex Friendship)
Destiny Cox (Carrboro)
A dominant performer, Destiny Cox is a UNC recruit and Team USA member. She recently made the U.S. Junior National Team and is representing America in Mexico.
Finalists: Ade’ Owokoniran (Wakefield), Alani Alderman (Panther Creek), Avery Bowman (Person), Leah Williams (Midway)
Jennifer Chang (Athens Drive)
Jennifer Chang won the 4A state title all four years of her high school career, including the 2017 title by four strokes. This fall she fired a 61 in a round, breaking the state record for the lowest 18-hole score recorded in NCHSAA competition. Chang enrolled early at Southern California University.
Finalists: Katharina Floyd (Northwood), Kayla Ward (Garner), Megan Kanaby (Cardinal Gibbons)
Ricky Person (Heritage)
Person lit up the competition on Friday nights. He was responsible for more than 2,000 yards and more than 40 touchdowns last season, and this fall he’ll suit up for the Wolfpack of NC State.
Finalists: Dalen Spruill (Cardinal Gibbons), Josh Harris (Person), Savion Jackson (Clayton), Tyler Baker-Williams (Southeast Raleigh)
Green Hope High School
Finalists: Cape Fear High School, Chapel Hill High School, Franklinton High School, Panther Creek High School
Garner Blue Crew
Finalists: Heritage Hooligans, Middle Creek Creek Crazies, Rocky Mount Student Booster Club, Southern Nash
Finalists: Cougar (Wake Forest), Gryphon (Rocky Mount)
Millbrook Elite Wildcats
Finalists: Green Hope High School, Heritage High School, Holly Springs High School, South Lenoir High School
Quincy Monday (Carrboro)
Quincy went 38-1 in his senior season and won the NCHSAA 152-pound state championship.
Finalists: Jalen Brooks (Cardinal Gibbons), Jaxon Maroney (Holly Springs), Josiah Ramirez (Orange), Kobe Early (Cary)
Sierra Fletcher (Southeast Raleigh)
Sierra Fletcher has the top time in the state in the 55M and 60M hurdles, and she placed 11th at New Balance Nationals.
Finalists: Carmen Alder (Pinecrest), Kyna Robinson (Southeast Raleigh), Morgan Smalls (Panther Creek), Veronica Fraley (Wakefield)
Ian Delgado (Green Hope)
Ian ran the second best time in state history in the 1,000 meters at the Virginia Showcase in January. At the NCHSAA 4A state championships, he won the 1,000 meter title and anchored the 4x800 team to another title. He closed the meet with a come-from-behind win in the 4x400.
Finalists: Randolph Ross (Garner), Rondell Terry (Garner), Ryan Brown (Broughton), Sam Thornton (Cardinal Gibbons)
Brooke Zettel (Apex Friendship)
Brooke, a freshman, won the 2018 4A state championship in the 200 individual medley, setting a new 4A and overall state record with a time of 1:58:31. She also placed third in the 100 backstroke in the state meet.
Finalists: Amanda Ray (Leesville Road), Grace Countie (Leesville Road), Kenna Haney (Sanderson)
Zach Brown (Athens Drive)
Zach is a three-time state champion and was named the co-male swimmer of the year in the Tri-6 Conference. This season he won the 200 individual medlet and 100 fly titles.
Finalists: Connor Dalbo (Green Hope), John Healy (Green Hope), Joshua Legge (Millbrook), Sean Quinn (Wakefield)
Asia Todd (Clayton)
Asia broke her school’s record for points in a single game with 49, then beat her own record the following night with a 53-point game. She was named her conference’s player of the year, first team all-district, all-metro and all-conference. According to MaxPreps, she is the No. 4 scorer in the state.
Finalists: Izabela Nicoletti (Neuse Christian Academy), Jada McMillian (Southeast Raleigh), Nyjanique Langley (North Pitt), Tayanna Jones (North Johnston)
Coby White (Greenfield School)
Coby has cemented himself as one of Noth Carolina’s best ever high school basketball players. While his record won’t be in the NCHSAA record book since he didn’t play at an NCHSAA school, he is the unofficial all-time leading scorer in North Carolina high school basketball. He was selected as a McDonadl’s All-American and is representing our country on Team USA. This winter he will suit up for Roy Williams and the UNC Tar Heels.
Finalists: Jayden Gardner (Heritage), Jaylen Richard (Jordan), Marque Maultsby (Garner), Silas Love (Hoke County)
Trice Pickens (Panther Creek)
Pickens won the 4A individual state championship and has been the number one at his school the last few seasons.
Finalists: Banks Evans (Clayton), Ethan Saber (Enloe), Rohan Sachdev (Enloe)
A.J. Beechler (Pinecrest)
Beechler is the two-time defending 4A state champion and is the team captain on his school’s team.
Finalists: Biggs Hawley (Broughton), Chris Sperrazza (Cardinal Gibbons), Jason Crews (Wakefield), Spencer Oxendine (Jack Britt)
Hayley Childress (Topsail)
Hayley is a four-year varsity player for her school and was the defensive player of the year in her conference.
Finalists: Anne Lassiter Barnes (Broughton), Ellie Saunders (Union Pines), Linzi Long (Nash Central), Mary Grace Bunch (Athens Drive)
Owen Caputo (Middle Creek)
Caputo is a major scoring threat. Earlier this season, he broke the North Carolina lacrosse scoring record. He scored 93 goals this season and posted 56 assists.
Finalists: Lars Hoeg (Northwood), Reid Koonce (Athens Drive), Sean Jesrani (Holly Springs), Zach Niemi (Cardinal Gibbons)
Elizabeth Wilson (Cardinal Gibbons)
Our winner was nominated, not only because she started on her team since freshman year and will play division one lacrosse, but because of the way she has responded to adversity. She underwent hip labrum surgery and has fought her way back to recovery.
Finalists: Amber McCarthy (Havelock), Claire Reist (Panther Creek), Margaret Clark (Heritage)
Morgan Smalls (Panther Creek)
Morgan has spent time as the top athlete in North Carolina in the high jump, long jump and the 4x200 relay. She is a state champion and was ranked No. 2 in the United States in the high jump.
Finalists: Carmen Alder (Pinecrest), Megan Marvin (Chapel Hill), Sierra Fletcher (Southeast Raleigh), Veronica Fraley (Wakefield)
Randolph Ross (Garner)
Ross was the state champion in the 400m dash and placed third in the 200m dash. He ran under a 48 in four different attempts this season.
Finalists: Asher Prince (Western Harnett), Ian Delgado (Green Hope), Isai’as Robinson (Overhills High), Khaleb McRae (Southern Durham)
Will Sandy (Leesville Road)
At the time of nominations, the winner was 4-0 with 46 strikeouts in 28 innings, earning just one earned run all season. He was also batting over .400 and will play at UNC next spring.
Finalists: Hayden Myrick (Clayton), Jake Wolf (Middle Creek), Payton Bass (Nash Central), Matthew McCabe (Panther Creek)
Brooke Bowling (South Granville)
En route to leading her team to a state championship victory, she threw four no hitters and two perfect games.
Finalists: Alyssa Goshorn (Cape Fear), Greyson Way (Richmond), Mia Ayres (South View), Rivers Andrews (Cedar Ridge)
Clayton defeats Garner (Football)
Finalists: Green Hope defeats South Meck (men’s swimming), Heritage defeats South Central (men’s basketball), Sanderson defeats Millbrook (men’s basketball)
Wake Forest vs Mallard Creek (Football)
Finalists: Cardinal Gibbons vs Sanderson (football), Garner vs South Central (men’s basketball), Rocky Mount vs Northern Nash (men’s basketball), Southern Nash vs Havelock (football)
Thys Oldenburg (Orange)
Finalists: Cleveland rallies around John Jacobs, Coby White becomes unofficial scoring leader in NC, Knightdale baseball manager with special needs scores inside the park homerun, Wake Forest back-to-back football championships.
Bobby Guthrie oversaw athletics with the Wake County Public School System for 17 years before his retirement in 2013. During that time, Guthrie served on the board of directors for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association. He began working with the National Federation of State High School Associations on coaching education, providing opportunities for high school coaches to receive professional development.
Mary Grace Bunch (Athens Drive)
Mary Grace served as a team captain on her soccer and basketball teams. She has served as the class president for all four years in high school and is a member of the honor council. She assisted in the creation of a school tutoring program and will continue her soccer career next year at Davidson College.
Finalists: Abbi Pagano (Panther Creek, Erin McIndoe (Green Hope), Jada McMillian (Southeast Raleigh), Tayanna Jones (North Johnston)
Justin Rodgers (Cary)
Justin is a high-level athlete, a member of his school’s football and track teams, but his leadership doesn’t stop in sports. This winner honors the life of his brother who died in a car accident by telling his brother’s story to others around him, helping them make better decisions in their lives. He will take his leadership to Newberry College this fall
Finalists: Camden Woods (Wake Christian Academy), Devin Carter (Clayton), Evan King (East Wake), Richard Lopez-Hernandez (Franklinton)
Lauryn Mulder (Panther Creek)
Finalists: Anne-Catherine Riesett (Middle Creek), Dave Coburn (Triton), John Jacobs (Cleveland), John McGee (Friendship Christian)
Nicole Meyers (Southeast Raleigh)
Finalists: Allison Leaptrott (Millbrook), Cynthia Terrell (Wakefield), Heather Maconochie (Southern Durham), Kaylee Burrell (Harnett Central)
Reggie Lucas (Wake Forest)
Lucas is the only Wake County football coach to win back-to-back state championships in over 100 years
Finalists: Charles Harris (Greene Central), Eddie Gray (Garner), John Michael Regan (Green Hope), Tilden Brill (Heritage)
Jordyn Adams (Green Hope)
Jordyn has an impressive multi-sport resume. On the football field last fall, he caught 54 passes for 1,060 yards and 12 touchdowns. On the baseball diamond, he posted a batting average of .453 with 15 RBIs. He also stole 31 bases, setting the school record for most stolen bases. He was an Under Armour All-American in baseball and a U.S. Army All-American in football. This coming school year, he would have been suited up for UNC on the football field and the baseball diamond, but instead he was drafted 17th overall in the first round of the MLB Draft and has signed with the Los Angeles Angels.
Finalists: Alim McNeil (Sanderson), Ben Miller (Jordan), Devin Carter (Clayton), Jayden Gardner (Heritage)
Leah Williams (Midway)
Leah has been a three-sport varsity starter in volleyball, basketball and softball since her freshman year. She served as a captain on both her volleyball and basketball teams since sophmore year, and was selected as a softball captain as a senior. She was named the conference player of the year in volleyball and basketball after posting her 1,000th career dig in volleyball and her 1,000th career point in basketball. In addition to being a Tom Suiter Extra Effort Award winner, she was also a recipient of the NCHSAA Performance of the Week award.
Finalists: Ade’ Owokoniran (Wakefield), Catherine Holbrook (Green Hope), Daryn Armstrong (Panther Creek), Jennifer Chang (Athens Drive)