High Schools

High school notebook: Wakefield's Benda wins volleyball all-America honor

tstevens@newsobserver.comDecember 19, 2013 

Gabrielle Benda of Wakefield has been named to the MaxPreps high school all-America volleyball team.

The Marquette recruit helped the Wolverines to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A championship. She had 80 aces in 935 serves, 44 blocks, 153 digs and averaged 10.5 assists per set. She had 979 assists during the season.

Benda is on the third team. Each of the teams has 17 players.

“I am excited about this national recognition for her, and she is a deserving individual,” Wakefield coach Cynthia Terrell said. “She has worked extremely hard over the years to improve her style of play.

“She is a gifted and talented athlete.”

Benda helped Wakefield to a 92-12 record during her career.

Cary wrestling: Parker Ragsdale of Cary was named the most outstanding wrestler last weekend at the Wakefield Wolverine Challenge after winning the 126-pound class. He defeated Fayetteville Jack Britt’s Richard Tolson 11-1 in the finals.

“Parker Ragsdale wrestled wide open during the finals, but he didn’t put himself in dangerous situations,” said Cary coach Taylor Cummings.

Fayetteville Britt easily won the team title with 235.5 points. Sanderson (151 points) was second and Cary (143.5) was third.

Sanderson standout out: Sanderson’s basketball program suffered a blow a couple of weeks ago when Parker Fennema tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a game against East Wake. His senior season, and his Sanderson career, are over.

He was a four-year starter and a three-time all-Cap Eight Conference selection. He scored 1,058 points in his career.

Fennema was averaging 21.8 points, 14 rebounds and 1.8 blocks this season. He has accepted an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Another triple double: Cary Academy’s Rebekah Banks had her second triple double of the season on Tuesday when she had 24 points, 24 rebounds and 11 blocks in a 60-26 victory over Lee Christian.

A week ago, she pulled down 33 rebounds in a 49-31 victory over Wake Christian.

Shrine game: The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas football all-star game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Gibbs Stadium on the campus of Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.

Among the North Carolina players are Durham Hillside wide receiver Trevion Thompson, Southern Durham wide receiver Maurice Trowell, Cleveland runner Isaac Martin, Lee County defensive lineman Thomas Ferguson, Bunn kicker Freeman Jones, and Middle Creek wide receiver Curtis Burston.

South Johnston baseball: The South Johnston High School baseball program’s annual community service project netted 484 toys valued at more than $3,300 dollars for the U.S. Marine Reserve Toys for Tots program.

Members of the Trojan baseball teams sold raffle tickets for a $100 gift card to Walmart with all of the proceeds going to the toys. The baseball players purchased the toys themselves.

“It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved, and it was great to see our young people working so hard for a worthy cause with no thought of reward,” said South Johnston baseball coach and athletic director Keith Durham. “It is our hope that this project will help make the holidays a little bit brighter for some children that might not have had much to look forward to on Christmas morning.

“One of our goals is to help our student-athletes see the community and world around them, and to help them to understand that they have a responsibility to be a positive force in the lives of other people.”

Over the past nine years, the South baseball program has raised more than $28,000 for the Toys for Tots program.

Volleyball all-Americas: Madison Bugg, a former Cardinal Gibbons standout, and Katie Slay, a former Wakefield standout, were named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association second and third all-America teams.

Bugg plays at Stanford, while Slay is at Penn State.

There are 14 players on each of the AVCA’s three all-America teams.

D. Clay Best and Dave Maney contributed to this story.

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