For the second year in a row, both Surry Central and North Surry qualified for the NCHSAA 2A state soccer playoffs last November.
While the Greyhounds were just happy to be there, having finished third in the conference in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, postseason appearances for the Golden Eagles are old hat by now. What they hadn’t done was have very much success once they got there.
This changed in 2017, as Central checked off Fred T. Foard and Thomasville in the first two rounds of postseason play. In the third round, the Eagles played powerhouse Thomasville Ledford to a draw through regulation and two overtimes. The teams had to play a shootout to determine who would advance, and Central missed on its seventh penalty kick after each team had converted its first six.
Nevertheless, three members of the Eagles’ team were named to the All-Region 8 team by the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association. Sophomore Nolan McMillen, who performed brilliantly on defense during Central’s playoff run, was one of five sophomores named to the team, along with teammate Issac Sanchez. Teammate Riley Templeton, a senior, joined them.
Two members of the Greyhounds were also named all-Region, those being senior Jonathan Cardoso and junior Grant Whittington. North lost eight seniors off a team that won a school-record 15 matches in 2016, but was still competitive in conference play this season and took Mountain Heritage Conference champion East Henderson to overtime in a first-round playoff game on the road.
The All-Conference team, voted on by the coaches, was also released at about the same time, with all of the above players earning spots on that. For North Surry, Cardoso and Whittington were joined by teammate Javier Vera, while Central’s Templeton, McMillen and Sanchez were joined by Hernan Garcia. Chase Melton of Forbush was named as the league’s Offensive Player of the Year, while his coach, Seth Davis, was named as the Coach of the Year. The Defensive Player of the Year was Bailey Moran of West Stokes.