All-Conference Spotlight: Volleyball – Mount Airy News

Mount Airy’s All-Conference selections for volleyball, pictured from left: Paxton Reece, Amelia Radford, Morgan Mayfield and Kylie Hollingsworth.
Submitted Photo
North Surry junior Aniya Joyce was one of two Greyhound players given All-Conference Honors for the 2021-22 season.
Cory Smith | The News
East Surry’s All-Conference selections for volleyball, pictured from left: Hannah Johnston, Bella Hutchens, Kylie Bruner and Samarin Kipple.
Charles Leftwich | Special to the News
Millennium sophomore Clara Minix was named as a member of the Northwest Piedmont 1A All-Conference volleyball team.
Andrea Jarrell Photography
Surry Central senior Jaylyn Templeton was one of three Golden Eagles named to the Foothills 2A All-Conference volleyball team.
Cory Smith | The News
With most of fall sports already completed, The News is recognizing the local student-athletes that were presented with All-Conference Honors for their respective sports.
East Surry, North Surry and Surry Central all compete in the Foothills 2A Conference (FH2A), Millennium Charter Academy competes in the Northwest Piedmont 1A Conference (NWPC) and Mount Airy competes in the Northwest 1A Conference (NW1A).
All-Conference Honorable Mentions will include (HM) following the selection’s name.
Volleyball All-Conference
East Surry – Bella Hutchens, Kylie Bruner, Samarin Kipple, Hannah Johnston, Kate Parks (HM), Merry Parker Boaz (HM)
Millennium Charter – Clara Minix, Madison Marshall (HM), Abigail Hodges (HM)
Mount Airy – Kylie Hollingsworth, Morgan Mayfield (Defensive Player of the Year), Paxton Reece (HM), Amelia Radford (HM),
North Surry – Bella Jones, Aniya Joyce
Surry Central – Mia McMillen, Katelyn Patterson, Jaylyn Templeton, Lainey Smith (HM), Marissa McCann (HM)
Season summary
East Surry finished 26-2 overall and 12-0 in conference play. The Cardinals won the FH2A Regular Season, Conference Tournament Championships and 2021-22 2A West Regional Runners-Up. Their only 2A loss came against the eventual state champion, Southwestern Randolph. Kylie Bruner was named Most Valuable Player of the FH2A Tournament and Katelyn Markle was named FH2A Coach of the Year.
Millennium finished 12-14 overall and 6-6 in conference play. The Lions were fourth in the NWPC standings and reached the 1A State Playoffs for the first time in school history. The Lions also hosted their first conference tournament game, which also was their first-ever conference tournament win.
Mount Airy finished 18-9 overall and 9-3 in conference play. The Granite Bears were tied for second in the NW1A regular season standings and won the school’s first conference tournament championship in 29 years. Mount Airy reached the second round of the 1A State Playoffs. Sofia Stafford was named NW1A Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
North Surry finished 6-17 overall and 5-7 in conference play. The Greyhounds were fourth in the FH2A standings.
Surry Central finished 18-7 overall and 8-4 in conference play. The Golden Eagles were third in the FH2A regular season standings and finished as runners-up in the conference tournament. Central reached the second round of the 2A State Playoffs.
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All-Conference Spotlight: Soccer
November 23, 2021
With most of the fall sports already completed, The News is recognizing the local student-athletes that were presented with All-Conference Honors for their respective sports.
East Surry, North Surry and Surry Central all compete in the Foothills 2A Conference (FH2A), Millennium Charter Academy competes in the Northwest Piedmont 1A Conference (NWPC) and Mount Airy competes in the Northwest 1A Conference (NW1A).
Golf All-Conference
East Surry – no selections
Millennium Charter – did not field a team this fall
Mount Airy – Morgan Hiatt, Sydney Seagraves
North Surry – Trista Berrier, Marissa Casstevens, Bella Aparicio, Gwen Bode
Surry Central – did not field a team this fall
Season summary
East Surry finished third as a team at the FH2A Conference Championship. Claire Hardy had the top score for the Lady Cards, followed by Faith Braithwaite and Sophie Hutchens.
Mount Airy tied with South Stokes for the NW1A Conference Title in September. Hiatt was the Bears’ top golfer in the event, followed by Seagraves and Avery Pace. Hiatt qualified for the 1A/2A Central Regional Championship.
North Surry won the FH2A Conference Championship for both the regular season and conference tournament. Berrier was the medal winner of the conference championship, and Jonathan Sutphin was named FH2A Coach of the Year. Berrier and Casstevens qualified for the 1A/2A Central Regional Championship. Berrier finished 13th at regionals and went on to compete in the State Championship Meet.
November 23, 2021
With most of the fall sports already completed, The News is recognizing the local student-athletes that were presented with All-Conference Honors for their respective sports.
East Surry, North Surry and Surry Central all compete in the Foothills 2A Conference (FH2A), Millennium Charter Academy competes in the Northwest Piedmont 1A Conference (NWPC) and Mount Airy competes in the Northwest 1A Conference (NW1A).
Tennis All-Conference
East Surry – Tara Martin (FH2A Player of the Year), Evelyn Ruedisueli, Rosie Craven
Millennium Charter – did not field a team this fall
Mount Airy – Carrie Marion (NW1A Player of the Year), Ella Brant, Audrey Marion, Kancie Tate, Charlotte Hauser
North Surry – Whitley Hege, Katie Butler
Surry Central – Rachel Carter, Ellen Bryant | Karlie Robertson
Season summary
East Surry finished 12-4 overall and 12-0 in conference play. The Cardinals won the FH2A Dual Team Championship by finishing undefeated in the conference, then reached the second round of the 2A State Playoffs. Individually, the team of Martin/Ruedisueli won the FH2A Doubles Championship, were runners-up in the Doubles Midwest Regional Championship, then reached the semifinals of the State Doubles Tournament. Craven qualified for the Regional Championship in singles, and Alison Hooker was named FH2A Coach of the Year.
Mount Airy finished 22-0 overall and 12-0 in conference play. The Granite Bears won the NW1A Dual Team Championship by finishing undefeated in the conference, then went on to win the West Regional Championship and 1A State Championship in Dual Team competition. Brant was named MVP of the Dual Team State Championship. Luke Graham was named NW1A Coach of the Year.
Individually, Brant/Carrie Marion won the NW1A Conference Championship, West Regional Championship and 1A Doubles State Championship. Tate won the NW1A Singles Title, and Audrey Marion was the runner-up. Tate finished third in the West Regional Singles Championship and reached the semifinals of the State Singles Tournament. Hauser/Morris reached the semifinals of the NW1A Conference Tournament, finished third in the Doubles Regional Championship and reached the semifinals of the Doubles State Championship.
North Surry finished 7-9 overall and 4-8 in conference play. The Greyhounds were fifth in the FH2A standings. Individually, Butler/Hege reached the semifinals of the FH2A Doubles Tournament and qualified for the Midwest Regional Doubles Tournament.
Surry Central finished 9-4 overall and 9-3 in conference play. The Golden Eagles were tied for second in the FH2A standings and reached the first round of the 2A State Playoffs. Individually, Carter/Bryant were runners-up in the FH2A Doubles Championship, finished fourth in the Midwest Regional Doubles Tournament and qualified for the Doubles State Tournament. Carter/Bryant were defeated in the state tournament by the eventual champions: Eliza Perry and Ramsey Ross of Hendersonville.
November 23, 2021
With most of the fall sports already completed, The News is recognizing the local student-athletes that were presented with All-Conference Honors for their respective sports.
East Surry, North Surry and Surry Central all compete in the Foothills 2A Conference (FH2A), Millennium Charter Academy competes in the Northwest Piedmont 1A Conference (NWPC) and Mount Airy competes in the Northwest 1A Conference (NW1A).
All-Conference Honorable Mentions will include (HM) following the selection’s name.
Soccer All-Conference
East Surry – Jacob Lowe, Jesus Estrada, Nick Lowery, Juan Caro (HM), Logan Fagg (HM)
Millennium Charter – Julian Price, Zane Puckett (HM), Brody Krakenberg (HM)
Mount Airy – Elkin Lopez (NW1A Player of the Year), Noah Hart, Sergio Garcia, Carson Hill, Edwin Ramirez, Angel Osorno, Matthew Chapman (HM), Carter Bray (HM)
North Surry – Dallas Raya, Jair Gonzalez, Edwin Villegas, Emiliano Calderon (HM), Hector Hernandez
Surry Central – Jordy Avila, Johnny Garcia (FH2A Defensive Player of the Year), Eliazar Gonzalez, Daniel Juarez, Chris Nava (HM), Luke Creed (HM)
Season summary
East Surry finished 7-11 overall and 5-7 in conference play. The Cardinals were fourth in the FH2A standings and reached the first round of the 2A State Playoffs.
Mount Airy finished 26-1 overall and 12-0 in conference play. The Granite Bears won the NW1A Conference Championship and reached the West Regional Final before falling 1-0 to eventual state champion Christ the King Catholic High School. Will Hurley was named NW1A Coach of the Year.
Millennium finished 4-14 overall and 0-10 in conference play. The Lions were sixth in the NWPC standings.
North Surry finished 7-10-1 overall and 5-6-1 in conference play. The Greyhounds were third in the FH2A standings and reached the first round of the 2A State Playoffs.
Surry Central finished 16-4-1 overall and 10-2 in conference play. The Golden Eagles were second in the FH2A standings and reached the second round of the 2A State Playoffs.
November 23, 2021
With most of fall sports already completed, The News is recognizing the local student-athletes that were presented with All-Conference Honors for their respective sports.
East Surry, North Surry and Surry Central all compete in the Foothills 2A Conference (FH2A), Millennium Charter Academy competes in the Northwest Piedmont 1A Conference (NWPC) and Mount Airy competes in the Northwest 1A Conference (NW1A).
All-Conference Honorable Mentions will include (HM) following the selection’s name.
Volleyball All-Conference
East Surry – Bella Hutchens, Kylie Bruner, Samarin Kipple, Hannah Johnston, Kate Parks (HM), Merry Parker Boaz (HM)
Millennium Charter – Clara Minix, Madison Marshall (HM), Abigail Hodges (HM)
Mount Airy – Kylie Hollingsworth, Morgan Mayfield (Defensive Player of the Year), Paxton Reece (HM), Amelia Radford (HM),
North Surry – Bella Jones, Aniya Joyce
Surry Central – Mia McMillen, Katelyn Patterson, Jaylyn Templeton, Lainey Smith (HM), Marissa McCann (HM)
Season summary
East Surry finished 26-2 overall and 12-0 in conference play. The Cardinals won the FH2A Regular Season, Conference Tournament Championships and 2021-22 2A West Regional Runners-Up. Their only 2A loss came against the eventual state champion, Southwestern Randolph. Kylie Bruner was named Most Valuable Player of the FH2A Tournament and Katelyn Markle was named FH2A Coach of the Year.
Millennium finished 12-14 overall and 6-6 in conference play. The Lions were fourth in the NWPC standings and reached the 1A State Playoffs for the first time in school history. The Lions also hosted their first conference tournament game, which also was their first-ever conference tournament win.
Mount Airy finished 18-9 overall and 9-3 in conference play. The Granite Bears were tied for second in the NW1A regular season standings and won the school’s first conference tournament championship in 29 years. Mount Airy reached the second round of the 1A State Playoffs. Sofia Stafford was named NW1A Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
North Surry finished 6-17 overall and 5-7 in conference play. The Greyhounds were fourth in the FH2A standings.
Surry Central finished 18-7 overall and 8-4 in conference play. The Golden Eagles were third in the FH2A regular season standings and finished as runners-up in the conference tournament. Central reached the second round of the 2A State Playoffs.
November 23, 2021
The title of 1A State Champion certainly has a nice ring to it.
Two Granite Bear wrestlers, Franklin Bennett and Connor Medvar, received their state championship rings in front of the hometown crowd Friday. The senior duo was recognized during halftime of Mount Airy’s playoff football game against Starmount.
Medvar took home the 1A 152-pound State Championship in June, and Bennett won the 1A 145-pound Championship as a sophomore in February 2020. However, he never got a proper ring ceremony due to the pandemic.
The wrestlers not only have the common goal of winning their second state title this season, but they hope to – after two tries already – finally secure a ring in the same year. Their first titles came in mirroring seasons.
Bennett and Medvar begun practicing together during the offseason of their eighth-grade year. Their freshman seasons were both successful, but different. Bennett finished 26-6 in the 126 class and was Northwest 1A Conference Runner-up. He came up just short of qualifying for the State Championship Tournament.
Medvar, meanwhile, won the Western Piedmont 2A Conference Championship in the 126 class as a freshman at Surry Central. Medvar took third in the 2A Midwest Regional to qualify for the State Tournament. As the only freshman in his bracket, Medvar finished third in the state to lay a solid foundation for his high school career.
The two joined forces as sophomores; Medvar now in the 138 class and Bennett competing at 145. Both won the conference and regional championships for their respective classes to reach the State Tournament. Bennett held a record of 37-6 at the start of the tournament and Medvar was at 36-1.
Both reached the semifinals but it was here that their paths diverged. Bennett picked up a quick victory via fall to advance to the championship, where he defeated a familiar opponent 4-3 to win his first state title.
Medvar was defeated after his semifinal match went to a sudden victory period. The Robbinsville senior that defeated Medvar went on to win the 138 state championship via major decision.
Fast-forward 14 months and the 2020-21 season is just now starting. Bennett eyed a repeat, while Medvar had redemption on his mind. Bennett stayed in 145, and Medvar leap-frogged him to compete in 152.
The duo once again captured the NW1A and West Regional Championships to qualify for the State Championship Tournament. Bennett entered with a record of 21-1, and Medvar at 24-0.
Medvar won his quarterfinal match via technical fall, his semifinal match via 5-3 decision and won the championship via 7-3 decision.
In an almost identical fashion to Medvar in 2020, Bennett won his quarterfinal match but was upset in the semifinals by a former opponent. The wrestler that defeated Bennett went on to win the 145 State Championship.
Bennett (88-15) and Medvar (104-8) have both seen the top of the podium, and both know what it feels like to come just short of their ultimate goal. Using this experience, the Granite Bear duo plan to close their high school careers with their arms raised at the same time.
November 20, 2021
It’s often said that teams at the top of the rankings get everybody’s best shot with nothing to lose.
This is especially true when that team is undefeated and hasn’t allowed a touchdown in close to two months.
Starmount came to the Granite City Friday and gave Mount Airy more problems in the first half than any team has all season. The Rams forced three turnovers, became just the third team to score a touchdown on the Bears and held Mount Airy – who came into Friday’s game averaging 51.8 points – to just seven points through two quarters.
Despite all this, the young Granite Bears regrouped in the second half and outscored the Rams 37-0. No. 2-ranked Mount Airy cruised to a 44-7 win to reach the 1A West Regional Semifinals and improve to 13-0.
The Granite Bears have now won 13 games in six different seasons. The first five came under coach Kelly Holder (2007-2009, 2016-17) and this season’s is under the direction of coach J.K. Adkins.
Mount Airy leaned heavily on its running game, surpassing 300 yards rushing for the fourth time this season against Starmount. Tyler Mason led the Bears with eight carries for 167 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The sophomore’s 167 yards rushing are the second-most of his career, behind only a 13-carry, 193-yard performance earlier this year.
Mason now has six games of at least 100 yards rushing this season. Nearly 50% of Mason’s 167 yards rushing came on a first-quarter touchdown run of 80 yards. Walker Stroup knocked down the PAT to put Mount Airy up 7-0.
The Bears did a good job of containing Starmount’s offense throughout Friday’s game, but costly first-half turnovers eventually led to the Rams tying things up at 7-7. Mount Airy threw two interceptions and lost one fumble in the first half.
After the Rams forced a second-quarter turnover, Starmount’s Zack Dezern found the endzone with a short run. A PAT from Diego Zuniga tied the game. Dezern went on to be the focal point of Starmount’s offense by rushing 23 times. However, he only finished the game with 64 yards rushing.
The teams remained scoreless for the remainder of the first half to go into halftime knotted up at 7-7.
Mount Airy finally found the end zone again with 5:25 left in the third quarter. Reece Deaton punched in a 1-yard run, and Walker Stroup hit the PAT to put the Bears on top 14-7.
Things snowballed from there. It was less than three minutes later that Mason scored on a 58-yard run for his second touchdown of the game. Mount Airy’s rushing dominance continued into the fourth quarter as Josh Penn ran in a 9-yard touchdown with 10:49 to play.
Starmount only attempted three passes in Friday’s game since the team was without starting quarterback Luke Kimmer. Dezern subbed in at QB and was forced to throw in the fourth quarter with the lead up to 28-7.
Mount Airy punished the Rams for this in the form of a pick-6. Mario Revels intercepted Dezern and returned it 51 yards to the end zone for the Bears’ sixth defensive touchdown of the year. After Caleb Reid scored a rushing touchdown with 5:26 left in the game, the Granite Wall defense picked up even more points by forcing a safety.
Starmount finished the game with just one play of more than 10 yards from scrimmage. Out of 39 total carries, nine of the Rams’ rushes went for no gain or a loss of yards.
Mount Airy quarterback Ian Gallimore finished Gallimore 5-of-12 passing for 56 yards. Walker Stroup was the leading receiver with three catches for 22 yards, followed by Zeb Stroup with one catch for 21 yards and Revels with one catch for 13 yards.
Gallimore also rushed seven times for 27 yards. Behind Mason’s 167 yards, Reid was next with 67 yards and a touchdown, followed by Penn with 62 yards and a touchdown, Zeb Stroup with one carry for 21 yards, Deaton with two carries for 4 yards and a touchdown and Brison George with two carries for 4 yards. The Bears also had a bad snap that went for a loss of 21 yards.
Mount Airy will host No. 3 Mitchell (11-2) in the 1A West Regional Semifinals on Nov. 26. The Bears and Mountaineers have faced off three times before – all in the playoffs – and Mitchell has won all three meetings. The most recent of these meetings was 2015*.
With the No. 1 seed in the 1A West losing in the Sweet 16, the winner of Mount Airy-Mitchell will host the West Regional Championship on Dec. 3 against the winner of No. 4 Robbinsville (9-3) and No. 9 Murphy (9-4).
*Correction: This article originally stated that the most recent meeting between Mount Airy and Mitchell was 1986. The teams first meeting was actually in the 1986 playoffs. They met again in the 1988 playoffs and then the 2015 playoffs.
Starmount – 0, 0, 0, 0 = 0
Mount Airy – 7, 0, 14, 23 = 48
4:29 MAHS 7-0 – Tyler Mason 80-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
9:08 STAR 7-7 – Zack Dezern 1-yard rushing TD, Diego Zuniga PAT
5:25 MAHS 14-7 – Reece Deaton 1-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
3:05 MAHS 21-7 – Tyler Mason 58-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
10:49 MAHS 28-7 – Josh Penn 9-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
10:28 MAHS 35-7 – Mario Revels interception returned 51 yards for a TD, Walker Stroup PAT
5:26 MAHS 42-7 – Caleb Reid 30-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
3:10 MAHS 44-7 – Safety
November 20, 2021
PILOT MOUNTAIN — A defensive showdown took place Friday night as a pair of teams averaging more than 44 points a game combined for less than 20.
Both defenses shined under the bright lights of David H. Diamont Stadium as the Monroe Redhawks looked to shut down the East Surry Cardinals, and vice versa. The teams went to war for 48 minutes in the third-round playoff game. In the end, it was the small-town boys of Pilot Mountain that celebrated the win by a score of 10-9.
“You know, we sat in the coaches office all week talking about this game,” said East Surry coach Trent Lowman. “We sat in there before the game and every one of us said, ‘It’s going to be close, and it’s going to be a lot lower scoring than anybody thinks,’ and it sure was.”
East (12-0) and Monroe are both very familiar with deep playoff runs, and both have won State Championships in the past five years. The Cardinals won the 1AA West Regional Championship in 2018, 2019 and spring 2021, and also took home the 1AA state title in 2019.
Monroe (8-2) has appeared in the West Regional Championship four times since 2013. The Redhawks finished as 3A regional runner-up in spring 2021, 2AA regional runner-up in 2016 and 2AA regional champs in 2013 and 2015. Monroe won the 2AA State Championship in 2015.
Friday’s game marks Monroe’s first loss to a team in the 2A division since Dec. 9, 2016, when the Redhawks dropped the 2AA West Regional Championship to eventual-champion Shelby. Friday’s nine-point performance was also the Redhawks’ fewest points scored against a 2A team since 2016.
“Coach [Randy] Marion and our defensive guys had the defense dialed in,” Lowman said. “They (Monroe) were putting up points all year long on people, and our defense shut them down. They really did. There’s a lot of talk about them being the best 2A team in the state, and we just stood toe-to-toe with them. I’m really proud of our guys.”
East Surry forced three Monroe turnovers after the Redhawks only committed four through their first nine games this season. Trey Armstrong and Luke Brown each had an interception, and Armstrong forced a fumble that was recovered by teammate Joseph Grezmak. Monroe was held to just 1-of-5 on fourth-down conversions.
Both of East Surry’s scores were set up by takeaways on defense.
The Cardinals offense worked efficiently throughout the first half, but stalled when it came time to put points on the board. The team started with a 12-play, 4:12 drive that ended with a missed field goal, then forced an interception that went back to the Redhawks four plays later.
Monroe used this turnover-on-downs to start a 5-play drive that ended with Khamoni Robinson completing a 41-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Davis. Luke Bowman blocked the PAT to leave the score at 6-0.
The Cardinals punted on their next possession, then turned the ball over on downs on their first series of the second quarter. After the turnover-on-downs, Brown picked-off Robinson on the first play of the Redhawks’ drive. Brown returned the interception more than 30 yards to the Redhawk 25.
Armstrong ran twice to put the Cards inside the red zone, then Boaz picked up two big completions to get East Surry on the board. Stephen Brantley’s PAT made it 7-6 for East heading into halftime.
After trading possessions to start the second half, Monroe had its longest drive of the night. The 11-play, 5:04 drive saw the Redhawks go as far as the Cardinal 13-yard line. Robinson threw an incomplete pass on second down before being sacked for the first time. Brett Clayton, who led East Surry with nine tackles, picked up the sack.
After having the PAT blocked earlier, Monroe’s Angel Valenzuela converted a 35-yard field goal to put the Redhawks ahead 9-7.
Monroe started the fourth quarter in Cardinal territory with the chance to go up by two scores. Kyle Zinn provided coverage on a third-down attempt to set up fourth-and-5 and, with star running back Nate Crosby sidelined, Monroe elected to throw again.
Robinson completed a pass to Shaleak Knotts that was short of the first down. When Knotts, a four-star recruit that had 21 Division-I offers before committing to Maryland in August, turned to run he was hit by Armstrong. The ball landed on the grass and was scooped up by Grezmak.
Monroe’s defense continued to cause problems for the Cardinals’ passing offense in the second half, so East adapted. Boaz and Armstrong proceeded to lead East Surry in a rushing barrage in which the Cards only attempted four second-half passes. The duo alternated carries for more than five minutes of game time to reach the red zone.
East soon found itself in a similar situation to the first quarter when it was fourth-and-2 on the 15-yard line. After calling a timeout, Lowman sent Brantley out to kick a 32-yard field goal. The junior kicker missed his first attempt of the game from 31 yards; his power was more than enough, but the kick sailed wide in the opening quarter.
Brantley got his redemption by kicking a line drive through the uprights with 5:50 left in the game.
On deciding to kick the field goal instead of going for it fourth-and-2, Lowman said: “You’ve got to trust your players. We were stopping them and we still had two timeouts. I felt like even if we missed we were going to get the ball back with a chance. I trusted our guys, and I trusted both our defense and our offense in case we missed it. You’ve got to let the players play.”
Brantley made another game-saving play on the ensuing kickoff. Knotts dodged Cardinal after Cardinal to get deep into East Surry territory. Brantley was the last man back as the kicker and eventually brought Knotts down on the Cardinal 17.
Zion Lindsey ran twice for the Redhawks but only gained three yards. Robinson dropped back to pass on fourth down, but his pass fell incomplete. Valenzuela came onto the field to attempt a 31-yard field goal, but it fell short of the mark.
East Surry only needed to move the chains a few times to run the clock out. Behind a fired up offensive line, Boaz and Armstrong took the Cardinals from their own 20 to the Redhawk 12-yard line to run out the clock.
Monroe was held to a season-low 208 total yards just seven days after recording 612 total yards in a 60-29 win. The Redhawks rushed 20 times for 101 yards, and Robinson completed 10-of-22 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown.
East Surry finished with 292 total yards. Boaz completed 13-of-22 passes for 93 yards, and Armstrong was the leading receiver with five catches for 31 yards. Layton Allen added four catches for 21 yards, followed by Colby Johnson with two catches for 21 yards, Brown with one reception for 13 yards and Grezmak with one reception for four yards.
Boaz led all rushers with 22 carries for 123 yards and touchdown. Armstrong was next with 14 carries for 68 yards, Zinn added two carries for 8 yards, Johnson had one carry for 4 yards and Allen had one carry for a loss of four yards.
East Surry’s win puts the Cardinals in the fourth round of the 2A State Playoffs. Since 1972, which is as far back as the N.C. High School Athletic Association has brackets published on their website, only two Surry County football teams have won three games in the 2A division playoffs in one season. The first was Mount Airy in 1987, and the second is this year’s East Surry team.
“These guys are pretty tough, and they’ve got a lot of heart,” Lowman said.
No. 2 East Surry will host No. 3 Maiden in the West Regional Semifinal on Nov. 26. Maiden (13-0) is the champion of the Catawba Valley Athletic Conference. The Blue Devils defeated No. 30 Mount Pleasant 37-7 in the first round, No. 14 West Lincoln 47-0 in the second round and No. 6 Salisbury 32-20 in the third round.
The winner of East Surry-Maiden will face the winner of No. 1 Shelby (12-1) and No. 4 Reidsville (12-0) in the 2A West Regional Championship.
Forbush – 6, 0, 3, 0 = 9
East Surry – 0, 7, 0, 3 = 10
4:07 MHS 0-6 – Khamoni Robinson pass to Bryce Davis 43-yard TD reception, PAT blocked by Luke Bowman
2:52 ESHS 7-6 – Folger Boaz 2-yard rushing TD, Stephen Brantley PAT
4:28 MHS 7-9 – Angel Valenzuela 35-yard field goal
5:46 ESHS 10-9 – Stephen Brantley 32-yard field goal
November 18, 2021
For the second week in a row, Mount Airy welcomes a fellow Northwest 1A Conference opponent to Wallace Shelton Stadium for a playoff matchup.
Last week it was East Wilkes (5-7). After defeating the Cardinals 45-6 on the road during the regular season, Mount Airy defeated East Wilkes 48-0 in the second round of the 1A State Playoffs to move to 12-0 on the season.
The Granite Bears now find themselves against the NW1A Conference Runner-up: the Starmount Rams. Mount Airy hosts Starmount on Nov. 19 with the winner advancing to the West Regional Semifinal.
Mount Airy and Starmount are certainly familiar with each another. According to Mount Airy football historian Doug McDaniel, only three teams have at least 20 wins over Mount Airy in more than a century of Granite Bear football: East Surry (20), Reidsville (24) and Starmount (25).
The Granite Bears and Rams first faced off in 1971 and played at least once every year until 2020. Mount Airy leads the all-time series against Starmount 28-25.
Friday’s playoff game marks the fourth meeting of the two teams in the postseason, and Starmount leads Mount Airy 2-1 in that department. The Bears defeated the Rams 10-7 in 1985, then lost 24-7 in 1997 and 23-7 in 2004.
Mount Airy Granite Bears
Record: 12-0 overall, 6-0 NW1A Conference (Champion)
Current streak: 12 wins
Playoff seed: No. 2
Key victories: 62-0 at Surry Central, 56-6 at Draughn, 43-0 at Starmount
Key losses: None
MaxPreps strength of schedule: -17.5
Wins against teams that finished over .500: 3
Playoff scores: 75-0 vs. No. 31 Union Academy, 48-0 vs. No. 15 East Wilkes
Starmount Rams
Record: 8-4 overall, 5-1 NW1A Conference (runner-up)
Current streak: 6 wins
Playoff seed: No. 7
Key victories: 21-10 vs. Community School of Davidson, 18-8 vs. South Stokes, 27-20 vs. Andrews
Key losses: 37-0 vs. East Surry, 42-30 at Southwestern Randolph, 43-0 vs. Mount Airy
MaxPreps strength of schedule: -8.6
Wins against teams that finished over .500: 3
Playoff scores: 65-8 vs. No. 26 South Stokes, 27-20 vs. No. 10 Andrews
Mount Airy Granite Bears
Passing yards per game: 118.6
Yards per completion: 23.3
Passing TD per game: 1.8
Rushing YPG: 253.8
Yards per carry: 10.0
Rushing TD per game: 4.2
TDs per game: 6.6
Total YPG: 372.3
Total points scored: 622
Points per game: 45.3
QB Ian Gallimore (SOPH) – 1,414 yards passing, 60-of-85 completions, .706 completion percentage, 22 passing TDs, 3 interceptions, 52 carries for 315 yards, 9 rushing TDs, 1,729 total yards
RB Tyler Mason (SOPH) – 84 carries for 1,077 yards, 89.8 YPG rushing, 12.8 yards per carry, 17 rushing TDs, 10 receptions for 100 yards, 1 receiving TD
RB Caleb Reid (SOPH) – 51 carries for 599 yards, 59.9 YPG rushing, 11.7 yards per carry, 7 rushing TDs, 3 receptions for 21 yards
RB Josh Penn* (SR) – 39 carries for 443 yards, 55.4 YPG rushing, 11.4 yards per carry, 7 rushing TDs, 5 receptions for 145 yards, 2 receiving TDs
WR Zeb Stroup (SR) – 17 receptions for 561 yards, 46.8 YPG receiving, 33.0 yards per reception, 8 receiving TDs
WR Mario Revels (SOPH) – 11 receptions for 235 yards, 21.4 YPG receiving,21.4 yards per reception, 3 receiving TDs
*8 games played
Starmount Rams
Passing yards per game: 99.8
Yards per completion: 11.0
Passing TD per game: 0.6
Rushing YPG: 166.9
Yards per carry: 5.2
Rushing TD per game: 2.25
TDs per game: 3.2
Total YPG: 266.7
Total points scored: 270
Points per game: 22.5
QB Luke Kimmer (JR) – 1,034 yards passing, 100-of-180 completions, .556 completion percentage, 6 passing TDs, 4 interceptions, 15 rush for -64 yards
RB Zach Dezern (JR) – 252 carries for 1,546 yards, 128.8 YPG rushing, 6.1 yards per carry, 20 rushing TDs, 27 receptions for 269 yards, 1 receiving TD
RB Preston Williams (SOPH) – 64 carries for 190 yards, 16.3 YPG rushing, 3.0 yards per carry, 3 rushing TDs, 2 receptions for 8 yards
WR Davion Coleman (SR) – 31 receptions for 282 yards, 23.5 YPG receiving, 9.1 yards per reception, 1 receiving TD
WR Jalyn Adams (SR) – 9 receptions for 211 yards, 17.6 YPG receiving, 23.4 yards per reception, 2 receiving TDs
Mount Airy Granite Bears
PPG allowed: 1.5
Total points allowed: 18 (2 TD, 2 FG)
Shutout victories: 9
Tackles per game: 74.3
Tackles for a loss per game: 10.3
Sacks per game: 3.1
QB Hurries per game: 2.0
Caused fumbles: 11
Fumble recoveries: 11
Interceptions: 19
Interceptions yards: N/A
Passes defensed: 51
Blocked punts: 2
Fumbles returned for a TD: 2
Interceptions returned for a TD: 3
Safeties: 1
LB Reece Deaton (SR) – 84 solo tackles, 120 total tackles, 10.0 tackles per game, 28.0 tackles for a loss, 3.0 sacks, 6 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble, 2 passes defensed
LB Nic Isom (SR) – 67 solo tackles, 111 total tackles, 9.3 tackles per game, 25.0 tackles for a loss, 12.0 sacks, 15 QB hurries, 4 forced fumbles, 1 interception, 1 pass defensed
DE Deric Dandy* (SOPH) – 39 solo tackles, 57 total tackles, 7.1 tackles per game, 17.0 tackles for a loss, 9.0 sacks, 2 QB hurries, 1 punt block, 1 forced fumble, 1 forced safety
CB Zeb Stroup (SR) – four interceptions, six passes defensed, 2 fumbles recovered for a TD, 29 solo tackles, 81 total tackles, 1.0 sack
DB Walker Stroup (SR) – four interceptions, 13 passes defensed, 1 pick-6, 1 forced fumble, 12 solo tackles, 43 total tackles
*8 games played
Starmount Rams
PPG Allowed: 18.3
Total points allowed: 220
Shutout victories: 2
Tackles per game: N/A
Tackles for a loss per game: N/A
Sacks per game: N/A
QB Hurries per game: N/A
Caused fumbles: N/A
Fumble recoveries: 9
Interceptions: 21
Interceptions yards: N/A
Passes defensed: N/A
Blocked punts: N/A
Fumbles returned for a TD: 0
Interceptions returned for a TD: 3
Safeties: 1
Starmount does not have records of many defensive stats on MaxPreps. What is known:
– Xavier King, Jared Stokes and Mason Anthony each have a pick-6
– Davion Coleman leads the team with seven interceptions, followed by Ryan Kimmer with four, King and Stokes with two, and six Rams with 1 each
– Starmount’s nine fumble recoveries came from nine different players
Special Teams
Mount Airy Granite Bears
Dylan Tilley (SR) – 20 touchbacks on 71 kickoffs, 13-of-21 PATs, 0-of-1 field goals
Walker Stroup (SOPH) – 39-of-47 PATs, 0-of-1 field goals, 9 punts for 342 yards
Tyler Mason (SOPH) – 3 punts returned for a TD, 376 return yards
Mario Revels (SOPH) – 124 return yards
Zeb Stroup (SR) – 1 kickoff returned for a TD, 125 return yards
Starmount Rams
Diego Zuniga (SR) – 19-of-22 PATs, 3-of-9 field goals, 33 kickoffs for 1,609 yards, 5 touchbacks
Zack Armstrong (JR) – 35 punts for 1,100 yards, 3 kickoffs for 125 yards
Ryan Kimmer (JR) – 22 punts for 659 yards
Jalyn Adams (SR) – 1 kickoff returned for a TD, 186 return yards
Davion Coleman (SR) – 268 return yards
November 18, 2021
In its first postseason since being promoted to the 2A division, East Surry finds itself in a similar situation to years past.
The Cardinals will host a third-round matchup of the state playoffs on Friday against Monroe. East Surry has reached the third round of the playoffs in each of the past five seasons.
East, the champions of the Foothills 2A Conference, will battle the visiting Redhawks of Monroe High School, the champions of the Rocky River 2A/3A Conference.
East Surry and Monroe have only faced-off three times. These meetings all came in the 1AA State Playoffs and took place in back-to-back-to-back seasons. The Redhawks are 3-0 against the Cardinals.
The first meeting was in the first round of the 2010 playoffs, which Monroe won 34-27. The two teams faced-off again in the first round in 2011, and the Redhawks won that came 50-6. Finally, Monroe and East Surry met in the Sweet 16 of the 2012 playoffs. Monroe won that game 53-0 and went on to finish as West Regional Runners-Up.
Friday’s game will be the first game between the two teams to take place in Pilot Mountain.
East Surry Cardinals
Record: 11-0 overall, 6-0 FH2A Conference (Champion)
Current streak: 11 wins
Playoff seed: No. 2
Key victories: 56-22 @ North Surry, 47-0 vs. Surry Central, 37-20 vs. Forbush
Key losses: None
MaxPreps strength of schedule: -5.7
Wins against teams that finished over .500: 5
Playoff scores: 30-6 vs. No. 31 Newton-Conover, 37-20 vs. No. 15 Forbush
Monroe Redhawks
Record: 8-1 overall, 4-0 RR2A Conference (Champion)
Current streak: 8 wins
Playoff seed: No. 7
Key victories: 39-6 vs. Parkwood, 38-9 vs. Forest Hills, 60-29 vs. Robinson
Key losses: 37-6 at Marvin Ridge
MaxPreps strength of schedule: +6.3
Wins against teams that finished over .500: 3
Playoff scores: 57-13 vs. No. 26 Lincolnton, 60-29 vs. No. 10 Robinson
East Surry Cardinals
Passing yards per game: 277.6
Yards per completion: 16.3
Passing TD per game: 2.5
Rushing YPG: 176.5
Yards per carry: 6.9
Rushing TD per game: 3.8
TDs per game: 6.9
Total YPG: 372.3
Total points scored: 526
Points per game: 47.8
QB Folger Boaz (JR) – 2,990 yards passing, 182-of-252 completions, .722 completion percentage, 27 passing TDs, 5 interceptions, 94 carries for 726 yards, 20 rushing TDs, 3,716 total yards
RB Trey Armstrong (SR) – 109 carries for 681 yards, 61.9 YPG rushing, 6.2 yards per carry, 14 rushing TDs, 33 receptions for 548 yards, 6 receiving TDs, 1,229 total yards
WR Layton Allen (SR) – 65 receptions for 1,093 yards, 99.4 YPG receiving, 16.8 yards per reception, 12 receiving TDs
WR Luke Brown (JR) – 21 receptions for 488 yards, 48.8 YPG receiving, 23.2 yards per reception, 4 receiving TDs
WR Colby Johnson (JR) – 31 receptions for 366 yards, 36.6 YPG receiving, 11.8 yards per reception, 2 receiving TDs, 5 carries for 45 yards, 1 rushing TD
Monroe Redhawks
Passing yards per game: 244.3
Yards per completion: 18.5
Passing TD per game: 3.3
Rushing YPG: 186.8
Yards per carry: 8.2
Rushing TD per game: 2.6
TDs per game: 6.2
Total YPG: 431.1
Total points scored:
Points per game: 44.4
QB Khamoni Robinson (JR) – 2,114 yards passing, 118-of-176 completions, .670 completion percentage, 29 passing TDs, 4 interceptions, 32 rush for 196 yards, 2 rushing TDs
RB Nate Crosby (SOPH) – 105 carries for 839 yards, 93.2 YPG rushing, 8.0 yards per carry, 9 rushing TDs, 11 receptions for 166 yards, 2 receiving TDs
RB Zach Melton (SOPH) – 33 carries for 296 yards, 37.0 YPG rushing, 9.0 yards per carry, 7 rushing TDs, 2 receptions for 70 yards, 1 receiving TD
WR Shaleak Knotts (SR) – 31 receptions for 611 yards, 67.9 YPG receiving, 19.7 yards per reception, 11 receiving TD
WR Elliott Reed (SR) – 35 receptions for 598 yards, 74.8 YPG receiving, 17.1 yards per reception, 6 receiving TDs
WR Jaikhob Covington (SR) – 21 receptions for 353 yards, 44.1 YPG receiving, 16.8 yards per reception, 5 receiving TDs
East Surry Cardinals
PPG allowed: 9.8
Total points allowed: 108
Shutout victories: 3
Tackles per game: 71.6
Tackles for a loss per game: 8.8
Sacks per game: 2.4
QB Hurries per game: 1.0
Caused fumbles: 7
Fumble recoveries: 7
Interceptions: 13
Interceptions yards: 255
Passes defensed: 15
Blocked punts: 3
Fumbles returned for a TD: 3
Interceptions returned for a TD: 0
Safeties: 0
DE Brett Clayton (JR) – 93 solo tackles, 127 total tackles, 11.5 tackles per game, 22.0 tackles for a loss, 8.0 sacks, 5 QB hurries, 1 punt block, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass defensed
DE Joseph Grezmak (SR) – 47 solo tackles, 65 total tackles, 6.5 tackles per game, 14.0 tackles for a loss, 4.0 sacks, 1 QB hurries, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 fumble recovered for a TD, 1 punt block, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass defensed
DL Daniel Villasenor (JR) – 40 solo tackles, 48 total tackles, 4.4 tackles per game, 2.0 tackles for a loss, 6.0 sacks, 3 QB hurries, 1 fumble recovered for a TD
LB Joshua Parker (JR) – 60 solo tackles, 75 total tackles, 6.8 tackles per game, 9.0 tackles for a loss, 1.0 sacks, 1 forced fumbles, 1 pass defensed
MLB Hatcher Hamm (FR) – 55 solo tackles, 70 total tackles, 7.0 tackles per game, 9.0 tackles for a loss, 2.0 sacks, 1 forced fumbles, 1 interception
SS Kyle Zinn (JR) – 58 solo tackles, 68 total tackles, 11.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, 1 QB hurry, three interceptions
Monroe Redhawks
PPG allowed: 12.7
Total points allowed: 115
Shutout victories: 3
Tackles per game: 52.6
Tackles for a loss per game: 4.0
Sacks per game: 2.6
QB Hurries per game: 0.2
Caused fumbles: 5
Fumble recoveries: 8
Interceptions: 13
Interceptions yards: 361
Passes defensed: 3
Blocked punts: 0
Fumbles returned for a TD: 0
Interceptions returned for a TD: 4
Safeties: 0
DE Bryce Davis (JR) – 33 solo tackles, 44 total tackles, 5.5 tackles per game, 7.0 tackles for a loss, 5.0 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble,
LB Cread Simpson (JR) – 35 solo tackles, 53 total tackles, 6.6 tackles per game, 6.0 tackles for a loss, 3.0 sacks, 1 fumble recovery
LB Elijah Shaw (JR) – 32 solo tackles, 50 total tackles, 6.3 tackles per game, 4.0 tackles for a loss, 1.0 sacks, 1 fumble recovery
LB Brojan Allen (SOPH) – 24 solo tackles, 32 total tackles, 3.6 tackles per game, 8.0 tackles for a loss, 7.0 sacks, 2 QB hurries
FS Shaleak Knotts (SR) – 35 solo tackles, 37 total tackles, 4 interceptions, 1 interception returned for a TD, 166 interception yards
FS Elliott Reed (SR) – 18 solo tackles, 20 total tackles, 4 interceptions, 2 interceptions returned for a TD, 120 interception yards, 1 fumble recovery
East Surry Cardinals
Stephen Brantley (JR) – 53-of-65 PATs, 3-of-6 field goals, 30 kickoffs for 1,773 yards and 7 touchbacks, 7 punts for 275 yards
Trey Armstrong (SR) – 1 punt returned for a TD, 310 return yards
Kyle Zinn (JR) – 2 kickoffs returned for a TD, 177 return yards
Luke Bowman (SR) – 157 return yards
Monroe Redhawks
Angel Valenzuela (SR) – 39-of-54 PATs, 3-of-5 field goals, 65 kickoffs for 3,432 yards, 11 touchbacks
Jaikhob Covington (SR) – 13 punts for 517 yards
Shaleak Knotts (SR) – 1 punt returned for a touchdown, 161 return yards
November 17, 2021
HUNTERSVILLE — Mount Airy’s wild ride of a season came to an end Tuesday.
The Granite Bears put their 26-0 record on the line against the Christ the King Catholic High School in the 1A West Regional Championship. The battle between the Bears and the Crusaders was a rematch of the 2019 Regional Title match, and the result was the same in the end.
After 77 minutes of captivating play, the Crusaders netted the first and only goal of the match. Christ the King held on to the 1-0 lead for the remainder of regulation to win the school’s second-ever West Regional Championship.
“It was fast-paced, back-and-forth match that was probably a great game to watch if you’re not for either team,” said Mount Airy coach Will Hurley. “My kids did great. Yeah, I’d like to be in the state championship, but I’m just really thankful and really proud of how good the guys played. They really left it all out on the field.”
The Bears’ historic season ends in a similar manner to years past: with a playoff loss to a private or charter school competing in the N.C. High School Athletic Association.
Mount Airy soccer has only lost nine total matches over the past five seasons. In 2017, 2019 and now 2021 the Bears’ only losses were to private schools, and Mount Airy managed to reach the West Regional Championship in each of those seasons. The Granite Bears have not lost to a fellow traditional public 1A school since October of 2016 and haven’t lost a regular season match since 2019.
Hurley said he was extremely proud of his team for going all out in the match and competing for 80 minutes.
“I‘m pretty confident that when we came in they (CTK) were thinking ‘Oh, y’all had to go to PKs to beat Langtree Charter,’ and that they were just going to blow us out,” Hurley said. “I think it surprised them when we did as well as we did, and then they had to put their star player in late in the game.”
The center official called things tight early on. The teams were whistled for a combined 19 fouls in the first half, with three Mount Airy players and two from Christ the King receiving yellow cards.
The Crusaders’ (21-1) set the tone early with crisp passing in the midfield. Center defensive mid Dillon Kocher served as distributor for quick strikes on offense as well as on resets back to the defense. The Crusaders also had the most imposing defense the Bears faced all season, with Kocher and three of CTK’s four players on the back line measuring right at or above six feet and were willing to put their bodies on the line to keep a clean sheet.
Mount Airy’s first shot came on a through ball from Sergio Garcia to Elkin Lopez in the 12th minute, although the shot sailed into the side netting. Garcia had a cross a few minutes later that was headed out before Mount Airy could attempt a shot.
Mount Airy’s back line of Noah Hart, Matthew Chapman, Pablo Salmeron and Carter Bray also stood tall as the Bears looked to record their 17th shutout of the season. Hurley had to get creative with some of his lineup combinations on defense after Chapman and Salmeron both picked up cards in the first half. Nonetheless, keeper Edwin Ramirez kept the goal clean through the first 40 minutes of regulation.
The first half was more of a feeling out process for both teams that opened the door for immediate action in the second half. Christ the King earned its first corner kick of the evening less than 60 seconds into the second half. The kick curved in toward the goal, but was saved by Ramirez near the end line. Two minutes later, Kocher crossed into the box to set teammate Marcos Frias up for a header. Frias was in position to score, but Ramirez jumped up just enough to snatch the cross out of the air.
CTK was held without a shot until the 64th minute. In the meantime, Mount Airy piled on five shots: Lopez had three shots of his own, two that were off target and one that was saved, Edwin Agabo added one shot that was saved, and Angel Hernandez placed a free kick from 30 yards out just over the cross bar.
Ramirez continued to battle in the net with key saves down the stretch. The keeper deflected a shot out for a corner in the 64th minute, then came away with the ball before a strike could develop.
A handling call against Mount Airy was made in the 74th minute. Kocher lined up from 35 yards out and placed a shot on goal that was knocked down by Ramirez. The Crusaders’ Luke Bowman broke free of his mark and took a follow-up shot on the rebound, but that too was saved by Ramirez.
Christ the King’s goal was scored with less than three minutes left in regulation. Nik Seguin won possession along the left sideline and kicked a high-arching cross to the middle of the field and just outside the 18-yard box. Alex Neal trapped the pass with his back to the goal, dribbled toward his own sideline to set up with his right foot and sent a low shot to the opposite post. The shot was just out of reach for a diving Ramirez.
Mount Airy quickly moved into Crusader territory in an attempt to force overtime. The Bears’ best chance came when Christ the King was called for a foul a few yards outside its 18-yard box. By the time the official moved the Crusaders’ wall back 10 yards, less than 90 seconds were left on the clock.
Lopez took the free kick and sent a hard shot at the goal that stayed less than a yard off the ground the whole time. The shot made it past the wall, but was stopped by the CTK keeper.
The Crusaders took possession deep into Mount Airy’s defensive third to run out the clock.
“When I get home after a loss, I usually sit back and think, ‘Well, maybe if I would’ve done this or that different,’ and speculate,” Hurley said. “No second guesses in this one. I think we threw everything we had and it just wasn’t our night.”
The Impact of History
The loss stings, especially for the seniors, but Hurley hopes his players will be able to look back on the season as a success.
“It really was phenomenal season,” Hurley said. “The kids did so great. It’s what I told them out there: ‘You’re 26-0; you’ve set records all throughout the year, but the thing about it is you’ve got more heart than other teams, top to bottom.’ They just play with so much heart. And I’m not throwing off on my other teams, it’s just that, as a whole, these kids have tremendous heart.
“With that much heart you definitely want to win, and with heart you can overcome certain things.”
This year’s team set the following school records: total wins and consecutive wins with 26, regular season wins with 22, conference wins with 12, home winning percentage at 100% and goals scored with 156.
The Bears’ record of 156 goals scored this season is also second in Surry County history, trailing only Surry Central’s 160 in 2002. Mount Airy finishes the year sixth in the nation in goals scored.
Goalkeeper Edwin Ramirez recorded 16 shutouts this season, which ties him for eighth on the NCHSAA all-time list. The No. 1 player on that list, Caden Hill (‘20) was also a Granite Bear.
Elkin Lopez ties the Mount Airy school record for single-season goals scored with 45. Lopez ties Jeremy Chappell, who scored 45 goals as a senior in 2015.
”What a great experience,” Hurley said. “It’s definitely been a wild ride.”
November 16, 2021
In this month when we customarily express our thankfulness for the blessings of life, there is much in the world of high school sports and performing arts for which we are thankful as the 2021-22 series of state championships commence.
First, the almost eight million participants in high school sports – and a similar number of students in performing arts programs – will be able to start and finish state championships in a normal timeframe for the first time since the 2019 fall tournaments concluded almost two years ago.
The pandemic brought 2020 winter championships to a halt, caused the cancellation of 2020 spring championships and created chaos throughout the 2020-21 school year. Although some mitigations such as mask mandates remain in some areas, it appears a full cycle of state championships are on schedule for the first time since 2018-19.
Second, several girls state championships will have an even higher level of significance as they are conducted for the 50th time, having started shortly after the passage of Title IX in June 1972.
The Indiana High School Athletic Association and the Nebraska School Activities Association will be hosting their 50th state championship in girls volleyball this weekend, and others such as the Alabama High School Athletic Association and the Kansas State High School Activities Association celebrated that milestone last year.
After the landmark Title IX legislation was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on June 23, 1972, girls participation in high school sports skyrocketed, and state high school associations began to offer new championships for girls at a furious rate.
In 1972, there were more states hosting girls championships in tennis (27) than any other sport, followed by swimming (17), basketball (16), gymnastics (15), volleyball (14) and golf (14), with only three states offering track and field. A mere two years later, track and field was No. 1 with 43 state championships, followed by tennis (42), basketball (31), gymnastics (30), volleyball (25) and golf (25).
By 1985, all states plus the District of Columbia were offering girls basketball and track and field championships, followed by tennis (49), cross country (49) and volleyball (46); softball (38) and soccer (21) had started to make an impact across the country as well.
Soccer, in fact, has had the most remarkable growth. In 1971, only 700 girls were playing high school soccer. Twenty-five years later, that number had climbed to almost 210,000; and as the 50th anniversary of Title IX approaches, there are now almost 400,000 girls playing high school soccer, and the sport ranks fourth in popularity among girls high school sports – all because of that opportunity in 1972.
While there was not an immediate impact, the passage of Title IX also opened the doors for girls to participate in a couple of traditional boys sports – football and wrestling.
Girls first began playing on boys football teams in the mid-1980s and passed 2,000 participants in 2001; however, numbers have leveled off the past 20 years, with the latest totals at 2,404 participants nationally. During this period of time, however, there has been a surge in development of girls flag football programs.
As was noted in the recent October issue of High School Today magazine published by the NFHS, five states are currently sponsoring girls flag football (Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Florida and Nevada), with Georgia, Florida and Nevada offering a state championship. The latest survey indicated 11,209 participants in girls flag football, and interest is expected to expand to other states thanks to a partnership between Nike and the National Football League which will provide state associations money to start pilot programs.
The sport with the biggest growth rate the past five years – both in terms of participants and addition of state championships – is girls wrestling. After girls only had the option of wrestling on boys teams for many years, 20 states have added separate championships for girls just in the past four years.
The first girls participants on boys teams began to appear in the late 1980s, but the opportunity to wrestle on girls-only teams and for a separate state team championship didn’t occur until 1998 when the Texas University Interscholastic League became the first state association to stage a girls wrestling championship, followed by Hawaii in 1999.
California (2011), Washington (2013), Massachusetts (2015) and Tennessee (2017) added state championships to push the total to six states before the explosion the past four years. Even amid the pandemic, six states added girls wrestling championships this past year (Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Wisconsin), and now 26 states are offering state wrestling championships for girls.
Participation has jumped from 4,975 in 2005 to 7,351 in 2010 and 21,124 in 2018. In response to this growth, the NFHS Wrestling Rules Committee has established the first separate weight classes for girls, set to take effect in 2023-24.
We salute all schools and state associations that are continuing to create new opportunities for girls to be involved in high school sports and performing arts.
November 16, 2021
Jeremiah Price’s 2021 just keeps getting better and better.
On Monday, the Surry Central junior announced a verbal commitment to wrestle at North Carolina State University on Monday. The two-time N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A State Champion is set to begin his third season at Central in the coming weeks.
Matscouts ranks Price as the No. 25 prospect in the nation for his weight class.
“I couldn’t be prouder of Jeremiah,” said Surry Central wrestling coach Stephen Priddy. “He’s put in a tremendous amount of work to get to where he is today. The sky’s the limit with him, and we can’t wait to see him succeed at the next level when that time comes.”
Price has already become one of the top wrestlers in Surry Central and Surry County history through his first two years. By winning the 2A 145-pound State Championship as a freshman and sophomore, Jeremiah becomes just the third wrestler in county history to win multiple wrestling state titles. He joins North Surry’s Justin Jones (2007, 2008), Mount Airy’s Cameron Pack (2015, 2016) and Mount Airy’s Jacob Hogue (2015, 2016, 2017) on that list.
Jeremiah finished his freshman season with a 56-1 record to set the county record for single-season wins. His only loss that year came during the Holy Angels Invitational in a decision loss to Cape Fear’s Dallas Wilson, ending Price’s 27-match winning streak. Wilson went on to finish 44-2 on the season and win the 3A 145 championship.
Price won his next 29 matches following the loss and no other wrestler came within a point of him. This included the 2A 145 championship, which he won via 2-0 decision. After the season he was named to HighSchoolOT’s All-West Wrestling Squad and was just one of three freshman given the honor.
Prior to his sophomore season, Price won the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA) Sophomore Nationals. His last four matches in the tournament all ended in overtime or sudden-victory periods.
As a sophomore, Price was named All-State by HighSchoolOT after winning his second state title and finished the shortened COVID season 20-0. Jeremiah won the following awards during the 2020-21 season: Western Piedmont 2A Athletic Conference 145-pound Championship, 2A Midwest Regional 145-pound Champion, 2A 145 State Champion and WPAC Wrestler of the Year.
Price helped Surry Central win its third-straight conference championship as a team.
“He really dedicates his life to wrestling and to school,” Priddy said following Price’s second state championship win. “His work ethic is just unmatched. He’s never satisfied, and I think that’s what makes him so good. He always finds things that he could have done better. Even after the state championship, he was doing that.”
In October of this year, Price was named a Grappler Fall Classic All-American for finishing third in the organization’s national wrestling tournament. He competed in the High School Elite Division and defeated a state runner-up from Florida, a two-time state champion from Virginia and state placer in Minnesota in the tournament.
Price’s only loss in the tournament was to a three-time state champion from Florida ranked No. 9 in the nation that also went on to win the tournament. This loss only came after an Ultimate Tie Breaker.
The 2021-22 NCHSAA wrestling season begins on Nov. 23 for Surry Central. Price, who currently has an NCHSAA record of 76-1, looks to win his third consecutive 2A State Championship.
November 13, 2021
Mount Airy steamrolled East Wilkes 48-0 on Friday to move on to the Sweet 16 of the 1A State Playoffs.
The Granite Bears celebrated a new school record of eight shutouts in a single season on Nov. 5, then extended that by holding East Wilkes scoreless on No. 12. The 48-point loss is East Wilkes’ largest margin of defeat this season and is only the second time the 2021-22 Cardinals were held scoreless.
Mount Airy’s second-round playoff win over East Wilkes puts the No. 2-ranked Bears at 12-0. This is the ninth season – out of more than a century of Granite Bear football – in which the team has reached 12 wins, and is the second under coach J.K. Adkins.
Friday marked the Bears’ second meeting this season against the Cardinals of Wilkes County. During the regular season, Mount Airy traveled to Ronda and defeated East Wilkes 45-6. In that game, East Wilkes became the only team all season to score on Mount Airy in the first quarter and held the Bears to just 19 first-half points. The Bears regrouped after halftime and outscored the Cards 26-0.
The only points Mount Airy has given up since Sept. 24 came from East Wilkes’ two field goals in that game. Mount Airy minimized mistakes this time around to post an even more lopsided victory.
Mount Airy’s offense finished with 376 total yards, which was balanced between 195 yards rushing and 181 yards passing. Five of the Bears’ touchdowns came on the ground, and two were in the air.
Both passing touchdowns saw quarterback Ian Gallimore connect with Zeb Stroup: once for 51 yards and then again for 26 yards. Zeb finished with three catches for 90 yards. Gallimore rounded out his 181 yards passing with three completions to Walker Stroup for 31 yards, one completion to Mario Revels for 34 yards and one completion to Tyler Mason for 26 yards.
Walker Stroup also converted 6-of-7 PATs for Mount Airy.
Mason led Mount Airy’s ground game with 11 carries for 97 yards and three touchdowns. His 97 yards rushing put Mason over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Mason’s 20 rushing touchdowns this year are tied for second in the 1A West and 21st in the state among all classifications.
The Bears utilized six different players in the ground game. Mason led the team in carries, yards and touchdowns, then Gallimore was next in all three categories with nine carries for 75 yards and a touchdown. Caleb Reid rushed five times for 27 yards and a TD, Josh Penn had six carries for 5 yards, and Brison George and Traven Thompson each rushed once for a loss.
After giving up 183 yards to East Wilkes in Ronda last month, the Granite Bears defense held the Cardinals to just 89 total yards on Friday. The Cards rushed 33 times for 28 yards and completed six passes for 61 yards.
East Wilkes quarterback Briggs Gentry completed 6-of-14 passes for 61 yards and was picked off twice. Zeb and Walker Stroup each had an interception, bringing both their season totals up to four.
Most of Gentry’s yards passing came from four completions to Brennan Arnder, who led the Cards’ receiving corps with 64 yards. Brody Martin caught one pass for 2 yards, and Weston Brown had one reception for a loss of 5 yards.
Easton Martin led East Wilkes’ ground game in yards with 40 on six carries. Martin was next with 16 rushes for 23 yards, and Brown and Anthony Graham each ran once for no gain. Gentry had the Cardinals’ remaining carries, but went for a loss of 35 yards. Nic Isom, Payton Fonville and Reece Deaton each sacked Gentry, and Deaton and Josh Chavis each recovered a Cardinal fumble.
Mount Airy will run into another Northwest 1A Conference opponent in the third round: Starmount. The No. 7-ranked Rams (8-4) defeated No. 26 South Stanly 65-8 in the first round, the topped No. 10 Andrews 27-20 in the second round.
The Bears defeated the Rams 43-0 on Oct. 1 for Starmount’s only NW1A loss. Starmount is 5-0 since losing to Mount Airy.
The winner of Mount Airy/Starmount will face the winner of No. 3 Mitchell (10-2) and No. 6 Thomasville (9-2) in the West Regional Semifinal.
East Wilkes – 0, 0, 0, 0 = 0
Mount Airy – 20, 21, 0, 7 = 48
7:30 MAHS 7-0 – Ian Gallimore pass to Zeb Stroup 51-yard TD reception, Walker Stroup PAT
4:21 MAHS 14-0 – Tyler Mason 12-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
3:25 MAHS 20-0 – Ian Gallimore pass to Zeb Stroup 26-yard TD reception, PAT no good
11:12 MAHS 27-0 – Ian Gallimore 16-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
5:44 MAHS 34-0 – Tyler Mason 15-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
2:05 MAHS 41-0 – Tyler Mason 9-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
7:15 MAHS 48-0 – Caleb Reid 5-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
November 13, 2021
PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry punched its ticket to the Sweet 16 with a 37-20 win over Forbush on Friday.
The Cardinals and Falcons went back-and-forth during the first half, with the teams combining to score six times on the first seven possessions. Forbush made it a one-score game with a touchdown to start the second half, but then East Surry held the Falcons offense scoreless for the remainder of the game. Forbush’s final four possessions featured a punt, an interception and two turnovers on downs.
It was a clash of offensive styles as East Surry, who ranks in the top 10 of the state among all classifications with nearly 250 yards passing per game, faced off with Forbush’s primarily rushing offense. Forbush is one of only 10 teams in the state to have rushed at least 470 times entering the second round, and the Falcons averaged just under 300 yards rushing per game through 11 games.
East Surry (11-0) racked up 478 total yards to Forbush’s 364. The Cards had 358 yards passing and 120 yards rushing, while the Falcons rushed for 305 yards and passed for 59.
Following a week in which he was held below 175 yards passing, Cardinal quarterback Folger Boaz exploded for a season-high 358 yards against Forbush. The junior completed 20-of-29 passes, half of which went to Layton Allen. Allen led all receivers with a career-high 10 receptions for 165 yards and a touchdown.
Boaz’s other passing TD came during the game’s opening drive. The Cardinals went 72 yards in nine plays and capped the drive with a 21-yard pass from Boaz to Trey Armstrong. Stephen Brantley’s PAT made it 7-0.
The Falcons (8-4) looked to build of last week’s 523-yard rushing performance that helped Forbush secure its first playoff win since 2004. Derek Matthews and Luke Bennett alternated carries on Forbush’s first drive until Matthews broke free for a 47-yard touchdown run. East Surry maintained the lead after a missed PAT.
The teams traded touchdowns again as the game moved into the second quarter. Neither team converted the extra point, so East led 13-12.
Forbush seemed to have East’s passing game under control on the following drive, and the Falcons even sacked Boaz for the first time. Joe Hennings and Ayden Gardner brought the QB down for a 3-yard loss to set up third-and-18, but East converted on a 43-yard pass from Boaz to Luke Brown. East Surry failed to find the end zone after Brown’s reception, but Brantley did convert a 29-yard field goal.
Forbush had a chance to take the lead with a touchdown but instead had to punt for the first time. Matthews was dragged down for a loss by East’s Gavin Atkins after just crossing into Cardinal territory, then QB Andrew Hutchens was sacked by Kyle Zinn for an 11-yard loss. The Cardinals capitalized on that stop with a Boaz touchdown pass to Brown with just 18 seconds left in the half.
Forbush received the second-half kickoff and stayed true to its strategy. Matthews and Bennett took turns rushing and eventually found the end zone after a 10-play, 4:58 drive. Matthews attempted a pass for the 2-point conversion, but it was swatted by East’s Luke Bowman to leave the score at 23-18.
The Falcons had another chance to take the lead after forcing a three-and-out. Brantley placed a 59-yard punt on the Falcons’ 5-yard line, but the duo of Matthews and Bennett brought Forbush near midfield. However, a tackle for a loss by Armstrong and a swatted pass by Brett Clayton led to Forbush punting back to East.
Five plays later, Boaz punched in a 5-yard touchdown run to increase the lead to 30-18.
Matthews opened the fourth quarter with his longest rush of the night. The senior plowed through defenders to gain 70 yards and get inside the red zone. He continued carrying until Forbush was on the Cardinal 5-yard line, then Nathan Hampton brought the Falcons to the 1-yard line.
Matthews got the ball on fourth-and-goal on the one, but was held up by the Cardinal defense. Forbush may not have got the touchdown, but it was able to force a safety to cut the lead to 30-20 with 7:32 left to play.
The Falcons used a 31-yard pass from Hutchens to Matthews to convert a fourth down on their next drive. Hutchens looked to pass again two plays later, but was picked off by Zinn. East Surry took advantage of the turnover when Boaz hit up Allen for a 74-yard touchdown with 3:20 to play.
Determined to go down swinging, Hutchens dropped back to pass on every play of the next drive after only attempting four passes all game. The quarterback was sacked twice: once by Clayton, who led the Cardinals with 20 total tackles, and then by Hatcher Hamm, who had 17 total tackles and a tackle for a loss to go with the sack.
Hamm’s sack of Hutchens forced a turnover on downs with less than a minute on the clock. After a short run from Eli Beck, East Surry went into victory formation to officially eliminate Forbush from the 2A State Playoffs.
Matthews led Forbush with 27 carries for 183 yards and two touchdowns. Bennett added 16 carries for 147 yards and a touchdown, and Hampton had one carry for four yards. The Falcons lost a total of 29 yards on the three Cardinal sacks.
The Cardinals 120 yards rushing was made up of: Boaz’s 68 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries, Armstrong’s 14 carries for 39 yards, Zinn’s two carries for 9 yards and Beck’s one carry for two yards.
Allen led the Cardinal receivers with 10 catches for 165 yards and a TD, followed by Brown with three receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown, Armstrong with four receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown, Brantley with two catches for 47 yards and Colby Johnson with one catch for a loss of 7 yards.
No. 2 East Surry advances to the third round of the playoffs and will host No. 7 Monroe (8-1) on Nov. 19. Monroe defeated No. 26 Lincolnton 57-13 in the first round, then topped No. 10 Robinson 60-29 in the second round.
Monroe has won eight-straight games after dropping its season-opener to 4A Marvin Ridge.
Forbush – 6, 6, 6, 2 = 20
East Surry – 13, 10, 7, 7 = 37
8:43 ESHS 7-0 – Folger Boaz pass to Trey Armstrong 21-yard TD reception, Stephen Brantley PAT
6:33 FHS 7-6 – Derek Matthews 47-yard rushing TD, PAT no good
3:03 ESHS 13-6 – Folger Boaz 6-yard rushing TD, PAT no good
11:55 FHS 13-12 – Derek Matthews 1-yard rushing TD, 2-point conversion no good
7:11 ESHS 16-12 – Stephen Brantley 29-yard field goal
0:18 ESHS 23-12 – Folger Boaz pass to Luke Brown 33-yard TD reception, Stephen Brantley PAT
7:02 FHS 23-18 – Luke Bennett 7-yard rushing TD, 2-point conversion no good
0:53 ESHS 30-18 – Folger Boaz 5-yard rushing TD, Stephen Brantley PAT
7:32 FHS 30-20 – Safety forced by Baylee Ramey
3:20 ESHS 37-20 – Folger Boaz pass to Layton Allen 74-yard TD reception, Stephen Brantley PAT
November 12, 2021
There were only a few seconds during Thursday’s soccer match in which all of Wallace Shelton Stadium was completely silent.
The high-energy playoff match between Mount Airy and Langtree Charter was an absolute slugfest. Two teams left it all on the field through two 40-minute halves of regulation, two 10-minute overtime periods, two five-minute golden goal periods and finally penalty kicks.
The Granite Bears led 4-3 in penalty kicks when and Langtree’s Aaron Galbreath approached the mark as the fifth and final player set to kick for the visiting Lions. The raucous crowd immediately fell silent as Galbreath made contact with the ball.
The silence was short-lived, however, as the crowd erupted after the ball bounced off Edwin Ramirez’s gloves and back toward Galbreath. The match was officially over, and Mount Airy was headed back to the Final Four.
The No. 1-ranked Bears defeated Langtree Charter 1-1 (4-3 PKs) Thursday to advance to the West Regional Finals. Mount Airy, now 26-0 for the first time in school history, is set to compete in its fourth regional final since 2015.
“Man, I’m exhausted,” said Bears coach Will Hurley following the win. “This is exciting and really rewarding for the kids. That was a really hard-fought battle and they played their hearts out.”
Hurley has competed in the regional semifinal match five times since taking over as head coach. Mount Airy lost in regional semis in 2013, but won in 2015, 2017, 2019 and now 2021. However, only two members of this year’s varsity team had previously been a part of a deep playoff run, and only one was a starter on that 2019 team.
This year’s squad is dominated by juniors and freshmen. Only one senior attempted a PK for Mount Airy, and five freshmen either started or played significant minutes for the Bears.
“I know this sounds kind of crazy, but I don’t think we’ve played as good as we’re capable of playing,” Hurley said. “This was a very emotional game. You’re playing with a lot of pressure on some of your freshman. My gosh, I had two freshmen in the shootout.”
Ramirez, Mount Airy’s junior goalkeeper, played in just his first penalty kick shootout as starting keeper on Thursday.
“Edwin played an awesome game tonight. He really, really did,” Hurley said. “He wanted it so bad. I have to brag on him first and foremost; this was his game. Yeah, they may have scored one on him, but daggone it he played his heart out.”
Mount Airy young team faced something Thursday night they’ve not run into all season: a halftime deficit. Langtree took a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute by converting a penalty kick. Landon Metzler was fouled inside Mount Airy’s 18-yard box to set up the PK, and Jaxon Hinds finished it off.
The Bears totaled just four shots in the first half to the Lions’ six. Mount Airy had chances early, with Angel Osorno and Vicente Gomez sending shots over the crossbar in the opening 10 minutes. Langtree’s defense made sure to double and triple team the Bears leading scorer Elkin Lopez every time he touched the ball.
Mount Airy was called for 12 fouls in the opening half and two players, Noah Hart and Saeed Saavedra, were given yellow cards. This added to the Bears frustration as the team was held scoreless in the first half.
“They were kind of getting down and I said ‘Look, we don’t do that. We need to lift each other up here. We need to find a way to win and do it. There’s no blame at this point. We just have to do it,’” Hurley said. “I just talked about how the we can’t worry about the past and just to move on.”
The revitalized Bears looked completely different in the second half. Langtree only had two shots reach the goal through 40 minutes, and both were saved by Ramirez. The keeper also intercepted through balls near the 18-yard line.
Hart dribbled up the left sideline in the 44th minute before crossing to Osorno inside the 18. Osorno used his first touch to trap the pass, then scored the equalizer with his left foot.
Sergio Garcia was fouled inside the Lions’ box just two minutes later. The freshman Osorno had an opportunity to give Mount Airy the lead, but placed the PK too far left.
Mount Airy kept the pressure on Langtree’s defense throughout the half. The Lions attempted to throw counters at the Bears up the right sideline, but they were halted by Pablo Salmeron. Mount Airy finished with nine shots in the second half.
Neither team attempted a shot on goal during the first 10-minute overtime. Langtree had two in the second period, one that was saved and another off frame, and Mount Airy had two as well. The second shot from the Bears came with just 30 seconds left. Garcia ran up the left side and fired a shot that hit the near-side post.
The teams then went into golden goal periods of five minutes each. The two 10-minute overtime periods would both be played regardless of a goal from either team, but scoring during the golden goal periods would end the match right then.
Neither team found the back of the net during the golden goal periods, but the combined card count did increase to nine. Both teams were leaving it all on the field in hopes of advancing.
“I know they had to be worn out,” Hurley said.
The time came for PKs and each team sent five players to take shots on the other team’s keeper. Garcia scored first for Mount Airy by placing a low shot to his right, then Langtree’s Hinds did the same.
The Lions’ keeper guessed correctly on Gomez’s PK, but the Granite Bear freshman placed the shot just out of reach. Martin Silia evened things up at 2-2 by scoring for Langtree Charter.
Osorno got redemption by scoring his PK next. Hurley said he had complete faith in Osorno even with the missed PK in the second half. Vaughn Siemers scored for the visitors to tie the score at 3-3.
Mount Airy’s Carson Hill approached the mark for his shot, but sent it just over the crossbar. Langtree’s Logan Story had a chance to take the lead, but did the same thing on his shot to leave the score at 3-3.
Lopez was the Bears’ final kicker. The junior sent a low, hard shot to his right and the keeper didn’t have a chance.
The weight of the world rested on the shoulders of Galbreath and Ramirez. If Galbreath made the PK, the teams would advance to sudden-death PKs. This didn’t happen, though, as Ramirez jumped to his right and saved both the shot and consequently Mount Airy’s season.
Mount Airy successfully overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit to win the match in PKs. The Granite Bears fans stormed the field and surrounded Ramirez in celebration.
Hurley applauded the Bears’ resilience in the match.
“That’s what you have to do; You have to leave it all out there,” he said. “Hopefully this will go a long way for us on Tuesday. I’m just so excited for them to be there.”
The top two seeds in the 1A West will meet on Nov. 16 in the West Regional Final. No. 2 Mount Airy (26-0) travels to No. 1 Christ the King Catholic High School (20-1) in a rematch of the 2019 West Regional Final, which CTK won 1-0.
The winner of that match will face the winner of the East Regional Final of No. 1 Voyager Academy (16-1-3) and No. 2 Rosewood (21-0-2) in the 1A State Championship.
November 11, 2021
Mount Airy-native Jackson Ferris officially signed his NCAA National Letter of Intent Wednesday to play baseball at the University of Mississippi.
Ferris, who attended Mount Airy High School his freshman and sophomore years of high school, currently attends IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The left-handed pitcher originally committed to play baseball at N.C. State as a freshman, but changed his commitment to Ole Miss his junior year.
2021 has been a banner year for Ferris. In the spring, he helped IMG Academy finish the season 23-2 by finishing the season 8-0 on the mound with a 0.55 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 50.2 innings. MaxPreps rated the team No. 1 in Florida and No. 3 in the nation.
Ferris was named a member of the MaxPreps All-America Team, the MaxPreps All-America Junior team, the Prep Baseball Report High School All-State squad and was one of 10 finalists for MaxPreps’ National Player of the Year.
Over the summer, Ferris took part in the High School All-American Game. The game, run by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball, took place Friday, July 9, and was hosted at the Colorado Rockies’ Coors Field in Denver. The game kicked off All-Star Week festivities and was streamed live on
Ferris later took part in events such as the World Wood Bat Association 17U National Championship and Perfect Game National Showcase, and was selected as an Under Armour All-American.
Perfect Game ranks Jackson as the No. 6 prospect in the 2022 MLB draft. He is the top-ranked left-handed pitcher, and the No. 2 pitcher overall.
November 11, 2021
EAST BEND — North Surry’s wave of momentum was halted Saturday as the Greyhounds were defeated by Forbush 55-7.
Both teams entered the first-round playoff game looking to end a 17-year drought, as neither school had a postseason win since 2004.
When the Falcons and Greyhounds faced off during the regular season, North led 20-17 at halftime before a big second half lifted Forbush to victory 45-27. North Surry turned its season around following that game, winning its next four games and tying for second place in the Foothills 2A Conference with Forbush and Surry Central.
The rematch was North’s shot at redemption, but Forbush proved to be too much the second time around.
“I’m proud of what we did this year; not proud of how it ended,” said Greyhound coach Patrick Taylor. “Hats off to four seniors (Anthony Brown, Ryan Simmons, Trevor Isaacs, Bryson Wilson) that led this football team and a group of coaches that found a way to come from a 1-4 start to finishing the season 5-5. A lot of kids grew throughout the season and made a lot of strides, and that’s one of the things you try to take. You move on and move forward.”
North Surry had chances to build a lead early in the game, but only found the end zone once. After turning the ball over three times in the opening quarter, Forbush scored on each of its remaining drives in the game.
“We had four seniors that played their hearts out with a lot of underclassmen, and a lot of underclassmen that played their hearts out for those four seniors,” Taylor said. “That’s what you hope for when you put a team together. I tip my hat to those seniors, every one of these guys that stayed together no matter what and fought all kinds of adversity.”
Forbush’s ground game had its best performance of the season by going for 523 yards and six touchdowns. The Falcons came into the playoffs with only three games of 400 or more total yards. Even though 12 different Falcons rushed in the game, Forbush seniors Luke Bennett and Derek Matthews carried most of the load. The duo combined for 41 carries for 322 yards and four touchdowns.
Matthews scored on the opening drive of the game but the PAT was no good. North had a three-and-out, then Forbush went 95 yards only to fumble inside the Hounds’ 10-yard line. Kam McBride recovered the fumble for North Surry.
North Surry had another three-and-out, but recovered a fumble on the punt return to get near midfield. Quarterback James McCreary led the Hounds into Forbush territory, then found Jahreece Lynch for a 37-yard gain that put North Surry on the 1-yard line. Jake Simmons plugged in the touchdown, and Lynch ran in the 2-point conversion to put North Surry up 8-6.
Things continued to swing North Surry’s way when the Greyhounds recovered another fumble, this time on the kickoff. The Hounds quickly faced fourth down and were stopped just short of the line to gain to turn the ball over on downs.
Forbush’s next possession rolled into the second quarter and ended with a rushing touchdown from Bennett. Matthews scored the 2-point conversion to put the Falcons back up 14-8.
North Surry had its longest play of the game on the next drive. On third-and-4, McCreary completed a short pass to Jake Simmons and Simmons took off for a 57-yard gain. Anthony Brown was tackled for a loss on first-and-goal, then North turned the ball over after three incomplete passes.
It went from bad to worse for North Surry as the second quarter progressed. Forbush went 92 yards on a 14-play drive that lasted 5:57, eventually scoring with just over two minutes left in the half. The Greyhounds needed to score and were set up to after another McCreary connected with Jake Simmons again, this time for a 54-yard gain. However, McCreary was picked off by Chase Smithernman inside the 5-yard line and returned to the 29.
After a drive of nearly six minutes, Forbush’s next drive lasted just 49 seconds. It too ended with a touchdown and 2-point conversion to make it 28-8 at the half.
North Surry had two three-and-outs in the third quarter, and Forbush scored on both of its next possessions to go up 42-8 in the early moments of the fourth quarter. The Falcons, up 34 points, then recovered an onside kick and added another touchdown.
The Greyhound got their first first down of the second half on the next drive, but it too ended with a turnover on downs. Forbush scored on its final drive of the night to win 55-8.
McCreary finished the night 11-of-25 for 182 yards with one interception. Jake Simmons was the leading receiver with two catches for 111 yards, followed by Lynch with three receptions for 38 yards, Talan Vernon with three catches for 8 yards, Isaac Webb with one catch for nine yards, and Ryan Simmons and Trevor Isaacs each with one catch for 8 yards.
Jake Simmons also led the Greyhounds on the ground with 72 yards rushing and a touchdown. Anthony Brown had two carries for no gain.
Forbush improves to 8-3 and will travel to East Surry (10-0) for the second round on Nov. 12.
Taylor said Forbush’s performance on Saturday was impressive on its own, and he also applauded the team’s resilience to come out and play after losing a member of the student body on Friday. The game was pushed back to Saturday due to the tragedy.
“To be in as bad of a situation that they were in…we continue to keep this community in our thoughts and our prayers after what transpired,” Taylor said. “And take nothing away from Forbush. They played hard, and it’ll be a good slobberknocker next week between them and East Surry.“
North Surry – 8, 0, 0, 0 = 8
Forbush – 6, 22, 8, 19 = 55
9:41 FHS 6-0 – Derek Matthews 38-yard rushing TD, PAT no good
2:49 NSHS 6-8 – Jake Simmons 1-yard rushing TD, Jahreece Lynch 2-point conversion rush
10:48 FHS 14-8 – Luke Bennett 13-yard rushing TD, Derek Matthews 2-point conversion rush
2:10 FHS 20-8 – Nathan Hampton 8-yard rushing TD, PAT no good
0:22 FHS 28-8 – Andrew Hutchens pass to Joe Hennings 14-yard touchdown reception, Derek Matthews 2-point conversion rush
6:16 FHS 36-8 – Derek Matthews 5-yard rushing TD, Luke Bennett 2-point conversion rush
11:14 FHS 42-8 – Derek Matthews 12-yard rushing TD, PAT no good
8:21 FHS 49-8 – Baylee Ramey 14-yard rushing TD, David Guadarrama PAT
1:26 FHS 55-8 – Regan Ramey 4-yard rushing TD, PAT no good
November 11, 2021
North Surry senior Marissa Casstevens recently signed her National Letter of Intent to play college softball for Milligan University.
According to the university’s website, Milligan is a private, Christ-centered liberal arts university in Johnson City, Tennessee.
“It feels pretty good,” said Casstevens after signing on the dotted line. “I’m really excited to go play. It wasn’t my original plan when I was going through all this and looking for stuff to do at college, but then I had a change of heart and it feels really good to sign with a college.”
Casstevens said she originally planned to pursue a career in the medical field, and knew she wouldn’t be able to play softball doing that. However, things changed and the opportunity to play college softball opened up.
“I just decided to change my career path and what I wanted to do in life, so softball came back into play.”
When asked about her new career path, Casstevens answered that she isn’t sure what she wants to do. She just knows that the medical field isn’t it. This works out, though, as she didn’t want to stop playing anyway.
”I wasn’t ready to give the sport up after high school, so it feels really good to be able to go play in college at that level,” Casstevens said.
Marissa started playing softball at the age of four. In that time, she’s competed in recreational leagues, been a part of travel teams – currently a member of the Bandits 18U – and played for the middle and high school teams.
Casstevens came into her own during the 2020-21 softball season, helping the team to an 8-4 record in the Western Piedmont 2A Conference.
At the plate, Casstevens had nine hits – comprised of six singles and three doubles – scored two runs, a .290 batting average, a .333 on-base percentage and a .387 slugging percentage.
In addition to softball, Casstevens also played golf for North Surry. She helped the Greyhounds win the Foothills 2A Conference Regular Season and Conference Tournament Championships, while also qualifying for the Midwest 1A/2A Regional.
Casstevens said she also plans to swim this upcoming season, but said softball is her No. 1 sport and she’s looking forward to her senior season.
When asked what she is looking forward to the most about softball in the spring, Casstevens said: “Playing with the team and being with the girls. That team, all of us together, is just something special to me. I’m really looking forward to playing with them again.”
Casstevens extended thanks to her parents, family and friends for helping her get to this point. She also thanked coach Beth Hodges and her Greyhound teammates.
November 09, 2021
PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry overcame a rocky start by scoring 23 unanswered points to advance in the 2A State Playoffs.
Playing in their first postseason since being promoted to the 2A division, the Cardinals earned the No. 2 seed in the 1A West and hosted No. 31 Newton-Conover on Friday. The athletic Red Devils forced a turnover on downs, recovered a muffed punt and blocked a Cardinal field goal all in the first half.
A last-second field goal in the second quarter put East up 10-6 at the half. The team followed its lowest-scoring first half of the season by outscoring Newton-Conover 20-0 in the second half.
East Surry’s defense scored two touchdowns, forced five turnovers and held Newton-Conover (3-7) to just 73 total yards of offense. The Red Devils completed 10-of-20 passes for 65 yards and rushed 32 times for a total of eight yards from scrimmage.
Daniel Villasenor scored the Cards’ first points of the game taking a fumble recovery 31 yards to the end zone. Joseph Grezmak stripped Newton-Conover’s quarterback in the second half and ran 25 yards for the touchdown.
Joshua Parker also had a fumble recovery for East Surry. Kyle Zinn and Colby Johnson each had an interception and combined for 91 return yards.
Zinn led the team with 11 total tackles, followed by Hatcher Hamm with 10, Parker with 9, Brett Clayton with eight, Grezmak with seven and Villasenor with six.
Zinn and Parker each recorded a team-high four tackles for a loss. Grezmak and Clayton each had two, and Villasenor and Luke Bowman had one apiece. Clayton had two sacks, Parker had one and Villasenor had two QB hurries.
The Cardinal defense has only given up three touchdowns since Sept. 25 and none in their last three games.
East Surry’s offense accounted for 344 total yards and two touchdowns against Newton-Conover
Quarterback Folger Boaz completed 13-of-22 passes for 168 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Trey Armstrong and Johnson each had four receptions, with Armstrong going for 56 yards and Johnson for 31. Layton Allen had three catches for 60 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown reception.
Luke Brown and Stephen Brantley each had one catch: Brantley for 12 yards and Brown for nine.
Armstrong had his third game this season of 100 yards rushing by carrying the ball 15 times for 110 yards. Boaz added 13 carries for 58 yards and a rushing touchdown.
Zinn and Eli Beck combined for five carries for eight yards.
Brantley converted 3-of-4 PATs and was 1-of-2 on field goals.
Up next for the Cardinals is a familiar foe in Forbush. East Surry defeated Forbush 40-14 in East Bend on Oct. 15.
Forbush earned the highest seed of the three Foothills 2A Conference teams tied for second place (Forbush, Central, North Surry) and hosted North Surry in the opening round. The Falcons won that game 55-8 for the school’s first playoff win in at least 15 years according to MaxPreps.
Newton-Conover – 3, 3, 0, 0 = 6
East Surry – 0, 10, 14, 6 = 30
2:14 NCHS 0-3 – Jason Brawley 30-yard field goal
8:51 ESHS 7-3 – Daniel Villasenor fumble recovery returned 31 yards for a touchdown, Stephen Brantley PAT
1:50 NCHS 7-6 – Jason Brawley 25-yard field goal
0:00 ESHS 10-6 – Stephen Brantley 32-yard field goal
5:53 ESHS 17-6 – Folger Boaz 4-yard rushing TD, Stephen Brantley PAT
2:43 ESHS 24-6 – Joseph Grezmak fumble recovery returned 25 yards for a touchdown, Stephen Brantley PAT
4:45 ESHS 30-0 – Folger Boaz pass to Layton Allen 34-yard TD reception, PAT no good
November 09, 2021
KERNERSVILLE — Millennium Charter Academy, North Surry, East Surry and Surry Central high schools all sent representatives to the Cross Country State Championship Meet on Saturday.
The meet took place at the Ivey Redmon Sports Complex and was divided up by division. The 1A/3A divisions ran in the morning, and the 2A/4A divisions raced that afternoon.
1A Girls
Only three Surry County student-athletes competed in the 1A Championship, and all three ran in the girls race.
Millennium’s Ruby Hoerter qualified for the 1A State Championship by finishing 19th in the 1A Midwest Regional. She was one of 132 girls to qualify for the state meet, and only 29 of those were freshman.
Hoerter finished the 5,000-meter race No. 99 with a time of 25:27.29.
Both of the other Surry County runners in the 1A Championship came from Elkin. Sophomore Ragan Speer finished No. 34 with a time of 22:27.14, and senior Ava Bledsoe finished No. 37 at 22:38.65.
Swain County’s Arizona Blankenship won the State Championship with a time of 19:06.19.
2A Girls
Surry Central, North Surry and East Surry combined to put 10 runners in the 2A Girls State Championship.
Surry Central sophomore Yeira Munoz led the Surry County girls by finishing No. 19 out of 133 runners. Munoz had a time of 21:09.20, and just behind her was North Surry senior Callie Allen. Allen finished No. 21 with a time of 21:12.97.
Rubi Cortes-Rosa, a Surry Central freshman, finished No. 25 with a time of 21:21.60. The next local competitor to finish was East Surry freshman Addison Goins, who finished No. 40 at 21:55.64.
Rounding out Surry Central’s top five finishers were: junior Abigail Hernandez at 22:27.72 (No. 49), sophomore Andrea Gonzalez at 23:03.32 (No. 62) and sophomore Lanie Fitzgerald at 23:10.50 (No. 69). These five finishes gave the Golden Eagles 158 points, good enough for sixth place in the state.
Next to finish was North Surry senior Weatherly Reeves. Reeves finished No. 78 with a time of 23:29.92.
Surry Central sophomore Ella Priddy and junior Wendy Cantor wrapped up the Eagles’ seven competitors in the race. Priddy finished No. 89 with a time of 23:40.08, and Cantor finished No. 120 with a time of 26:35.41.
Brevard’s Lucy Murray won the State Championship with a time of 19:26.50.
2A Boys
Six of seven local boys in the 2A race were from Surry Central. The Eagles finished No. 11 as a team thanks to their top five finishes.
Sophomore Ignacio Morales was the top Surry County finisher, taking the No. 15 spot at 17:34.51. Morales had the highest finish of any sophomore in the race.
East Surry senior Cooper Motsinger ran the first two miles of the 3.1 mile race on pace for a new personal best time. However, Motsinger was slowed down by an ankle injury. He still finished the race, posting a time of 23:43.85.
For comparison, Motsinger finished second in the Foothills 2A Conference Championship and was within eight seconds of Morales.
Freshman Brangly Mazariegos followed Morales at No. 70 with a time of 18:57.39.
Senior Sebastian Sanchez was next at No. 92 with a time of 19:27.31, followed by No. 99 Charlie Hernandez, a senior, at 19:39.06, No. 125 Alexis Pedraza, a freshman, at 21:34.81, and No. 128 Isaac Eller, a freshman, at 22:12.77.
Brevard’s Knox Witherspoon won the State Championship with a time of 16:17.70.
November 09, 2021
WILMINGTON — Surry Community College volleyball was well-represented on the recently announced All-Region volleyball teams for Region 10.
The Lady Knights had four All-Region selections: Anna Stevens, Colby Crater, Abigail Johnson and Michelle Thao. Thao was named Player of the Year for both Region 10’s Western Division and the Region overall.
“I am very proud of all of our selections,” said Surry head coach Caleb Gilley. “It is a nice reward for their hard work and commitment.”
Surry Community finished the season 25-4 overall. Surry claimed the Region 10 Western Division Regular Season Championship, but fell in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
Michelle Thao
Thao, a graduate of Fred T. Foard high school, was stellar for the Lady Knights this season.
The First-Team All-Region freshman finished second in Region 10 in three statistical categories. Thao recorded 344 kills, 3.74 kills per set and 4.4 points per set. The outside hitter also finished fourth in the Region with 370 digs, fifth with 4.02 digs per set, seventh in hitting percentage with a .292 average and 11th in service aces with 42.
“Michelle had a great freshman season all around, and really was someone that other teams always had at the top of their scouting reports and had to game-plan to try and slow down,” said Gilley.
Thao was named the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Offensive Player of the Week in Division II volleyball for September 20-26.
Colby Crater
Crater (Forbush HS) was named First-Team All-Region.
The sophomore middle hitter led Region 10 in hitting percentage at .479 and total blocks with 81. Crater ranked third in blocks per set at 0.95, 13th in kills with 215 and 15th in kills per set at 2.53. She also contributed 33 service aces on the season.
“Colby consistently had one of the highest hitting percentages in the conference as well as the entire country,” Gilley said.
Abigail Johnson
Johnson (Surry Central HS) was named First-Team All-Region in her second season with the Lady Knights.
The libero finished third in Region 10 with 408 digs while averaging 4.25 digs per set. Johnson also added 21 service aces for the Lady Knights.
“Abigail improved so much from year one to year two, and was a steady defender for us all season,” Gilley said.
Anna Stevens
Stevens (Oak Grove HS) was selected to the All-Region Second-Team.
The freshman setter led Region 10 in assists with 861, averaging 9.06 assists per game which ranked second in the league. Stevens also ranked 13th in Region 10 with 40 service aces on the season.
“Anna had a great freshman season leading the conference in assists, and really did a good job of running our offense,” said Gilley.
November 08, 2021
Mount Airy put down a resilient Uwharrie Charter team on Monday to advance to the Elite Eight of the 1A State Playoffs.
The Bears had another explosive start, scoring their first goal before many of the fans were settled into their seats. Sergio Garcia scored just 34 seconds into the first half, but the Eagles evened the score just a few minutes later. Elkin Lopez scored twice in the first half to put Mount Airy up at the half.
Uwharrie Charter struck early in the second half to cut the Mount Airy lead to 3-2. Angel Osorno scored to give the Bears some breathing room at 4-2, then Mount Airy held Uwharrie off as the Eagles failed to close the gap with just nine players left on the field.
“I thought we had a really good performance tonight,” said Bears coach Will Hurley. “I just think that we set the pace right off the bat with that 30-second goal. I have to give them (Uwharrie) credit; I didn’t think they would let up and they never did.
“I knew that if we kept playing like we’re capable of playing we could do it. I think it was a pretty good game overall.”
Uwharrie Charter (12-4-1) is the first conference champion that Mount Airy has faced in the postseason. The Eagles won the Piedmont Athletic 1A/2A Conference with a 9-2-1 record.
Before Monday, Uwharrie had not allowed more than three goals in a single match all season, and only two teams managed that feat. Mount Airy, meanwhile, has scored four or more goals in 21 of its 25 matches this season.
Mount Airy’s 153 goals this season are the second in the state and fifth in the nation according to MaxPreps.
The first of these goals was Garcia’s lightning-fast strike. It was the first of three first-half goals for the Bears and the first of eight first-half shots.
The Eagles were able to even things up in the sixth minute on a penalty kick. Jordan Harrison heaved a throw-in over Mount Airy’s back line for teammate Brady Mowers to chase down. The Bears’ Carter Bray made a challenge for the ball but was called for a foul inside the box and presented a yellow card. Keeper Edwin Ramirez guessed correctly on the direction of the PK taken by Danny Palma, but the shot was placed just out reach.
It was less than four minutes later that Lopez got his first of two goals. The Granite Bear junior cut to his right just outside the 18-yard box and fired a laser beam past the keeper.
Uwharrie Charter was able to possess the ball well in the midfield, but struggled to penetrate Mount Airy’s back line. As a result, the only shot the Eagles had in the first half – other than the PK – was a header from Mowers that was saved by Ramirez.
Lopez, Garcia, Osorno and Adrian Rodriguez each had shots for Mount Airy in the first half. It wasn’t until the 36th minute that Lopez notched his second goal of the game, which came from a header on an assist from Noah Hart that Hurley called “beautiful.”
Lopez’s 45 goals this season are the most in the 1A division, fourth-most in N.C. among all divisions and tied for 34th in the nation.
Uwharrie Charter matched its first-half shot total in the first eight minutes of the second half. Carlos Parroquin’s shot in the 46th minute was saved by Ramirez, but Joseph Phetmixay found the back of the net in the 48th minute to make it 3-2.
“I think they get too comfortable,” said Hurley when talking about the Bears giving up early second-half goals in its last two matches.
“The one positive thing that comes from that goal they scored in the second half is that I can use that as an example, you know. Say, “this is what happens when you come out like that.’”
Hurley called the next few minutes “nerve-racking” as the Bears staved off an assault by the Eagles. The coach was calmed down in the 50th minute when Osorno sent a screamer from 35 yards out into the Eagles’ goal on a free kick.
“I’m really glad we got that free kick when we did,” Hurley said. “It let me breathe a little easier.”
Shortly after Osorno’s goal, Phetmixay picked up a yellow card. The senior would later pick up his second yellow to receive a red card. Uwharrie Charter’s Palma also received two yellow cards to leave the Eagles with just eight field players and a goalie.
The Bears had opportunities to extend the lead but couldn’t convert. The important thing was that Mount Airy didn’t allow another Uwharrie goal, giving the home team its 25th consecutive win.
“I’m really proud of how the kids played,” Hurley said. “I saw some things we can work on, but those are easy fixes. I think we’re going to have to communicate a little more, and the midfield is going to have to work harder this next game. Scoring-wise I thought we were on.”
The competition has increased each round of the playoffs, but this is no surprise to Hurley and the Bears. By winning Monday’s match, Mount Airy will make its third appearance in the Elite Eight in the past five seasons.
Only four teams remain in the 1A West. On the top half of the bracket, No. 1 Christ the King Catholic High School (19-1) will host No. 4 Gray Stone Day (18-4). On the bottom half, No. 2 Mount Airy (25-0) will host No. 10 Langtree Charter (11-7-1). That match is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 11.
Langtree reached the Elite Eight by defeating No. 23 Thomasville 6-0, No. 7 Corvian Community 6-2 and No. 18 Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy 4-2.
November 06, 2021
BURLINGTON — All eyes were on court No. 4 at the Burlington Tennis Complex.
The Mount Airy fans had a front row seat as Audrey Marion, who led 5-1 in the second set of her singles match, scored the final four points of the 2021-22 season. When the ball hit the pavement for the last time, the Granite Bear players stormed the court and surrounded Marion.
Mount Airy had just won the 1A Dual Team State Championship in convincing fashion. Coach Luke Graham stood by the fence and was overcome with emotion after witnessing what he called “a dream come true.”
“When that match ended, I just had a whirlwind of emotion reflecting on the times we had over the course of the season,” Graham said. “But most importantly and primarily I was just proud of the girls and so happy for them. This has been such an amazing experience, and what an accomplishment for this team.”
Mount Airy swept the Chatham Charter Knights 5-0 to win the Bears’ first dual team state championship since 2013. Results for singles were:
No. 1 Carrie Marion (MA) def. Elphie Spillman 6-1, 6-1
No. 2 Ella Brant (MA) def. Emery Eldridge 6-3, 6-0
No. 3 Kancie Tate (MA) def. Ashlyn Hart 6-2, 6-4
No. 4 Audrey Marion (MA) def. Lorelei Byrd 6-2, 6-1
No. 5 Charlotte Hauser (MA) def. Rebecca Brookshire 6-4, 6-1
Mount Airy’s Lily Morris led Emily Stecher 6-2, 5-4 when Audrey Marion scored the decisive win. Morris was more than okay with not finishing her match, instead being thrilled to join her team in celebrating.
Mount Airy finishes the year 22-0 in dual team competition.
“Being a graduate of Mount Airy High School, Coming back as a coach to the place where you competed as a student-athlete is incredibly special,” Graham said. “Throughout the season, their results, combined with their development, improvement in skill and chemistry just kept reinforcing to me that there’s no substitute for hard work.
“They sacrificed so much time, but I hope they can now appreciate with what they collectively earned today what can be achieved through the repetition of grinding toward a goal.”
The Bears started the year with the goal of reaching the state championship, but knew it was going to happen all at once. It was going to take work. You don’t take home hardware in November if you don’t put in the time in August.
“I would hear talk of the possibility that people think you’re going to win states, but try to block that out to a degree,” Graham said. “Instead, we focused on practice every day and took the season one match at a time. It’s ridiculously hard to win a state championship. You have to have talent, you have to stay healthy, you have to maintain focus and motivation and you probably have to get a little lucky at some point. For them to be able to accomplish that over the course of an entire season says a lot about the character of our girls.”
In Mount Airy’s 22 dual team wins this season, the Lady Bears won 168 individual matches while only losing nine. Of the nine: six were against teams in high divisions, two were in the West Regional Final against the No. 2-ranked team in the state and only was came in the regular season.
The Bears also won the Northwest 1A Conference Championship, had players win the singles and doubles Regional Championships, and – just one week before the dual team finals – Brant and Carrie Marion won the 1A State Doubles Championship.
“It was amazing and overwhelming to win with this group of girls,” Graham said. “Our tennis community is pretty tight knit, so I’ve been aware of or known the majority of them since they were kids. To watch their development and their growth, especially the last couple years, makes the journey and the accomplishment so much more rewarding and meaningful.”
Of course, behind every successful team is a passionate fan base willing to cheer the team in the cold at 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning.
“We had a lot of support from our families along the way, but it was really amazing to see the support today from extended family, students and staff,” Graham said. “It is so sincerely appreciated by myself and our team, and I think reinforces how special of an accomplishment this truly was by our team.”
Mount Airy will return all eight players from the championship roster.
November 06, 2021
North Surry High School had to get creative last school year when brainstorming ways to honor its exceptional student-athletes.
When Amelia York qualified for the 2A State Championship Cross Country Meet in January 2021, Dr. Paige Badgett and the Greyhounds threw an outdoor pep rally to recognize York while adhering to social distancing guidelines. This tradition caught on, and North Surry went on to hold similar pep rallies for state championship qualifiers in sports such as swimming and golf.
Things came full circle Friday when North Surry once again honored its state qualifiers for cross country: Callie Allen and Weatherly Reeves.
“I think it’s awesome that North Surry holds pep rallies for all their state championship qualifying athletes,” said cross country coach Joey Slate. “It’s an opportunity for these student-athletes to realize their accomplishment and feel the support of their school behind them.”
The Greyhound Marching Band and Cheerleading Squad performed for the student body at the pep rally. The cheerleaders chanted: “Keep the pace! All the way! Don’t stop ‘til you win states!”
When York, a member of the class of 2021, qualified for states she was the first runner, male or female, from North to do so in five years. Slate said at York’s pep rally that he didn’t even remember the last time the school sent a female runner to the state championship.
Now, the Greyhounds have sent three such runners in the span of 11 months. York returned to the school to support Reeves and Allen at the pep rally.
“It feels great as a coach to see the plans you’ve put together for these athletes come together, and watch them develop their endurance and speed through all the hard work they put in,” Slate said. “I’m extremely excited for each of the young ladies to make it to the state championship, and also for North Surry, because it shows our cross country program is moving in the right direction.”
Training for this cross country season started over the summer. Slate said the boys and girls teams endured rigorous training both in the preseason and 5-6 days a week once the season started. The training includes a combination of speed work, hill work, intervals and distance running to prepare competitors for the 5,000-meter run.
Reeves and Allen come into the state championship having traveled very different journeys.
“Weatherly has performed very well consistently the last three years she’s been on the team,” Slate said. “She has progressed from a 26+ minute middle of the pack runner to finishing 13th in the region with a personal record at the regional meet. She is a hard worker and a natural leader that the other team members look up to.
“This is Callie’s first year of cross country, and what I wouldn’t have given to have had her all four years I’ve been coaching for North Surry. I knew she was a good athlete because she played soccer, volleyball and basketball, but I had no idea what kind of distance runner she could be. I guess I was surprised, but not surprised at the same time, at what a great runner she is. She is just scratching the surface of her potential.”
Allen won the Foothills 2A Conference Championship with a 5,000-meter time of 20:59.96. Reeves finished 11th in the conference championship with a time of 22:54.18.
At the 2A Midwest Regional, Allen finished fourth overall with a time of 21:33.77 and Reeves took 13th with a new career-best time of 22:49.71.
Both girls look to have strong outings at the state championship meet. With the Greyhound community behind them, all Allen and Reeves need to do is heed the advice of Dr. Badgett:
“Run fast and don’t get lost.”
November 06, 2021
Mount Airy opened the 1A State Football Playoffs with an overwhelmingly lopsided victory over Union Academy.
The Granite Bears cruised to 11-0 on the season by defeating the Union Academy Cardinals 75-0. The 2021 Bears break an 87-year-old school record by picking up their eighth shutout of the season. The record of seven shutouts in a season was originally set in 1934 and tied in 1968.
The Bears came close to breaking the school records for points in a half (63) and points scored in a playoff game (79), but fell just short. Friday’s win was also the 10th game in school history in which Mount Airy scored at least 70 points.
Mount Airy saw contributions across the board in the team’s first playoff win since 2018: eight players rushed at least two times and no Bears player rushed more than five times, the team’s seven rushing touchdowns were scored by six different players and Ian Gallimore’s two passing touchdowns each went to different players.
The offense finished with 450 total yards, consisting of 357 yards rushing and 93 yards passing.
The predominantly rushing offense surpassed the 350-yard mark for just the second time this season. The Bears also tied a season high of seven rushing touchdowns.
Tyler Mason was the only Mount Airy player to score two rushing touchdowns: one went for 52 yards and the other 15 yards. Josh Penn, Ian Gallimore, Caleb Reid, Traven Thompson and Brison George each rushed for one touchdown.
Thompson and George each had five carries, with Thompson going for 50 yards and George rushing for 15. Penn rushed twice for 83 yards, Reid rushed twice for 63 yards and Gallimore rushed twice for 35 yards. Nas Lemon rushed three times for 42 yards, and Logan Barker added three rushes for three yards.
Gallimore finished a perfect 4-of-4 passing for his 93 yards. This is the third game of the season in which Gallimore completed 100 percent of his passes.
Mario Revels had two receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown, Zeb Stroup had a 31-yard touchdown receptions and Walker Stroup had one reception for four yards. Walker Stroup also finished 9-of-11 on PATs.
In addition to Mount Airy’s nine offensive touchdowns, the Bears also converted two touchdowns on defense.
On the first play of a Union Academy (0-11) drive in the first quarter, Walker Stroup snatched an interception and ran it 24 yards to the house. After the ensuing Mount Airy kickoff, the Cardinals ran two running plays before attempting to pass again. This pass was intercepted by Payton Fonville and returned 20 yards for a touchdown.
As if things weren’t already bad enough for Union Academy, the first play of the next drive resulted in a fumble that was recovered by Mount Airy’s Reece Deaton. The Granite Bears scored two plays later to cap off a 41-point first quarter.
Union Academy finished the game in the red for total yards. The Cardinals rushed 28 times for a loss of 59 yards, but completed six passes for a gain of 34 yards to bring their total yards for the game to -25.
Just 32 teams remain in the 1A State Playoffs, and that number will be cut in half in a week’s time. The No. 2 Bears will host No. 15 East Wilkes on Nov. 12. East Wilkes (5-6) defeated No. 18 North Stokes 24-0 in the first round of the playoffs.
Mount Airy defeated East Wilkes 45-6 during the regular season.
Union Academy – 0, 0, 0, 0 = 0
Mount Airy – 41, 20, 7, 7 = 75
9:22 MAHS 7-0 – Ian Gallimore pass to Zeb Stroup 31-yard TD reception, Walker Stroup PAT
6:46 MAHS 14-0 – Josh Penn 81-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
3:27 MAHS 21-0 – Tyler Mason 52-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
3:16 MAHS 28-0 – Walker Stroup interception returned 24 yards for a touchdown, Walker Stroup PAT
1:45 MAHS 34-0 – Payton Fonville interception returned 20 yards for a touchdown, PAT no good
0:47 MAHS 41-0 – Tyler Mason 15-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
8:44 MAHS 48-0 – Ian Gallimore pass to Mario Revels 48-yard TD reception, Walker Stroup PAT
6:50 MAHS 54-0 – Ian Gallimore 33-yard rushing TD, PAT no good
5:02 MAHS 61-0 – Caleb Reid 52-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
8:12 MAHS 68-0 – Traven Thompson 54-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
8:12 MAHS 75-0 – Brison George 3-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
Mount Airy football historian Doug McDaniel contributed to this article
November 05, 2021
There’s a reason Will Hurley keeps the Mount Airy soccer record book in pencil and not with a permanent marker.
Throughout the last decade, Hurley’s boys soccer teams have constantly raised the bar by doing things that seemed previously seemed impossible. The word “historic” gets tossed around a lot when discussing the Bears’ program because, over the years, the teams continue to break record after record. One such record deals with wins in a single season.
On Nov. 6, 2013, Mount Airy defeated East Montgomery in the third round of the 1A State Playoffs to win its 22nd match of the season. This shattered the single-season win total for all previous Bears soccer seasons.
Four years later on Nov. 11, 2017, the Bears defeated Pine Lake Prep in the 1A West Regional Semifinal to record historic win No. 23. Mount Airy matched this success two years later by defeating Bishop McGuinness in the 1A West Regional Semifinal on Nov. 15, 2019.
Now, close to two years after tying the record for wins in a season, that bar has been raised once again. On Nov. 4, 2021, Mount Airy defeated Piedmont Community Charter 7-1 to improve to 24-0 on the season. The Bears currently lead the state in wins this season and, with the win, advance to the Sweet 16 of the 1A State Playoffs.
“Man, it feels awesome,” said Bears coach Will Hurley. “It really does. I’m just so proud of the kids. We have so many young kids it’s hard for them to understand that you can’t always do this.”
The record-breaking win came in dominant fashion as the No. 3-ranked Bears scored six first-half goals against the No. 14-ranked Patriots. For comparison, Piedmont Community Charter came into Thursday’s match having only given up 17 goals in 18 matches (.94 average) and only gave up more than two goals in a single game once.
“The first half for us was awesome,” Hurley said. “We came out smoking like we should. It was a good thing to see.”
Across Mount Airy’s last two matches of the regular season and first match of the playoffs, 69.2% of the Bears’ goals scored came in the second half.
“I kept telling them ‘You can’t wait until the second half, because you’re going to face better teams as you go along,’ so I was glad to see they responded and put this one out of reach early,” Hurley said.
Mount Airy fired 17 shots in the first 40 minutes of play on Thursday. The first came just 35 seconds after the opening whistle: Elkin Lopez crossed from the right side to a wide open Sergio Garcia by the far post, and Garcia used his head to redirect a shot that ricocheted off said post.
Lopez attempted two more shots before the Bears’ first goal, which came in the 7th minute. Garcia took a corner kick from the Mount Airy sideline and it was finished off by Saeed Saavedra.
Saavedra found himself in the crowded 18-yard box of PCC (14-4-1) in the 12th minute. Instead of forcing a shot that likely wouldn’t make it through the minefield of defenders, Saavedra passed back to Noah Hart. Hart floated a cross into the box for Angel Osorno to head in.
Garcia got his second assist of the night with the Bears’ third goal. After bolting to the corner flag, Garcia turned and crossed to Lopez at the top of the 18. Lopez settled and sent a screamer into the back of the net in the 14th minute.
The Garcia-Osorno connection added Mount Airy’s fourth goal in the 23rd minute, then Lopez assisted Osorno’s third goal of the game in the 28th minute. Then, the sixth goal of the half came when Garcia made a sliding cross along the front of the goal in the 35th minute.
Just as it looked like no Bear or Patriot player would be able to finish the pass off, Granite Bear freshman Adrian Rodriguez slid in to score his first goal of the match. Rodriguez’s goal capped off a six-goal half.
Mount Airy’s lightning-fast start in the first half was not replicated to start the second half. Instead, Piedmont Community Charter got on the scoreboard with a goal in the 45th minute. Following the Patriots’ goal, Hurley shouted to his players, posing the question of, “Y’all going to play now.”
The Bears got back on track and held PCC to just two more shots in the second half. Both shots were on target, but saved by Mount Airy’s Edwin Ramirez.
The fifth and final Granite Bear goal was scored by Rodriguez on an assist from Garcia in the 65th minute.
Most of the 1A division completed the second round of playoffs on Thursday. Fifteen of the Sweet 16 teams have been decided, with the final one scheduled to be decided Friday afternoon.
Of the 17 1A teams still playing, 12 are Charter or Private schools. Mount Airy is one of two traditional public schools remaining in the 1A West.
No. 3 Mount Airy hosts its Sweet 16 matchup against No. 6 Uwharrie Charter on Nov. 8. Uwharrie (12-3-1) won the Piedmont Athletic 1A/2A Conference and reached the third round by defeating No. 27 Avery County 5-0 and No. 11 Carver 2-1.
“I keep telling the guys how at most there are just a few more weeks left,” Hurley said. “You’ve got to hold on and give everything you’ve got. None of these teams have anything to lose. They’re going to try and come out and beat the undefeated team, so hopefully we can continue. I know it’s going to get a lot tougher as we go along.”
November 04, 2021
Millennium Charter Academy and Mount Airy each competed in a 1A Regional Cross Country Championship last weekend.
Millennium took part in the N.C. High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 1A Midwest Regionals at Kernersville’s Ivey Redmon Sports Complex, and Mount Airy competed in the NCHSAA 1A West Regionals at Kituwah Mound in Bryson City.
MCA freshman Ruby Hoerter made history at the Oct. 30 meet. Hoerter, who ran the 5,000 meters in 23:59.98, became the first runner from Millennium to qualify for the State Championship Meet. She finished in 19th out of 89 total runners.
This year’s 1A State Championship will take place at Ivey Redmon on Saturday, Nov. 6. Hoerter is the only runner from either school to qualify for the 1A State Championship.
Millennium also had six boys compete in the Midwest 1A Regional. Senior Calvin Devore led the Lions with a 5K time of 19:43.05 and finished in 32nd out of 94 runners.
Behind Calvin was fellow senior Hartley Devore. Hartley finished 58th with a time of 21:15.53. Junior Ford Holmes was next in 65th with a time of 21:41.41, followed by Junior Nicholas Johnson in 72nd at 22:41.87, Junior Eric Sorrell in 78th at 24:09.63 and freshman Lane Reese in 84th at 25:10.76.
The Lions boys finished 11th in the team competition.
Mount Airy had three boys and one girl compete in the 1A West Regionals.
For the boys, sophomore Caden Ratcliff led the Granite Bears with a time of 18:46.73. This was good enough for 33rd place out of 121 runners.
Behind Ratcliff were freshman Declan Conner and Alex Leiva. Conner finished 37th with a time of 18:56.38, and Leiva finished 113th with a time of 25:32.50.
Ali Arnder was the only Lady Granite Bear to compete at Regionals. Arnder finished 54th out of 89 runners with a 5,000-meters time of 24:44.98.
November 04, 2021
WILMINGTON — The Surry Community College volleyball team’s historic season came to end Saturday.
Surry fell to Richard Bland College in the semifinals of the Region 10 Tournament 3-2. The Lady Knights finished the season with an overall record on 25-4 while being nationally ranked in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II poll for much of the season.
Surry dropped the first set to the Lady Statesmen 25-23 before rebounding to take the second set 25-22. The Lady Knights went up 2-1 with a 25-21 decision in the third set.
Richard Bland battled back to take the fourth set 25-20 and force a deciding fifth set. In a back-and-forth final set, the Lady Knights came up just short as the Statemen prevailed 17-15.
Camilla Garner (Southwest Guilford High School) led Surry with 23 kills, while Michelle Thao (Fred T. Foard HS) added 13 kills. Setter Anna Stevens (Oak Grove HS) dished out a game-high 41 assists for the Lady Knights.
Thao led Surry on defense with 23 digs, while Stevens recorded 14 digs, Natalie Eaton (North Surry HS) added 13 digs while teammate Abigail Johnson (Surry Central HS) had 12 digs.
Colby Crater (Forbush HS) led the Lady Knights with two blocks.
Surry finished the season with a school record 25 wins along with capturing the Region 10 Western Division Championship.
November 04, 2021
PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry’s volleyball season came to an end Tuesday as the Cardinals fell 3-2 in the 2A West Regional Final.
In their first season following a promotion to the 2A division, the No. 1-ranked Cardinals collided with No. 2-ranked Southwestern Randolph. The visiting Cougars are also in their first season in the 2A division after dropping from 3A.
East Surry was pushed to five sets for just the second time this season in a back-and-forth thriller. The Cardinals won the first set 25-21, dropped the next two sets 26-28 and 20-25, then won the fourth set 25-20.
Southwest Randolph clinched the West Regional Championship by winning the decisive fifth set 15-12.
“I thought we put up a really good fight,” said East Surry coach Katelyn Markle. “We made Randolph fight and earn their spot [in the state championship] on Saturday. I’m sad for our seniors, but I told them to keep their heads up because we had a great season. I don’t want the outcome of this match to overshadow all the accomplishments they had this year.”
East Surry finishes the season 26-2. The loss to Southwestern Randolph (27-5) was East’s first loss to a 2A team since being promoted to the division, with the Cards other loss coming to 4A Davie.
The Cardinals’ incredible season included: a 16-0 start in which the Cards only lost a combined seven sets, an undefeated 12-0 conference campaign to win the Foothills 2A Conference Regular Season Title, the school’s eighth-consecutive conference tournament championship, senior Kylie Bruner being named FH2A Tournament MVP and Markle being named FH2A Coach of the Year.
“This season was a lot of fun to be a part of,” Markle said. “I asked the girls at the beginning of the season what goals they had for the team and themselves. They said they wanted to win conference and they made it happen. They said make a deep run in playoffs and made it happen. What more can you ask when you have a team willing to leave it all out there on the court?
“I couldn’t be prouder. Anytime Kacie or I asked them to make a change, whether in practice or a game, they would do it. We had a very special group this year. It was an honor to coach these girls and see them grow as young women off the court as well.”
The Cardinals knew they were in for a battle against the Cougars. Southwestern Randolph spent most of the year jockeying with East Surry for MaxPreps’ top spot in the 2A West with an impressive resume of its own.
The Cougars only lost two matches to fellow 2A during the regular season. Southwestern Randolph got revenge for both of those losses (3-1 vs. McMichael, 3-1 vs. West Stanly) by defeating West Stanly in the third round of the playoffs 3-0, then beating McMichael 3-1 in the fourth round.
Southwestern Randolph won 12-straight matches at one point in the season and went undefeated in the Piedmont Athletic 1A/2A Conference. The Cougars did lose to Uwharrie Charter in the Conference Tournament.
“We knew they were very scrappy defensive team and that it going to be hard for us to put balls away,” Markle said. “Even though the defense was as good as it was, we still put balls away when we needed to in the first and fourth sets. We started to come back in the fifth, but a couple of things just didn’t go our way.”
The Cardinals and Cougars were evenly matched out of the gate. The teams were tied up for seven times in the opening set, and all seven came before either team reached nine points. East Surry went up 9-8 and never surrendered the lead.
Southwestern Randolph cut the lead to 13-12 with a kill from senior outside hitter Payton Shiflet. A service error committed by the Cougars gave the serve back to the Cards who then went on a 6-1 run. The teams traded points for the rest of the set, but East’s big run was the difference-maker as the Cards held on to win 25-21.
East Surry’s only leads of the second set came at 1-0 and 4-3. Southwestern Randolph took a 6-6 tie and turned it into an 11-6 lead with five consecutive points. East’s Merry Parker Boaz and Kate Parks combined for four kills on the five points after the Cougars’ run to make it a three-point game. Kylie Bruner and Bella Hutchens got going on offense as well to cut the lead to 14-13.
East wasn’t able to take over the lead again due to four-straight points by Southwestern Randolph. The Cougars went on to win the set 25-19.
The third set was a heartbreaker for East Surry. The lead only changed hands twice in the set: the first was when East responded to a 1-0 deficit by scoring the next three points, and the second was when Southwestern Randolph rattled off four points back-to-back-to-back-to-back to turn a 24-21 deficit into a 25-24 lead.
The Cardinals fought all set to keep their lead alive. At one point, Bruner nearly landed in the stands to extend a rally. This wasn’t enough, though, as Southwestern Randolph won the set 28-26.
East Surry entered survival mode down two sets to one. Like the third set, the lead only changed hands twice in the fourth. The Cardinals scored first, the Cougars responded to go up 2-1 then the Cards regained the lead and went up 3-2. East Surry led for the remainder of the set.
It was here that the East Surry defensive play shined the brightest. The front row did its best to block or disrupt attacks from Shiflet and Josie Allred, who came alive late in the match, and the back row dove all over the place to keep rallies going. It was here that East’s libero, Samarin Kipple, had some digs Markle called “unbelievable.”
The Cardinals were fueled in the do-or-die set by a packed gymnasium full of electrified fans – which is a stark contrast to last season when only 25 fans were allowed at each match.
“For those kids, the sophomores and freshman, they’ve never played in front of a crowd like that, and for them to not crack under pressure or fold like they easily could’ve was amazing,” Markle said. “The girls stepped up and played their hearts out. It didn’t go in our favor and that’s disappointing, but I’m not disappointed in them or their effort one bit.”
The Cardinal crowd reached its loudest point late in the fourth set. East Surry led 20-17 when the teams engaged in the longest rally of the match. After countless close calls, the Cardinals put it away with a Hutchens kill that bounced off the head of a Cougar player.
Hutchens set a new East Surry school record of 41 kills in the match.
The fifth set featured just as much drama as the four previous ones. There were three lead changes before either team reached six points, and it was a one-point game up until 8-7.
Shiflet picked up another one of her team-high 34 kills to put the Cougars up 9-7. Hutchens responded with a kill of her own near the back-right corner, but it was called out by the line judge. On the next play, Southwestern Randolph committed an attack error by hitting out of bounds as indicated by the line judge. As the Cardinals celebrated and got in formation to serve, the first referee indicated that East Surry committed a violation and that the point was award to Southwestern Randolph.
East managed to regain serve to cut the lead to 11-8, but Southwestern Randolph scored three of the next four points to go up 14-9. The Cardinals continued to battle and won the next three points. It was a 14-12 game when Allred recorded her 16th kill of the night to seal the Cougars’ victory.
Markle said the loss really stings, but hopes the girls will be able to look back and appreciate the season for the incredible journey it was.
“This team has gotten along and just meshed together better than any team I’ve ever been a part of,” Markle said. “There were never any arguments or drama. When I say this group did something great this year, they truly did. They may not know it now, but when they look back, maybe it’s next month or 10 years from now, they’ll realized what they did and how incredible it was.”
Markle also extended her thanks to the members of the community that got behind the team this year.
“I really appreciate the amount of support we’ve had this season. Pilot is not a huge community, but when it comes to supporting the high school they show up. I’m so thankful that they supported the girls like they did. It really means a lot.”
November 03, 2021
Time slowed down as Mount Airy’s Charlotte Hauser watched Bishop McGuinness return a volley over the net.
Hauser, teaming with fellow junior Kancie Tate, saw the return soar over the doubles sideline and into the green out-of-bounds area. Hit with the realization of what happened, Hauser turned to Tate – with tears in her eyes – and wrapped her teammate up in a Bear hug.
This was the point that sealed Mount Airy’s victory over Bishop and brought the 1A West Regional Championship to the Granite City for the first time in five years.
“This was an extremely emotional win and I’m so proud of our effort and the way we fought,” said Granite Bear coach Luke Graham. “I told our girls before the match that, ‘Our depth has been our strength all year. I don’t know where they’re going to come from, but we’ve got to find a way to get five wins.’
“We knew going in that this would be the toughest match we’ve played all year. We have so much respect for the Bishop team as well as Coach (Patrick) Sturgeon.”
Mount Airy defeated Bishop McGuinness 5-2. The Bears won four of six singles matches, then clinched the overall win with a victory in No. 2 doubles.
“We felt very fortunate to come out of singles with 4-2 lead,” Graham said. “It was just a great collective effort, with contributions throughout the lineup, to find a way to finish in doubles and give us an opportunity to move one step closer to the ultimate goal on Saturday.”
The Lady Bears took a 2-0 lead in singles thanks to wins from Tate and Lily Morris. Tate defeated Bishop’s Allison Dennen 6-0, 6-1 in No. 3 singles, and Morris topped Caroline Gregory 6-0, 6-2 in No. 6 singles.
The No. 4 and No. 5 singles matches were the next to conclude. Bishop’s Nina Holton topped Audrey Marion 6-0, 6-2 in the No. 4 spot, while the Villains’ Adelaide Jernigan bested Hauser 6-2, 6-0 at No. 5.
The No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches were all that remained and would give a huge momentum boost to either team should they win both. It appeared as if the teams would split the remaining singles matches as Mount Airy’s Carrie Marion won the first set of the No. 1 match 6-2, and Bishop’s Lindsey Bergelin took the first set of the No. 2 match 6-3 over Ella Brant.
Bishop McGuinness’ Lourdes Lopez battled back to win four consecutive games after trailing 5-0 in the second set, but Marion put her away to win the set 6-4. This gave Mount Airy the 3-2 overall lead.
Brant led Bergelin 2-1 in the second set before the Bishop sophomore won back-to-back games. Bergelin held that lead until 4-3 when Brant won two-straight to take over 5-4. Bergelin fired back with two wins to make it 6-5, then Brant forced a set tiebreaker by winning the next game.
Brant won the set tiebreaker in a nail biter, 8-6. Both girls were so tired they thought the match was over and shook hands, but it wasn’t done there. The two were now tied with one set apiece.
The duo battled in a third-set tiebreaker to settle the score. Brant took an early lead, but Bergelin fought back to tie the score at 3-3. Brant won the next six points after the two switched sides. Bergelin tried to mount a comeback, but fell short and lost the tiebreaker 10-4.
The Bears only needed one doubles victory to advance to the 1A State Championship.
The recently crowned 1A Doubles State Champions, Brant and Carrie Marion, took on Lopez and Bergelin in the No. 1 match. Tate and Hauser faced off against Holton and Dennen in the No. 2 match, and Audrey Marion and Morris battled Jernigan and Gregory in the No. 3 match.
All three Bishop teams took a 2-1 lead to start doubles. Mount Airy’s No. 1 and No. 3 teams went on to lead 3-2, and then the No. 2 duo wasn’t far behind as all three Bears teams led 4-3 at one point.
Tate and Hauser won the next two games to go up 6-3. Dennen and Holton won their final game to make it 7-4, but then Tate and Hauser secured the win by taking the next game.
When Tate and Hauser’s win officially ended the match, the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles matches were halted. When the match was ended: Brant and Carrie Marion led 7-4, and Morris and Audrey Marion led 6-5.
Also earning a win Wednesday night was sportsmanship. Members of each team embraced one another at the conclusion of the match and cheered for the other as they were recognized.
“I thought the sportsmanship between our two teams today was first class, “Graham said. “It was a fantastic atmosphere and the crowd was electric.”
This was a sentiment echoed by Mount Airy High School Principal Jason Dorsett at the awards ceremony.
Mount Airy will make its sixth-ever appearance in the 1A Dual Team State Championship on Saturday, Nov. 6. The Bears are now tied with North Stokes and Raleigh Charter for the most appearances in the 1A State Championship since it split from being 1A/2A in 1997.
Since 2008, no other 1A team has made more appearances in the dual team championship than Mount Airy.
Mount Airy (21-0) will take on the East Regional Champion Chatham Charter with the state championship on the line. Chatham Charter (14-7) is the No. 5 overall seed in the East and reached the state championship with the following playoff victories: 9-0 vs. No. 12 Gates County, 9-0 vs. No. 4 Jones Senior, 6-3 vs. No. 1 Chatham Central, and 6-3 vs. No. 3 Voyager Academy.
The 1A Dual Team State Championship will take place at the Burlington Tennis Center and is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. A coaches meeting will take place before the match at 9:00 a.m.
November 03, 2021
The Surry County Parks and Recreation Department and the Surry County Hall of Fame committee have chosen the inductees for the 2021 class of the Surry County Sports Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor, to be honored on Saturday.
The inductees for the Hall of Fame are Donald Grey Beane, Rick Callaway, James “Butter” Cox, Sarah Ann Knott, Kari Karns Perin, and Kenneth Shelton. All inductees have excelled in their sports, be it playing or coaching.
The Ring of Honor inductees are the Dobson Lions Club and Darren Lewis. These inductees are administrators, teams or organizations which have contributed heavily in the field of athletics in North Carolina.
“The Surry County Sports Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor committee are made up of members throughout the county,” said Bradley Key, coordinator of Programs, Special Events, and Volunteerism for the Surry County Parks and Recreation Department.
“There are 15 members on the committee. One from each region with a few at-large spots.”
The Surry County Hall of Fame induction ceremony is an annual event.
“Due to COVID, we were unable to have the event in 2020,” said Key.
This year the ceremony will be back on. The event will be held Saturday, Nov. 6, at Fisher River Park in Dobson. This includes the induction ceremony and then unveiling of the monument.
The Parks and Rec Department of Surry County facilitate the committee and the votes that are placed.
November 02, 2021
DOBSON — Fisher River Park played host to the 2A Midwest Regional Cross Country Championship over the weekend.
North Surry, East Surry and Surry Central all represented the Foothills 2A Conference at Regionals in both the boys and girls races. Each school also had runners qualify for the State Championship Meet.
Surry Central’s boys and girls both qualified for the State Championship Meet as a team. The Lady Eagles won the Regional Runner-Up trophy, and the boys finished fourth overall.
The 2A State Championship will take place Nov. 6 at Kernersville’s Ivey Redmon Sports Complex.
Surry Central sophomore Yeira Munoz led all local competitors in the girls race by finishing third out of 93 runners in the 5,000-meter run. Munoz’s time of 21:28.26 set the bar for Central to qualify for states as a team.
Also earning points for Central: Abigail Hernandez in ninth at 22:07.46, Lanie Fitzgerald in 16th at 23:08.79, Andrea Gonzalez in 20th at 23:17.96 and Ella Priddy in 28th at 23:45.51.
Just behind Munoz was North Surry senior Callie Allen. Allen, who won the FH2A Conference Championship, qualified for her first state championship with a time of 21:33.17.
Also qualifying for the Lady Greyhounds was senior Weatherly Reeves. Reeves finished 13th overall at the regional meet with a time of 22.49.71. The duo led the Greyhounds effort to finish sixth overall as a team.
Also scoring for North Surry: Isabel Delfin in 57th at 26:33.02, Nydia Cabrera in 64th at 27:09.51 and Anna Whitaker in 69th at 27:36.62.
East Surry freshman Addison Goins led the Cardinals by finishing eighth with a time of 21.56.30. Goins had the highest finish of any freshman girl and will compete in the state championship.
Also scoring for the Cardinals, who finished eighth as a team: Joanna Parker in 38th at 24:42.35, Kamryn Talton in 59th at 26:43.48, Morgan Bryant at 26:50.98 and Lilly Brinkley in 86th at 30:21.41.
The Golden Eagle boys finished fourth overall as a team. Central was led by sophomore Ignacio Morales, who took second overall among 97 runners with a time of 17:14.16. Only three runners finished below the 18-minute mark.
Freshman Brangly Mazariegos also finished in the top 10 of the boys race. Mazariegos finished 10th overall with a time of 18:32.96.
Also scoring for the Golden Eagle boys: Sebastian Sanchez in 19th at 19:04.35, Charlie Hernandez in 50th at 20:34.37 and Alexis Pedraza in 61st at 21:04.23.
East Surry finished just behind Surry Central in fifth overall. The Cardinal boys were led by Cooper Motsinger’s fourth-place finish. Motsinger recorded a 5,000-meter time of 18:12.11.
Also scoring for East: Charles Talton in 29th at 19:51.06, Dylan Myers in 41st at 20:14.25, Nicholas Boggs in 48th at 20:31.02 and Brandon Denton in 75th at 22:02.55.
North Surry did not have any boys qualify for the state championship, but had two freshman runners compete in the regional meet. Miguel Vega finished 52nd with a time of 20:39.90, and Stephen Mojica finished 58th with a time of 20:52.16.
November 02, 2021
Registration is now open for the eighth annual Jacob Pettitt Memorial 5K Walk/Run.
The event serves as a fundraiser for the Jacob Daniel Pettitt Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides a scholarship for a graduating East Surry High School student each year.
The 2021 edition will feature two parts to accommodate all parties interested in participating.
The first is an in-person 5K walk/run scheduled to take place Saturday, Nov. 6, at Fairview United Methodist Church in Shoals. Planners of the event said the race will be a quality in-person 5K event to accommodate the serious competitor, as well as participants of all levels.
Added to the Jacob Pettitt Memorial 5K last year is the Cardinal Strut Virtual Run/Walk. This is for individuals who want to participate but need to race on their own time and on a chosen course or treadmill.
All proceeds from both events will benefit the Jacob Daniel Pettitt Scholarship Fund.
The event and the scholarship honor the memory of Jacob Pettitt, who died at the age of 15 after an automobile accident on Sept. 3, 2013. An East Surry sophomore, Pettitt remained in a coma for 19 days as fellow students, friends and community residents prayed and reached out in support of the Pettitt family.
He died on Sept. 22 of that year.
“Jacob left us far too early,” it says on the race’s registration website. “His passing brought about a revival in the Shoals community as well as in Surry County. Jacob had high standards and always strived to be the best at what he did. Through this event we aim to honor those standards by coming together to raise money for a scholarship to be awarded to someone who shares those standards.”
Those standards are emphasized by a quote shared by Jacob on Twitter.
“One day I want to look God in the eyes and tell Him that I’ve used every single ounce of talent He gave me,” he wrote.
The first Jacob Daniel Pettitt Scholarship was awarded to a member of Jacob’s high school graduating class of 2016.
The price of registration is $25 for anyone younger than 18. Standard registration, including day-of-race registration, is $35 for adults 18 and over. Online registration for the In-Person 5K ends Thursday, November 4th at 6:00 PM, and Virtual 5K registration is open online through November 5th.
Runners can register online at
Day-of-race registration will begin at 7 a.m. The 5K is scheduled to start at 8:30. Limited quantities of extra shirts will be available on race day, but are not guaranteed.
Awards will be presented to the top three male and female competitors of each age group and overall for the in-person race. Age groups are as follows: 14 and under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70 and over.
Event packets may be claimed early on Friday, Nov. 5 from 5-7 p.m. at Fairview UMC or the morning of Nov. 6 from 7-8:15 a.m. The race is set to begin at 8:30 a.m.
Fairview United Methodist Church is located at 3692 Quaker Church Road, in the Shoals community of Pinnacle.
Sponsors for the Jacob Pettitt Memorial 5K and Cardinal Strut Virtual Run/Walk include: Carson Industries, Chilton Train, Country Road Strawberries, Dinner Dash, Foothills Hardware and Builders Supply, Grace and Sparrow Boutique, Hayco Construction, Indulge Soapery, Northedge Interiors, Pilot Knob Outfitters, Pilot Mountain Flower Shop, Pilot Mountain Rapid Lube, Pruitt Insurance and Triad Builders of King.
November 02, 2021
Mount Airy’s dominant postseason run was extended Monday with a 6-0 win over Christ the King Catholic High School.
The Lady Bears only conceded a total of six individual games to sweep the Crusaders. No Mount Airy player lost more than two games, and five of the Bears won their second set 6-0. The two teams did not play doubles with the match already decided after singles.
Singles results are below:
No. 1 Carrie Marion def. Nicole Castillo 6-1, 6-1
No. 2 Ella Brant def. Grace Sides 6-1, 6-0
No. 3 Kancie Tate def. Sofia Fusco 6-2, 6-0
No. 4 Audrey Marion def. Caroline Clark 6-1, 6-0
No. 5 Charlotte Hauser def. Sarah Jones 6-0, 6-0
No. 6 Lily Morris def. Ava Carvelli 6-0, 6-0
Mount Airy (20-0) will host the West Regional Final on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 4:00 p.m. The Bears welcome a familiar opponent to the Granite City for the Final Four matchup: the Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School Villains.
The Bears and Villains are no stranger to one another or the Regional Championship. Two teams were both part of the Northwest 1A Conference through the 2020-21 school year and did battle two or three times each season. A team from the NW1A Conference made the Dual Team State Championship each year from 2010-2018.
Mount Airy made eight-straight Final Four appearances between 2009-2016. The Bears went on to win the 1A State Title in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Bishop McGuinness won the state championship in 2014 and 2015.
This year’s West Regional Final marks the fourth meeting between Mount Airy and Bishop in the Final Four. Bishop leads the series 2-1.
The Villains enter the regional championship with a record of 17-2. Bishop, the champions of the Northwest Piedmont Conference, defeated Mountain Heritage via forfeit in the first round of the playoffs, North Stokes 6-0 in the second round and Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy 6-2 in the third round.
November 02, 2021
DOBSON — Surry Central gutted out a 3-0 win over East Rutherford to advance in the soccer 2A State Playoffs.
One goal from Jacob Edmonds and two from Eli Gonzalez lifted the No. 12-ranked Golden Eagles over the visiting Cavaliers, seeded No. 21 in the 2A West. The win puts Surry Central at 16-3-1 on the season as they move on to the second round.
“It honestly feels surreal,” said Surry Central coach Adan Garcia. “This is only my fourth playoff match – and third playoff win – so it just feels really awesome.”
Coach Garcia has the Eagles back in the playoffs after a one-year absence. Central finished third in the Western Piedmont 2A Conference last season, but missed out on playoffs. Fewer teams were allowed in the postseason due to COVID-19.
Surry Central rebounded this season and finished second in the Foothills 2A Conference. The Eagles recorded 15 shutouts during the regular season and picked up No. 16 against the Cavaliers (11-7).
“We had a couple errors in there and kept them in the game for a little bit,” Coach Garcia said. “Then we punished them on their errors. The team did their job and we pulled out a win.”
Before running away with the win in the second half, Surry Central and East Rutherford were neck-and-neck for much of the first half.
Strong midfield play from the Eagles gave Central the edge in possession early on. Jordy Avila played sideline-to-sideline distributing balls to Chris Nava and Daniel Juarez. Both Nava and Juarez had shots in the opening minutes of the match but failed to put them on target.
Gonzalez had the Golden Eagles’ first shot on frame. In the 12th minute, Gonzalez took a quick free kick from 30 yards out that was saved by East keeper Austin Webb.
Gonzalez had another free kick from a similar distance in the 17th minute of play. This free kick was awarded to the Eagles after Roderick Edmundson committed a foul and was given a yellow card. He floated the kick into the 18-yard box where it was headed by Juarez. Juarez’s shot sailed wide of the mark, but it was tipped by a Cavalier player and led to a corner kick.
Nava took the corner and it was chased down and headed into the back of the net by Edmonds. The Golden Eagles led 1-0 with 22 minutes left in the first half.
The Cavaliers nearly tied the match less than a minute after Edmonds’ goal. East Rutherford sent a free kick inside Central’s box and the Eagles were called for a hand ball. East’s Sergio Merida shot over the crossbar to keep the Central lead alive.
The Golden Eagles out-shot the Cavs 7-4 in the first half as the score remained 1-0 after 40 minutes.
Surry Central jumped right on East Rutherford in the second half, with Nava putting a shot on goal withing 27 seconds of the start of the half. Central’s push on offense led to a free kick just outside the 18. Gonzalez placed the free kick to the far side of the net to make it 2-0.
Gonzalez’s goal came just 1:14 into the second half.
Central didn’t let up after its second goal. Luke Creed fired three shots at the East keeper in the first 10 minutes of the half: one sailed wide, one was caught by the keeper and the other was blocked out for a corner kick.
The Eagles stayed pressed up for most of the second half. At points, Gonzalez was the only defender – other than goal keeper Johnny Garcia – on the defensive half of the field. Surry Central took 10 shots in the second half while holding East to one, which Coach Garcia credits to everyone doing their jobs to the best of their ability.
“Literally right before we walked down here we were watching some film, and I said ‘Stick to your assignments. Stick to your positions. Stick to what we’ve been training all year,’” Coach Garcia said. “This is why we played those tough teams in the beginning of the season. We got a couple losses out of it, but it was for games like this so we know what it’s like to be in a tight match. It really helped us thrive during crunch time.”
Central solidified its lead when Gonzalez nailed a 30-yard free kick with 10 minutes left in regulation. Less than 60 seconds later, an East Rutherford player was given a straight-red card and the Cavs played the last few minutes with 10 men.
Surry Central moves on and will face a familiar foe, North Forsyth, in the second round. North Forsyth (13-2) was a member of the WPAC with Surry Central for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, and the teams have played at least once each season since 2012.
No. 5 North Forsyth defeated No. 28 Wheatmore 6-1 in the opening round of the playoffs.
“The guys, they’re up on cloud nine right now. A lot of them have never even been in a playoff match,” Coach Garcia said. “We’ll celebrate this win, but then tomorrow we’ll get their mindsets back where it should be.”
Central travels to North Forsyth on Wednesday for a 6:00 kickoff.
October 30, 2021
PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry performed in front of its largest, and certainly loudest, crowd in nearly two years when it hosted the regional semifinal of the 2A State Playoffs on Saturday.
The top-ranked Cardinals swept the No. 5-ranked Brevard Blue Devils with set victories of 25-21, 25-18 and 25-16. East Surry will host the 2A West Regional Final on Nov. 2 against the winner of No. 2 Southwestern Randolph (25-5) and No. 23 McMichael (24-6).
“I’m still in shock,” said East Surry coach Katelyn Markle following Saturday’s match. “I guess I’ll process it tonight that we’re in the Final Four. But, right now I’m just going to enjoy this win and just soak it in.”
The Cardinals (26-1) have won their last 10 matches and have not surrendered a set in either the Foothills 2A Conference Tournament or the state playoffs.
Brevard (19-6) played East Surry close in all three sets. The first set saw the Devils and Cardinals tie eight times while the lead changed three times. Libero Samarin Kipple and East’s defensive specialists kept Brevard’s hitters from getting too many kills by diving all over the floor.
Up front for the Cardinals, Merry Parker Boaz and Bella Hutchens combined for nine first-set kills, while Kate Parks, Kylie Bruner, and Hannah Johnston each picked up one. Parks also led East Surry’s blocking effort.
“They played really, really good,” Markle said. “This was our best blocking performance of the year, no question.”
The Cards trailed 17-14 before mounting a 6-2 run that put them up 20-19. When the score was tied at 20, East scored four of the next five points to take the set 25-21.
East Surry never trailed in the second set. Bruner exploded for seven kills on nine attacks, Hutchens and Boaz each added two kills and Clara Willard had one kill.
Parks picked up a pair of big blocks to force a Blue Devil timeout at 5-0. Brevard cut the lead to just a point twice at 9-8 and 10-9, but never tied the score. East went on to win the set 25-18.
“They did everything that we asked them to do,” Markle said. “They made the changes we needed to make and we just executed all the plays that we were supposed to. It was a great team win.”
Brevard wasn’t ready for its season to end, so the Blue Devils came out and took an 8-5 lead. East Surry countered with a 9-0 run with Hutchens serving. Boaz and Parks went off on offense, and Kipple, Johnston and Addy Sechrist cleaned up anything that made it past the blockers.
The Blue Devils made moves late in the set with four-straight points, cutting the Cardinal lead to 16-13 at one point, but it didn’t matter. East Surry closed the set on a 9-3 run that ended emphatically with a Hutchens kill.
East Surry returns to the Regional Final for the second time in three seasons. The Cardinals have won two West Regional Titles: 2014 and 2019. Both were in the 1A division.
The Cardinal coaching staff has experience in Regional Finals as well. Head coach Katelyn Markle was an assistant on the 2019 team, and Kacie Markle was a senior on the Cardinals’ 2014-15 squad.
East Surry is the first Surry Co. team to reach the 2A Regional Final since North Surry did it in 2017. North Surry was also the last county team to win a 2A State Championship, doing so in 2012.
Markle emphasized that neither she nor the team is concerned about anything beyond Tuesday’s match.
“We have to come ready to practice Monday and just have to stay focused for Tuesday,” Katelyn said. “That’s how we keep this up.”
October 30, 2021
CARY — Mount Airy’s Ella Brant and Carrie Marion reached the mountaintop Saturday by winning the Class 1A Doubles State Championship.
Marion and Brant are just the second team in Surry County history to win a Doubles State Championship, and are the first to do so in 32 years. Christie Sanders and Keri Whitehead, also of Mount Airy High School, won three doubles championships from 1987-1989.
“I’m extremely proud and happy for them as players,” said Granite Bear coach Luke Graham. “They, along with our team, have committed and sacrificed so much time to put themselves in this position and to have this opportunity, and to see them be able to make it a reality and win states was just so special.”
The duo of Marion, a freshman, and Brant, a sophomore, went undefeated against fellow 1A opponents this season. The girls’ only doubles losses were against two players from the 2A division that reached the semifinals of that tournament the same day.
Marion and Brant finished 15-2 in the regular season, 3-0 in the Northwest 1A Conference Tournament, 4-0 in the West Regional Championship Tournament and 3-0 in the State Championship Tournament for a season record of 25-2.
The Bears didn’t just win the State Doubles Tournament, but they did so in convincing fashion. No opponent took more than two games from the all-star duo.
“Their focus through the tournament was exceptional,” Graham said. “I take a lot of pride in seeing the support they got from their teammates and families as well. It really was a special day and a special accomplishment.”
Marion and Brant opened the tournament with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Chatham Charter’s Rachel Albright and Jaylee Williams. In the semifinals, the Mount Airy pair defeated Chatham Charter’s Ashlyn Hart and Lorelei Byrd.
The Bears’ first two matches took place on Friday. The second semifinal match was postponed to Saturday morning due to bad weather, so the championship match didn’t start until after noon on Oct. 30.
Once the match finally got going it didn’t last long. Marion and Brant swept Chatham Central’s Olivia Brooks and Ellie Phillips in the first set, then won the second set 6-2 to capture the state title.
The dynamic duo of Marion and Brant aren’t done with this season just yet. The pair hope to lead Mount Airy to another championship in a week’s time.
The Granite Bears (19-0) host Christ the King Catholic High School (8-2) on Tuesday, Nov. 2, in the dual team tournament. The winner advances to the 1A West Regional Final on Nov. 3.
October 30, 2021
SPARTA — The Mount Airy Bears clinched the outright Northwest 1A Conference Championship Friday by defeating Alleghany 49-0.
The 2021-22 NW1A Title is the Bears second under coach JK Adkins and the team’s first since 2018. This season’s championship is Mount Airy’s 34th conference title ever.
With Friday’s clean sheet, Mount Airy (10-0, 6-0 NW1A) ties the school record of seven shutouts in a season. This record was originally set in 1934 and tied in 1968.
The Granite Bears also broke a 79-year-old school record for fewest points allowed in a regular season. This year’s team only gave up 18 points: only two teams touchdowns (Draughn, South Stokes) and one team scored a pair of field goals (East Wilkes).
The win over Alleghany (2-7, 1-5) saw the “Granite Wall” defense hold the Trojans to fewer than 100 total yards. The Bears forced two turnovers and scored two defensive touchdowns. This was Mount Airy’s 308th shutout of all time and it gave the Bears program a 10-0 start for the 12th time.
Zeb Stroup returned the opening kickoff 76 yards for a touchdown, and also recovered a fumble and took it 44 yards for a touchdown. Also on defense, Nic Isom snatched an interception and forced a fumble.
Caleb Reid led the Bears with 103 yards rushing and two touchdowns, complimented by Tyler Mason’s 55 yards rushing and a touchdown and a 26-yard touchdown run from Josh Penn.
Mount Airy’s remaining touchdown came on a 25-yard pass from Ian Gallimore to Mario Revels.
The Bears look to carry momentum into the postseason where they are the No. 2 overall seed in the 1A West. Eastern Randolph (9-0) is the only team seeded higher than Mount Airy in the West.
Mount Airy hosts the first round of the 1A State Playoffs on Friday, Nov. 5, against No. 31 Union Academy (0-10).
October 30, 2021
PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry secured the Foothills 2A Conference Championship on Friday by defeating Surry Central 47-0.
The Cardinals, who wrap up the regular season with a 9-0 overall record, have now won conference championships the past three seasons. The 2019-20 and 2020-21 titles were won in the Northwest 1A Conference, and this is East’s first season in the 2A division.
On winning the FH2A Championship, East Surry coach Trent Lowman said: There’s some relief that we did it, but that’s what we expect to do. I’m happy that we did it, and I’m happy that we did it as well as we did in the league and in the non-conference.”
East wins the conference with a perfect 6-0 record. Had Surry Central defeated East Surry on Friday, the two would share the conference title at 5-1.
The Cardinals, while shutting out their third opponent of the season, racked up a season-high 567 total yards: 364 came in the air, and 203 where on the ground.
“I’m proud of the guys. I think we’re probably peaking right now like we have each year,” said Lowman, who is currently in his fourth season with the program. “I think our strategy’s working, and I think we’re the best we’ve been all year right now. I’m just proud of them for all the work they’ve put in and the effort.”
Surry Central drops to 6-4 overall and 4-2 in conference play with Friday’s loss. The Eagles drop back-to-back games for just the second time this season and – since North Surry and Forbush both won Friday night – finish in a three-way tie for second place in the conference.
“We had a tough night,” said Surry Central coach Monty Southern. “They’re undefeated for a reason. We had the right mindset coming in and the guys really did play hard, but that’s just a really good football team. They came out really strong.”
Everything went the way of the Cardinals early. East Surry scored 20 first-quarter points while racking up 235 yards of offense in the first 12 minutes of action. Meanwhile, Surry Central was held to less than 25 total yards in the quarter.
The Cardinals ran 19 offensive plays in the first quarter. Quarterback Folger Boaz completed seven passes for 144 yards, and he and Trey Armstrong combined for 12 carries for 91 yards. Boaz set a new single-game career high of 464 total yards thanks to 354 yards passing and 110 yards rushing.
Boaz had completions of 40 and 50 yards to Layton Allen and Luke Brown, but the early touchdowns were scored on the ground. Armstrong scored twice in the first quarter, and Boaz found paydirt once. This momentum carried into the first few minutes of the second quarter where Boaz threw his first of two passing touchdowns to put East Surry up 26-0.
Surry Central’s offense struggled to get going until the second quarter. East Surry’s Brett Clayton and Daniel Villasenor each had sacks in the first quarter, and Central’s Avery Wilmoth was also picked off by Armstrong.
Wilmoth picked up the Eagles’ second first down of the game with a 25-yard completion to Dante Watson. Wilmoth and Karson Crouse alternated carries until a pass from Wilmoth to Crouse put the Eagles just outside the red zone.
“After the first quarter we really settled in,” Southern said. “The defense really made them (East) work, and the offense started moving the ball well.”
A Cardinal penalty moved the Eagles to the 13-yard line, but a few big penalties moved Central far away from the end zone. The Golden Eagles ended up punting near midfield after the 13-play, 8:38 drive.
East Surry started on its own 8-yard line with 1:27 left in the half. The Cardinals’ offensive bought Boaz time for three completions of double-digit yardage and a 13-yard rush.
Brown had a 7-yard catch to make it second-and-3 on the Eagles’ 29 when Boaz threw a pass toward the end zone that was picked off by North Carolina’s leader in interceptions, Memphis Bolatto. The pick was Bolatto’s 10th of the season, which ranks him among the top-10 in the national standings.
Surry Central received the second-half kickoff and moved quickly into Cardinal territory. However, sacks from Clayton and Joseph Grezmak moved the Golden Eagles closer to midfield and forced the visitors to punt.
East followed with its longest drive of the night. The Cardinals almost faced a three-and-out after Cole Butcher sacked Boaz, but the QB was able to complete a 9-yard pass to Armstrong on third-and-7 to keep the drive alive.
East Surry converted three third downs on the drive that lasted nine plays and 4:36 of game time. The last of these third down conversions saw Boaz scramble for a 15-yard gain. Surry Central struggled to bring down the slippery quarterback, but did manage to tackle East Surry trainer Tim Bodford at the end of the play. Bodford was able to kip-up from the hit and finish the game.
Two plays later, Boaz completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Armstrong. Stephen Brantley nailed the PAT to put East up 33-0.
Surry Central had good field position on its next drive thanks to a good return, but then Hatcher Hamm forced a fumble that was recovered by Armstrong. The Cardinals kept possession for another drive of more than four minutes before Boaz scored on a four-yard rush.
East Surry’s final points came late in the fourth quarter. Grezmak blocked a Central punt and recovered it himself. Four plays later, Will Jones tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Creech.
For Surry Central: Wilmoth finished 3-of-7 passing for 21 yards and an interception; Watson had one reception for 25 yards, and Crouse had two receptions for a loss of 4 yards; Crouse rushed 15 times for 52 yards, Wilmoth rushed 11 times for 16 yards, Brian Williams rushed five times for 32 yards, and Lucas Johnson rushed once for two yards.
For East Surry: Boaz finished 28-of-35 passing for 354 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, and Jones completed his only passing attempt for a 10-yard touchdown; Boaz rushed 13 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns, Armstrong rushed eight times for 60 yards and two touchdowns, and Eli Beck carried seven times for 33 yards; Allen had nine receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown, Brown had five receptions for 96 yards, Colby Johnson had five receptions for 47 yards, Brantley had two receptions for 28 yards and Creech had one reception for 10 yards and a touchdown.
By winning the FH2A Conference, East Surry is awarded an automatic bid to the State Playoffs. The winners of the past three 1A West Regional Championships face a new challenge in the 2A division.
“We’re getting ready to run into a bus in these 2A playoffs so we’ll see what we’ve got,” Lowman said. “When the regular season ends, it’s only varsity. All the coaches are with varsity…so the focus is able to increase at practice and there are eyes on everybody on every play. We’re able to coach everybody.”
Surry Central is likely headed to the postseason given the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s latest RPI rankings.
“These guys have been resilient all year,” Southern said. “I know this loss hurts with it being a county rival and having a shot at the conference championship, but come Monday it’s a brand new season. I told them after the game that next week there will be 64 2A teams in the state of North Carolina that get to play football. We’re going to heal up physically and mentally and be ready for work next week.”
*Update: The NCHSAA released brackets for the upcoming football playoffs on Saturday. No. 2 East Surry will host No. 31 Newton-Conover (3-6), and No. 19 Surry Central will travel to No. 14 West Lincoln (8-2).
Surry Central – 0, 0, 0, 0 = 0
East Surry – 20, 6, 7, 14 = 47
8:38 ESHS 6-0 – Trey Armstrong 2-yard rushing TD, PAT no good
4:18 ESHS 14-0 – Trey Armstrong 7-yard rushing TD, Folger Boaz pass to Stephen Brantley for 2-point conversion
2:25 ESHS 20-0 – Folger Boaz 3-yard rushing TD, PAT no good
11:46 ESHS 26-0 – Folger Boaz pass to Layton Allen 5-yard TD reception, PAT no good
3:29 ESHS 33-0 – Folger Boaz pass to Trey Armstrong 5-yard TD reception, Stephen Brantley PAT
10:46 ESHS 40-0 – Folger Boaz 4-yard rushing TD, Stephen Brantley PAT
3:29 ESHS 47-0 – Will Jones pass to Daniel Creech 10-yard TD reception, Stephen Brantley PAT
October 29, 2021
North Surry’s five soccer seniors set out at the beginning of the season to return to the state playoffs.
It was only appropriate that the team’s Senior Night match be the one to solidify the Greyhounds’ spot in the 2021-22 postseason. North Surry defeated North Wilkes 1-0 on Wednesday to secure third place in the Foothills 2A Conference. By doing so, North Surry was given the conference’s top wild card bid into the 2021 2A State Playoffs.
“One word for tonight’s game: emotional,” said Greyhound coach Kevin Shore.
Shore is in his first year as North Surry head coach, but served as an assistant coach at the school the past four seasons. Shore has seen North Surry’s five members of the class of 2022 grow into young men, making the return to the playoffs this season even more special.
The five seniors honored during halftime of Wednesday’s game were: Edwin Villegas, Jair Gonzalez, Luis Cabrera, Will Danley and Dallas Raya. Raya was recognized but was unable to attend the match.
”To work with and watch freshmen grow as people and become leaders on the team is an amazing process,” Shore said. “The seniors have worked so hard with a goal for the last three years for North Surry to return to state playoffs — now it looks like that goal will be realized. That is amazing.”
The Greyhounds finish the regular season 7-9-1 overall and 5-6-1 in the FH2A Conference.
A rough mid-season stretch in which the Hounds went 1-6-1 over a four-week span had the team’s playoff hopes looking unlikely. North Surry was 4-8-1 with two weeks left to play in the regular season, but Shore remained optimistic.
Following a 3-2 loss at East Surry – a match that was tied with eight minutes left to play – Shore said: “From the first game to [now], all I’ve asked is for our team to compete…and we are. They’re getting a lot better; East just made a good play on the ball late.”
Shore and the Greyhounds stayed positive despite the close loss and looked to rebound in the final few weeks of the season. The team did just that by winning three of its last four regular season matches, and the only loss was to a top 10-ranked Surry Central squad in overtime.
“Players set what appear to be unattainable goals and it is my job to formulate practice plans that will help us grow as a team, and the seniors embraced that system and have taken each drill very seriously,” Shore said. “It shows when we are able to see them grow each week of the season.”
Shore said the Hounds played possibly their best soccer of the season in the final week of the regular season. North Surry was the only 2A team to hold Surry Central scoreless through regulation and came within inches of breaking a streak against the Eagles that goes back well over a decade.
Against North Wilkes, senior Jair Gonzalez netted the Greyhounds’ lone goal in the match. The senior scored on an assist from Salvador Rodriguez in the 24th minute, then North controlled the remainder of the first half and most of the second half.
North Surry received the No. 24 seed in the 2A West and will travel to No. 9 Trinity (11-6-1) on Nov. 1. Facing the top-ranked 2A team from the Piedmont 1A/2A Conference will be a challenge, but Shore thinks the Greyhounds’ experience will help them when times get tough.
“At times it doesn’t seem like calls go our way or calls simply go against us way more than the other team and some of the wind gets taken away,” Shore said. “I keep reminding the players to keep their heads up; we can only control that next play. North Surry Men’s Soccer team is playing well going into the postseason so we will see how we do next week.”
October 29, 2021
PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry overcame a tough Maiden squad on Thursday to advance to the fourth round of the 2A State Volleyball Playoffs.
The visiting Blue Devils played East Surry close in the first two sets. The Cardinals went on late runs to pull out victories in those sets, 25-19 and 25-20. East carried momentum into the third set and didn’t trail for a single point, wrapping up the match with a 25-13 set victory.
“I think it was a great team win for us,” said Cardinal coach Katelyn Markle. “The seniors really stepped up and led the team whenever we got down a bit. I didn’t really get to talk a lot during timeouts because the seniors were saying everything on my mind.”
East Surry is now 25-1 on the season. The Cards’ 3-0 victory against the Blue Devils is East’s 18th sweep of the season, as well as Maiden’s first and only 3-0 loss to a fellow 2A team this year.
Maiden, the winners of the Catawba Valley Athletic Conference, fell behind 7-1 in the first set. East Surry’s Merry Parker Boaz scored the first point of the match with a kill, then kills from Kate Parks and Bella Hutchens helped the team take an early lead. Maiden scored back-to-back points on East Surry service and attacking errors before Kylie Bruner picked up her first kill of the night to make it 8-3.
The Blue Devils (19-9) came out of their first timeout of the set with new life. Maiden took over serve to go on an 8-1 run that featured the first of four lead changes in the opening set. Savannah Lail had the first two kills of the match for the visitors to help tie the score at 8-8. Then, Lail went to the service line – after East had its only point in the run – and picked up an ace.
Maiden was sending two blockers on some of Hutchens’ attacks, but East Surry was too deep to be affected. Instead, setter Hannah Johnston found Boaz, Parks and Bruner to get back into the swing of things. Bruner, Hutchens and Boaz each had five kills in the first set. Parks added two, and Johnston herself had one kill.
“It may sound weird, but I think it was good mentally for them to be behind a couple of points to see if they could fight through it in the state playoffs,” Markle said. “It’s totally different being down four in a conference game and being down four in the third or fourth round of the playoffs. That’s where I thought the seniors stepped up tonight.”
The final lead change of the set came about on a 7-0 run by the Cardinals. Maiden led 16-14 when Bruner recorded a kill, then Boaz went to the service line and tied things up with an ace. Hutchens was kept from picking up a kill during this run, but did have a big block alongside Parks.
The Devils stayed within four points of the Cards before a service error and double-hit violation gave East the set victory at 25-19.
Maiden took its largest lead of the night when the Devils got off to a 6-2 start in the second set. Once again sending two blockers in Hutchens’ direction, Grace Kilby and Callie Stamey each had blocks to contain the Cards’ offense.
East Surry struggled to get on a roll in the second set due to errors. The Cardinals’ defense limited Maiden to just five kills in the set, but costly mistakes kept the score close.
There were 14 points played from the time the score was 6-2, with Maiden in the lead, to when East Surry tied things up at 11-11. During this stretch, all of Maiden’s points came from four East Surry service errors and one attacking error. The Cards eventually took the lead back, but failed to score more than two consecutive points until the score was tied 18-18.
Clara Willard broke the tie with a kill and Boaz wasn’t far behind. A lift violation gave the Cards a 21-18 advantage, but then East committed another service error.
The Cardinals scored four of the next five points to win the set 25-20.
After a mixed bag of a second set, East Surry took a 4-0 lead out of the gate in the third set. The Cards turned this into an 8-3 lead that forced a Blue Devil timeout.
Similar to the first set, Maiden bounced back out of a timeout to score four of the next five points and made it a 9-7 game. The Devils only scored consecutive points twice in the set, and wouldn’t do so following the 9-7 score.
East Surry lead 11-9 before scoring 14 of the next 18 points. The Cardinals recorded 10 kills in the final set, and eight were hit by Hutchens. The Lady Cards won the third set 25-13 to advance to the Elite Eight.
The Cardinals only committed one service error in the third set, but Markle said the team can’t afford to have another bad set like the second against Maiden.
“I definitely think we have to keep playing our game,” Markle said. “We have to keep options open on the front row and keep defending as well as we have the last three games. We also have to have tough serves without missing so many. It’s really the little things that are going to make the difference.”
East Surry hosts No. 5 Brevard on Saturday. Brevard (19-5) reached the regional semifinal with the following playoff wins: 3-0 vs. No. 28 Morehead, 3-0 vs. No. 12 Surry Central, 3-1 vs. No. 13 Randleman.
October 28, 2021
Mount Airy advanced to the Elite Eight of the 1A Dual Team Tennis Playoffs by defeating East Wilkes 6-0 on Oct. 26.
Tuesday’s match between the Bears and Cardinals was the third meeting of the schools this season. Mount Airy won both regular season meetings: 8-1 at East Wilkes on August 24 and 9-0 in the Granite City on Sept. 16. The Lady Bears have not lost a single dual-team match, in either singles or doubles, to another 1A team since East Wilkes took one match in the late-August meeting.
Mount Airy (19-0) earned the No. 1 overall seed among the 16 teams to reach the postseason in the 1A West. The Bears defeated No. 16 Uwharrie Charter (3-7) via forfeit in the first round of the playoffs.
East Wilkes was given the No. 9 seed in the 1A West after finishing 13-3 in the regular season. The Cardinals’ only losses were to No. 1 Mount Airy and No. 2 Bishop McGuinness. East defeated No. 8 Corvian Community (7-8) in the first round by a score of 9-0.
Mount Airy won all six of Tuesday’s singles matches in straight sets:
No. 1 Carrie Marion def. Tristen Blevins 6-2, 6-2
No. 2 Ella Brant def. Hallie Younger 6-2, 6-1
No. 3 Kancie Tate def. Kristie Brown 6-2, 6-4
No. 4 Audrey Marion def. Savannah Sparks 6-4, 6-4
No. 5 Charlotte Hauser def. Emily Spicer 6-4, 6-4
No. 6 Lily Morris def. Valerie Schubart 6-0, 6-0
The Bears advance to the Elite Eight where they will host No. 4 Christ the King Catholic High School. That match is scheduled for Nov. 1.
October 28, 2021
DOBSON – Surry Community College swept Wake Technical Community College in the quarterfinals of Region 10 volleyball tournament on Tuesday.
The Lady Knights earned the right to host the opening round of tournament play by finishing as the top seed in the conference’s Western Division.
In the first set, both teams battled to a 10-10 tie until the Lady Knights took control with three straight points to force a Wake Tech timeout. A Lady Eagles rally fell short as Surry finished the set scoring five of the last six points for 25-19 score.
The Lady Knights got off to a quick start in the second set taking a commanding 24-12 lead before Wake Tech battled back to force a Surry timeout at 24-20. The Lady Knights finished off the set at 25-20 on a kill from Michelle Thao (Fred T. Foard HS) kill to hold a 2-0 lead.
Surry raced out to a 14-2 lead in the third set and finished off the Lady Eagles 25-18.
Offensively, Thao led Surry with 12 kills, while teammates Colby Crater (Forbush High School) and Natalie Eaton (North Surry HS) had seven kills each. Setter Anna Stevens (Oak Grove HS) dished out 32 assists, and Thao and Crater each notched a service ace.
Surry was led defensively by Thao with 17 digs. Eaton added 13 digs, followed by Stevens with 11 digs and Abigail Johnson (Surry Central HS) with nine digs. Lyza Addington (West Stokes HS) and Eaton led Surry with two blocks each.
The Lady Knights improve to 25-3 on the season and will face Richard Bland College on Saturday in the semifinals. The match is scheduled for 12:00 pm and is hosted by Cape Fear Community College. The winner will play in the Region 10 championship game slated for 5:00 pm.
The Region 10 tournament champions will advance to the National Junior College Athletic Association National Tournament in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, November 18-20.
October 28, 2021
DOBSON — Surry Central soccer closed its regular season with two wins over county rivals.
The Golden Eagles hosted North Surry (7-9-1) on Monday for Senior Night. Central recognized five senior players at halftime: Jordy Avila, Daniel Juarez, Abraham Mendez, Jacob Edmonds and Johnny Garcia.
“It’s very emotional losing seniors because I’ve known them for years,” said Surry Central coach Adan Garcia. “Four out of the five I’ve known since they were in the rec program. So, to see them come from the rec program all the way to the high school, and to be here to see that, that felt amazing. At the same time I was tearing up because I’m going to miss them.”
Surry Central (15-3-1) was pushed to overtime for the first time this season against North Surry. The Greyhounds had one of their top performances this season to hold Central scoreless through regulation, something only one other team has done this year.
The Eagles did tie Elkin 0-0 on Oct. 30, but that game was called off early in the second half due to bad weather.
Surry Central came out on top Monday with a goal from freshman Luke Creed in the 85th minute. The Eagles held the one-goal lead through both overtime periods to defeat the Greyhounds.
East Surry played host to Surry Central on Wednesday in the regular season finale for both teams. The match was originally slated to take place in Dobson, but the rearrangement of JV football games moved it to Pilot Mountain.
Chris Nava scored in the first five minutes of the match to give Central a 1-0 lead. East Surry’s offense took control for most of the first half, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Momentum shifted back to the Eagles thanks to a goal scored by Diego Sonato in the 35th minute.
The Cardinals came out strong in the second half and peppered shots at Johnny Garcia in goal. The Eagles’ Jonathan Avila put the game out of reach with back-to-back goals in the 51st and 52nd minutes.
Mendez scored in the 72nd minute to increase the lead to 5-0, and Creed topped the win off with a goal in the 75th minute.
Central recorded its 15th shutout of the season with Wednesday’s 6-0 victory. Only Watauga, Forbush and North Wilkes were able to score on the Eagles during the regular season.
Surry Central outscored conference opponents 48-11 and finished 10-2 in the Foothills 2A Conference. Central, currently ranked No. 9 in the 2A West by MaxPreps, finished second in the conference behind only No. 6-ranked Forbush (16-4, 12-0 FH2A).
The Golden Eagles will receive one of the conference’s two automatic playoff bids and compete for a state championship beginning next week.
Following the Senior Night win against North Surry, Coach Garcia said he was proud of his players for overcoming their emotions and keeping their focus on the upcoming playoffs.
“They knew it was an emotional moment and our last home game before playoffs, but they know that the job’s not done,” he said. “At the end of the overtimes, the seniors came up and thanked the team but said, ‘We’re not done yet,’ and I love that mentality.“
October 27, 2021
SALISBURY — North Surry, East Surry and Surry Central all sent players to the 2A Midwest Regional Tennis Tournament on Oct. 22-23.
All three schools had a team qualify for the doubles tournament hosted by Salisbury High School. East Surry was the only county school to have a player compete in the singles tournament.
Two doubles teams from Surry Country reached the semifinal round and qualified for the 2A State Championship Tournament: Surry Central’s Rachel Carter and Ellen Bryant, and East Surry’s Tara Martin and Evelyn Ruedisueli.
Martin and Ruedisueli reached the Regional Championship match in the school’s first season in the 2A division. The duo previously won the Northwest 1A Conference Championship, the 1A West Regional Doubles Championship and finished 1A State Runners-Up as sophomores last season.
Martin and Ruedisueli received a first-round BYE as the one of the top two seeds in the tournament. The Cardinals were 10-0 as doubles partners during the regular season, and went 3-0 in the Foothills 2A Conference Tournament to be crowned doubles champions.
The Cardinal duo defeated Trinity’s Autumn Gentry and Alania Lanphar in the quarterfinals before facing Salisbury’s Kate Burton and Emily Frick in the semifinals. Burton and Frick went 8-0 as doubles partners during the regular season, and neither girl lost a singles or doubles match during the regular season.
Martin and Ruedisueli defeated Burton and Frick to reach the championship match. East Surry ran into Salisbury once again, this time facing the Hornets’ team of Abby Campion and Millie Wymbs. Campion and Wymbs were undefeated in both singles and doubles during the regular season. The two occupied the top two spots on the undefeated Salisbury squad that is ranked No. 1 in the 2A West Dual-Team Tournament.
Campion and Wymbs won the Doubles Championship over Martin and Ruedisueli 6-2, 6-0.
Also reaching the semifinal round was Surry Central’s Carter and Bryant.
Carter and Bryant went 10-2 as doubles partners during the regular season. The Eagles’ duo went 2-1 in the FH2A Conference Tournament to finish as Runners-Up, falling to East’s Martin and Ruedisueli in the title match.
Carter and Bryant defeated Reidsville’s Daisy Ortiz and Kimberly Ortiz 6-3, 6-1 in the opening round. The Eagles then defeated a familiar foe, Forbush’s Emma Sorrell and Zayley St. John, 6-0, 7-5 in the quarterfinals to qualify for the State Tournament.
Carter and Bryant ran into Salisbury’s Campion and Wymbs in the semifinals and lost 6-1, 6-2. The pair from Surry Central faced Salisbury’s Burton and Frick in the Consolation Finals and were defeated 6-2, 6-2.
North Surry’s Hege and Butler finished 8-7 as a doubles team during the regular season. The Greyhound duo won two matches to reach the FH2A semifinals before falling to Central’s Carter and Bryant.
Hege and Butler opened the regional tournament against West Stanly’s Reagan Talley and Sue Pollard. Talley and Pollard went 12-0 as a doubles team during the regular season.
Talley and Pollard defeated Hege and Butler 6-1, 6-4.
The only local singles competitor was East Surry senior Rosie Craven. Craven was 10-3 in singles during the regular season, and reached the semifinals of the FH2A Tournament before falling to eventual champion Kendall Stanley of West Wilkes.
Craven faced Mount Pleasant’s Lucio Bovard in the first round and fell 6-4, 1-6, 3-6. Bovard was 8-5 as Mount Pleasant’s No. 1 seed during the regular season.
The N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A Individual State Championships will be held Oct. 29-30 at Ting Park in Holly Springs.
In the first round of the doubles championship: Martin and Ruedisueli will face West Lincoln’s Chloe Norman and Baily Huss, and Carter and Bryant will face Hendersonville’s Eliza Perry and Ramsey Ross.
October 26, 2021
PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry defeated Bandys High School 3-0 on Tuesday to advance in the 2A State Playoffs.
The No. 1-ranked Lady Cardinals improved to 24-1 with the sweep of the visiting Trojans, seeded No. 17 in the 2A West. East Surry’s victory came with set scores of 25-11, 25-12 and 25-16. East has now won eight consecutive matches.
The home Cardinals came out swinging and rarely slowed down. East Surry finished with 45 kills in the three-set match to average 15 kills per set. Senior Kylie Bruner and sophomore Bella Hutchens combined for 35 kills and only committed five hitting errors between them.
The first set of Tuesday’s match lasted about 15 minutes. The Cardinals and Trojans (19-7) traded points to start the first set before East took control and led 13-6. Bandys capitalized with attack to get its seventh point, but gave the serve away with a service error.
Hannah Johnston led a 5-0 run for the Cards with a pair of aces. The run ended when East was called for a net violation, but Bruner picked up a kill to bring the ball back to the home side. Bandy’s Bayli Bryan had a kill to make it 19-9, but the Cardinals responded with a 4-0 run to make it 23-9.
The teams traded points twice to end the set with East winning 25-11. East Surry recorded eight aces in the first set and finished the match with 12.
The second set was East Surry best attacking set; the Cards recorded 18 kills and only committed one hitting error to win 25-12. Hutchens led the way with nine kills on nine attempts in the set, and Bruner added five, Merry Parker Boaz had three and Kate Parks had one. Johnston set the hitters up with accurately-placed assists.
Bandys cut the lead to just four points at 13-9. Bruner had a kill to put Boaz at the service line, and the Cardinal freshman would stay there until the scoreboard read 21-9. The 8-0 streak was part of a 12-3 run by East to win the set by 13 points.
The Trojans took a 5-2 lead to start the third set. Clara Willard picked up her first kill of the night to spark a 4-0 run that gave East the lead. The teams got tied up at 5-5, 6-6 and 7-7 before East took the lead that it would hold for the remainder of the set.
The Cardinals had 14 kills and just three hitting errors on 29 swings in the third set.
A Willard block put East up 18-11 and forced a Bandys timeout. The Trojans emerged from the timeout with four points back-to-back to cut the lead to 18-15.
After making it a three-point game, Bandys would only score one more time as East Surry closed the match on a 6-1 run. The Cardinals won the third set 25-16 to complete the sweep and advance to the third round.
Bandys came from the Catawba Valley 2A Conference, where the Trojans finished second with a 12-2 regular season record. The winner of the conference’s regular season championship – and East Surry’s opponent in the Sweet 16 – is Maiden High School.
Maiden started the season 0-7, but its losses were mostly to teams in the 3A and 4A division. The Blue Devils then won 17-straight matches, including 14 matches in conference play and the first two rounds of the conference tournament. Maiden lost the conference tournament championship match 3-2.
The No. 9 Blue Devils defeated No. 24 Providence Grove in the opening round of the playoffs and beat No. 25 Wheatmore 3-0 in the second round.
East Surry hosts Maiden on Thursday.
October 26, 2021
Four local high schools competed in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association State Playoffs over the weekend.
Millennium Charter Lions
Millennium qualified for the NCHSAA playoffs for the first time in school history. The Lions finished the regular season 11-12 overall and fourth in the Northwest Piedmont 1A Conference standings. MCA reached the semifinals of the conference tournament before falling to eventual tournament champion Bishop McGuinness.
Millennium’s first-ever playoff match was also against Bishop. The Villains (23-5) are the No. 5 seed in the 1A West, and the Lions entered as the No. 28 seed.
Bishop won the match 3-0 with set scores of 25-13, 25-8 and 25-16.
The Lions finish with a record of 12-14, which sets the school record for wins in a season.
Mount Airy Granite Bears
Mount Airy currently boasts an 18-8 overall record. The Bears finished 9-3 in the Northwest 1A Conference to grab the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament. The Bears upset No. 2 Alleghany in the semifinals and handed No. 1 Elkin just its second 1A loss all season in the championship match.
Mount Airy is the No. 13 seed in the 1A West and hosted No. 20 Mountain Island Charter (5-15) on Saturday. The Bears won their first-round playoff match 3-0 over the Raptors with set scores of 25-13, 27-25 and 25-18.
Mount Airy travels to No. 4 Piedmont Community Charter (18-2) in the second round. The winner of that match plays the winner of No. 5 Bishop McGuinness (23-5) and No. 12 Robbinsville (20-3).
Surry Central Golden Eagles
Surry Central sits at 18-6 on the season.
Central finished third in the Foothills 2A Conference regular season standings, but leap-frogged West Wilkes in playoff rankings by defeating the Blackhawks 3-0 in the conference tournament semifinals. Central finished as FH2A Tournament Runners-Up after falling to East Surry in the Championship.
Surry Central is the No. 12 seed in the 2A West and hosted No. 21 East Davidson, whose mascot is also the Golden Eagles, in the first round. Surry Central defeated East Davidson with set scores of 25-13, 25-13 and 25-21.
Surry Central travels to No. 5 Brevard (17-5) in the second round. The winner of that match will play the winner of No. 4 Lincoln Charter (18-4) and No. 13 Randleman (19-6).
East Surry Cardinals
East Surry currently has a record of 23-1 and is the No. 1 seed in the 1A West.
The Cardinals gained the No. 1 spot by winning both the FH2A Conference Regular Season and Conference Tournament Championships. East Surry is undefeated against fellow 2A opponents, and the Cards’ only loss this season was to Davie. Davie currently has a record of 21-4 and is the No. 8 seed in the 4A West.
East Surry defeated No. 32 West Lincoln (14-12) 3-0 in the first round. The Cardinals host No. 17 Bandys (17-6) in the second round. The winner of that match will face the winner of No. 9 Maiden (18-8) and No. 25 Wheatmore (10-12).
October 26, 2021
The Mount Airy soccer team completed its undefeated regular season with a 1-0 win over Elkin on Monday.
Sergio Garcia netted the game-winning goal to give the Granite Bears the Northwest 1A Conference Championship. Mount Airy has won the NW1A Championship outright the past two seasons and shared the title the three previous seasons.
The Bears finish the season 22-0 overall and 12-0 in conference play. The 2021-22 team now owns the following school records: most regular season wins (previously 21 in 2013), most conference wins in a season (previously eight in 2013 and Spring 2021) and consecutive wins without tying (previously 20 in 2019).
Mount Airy has finished the regular season unbeaten twice before in 2013 and Spring 2021, but the Bears tied at least one match in those years. This is the first season in which the Bears didn’t lose or tie a single regular season match.
Mount Airy’s 133 goals are the most in N.C.’s 1A division and second among all divisions. The Bears have only allowed 12 goals all season and have 15 shutouts.
MaxPreps has the Bears ranked No. 2 in the 1A West behind only Christ the King Catholic High School. Mount Airy is the only traditional public school ranked in the top eight.
The N.C. High School Athletic Association State Playoffs are set to begin next week.
October 26, 2021
PILOT MOUNTAIN — It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s another passing touchdown!
East Surry returned to David H. Diamont Stadium on Oct. 23 for its first home football game in well over a month. In their two previous home games this season, the Cardinals passed for more than 300 yards to defeat a Wilkes County team by double digits (41-14 vs. East Wilkes, 61-6 vs. North Wilkes). East Surry commemorated its return home by doing just that: passing for more than 300 yards to defeat a Wilkes Co. team by double digits.
The Cardinals defeated West Wilkes 62-0 to move to 8-0 overall. East, now 5-0 in the Foothills 2A Conference, secured a share of the conference title with Saturday’s win partnered with a Week 10 loss by Surry Central. East Surry can secure its third-consecutive outright conference championship by defeating Central (6-3, 4-1 FH2A) in the season finale on Oct. 29.
The Cardinals took to the skies on offense. Of East Surry’s 386 total yards, 340 were passing and only 46 were rushing. Quarterback Folger Boaz completed 16-of-22 passes and also threw a career-high seven passing touchdowns. Friday’s game was Boaz’s sixth career game of at least 300 yards passing.
Six different Cardinal players caught passes from Boaz, and four caught touchdown passes. Layton Allen led all receivers with four catches for 120 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Trey Armstrong also surpassed the century mark with four catches for 112 yards, two of which went for touchdowns.
In addition to having his first career game of 100 yards receiving, Armstrong took a punt return 70 yards to the house.
Colby Johnson added two receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown, and Will Jones had three catches for 36 yards and the final aerial TD. Luke Brown and Kyle Zinn combined for three receptions for 14 yards.
East Surry’s 23 yards rushing in the first half of Friday’s game all came on one play. Boaz scrambled for a 23-yard touchdown run near the start of the second quarter. Eli Beck added four carries for 23 yards in the second half.
Kicker Stephen Brantley converted 8-of-9 PATs.
The Cardinals scored 55 points in the first half with a time of possession of just 3:15. Six of the Cards’ seven first-half possessions lasted under 30 seconds, and the longest only went for 1:13.
East Surry’s defense spent the remaining 21:45 of the first half and most of the second half on the field. That wasn’t a problem, though, as the Cardinals only gave up 46 total yards in the shutout win.
West Wilkes rushed 33 times for a net gain of 15 yards. The Cardinals had two sacks and 14 tackles for a loss. Brett Clayton led the team with six tackles for a loss, followed by Joseph Grezmak with five, and Eli Becker, Izaiah Gulledge and Hatcher Hamm with one TFL each. Hamm and Daniel Villasenor each picked up a sack, and Will Jones added an interception.
Clayton and Grezmak were the Cards’ leading tacklers, finished with 12 and 10 total tackles, respectively. Villasenor and Joshua Parker each had seven total tackles, Kyle Zinn had five and Hamm added four.
West Wilkes – 0, 0, 0, 0 = 0
East Surry – 28, 27, 0, 7 = 61
11:46 ESHS 7-0 – Folger Boaz pass to Layton Allen 45-yard TD reception, Stephen Brantley PAT
8:04 ESHS 14-0 – Folger Boaz pass to Layton Allen 40-yard TD reception, Stephen Brantley PAT
4:16 ESHS 21-0 – Folger Boaz pass to Trey Armstrong 13-yard TD reception, Stephen Brantley PAT
4:16 ESHS 28-0 – Folger Boaz pass to Trey Armstrong 59-yard TD reception, Stephen Brantley PAT
10:47 ESHS 35-0 – Folger Boaz 23-yard rushing TD, Stephen Brantley PAT
6:17 ESHS 41-0 – Trey Armstrong 70-yard punt return for a TD, PAT no good
3:25 ESHS 48-0 – Folger Boaz pass to Colby Johnson 41-yard TD reception, Stephen Brantley PAT
0:47 ESHS 55-0 – Folger Boaz pass to Layton Allen 20-yard TD reception, Stephen Brantley PAT
2:09 ESHS 62-0 – Folger Boaz pass to Will Jones 25-yard TD reception, Stephen Brantley PAT
October 26, 2021
Mount Airy shut down one of its oldest rivals on Friday to secure the Northwest 1A Conference Championship.
The Bears improved to 9-0 overall and 5-0 in the NW1A Conference with a 49-0 win over Elkin. The Bears are the only NW1A team left unbeaten in conference play with only Alleghany to play. Second-place team Starmount is 4-1 in the conference, but the Bears defeated the Rams 43-0 on Oct. 1.
Mount Airy’s 2021-22 conference championship is the school’s 34th all-time and the Bears’ first since 2018.
Nearly a century ago in 1925, Mount Airy defeated Elkin 20-0 for just its 15th victory as a program. Friday’s win was the Granite Bears’ 42nd win over the Buckin’ Elks and the school’s 758th overall victory. The win is also Mount Airy’s 308th shutout and is the school’s 219th game score 40 or more points.
Friday’s game was Mount Airy’s second in five days. The Bears traveled to East Wilkes the previous Monday and defeated the Cardinals 45-6.
The game against Elkin also served as Senior Night for Mount Airy’s 13 seniors: Zeb Stroup, Kasen Taylor, Reece Deaton, Nic Isom, Logan Dowell, Josh Penn, Payton Fonville, Nick Penn, Matthew Bagley, Sao Lennon, Mason Hill, Dylan Tilley and Caleb Collins
Mount Airy’s balanced offense went for 408 total yards; the Bears rushed 28 times for 209 yards and four touchdowns, while quarterback Ian Gallimore completed 11 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns.
Gallimore surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the season with nearly 200 yards passing on Friday. His 11 completed passes are a career high.
Gallimore connected with seven different receivers against the Buckin Elks: Walker Stroup, Zeb Stroup, Tyler Mason, Traven Thompson, Connor Burrell and Payton Fonville.
Walker Stroup had his first career game of multiple touchdown receptions by hauling in passes of 37 and 25 yards. Walker also knocked down 6-of-7 PATs for the Granite Bears. Reece Deaton converted a 2-point conversion for the Bears.
Gallimore’s other passing touchdown went to Zeb Stroup for 49 yards.
Mason led the team in receptions with four, but only gained one yard. Fonville had one catch for 50 yards, followed by Reid with one catch for 23 yards, Burrell with one catch for 10 yards and Thompson with one catch for four yards.
Mason set the pace for Mount Airy’s running game with 12 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Mason’s 16 rushing touchdowns this season are the second-most in the 1A West, and his 820 yards rushing rank sixth.
Thompson and Brison George each added rushing touchdowns in the second half of Friday’s game. Thompson had one carry for 22 yards, and George carried three times for 20 yards. Reid added seven carries for 39 yards and Gallimore rushed five times for 11 yards.
Defensively, Mount Airy held Elkin to just 12 yards from scrimmage. The Elks went 0-for-3 passing and were intercepted once, and the visitors rushed 28 times for 12 yards. The Bears held Elkin to no yards or a loss of yards on 18 carries, and the Elks’ longest play from scrimmage gained four yards.
Friday’s win marks Mount Airy’s sixth shutout victory of the season. The Bears are second in the state among all divisions in scoring with 450 points scored. In that time, the Bears have only allowed 18 points.
Elkin – 0, 0, 0, 0 = 0
Mount Airy – 7, 14, 21, 7 = 49
4:38 MAHS 7-0 – Ian Gallimore pass to Walker Stroup 37-yard TD reception, Walker Stroup PAT
1:21 MAHS 13-0 – Ian Gallimore pass to Walker Stroup 25-yard TD reception, PAT no good
0:38 MAHS 21-0 – Ian Gallimore pass to Zeb Stroup 49-yard TD reception, Reece Deaton rush for 2-point conversion
8:25 MAHS 28-0 – Tyler Mason 17-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
4:44 MAHS 35-0 – Traven Thompson 22-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
1:40 MAHS 42-0 – Tyler Mason 16-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
1:50 MAHS 49-0 – Brison George 18-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT
Mount Airy football historian Doug McDaniel contributed to this article

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