The News & Observer High School Players of the Year
06/21/2014 5:19 PM
06/21/2014 5:21 PM
Chapel Hill, Sr.
Athletics: Helped Tigers to undefeated basketball season and 3A state title; standout in volleyball
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
Athletics: Won 4A long and triple jump, second in 100
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.
Athletics: Rushed for 3,129 yards. Scored 50 rushing touchdowns and 60 total touchdowns.
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
Chapel Hill, Sr.
Athletics: Led Chapel Hill to the NCHSAA 3A state title.
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.
East Chapel Hill, Sr.
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
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.
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
Athletics: Helped Broughton to 4A title with third-place individual finish
College: N.C. State
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
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.
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
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
Athletics: 4A MVP; 300 champ; second in 55 and long jump
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.
Athletics: Led Apex to 4A title
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
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!
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.
Athletics: MVP of state 4A championship game after leading Wolverines to title
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
Athletics: 4A singles champion.
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
Green Hope, Sr.
Athletics: Broke NCHSAA 500 free record by six seconds
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.
Green Hope, Jr.
Athletics: Hit .438 with 25 RBI, and had 7-1 pitching record with 1.69 ERA
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
Athletics: 24-6 record, 3 perfect games, 6 no-hitters, 14 shutouts, 240 strikeouts. Led J-M to NCHSAA 2A finals.
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.
Athletics: NCHSAA 4A runner-up
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.
Cardinal Gibbons, Sr.
Athletics: Led Crusaders to undefeated season.
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.
Cardinal Gibbons, Sr.
Athletics: Scored 99 goals and added seven assists; all-America pick.
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”
Cardinal Gibbons, Sr.
Athletics: Two-time NCHSAA singles champion
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
Athletics: NCHSAA outdoor pole vault champ
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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