The News & Observer High School Players of the Year

June 21, 2014 

Scholar-Athlete

Catherine Romaine

Chapel Hill, Sr.

GPA: 5.01

Athletics: Helped Tigers to undefeated basketball season and 3A state title; standout in volleyball

College: Bucknell

Favorite course: Biology

I was fascinated to learn: Anatomy and how the systems work with checks and balances

Guest list: Edward Snowden, Beyonce’, Hillary Clinton

Inspiring book: “Unbroken”

Biggest thrill: Winning the state basketball championship, my senior year, in my hometown, at the Dean Dome, in front of my family, friends, neighbors, teachers and coaches

Girls track

Sydnei Murphy

Apex, Jr.

Athletics: Won 4A long and triple jump, second in 100

GPA: 4.4

Guest list: Nelson Mandela, Whitney Houston, Lolo Jones

Biggest thrill: Learning a new tumbling skill. I cheer and the moment you land a new skill by yourself for the first time is unbelievable.

Inspiring book: “The Glass Castle.”

I really should: Listen more, talk less.

I wish I could have been here: For more of the 90's. I really want to be a teenager in the 90's.

Football

Nyheim Hines

Garner, Jr.

Athletics: Rushed for 3,129 yards. Scored 50 rushing touchdowns and 60 total touchdowns.

GPA: 4.0

Ideal guests: Kay Yow, Barack Obama, Martin Luther King

Biggest thrill: The rush before running a race or running through the banner in football.

Inspiring book: “The Bible. I read Psalm 5 and 23 before every athletic event.”

Proud of: What Garner High School has done for me and my sister Nyah

Girls soccer

Alexandra Kimball

Chapel Hill, Sr.

Athletics: Led Chapel Hill to the NCHSAA 3A state title.

College: UNC

Guest list: Ronaldo, Chris Brown, Beyonce’

Biggest thrill: Riding horses

Proud of: Committing to UNC.

Inspiring book: “Vision of a champion”

Add to Mt. Rushmore: Obama.

Greatest historical moment in my lifetime: Obama becoming the first African-American President.

I wish I had been there when: The U.S. women’s soccer team won the World Cup.

Scholar-athlete

Koya Osada

East Chapel Hill, Sr.

GPA: 5.288

College: Harvard

Athletics: NCHSAA 4A champ in 100 backstroke and 200 IM

Guest list: Michael Jordan, Benjamin Carson, Will Ferrell

Add to Mount Rushmore: John F. Kennedy

Biggest thrill: Being recruited to swim for the Ivy League champions

Proud of: State titles in 200 IM, 100 Back and 200 Medley Relay with All American standard time.

Wish I could have been there: Super Bowl XXIII when Joe Montana threw the game winning touchdown to John Taylor with 34 seconds left in the game

Inspiring book: “Gifted Hands”

I was fascinated to learn: Physiology

Boys soccer

Ben Fisher

Chapel Hill, Jr.

Athletics: 16 goals and 20 assists; One of six juniors on NSCAAA all-America team.

Ideal guest list: Nelson Mandela, President Barack Obama, and Ronaldinho.

Proud of: My high school soccer team (Chapel Hill) and club soccer team (Triangle United) for all the hard work we have accomplished this past year.

Biggest thrill: When my club team (Triangle United 95 Gold) won regionals and went on to play nationals in Kansas.

Inspiring book: “Playing the Enemy”

Success is: something achieved when one is determined and works hard.

I really should: Be proud of all that my teammates and I have accomplished.

I wish I could have been there when: Spain won the 2010 World Cup.

Girls golf

Emilia Migliaccio

Athens Drive, Fr.

Athletics: NCHSAA 4A state champion

GPA: 4.375

Ideal guest list: Taylor Swift, One Direction, and Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki

Proud of: My multi-cultural family.

Biggest thrill: I screamed my lungs out during the Griffon at Busch Gardens.

Success is: Setting a goal for yourself, whatever that may be, and fulfilling it.

I really should: Get more sleep.

Best selfie: With my friend on her birthday.

Wish I could go to: Any PGA or LPGA tournament and definitely The Masters.

Boys cross country

Will Roberson

Broughton, Sr.

Athletics: Helped Broughton to 4A title with third-place individual finish

College: N.C. State

GPA: 3.5

Guest list: Derek Jeter, Wes Anderson, Stonewall Jackson

Proud of: Coach David Christian and my teammates

Biggest thrill: Winning third straight cross country team title

Inspiring book: “The Stranger”

Really should: Learn Mandarin

Wish I could have: Heard Lou Gehrig’s speech

Girls cross country

Elly Henes

Green Hope, Soph.

Athletics: Helped Green Hope to 4A title with third-place finish

GPA: 4.0

Ideal guest list: Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Dylan O'Brien, Emma Watson

Proud of: Making it to NXN

Biggest thrill: The Top Thrill Dragster roller coaster at Cedar Point

Inspiring book: “The Fault in our Stars”

Success is: The best revenge.

Really should: Get back to my homework.

Wish I could have been there when: Ferris Bueller took his day off.

Boys swimming

Colin Ellington

Holly Springs, Sr.

Athletics: Set NCHSAA record in 100 free; won 50 free and 4A MVP

GPA: 3.6

Ideal guest list: Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte

Proud off: Making Olympic Trials in 2012, being a state and YMCA national champion. Also, getting a scholarship to swim at NCSU next year.

Biggest thrill: Walking on to the pool deck before my race at Olympic Trials.

Success is: Accomplishing your personal goals as well as helping your team reach their goals.

Wish I could have attended: the 2008 Olympics when Michael Phelps won all gold.

Boys indoor track

Kimani Hoffman

Knightdale, Sr.

Athletics: 4A MVP; long jump and triple jump champ

GPA: 3.7

Ideal guest list: Jim Morrison, Andy Warhol, Walt Whitman

Proud of: My track and field achievements and my ability to see things from different perspectives

Biggest thrill: Playing music

Inspiring book: “Beloved”

Success is: Helping others to feel better about themselves.

I really should: Travel the world and experience different cultures.

Wish I could have been at: Woodstock in 1969.

Girls indoor track

Ama-Selina Tchume

Wakefield, Sr.

Athletics: 4A MVP; 300 champ; second in 55 and long jump

GPA: 3.6

College: Virginia Tech

Ideal guest list: Sidney Poitier, Sanya Richards-Ross, and President Barack Obama

Proud of: I am really proud to be the first in my family to receive a full scholarship to go to college.

Inspiring book: Life of Pi”

Success is: When you have a desire to accomplish a set goal or dream and are progressively working to achieve it. You have to want to succeed more than you want to breath. It's all about determination and willpower.

I really should: Be a motivational speaker to a lot of new beginning track runners. I think they would be encouraged to find about how rocky my start was as a freshman running 13.9's in the 100m dash to now 11.8's as a senior. Anything is possible with determination and great coaching.

I wish I could have been there when: President Barack Obama was inaugurated.

Boys basketball

T.J. Evans

Apex, Sr.

Athletics: Led Apex to 4A title

GPA: 2.9

Guest list: LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and The Rock.

Proud of: Being a role model to my brothers, being a Apex Cougar, and my teammates.

Biggest thrill: Having the ball in my hand during clutch moments.

Inspiring book: “The Hunger Games”

Success is: Inspiring others and doing what God put you on the earth to do.

I really should: Keep working on my game to become successful at the next level.

Best selfie: In the locker room after the state championship

Girls basketball

Azura Stevens

Cary, Sr.

Athletics: Averaged 30 points, 18 rebounds.

GPA: 3.4.

Guest list: Jesus, Kevin Durant, & Elena Delle Donne.

Proud of: My little sister and the monstrous season she had as an eighth grader.

Biggest Thrill: Riding the Intimidator at Carowinds.

I nspiring book: “Toughness”

Success is: Achieving goals that you've set for yourself by working hard.

I really should: Start dunking!

I wish I could've been there: When Syracuse and Uconn men's basketball played 7 overtimes!

Wrestling

Dave Peters-Logue

Orange, Sr.

Athletics: 41-0, NCHSAA 3A champ

GPA: 3.5

College: Appalachian State

Ideal guest list: Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Benjamin Franklin.

Proud of: The opportunity to wrestle for App.

Biggest thrill: Winning the state championship.

Inspiring book: “Bible”

Success is: Hard work, determination, blood, sweat, and tears.

Really should: Start running more.

Wish I could have been there when: Jake Varner won the Olympics in 2012.

Volleyball

Darian Mack

Wakefield, Sr.

Athletics: MVP of state 4A championship game after leading Wolverines to title

GPA: 3.5

College: Kentucky

Proud of: Being N.C. Gatorade volleyball player of the year.

Inspiring book: “Kite Runner”

Guest list: Michelle Obama, Serena Williams, Will Ferrell.

Biggest thrill: Playing in NCHSAA volleyball championship game

Girls tennis

Susanne Boyden

Wakefield, So.

Athletics: 4A singles champion.

GPA: 4.6

Success is: Making a difference in the world.

I really should: Travel the world.

Guest list: Maria Sharapova, Kate Middleton, Melinda Gates.

Biggest thrill: Roller Coasters.

Inspiring book: “God Is Not Dead”

Wish I could have been: At Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech

Girls swimming

Hannah Moore

Green Hope, Sr.

Athletics: Broke NCHSAA 500 free record by six seconds

College: Michigan

Ideal guests: Tim McGraw, Kerry Washington, Janet Evans

I dream about: Swimming in the NCAA Championships for Michigan!

I wish I could have been there for: Michael Phelps’ eight golf medals in 2008.

Inspiring book: “Pride and the Prejudice”

Biggest thrill: Swimming in a heat with an Olympian.

Baseball

Troy Maslowski

Green Hope, Jr.

Athletics: Hit .438 with 25 RBI, and had 7-1 pitching record with 1.69 ERA

GPA: 3.85

Guest list: John F. Kennedy; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Miguel Cabrera.

I wish I had been there: FDR speech after Pearl Harbor.

Best baseball player: Jackie Robinson.

Most inspiring book: “The Big Field”

I wish I could visit: Italy

Most inspiring teacher: Brian McDougall, Green Hope High

Softball

Holly Clark

Jordan-Matthews, So.

Athletics: 24-6 record, 3 perfect games, 6 no-hitters, 14 shutouts, 240 strikeouts. Led J-M to NCHSAA 2A finals.

GPA: 4.47

Ideal guest list: Scotty McCreery, Luke Bryan, Danielle Bradbery.

2015 goals: To maintain my GPA and keep improving my softball skills.

During a perfect game, I'm thinking: "Stay calm, the defense has my back. Work on one batter at a time."

Inspiring book: “The Fault in Our Stars”

Best thing about softball: Learning how to communicate and work together as a team.

Boys golf

Stephen Franken

Millbrook, Jr.

Athletics: NCHSAA 4A runner-up

GPA: 4.52

I wish I had seen: Payne Stewart’s putt at the 2005 U.S. Open

Ideal guests: Jesus Christ, Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky

Inspiring book: “The Bible”

I really should: Watch less TV.

Biggest thrill: Busch Garden’s Griffon roller coaster.

Proud of: My work ethic.

Boys lacrosse

Gannon Morrison

Cardinal Gibbons, Sr.

Athletics: Led Crusaders to undefeated season.

GPA: 3.9

College: Marist

Inspiring Book: “Lone Survivor”

Proud of: Helping Cardinal Gibbons win a state championship

Success is: Achieving your goals.

Guest list: Michael Jordan, Marcus Luttrell, Mark Cuban.

I really should: Appreciate and thank everyone who helped me along the way.

Girls lacrosse

Shelby Scanlin

Cardinal Gibbons, Sr.

Athletics: Scored 99 goals and added seven assists; all-America pick.

GPA: 4.7

College: Maryland

Guest list: Leonardo DiCaprio, John F. Kennedy, Will Ferrell

Wish I could have been there: When Maryland beat Syracuse in the 2014 NCAA Women's National Lacrosse Championship.

Biggest thrill: Selection to the 2014 Senior Under Armour All-American South Team

Inspiring book: “The Dog Who Danced”

Boys tennis

Robert Kelly

Cardinal Gibbons, Sr.

Athletics: Two-time NCHSAA singles champion

College: UNC

Ideal guests: Will Ferrell, Roger Federer, George Best

Inspiring book: “Fabrice Muamba - I'm Still Standing"

I really should: Spend more time back home in Fontainebleau, France

I wish I could have seen: Liverpool beat AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League Final in Instanbul

Boys track

Drew Pedersen

Apex, Jr.

Athletics: NCHSAA outdoor pole vault champ

GPA: 4.2

Ideal guest list: Jesus, Will Ferrell, Sergey Bubka

Proud of: Winning state 4A championships with my best friend/teammate Anna Eaton.

I wish I could have been there: When the pole vault world record was under 11 feet.

Biggest thrill: Seeing Joey Chestnut eat 68 hot dogs in ten minutes in 2012.

I really should: Stop eating dessert.

Inspiring book: “The Giving Tree”

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