Chapel Hill High School recently honored members of its class of 2016 who will be playing sports in college, gathering them for a midday assembly in Hanes Theater.
Each was brought, one by one, to center stage in Hanes to sign a symbolic National Letter of Intent for the respective college. Behind them, their images were shown on the theater’s screen as an announcer cited their athletic achievements.
Here’s a lst of the future college athletes who were honored:
Max Blackburn (cross-country and track), Colorado College – Team captain, cross country and track. Member of all-state 4x800 relay (2015). Two-time Big-8 champion in the 400 meters and 4x400 relay. Three times all-conference in cross-country and track (2014-2016).
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Morgan Brandwie (soccer) Emory University – Big-8 Conference Player of the Year, regional player of the year; N.C. Soccer Coaches all-state and selected to play in 2016 N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star game. Four varsity letters, two-time team captain, three-time all-conference (2014-2016), two time all-region. Member of the 2014 state champion team. National Honors Society, 5.2 GPA.
Marija Crook (cross-country and track) Oberlin College – Recipient of Donald Michael Clarke-Pearson Running Scholarship. All-state in cross-country, indoor track and all-region in outdoor track. NCHSAA 2015 Mid-East champion in 3,200 meters. Four varsity letters in cross-country and team MVP in 2013. Member of indoor track state champion 4x800 relay. National Honors Society.
Claire DeSelm (swimming) Notre Dame – Team captain, 2016 Big-8 Conference Swimmer of the Year, NCHSAA Outstanding Sportsmanship Award. All-American (100 butterfly and 200 individual medley). Three-time NCHSAA champion in 100 butterfly, two-time state champion in 200 IM. NCHSAA Championship Meet MVP in 2014.
C.J. Eron (swimming ) Tampa University – Three-time state champion. All-conference in 50 free, 100 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay. Member of the 2016 NCHSAA state championship 200 freestyle relay and NCAC team-record 200 free relay. Team Rookie of the Year in 2013. Academy of Information Technology honors society.
Katherine Esterley (volleyball) University of North Carolina – Junior Volleyball Association all-national team. Two-time academic all-conference selection in her only two seasons of varsity play. Led CHHS varsity in kill percentage (.360) and blocks (105) her sophomore season, her last as a varsity player.
Quaniece Fish (track & field) N.C. Central University – Team co-captain, 2016. Big-8 Conference 2015 Field Athlete of the Year. Orange County champion in the long jump, triple jump. State qualifier in jumps, 4x100 relay.
Paige Haskins (lacrosse) University of Mary Washington – U.S. Lacrosse Association All-American. Winner of the NCHSAA’s inaugural N.C. Girls Lacrosse Scholarship. Four varsity letters and four-time all-conference. Led 2016 team in ground balls (119), more than twice as many as any other player. Team MVP and recipient of the team’s Coaches Award. National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society.
Kyle Hornik (lacrosse) Queens University – Four varsity letters, three times academic all-conference, two times conference goalie of the year, and two years as team co-captain. Defensive team MVP. Great 38 All-Star goalie. National Technical Honor Society. Queens University McColl Business School scholarship.
Brian Jones (football) Denison – Four varsity letters, all-conference tackle, and CHHS Lineman of the Year as a senior. CHHS academic athlete of the year, 2011-12.
Dillon Kopec (track & field) Roanoke College – Orange County, Big-8 Conference and Mid-East Regional champion in pole vault, 2015. Fifth place in NCHSAA sgtate championships, 2014 and 2015. Outdoor track MVP and indoor track Most Improved Award as a junior.
Connor Korfas (football) Denison – National Football Foundation / Bill Dooley Chapter Scholarship and Award. Pop Warner Football Mid-South Region / Chuck Norman Scholarship. Three-time all-conference defender and CHHS Defensive MVP as a senior. Led CHHS in tackles in senior and junior season. Led CHHS in interceptions as a sophomore. CHHS junior varsity Player of the Year as a freshman.
George McBurney (wrestling) U.S. Coast Guard Academy – Three-time all-conference, two-time state championships qualifier, two-time team co-captain. Big-8 Conference champion at 220 pounds, 2015. Compiled 38-11 record as a senior, topping 100 career wins. Extra Effort Award winner. Three varsity letters in football. Eagle Scout. 5.05 GPA.
Albert Nyamayaro (football) Fayetteville State University – Three varsity letters and two times all-conference at receiver. Three year all-conference in track & field. All-state in high jump, 2016 Orange County champion and 2015 Mid-East champion in high jump. Member of CHHS 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
Anna Passannante (running) Williams College – NCHSAA champion at 1000 meters indoors. CHHS record-holder in the 1000 (indoor) and 800 (outdoor) meters. 2016 team MVP and team co-captain. Recipient of Donald Michael Clarke-Pearson Running Scholarship. Four years all-conference and all-region. Member of the 2015 NCHSAA state championship team (outdoors). National Honor Society. National Spanish Honor Society.
Eli Rose (swimming) Case Western Reserve University – CHHS Valedictorian. National Merit Scholar. Team captain. Member of the 2016 state championship 200 free relay and member of three NCHSAA 3A team champions, 2014, 2015, 2016.
Connor Stough (football) UNC Pembroke – Four varsity letters, football and baseball. All-conference in both football and baseball as a junior and senior. Football team captain as sophomore and senior. A NCHSAA Performer of the Week. Led football team to an 11-4 record and an appearance in the 3A state semifinals in 2014. Chapelboro Football Player of the Year, 2014. Recipient of N.C. Department of Veteran Affairs Scholarship. In baseball, batted .375 as a senior and led baseball team in RBIs (28). As a junior, batted .351, led team in RBIs (24), and was 2-0 as a pitcher.
Sarah Taekman (swimming) Case Western Reserve University – CHHS Valedictorian, 5.0 GPA. Four varsity letters, three years Big-8 all-conference and four years academic all-conference. Four-time state qualifier. Recipient of a Case Western Presidential Scholarship.
John Walden (soccer) Elon University – All-Region (U.S. Southeast), N.C. Soccer Coaches Association all-state and all-region (N.C. East), Big-8 all-conference. CHHS team captain. Member of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. CHHS Honor Roll. Played on back-to-back Big-8 champions. Helped CHHS out-score opponents 200-55 over last two seasons, allowing opponents 1.1 goal per game.
Autumn West (basketball) Johnson C. Smith University – Four varsity letters and four-times all-conference for a program that, over the past four seasons, went 98-11 overall, 48-2 in conference games, won four consecutive conference championships, three regional championship and the 2014 state championship with an undefeated year. One of Chapel Hill’s most consistent all-around players ever, West averaged 12.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 3.6 steals this year; averaged 10.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 3.2 steals per game over four-year career.
Harrison Young (track & field) University of North Carolina – Holds CHHS school record in the 300 and 500 meters (indoor) and the 400 meters (outdoors). 2016 Big-8 Conference Runner of the Year. Four varsity letters and academic all-conference four years, all-Mid-East Region two years. Two-time Big-8 champion in the open 400 meters and with the 4x400 relay team. National honor Society. Nation French Honor Society. Tri-M Music Honor Society.