High School Sports

Blake’s Great 58: Apex Friendship soccer, regional girls golf qualifiers and more

Caroline Duggan of Apex Friendship studies the green during the 2015 NCHSAA 4A Women's Golf Championships at Pinehurst No. 6 in Pinehurst, NC on Tuesday, October 27.
Caroline Duggan of Apex Friendship studies the green during the 2015 NCHSAA 4A Women's Golf Championships at Pinehurst No. 6 in Pinehurst, NC on Tuesday, October 27. newsobserver.com

The Great 58 exists to bring attention to the special accomplishments and noteworthy items in high school sports in the PrepsNow coverage area. Fifty-eight schools and/or athletes, listed in bold, are highlighted in each column. Nominations welcome.

Boys soccer (1)

Apex Friendship coach Derek Blackwelder has the Patriots closing in on its first conference title in program history, the first year the school has had a senior class. Blackwelder, the only coach the Patriots have known, went 0-21 in the first season with only freshmen and sophomores, and 4-16-1 last year. This year the team is 12-4.

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Apex Friendship coach Derek Blackwelder talks to his team during the girls soccer game against Middle Creek, which was played in Apex on Thursday, March 23, 2017. Middle Creek won 5-0. Christine Adamczyk newsobserver.com

Volleyball (4)

Only eight players in the state have more than 400 kills this year, and four of them are local: Northern Durham’s Alyssa Stone (483), Northern Vance’s Emani Foster (522), Cary Academy’s Kate Hampton (406) and C.B. Aycock’s Arlanda Faulkner (434).

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Arlanda Faulkner (9) of Aycock spikes the ball against Kyra Crider (13) and Kaya Merkler (14) of Chapel Hill. The Chapel Hill Tigers played the C.B. Aycock Golden Falcons in a volleyball game that took place in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Saturday, October 29, 2016. Chapel Hill won 3-0. Fabian Radulescu newsobserver.com

Girls Golf (47)

Falls Lake Academy finished third in the 1A/2A East regional behind Sara Vaught (92), Beth Vaught (106) and Morgan Oakley (108). Qualifying as individuals included N.C. School of Science and Math’s Evin Flinchum (87), South Granville’s Claire Patrick (88), Bunn’s Taylor Longmire (97), Princeton’s Casey Mitchell (100), Voyager Academy’s Anna Teer Barringer (100), North Johnston’s Carolina Baker (101), Beddingfield’s Sarah Godwin (102) and Carrboro’s Grace Tobias (102).

Pinecrest claimed the 4A Central regional title thanks to Mackenzie Battle (76), Lorin Wagker (78) and Mara Hirtle (87). Jaclyn Kenel (91) and Katie Ochoa (94) both qualified as individuals and will give the Patriots all five players in the state championship. Green Hope didn’t place in the top three but will have a full team at the championships with Halynn Lee (86), Lauren Nee (96) and Anika Bhatnagar (96).

Apex Friendship’s Caroline Duggan (83) and Elizabeth Tart (95), Panther Creek’s Megan Morris (84) and Apex’s Tindra Larsson (96) qualified as individuals.

Led by medalist Jennifer Chang (68), Athens Drive won the 4A East regional.

Kayla Parsons (75) and Tyla McAffity (87) round out the Jaguars’ lineup.

Cardinal Gibbons was second, led by Hannah RoseBruvoort (77), Hailey Freeman (78) and Megan Kanaby (77). Emily Brubaker (81) and Camryn Fletcher (86) also qualified to give the Crusaders all five players in the state championship.

Garner’s Kayla Ward (74) tied with Wakefield’s Lotte Fox (74) for second. Corinth Holders’ Taylor Capps (83) and Becky Murray (88), Middle Creek’s Ella Preisach (86), Rolesville’s Randi Vedeld (87), Broughton’s Cate Brewer (89) and Diana Lee (91) and Sanderson’s Alicia Carlson (91) all qualified as individuals.

In the 3A Central, Lee County is going to states after finishing third thanks to Allyson Von Canon (86), Morgan McRea (91) and Cherokee Hall (98).

Northwood’s Kat Floyd (74) was fourth overall and qualified as an individual, as did East Chapel Hill’s Carolyn Hsu (94) and Sydney Lang (95) and Chapel Hill’s Anna Crabill (97).

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Kayla Ward of Garner High School hits a tee shot during the 2015 NCHSAA 4A Women's Golf Championships at Pinehurst No. 6 in Pinehurst, NC on Tuesday, October 27. Reagan Lunn newsobserver.com

Girls Tennis (6)

Union Pines’ Hailee Haymore and Charlotte Craven won the Tri-County 6 3A Conference doubles title over teammates Hannah Russell and Eleanor Slyman.

The Vikings’ River Britt defeated Triton’s Daughtry Williams for the singles title.

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