Millbrook High received the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s highest school honor on Thursday when it was presented the Exemplary School Award during the NCHSAA annual meeting in Chapel Hill.
The award is given each year to the school with the top overall athletic program. The selection committee considers athletic success, athletic opportunities, academics, facilities and community involvement.
Millbrook fielded 32 sports teams last year, including ninth grade boys’ basketball and junior varsity wrestling. Several sports have a no-cut policy, which boosts participation. The Wildcats have won the Cap Eight 4A Conference Wells Fargo Cup for overall athletic success the last two years and the girls basketball team has won the last two state 4A titles.
Scott McInnes, the athletic director, said most of the athletic teams perform community service projects each year.
West Johnston undefeated: West Johnston graduated eight senior starters from a 19-4 girls’ soccer team last year, but rolled to a 17-0-1 regular-season record this year. The Wildcats’ only blemish is a 3-3 tie with Western Alamance.
“I think we can play with the teams that we’ll see in the playoffs,” Wildcats coach Ken Sweat said. “We are a very offensive team. We feel like we can score.”
West Johnston is averaging 4.9 goals per game, led by senior Rachel Thomas (18 goals, 10 assists, 46 points) and junior Heather Bittle (16 goals, 15 assists, 47 points).
Thomas is one of two seniors on the team and she and sophomore Madison Covey help organize the offense.
Gibbons baseball: Cardinal Gibbons and Orange will have a one-game playoff on Monday to determine the Carolina 3A Conference top seed into the playoffs if Gibbons beats Chapel Hill and Orange beats Northern Vance on Friday. Both teams are 8-1 in the league.
Gibbons has hit 20 home runs thiis season, including five by sophomore Stephen Scott. Tyler Pickard, a Charleston Southern recruit, is hitting .344 and is 4-1 as a picher. Evan Nations (Charleston Southern) is 4-1 with a 0.54 earned run average.
Dom Vellucci is hitting .433 and Robbie Thorbum (UNC Wilmington) is hitting .380.
Freshman leads golf: Patrick Stephenson, a freshman at South Johnston, dominated the Eastern Carolina 3A Conference this season, winning seasonal medalist honors by 24 strokes. He was the medalist or co-medalist in five of the league’s seven matches this season and was second in the other two matches by one and two strokes.
“He hits all of the shots,” said South Johnston coach Daniel Benson. “He gets the ball out there on his drives and he hits his approaches in position to score well. When he is putting well, he can get some low numbers. He wasn’t putting well this week, but still had a 72 (at the Goldsboro Municipal Course.)”
He had conference rounds of 73, 71, 77, 72, 78, 76 and 72.
“Patrick could contend at the states,” Benson said. “He’d have to play well, but he usually does.”
Signings: Camden Scott, a 6-foot-2 guard at Raleigh Word of God, has signed with Brevard Community College in Cocoa, Fla. He averaged 15 points per game for the N.C. Independent School Athletic Association Class 1A champions.
Scott averaged four 3-point baskets per game, had eight in the NCISAA finals and had a career-high nine earlier in the season.
• Holly Springs basketball standout Anthanee Doyle has signed with Queens University. He averaged 17.9 points and was the Jaguars’ leading scorer the past two years. He was the school’s second all-time leading scorer with 1,065 points.
• Holly Springs teammate Donyell Lowe has signed with Catawba Valley Community College. He averaged 7.0 points and 5.0 rebounds.
• Apex baseball catcher Austin Campbell has signed with Methodist University. He has battled a wrist injury much of the season, but was hitting in the high .300s before the injury.
Regional tennis: The top high school boys’ tennis players are playing for berths in next week’s NCHSAA individual tennis championships in regionals on Friday and Saturday.
The 4A Mideast has players from the Tri-Nine, Cap Eight and PAC Six. The competition will be played at the Cone-Kenfield Center in Chapel Hill. The Greater Neuse players are in the East regional at Fayetteville Terry Sanford.
Other regionals with area players are 3A East at Barton College in Wilson, 3A Mideast at Burlington Tennis Center, 2A Mideast at Jaycee Park in Reidsville and 1A East at Herman Park in Goldsboro.
Play begins Friday and concludes on Saturday. The semifinalists in singles and doubles will advance to the May 10-11 championships.
Regional track: NCHSAA track and field regionals for 1A and 3A teams will be held on Saturday. Area 1A teams go to Lejeune or Rocky Point Trask. Area 3A teams are headed to Burlington Williams or West Carteret. Competition begins at 10 a.m.