PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry took back the Capital Bank Cup from North Surry this week after a strong showing in boys’ sports all year.
Surry County Schools held its annual athletic celebration at Pilot Mountain Middle School, honoring the 248 all-conference honors received by students in the past year.
The biggest award went to the Cardinals for the most team points for all sports. The Capital Bank Cup is modeled after the NCHSAA’s Wachovia Cup competition, giving points for playoff berths and additional points for how highly a team finishes.
The Cards have a baseball team playing for the state title this weekend, but that is far from the school’s only success.
The boys’ golf team finished second in the state in 1A to Bishop McGuinness.
The football was 11-3 and won two playoff games. The boys’ basketball team went 23-7 and won two playoff games.
The boys’ soccer team went 13-6-3 and was undefeated in Northwest play. The team also won a playoff game.
The wrestling team was 12-10 overall, but had seven wrestlers with 16 or more wins, including Northwest wrestler of the year Eddie Nunez.
East Surry won the first cup three years ago as its softball team wrapped up a streak of four straight championships. Then North Surry won the past two cups, helped by a volleyball title and a two-time state golf champion. Now the Cup — and a $1,000 donation from Capital Bank — passes back to Pilot Mountain.
East earned another top honor as two-sport standout Scott Meredith earned the boys’ player of the year award.
Meredith is the all-time leading scorer for East’s basketball team and a three-time all-conference honoree. This year he also made the 1A all-region and all-state teams.
In baseball, he has contributed to the team’s record 30-0 start thus far and split the player of the year award with fellow pitching ace Tyler Marion. Meredith has earned two all-conference nods on the diamond.
“He is a proven winner,” said East basketball coach Jason Anderson. “He competes as well as any young man I have ever coached. He makes his teammates better, but can also take over a game and dominate whenever he needs to.”
The process for picking a female athlete of the year was quite challenging this time, noted Curtis Taylor, of Surry Telephone Membership Corp. that sponsors the awards.
Two girls are each arguably the best multi-sport female athlete to play for their respective schools.
One earned player of the year in two sports and a state championship MVP award; the other has racked up 11 all-conference honors in three sports and broke the school record for scoring in basketball.
“The coaches at the three respective schools nominate and vote on the top male and female athletes based on their entire high school athletic careers,” said Taylor.
“The names are forwarded to the county athletic director with a list of their athletic accomplishments,” he said. “At the county level, a subcommittee of the Athletic Improvement Committee reviews the nominations and makes their selections. There are always outstanding nominees and the selection committee had a very difficult time making the final selections.”
In the end, the committee decided to share the award between North’s Malaya Johnson and Central’s Cassidy Joyner.
Johnson is a three-time all-conference selection in basketball. She helped the team either win or tie for first place all four seasons in the conference standings. She was one of 20 players from across the state selected for the NCCAA East-West All-Star Game next month.
Johnson scored more than 1,100 points and grabbed more than 1,000 rebounds, earning a Division I scholarship to Elon.
She was no slouch in volleyball, earning two all-conference nods and the tournament MVP award when the Lady Greyhounds won the state 2A title in 2012. Like basketball, the volleyball team won the regular season championship all four years.
Shane Slate, who coached Johnson in both sports, said, “She is the most dominant athlete I have ever coached in my 19-year career. She worked hard to develop her skills and earn a Division I basketball scholarship.”
Joyner had such an outstanding reputation coming out of Central Middle School that the varsity teams welcomed her from the first day of her freshman year. She played varsity on three teams for all four years. Out of those 12 seasons, she earned all-conference 11 times.
She is a four-time honoree in basketball and softball and a three-time recipient in volleyball.
She was named to the all-district and all-state teams for softball this year. She was named to the all-Northwest team three times for basketball where she is the school’s scoring record holder. She will play basketball at Lenoir-Rhyne.
Taylor told the crowd that one of her coaches said to him, “She is one of the greatest female athletes to ever play at our school. She has set the bar high as a three-sport athlete with excellence in each sport.”
Along with the students, the county school system honored the 10 educators who earned coach of the year honors in their sport.
Here is a list of the coaching winners and their sports by season.
Fall: Dennis Miller, girls’ tennis.
Winter: Leah Tunstall, swimming (1A); Dara Kowalcik, swimming (2A); Shane Slate, girls’ basketball; Ken Eiswald, boys’ basketball; and Stephen Priddy, wrestling.
Spring: Barry Hall, baseball; Bill Hart, girls’ soccer; Drew Belton, boys’ tennis; and Daniel Broughton, boys’ golf.
The members of the Surry County Schools Athletic Committee are: Neil Atkins, Diane Beane, Marion Boone, David Diamont, Brian Gates, Chuck Graham, Tom Hemmings, Mark Hiatt, Celia Hodges, Randy Marion, Tony Martin, T.J. Payne, Travis Reeves, Craig Shabdue, Shane Slate and Myles Wilmoth.
The teens making up the Surry County Schools Student Athletic Committee are: Hunter Ayers, Abby Golding, Gabi Jessup, Austin Shabdue, Caleb Thomas and Marlee Wilmoth.