Central honors its athletes

Marlee Wilmoth and Kirk Needham receive the female and male athlete of the year awards from Surry Central during Friday’s awards ceremony.

Football coach Monty Southern, left, and girls basketball coach Mandy Holt receive the boys and girls coach of the year awards from Sharon Hall, Edward Jones Investments, and athletic director Myles Wilmoth. Edward Jones was the corporate sponsor for the coach and player of the year awards.

DOBSON — Surry Central held its year-end awards ceremony Friday morning, including several sports honors.

Seniors Marlee Wilmoth and Kirk Needham were named to the female and male athletes of the year.

Girls basketball coach Mandy Holt received the school’s top girls’ coach award. Football coach Monty Southern received the top boys’ coach award.

Wilmoth is a four-year player in both tennis and basketball. She started as a freshman in tennis and played quality minutes as a freshman in basketball.

She earned all-conference all four seasons in tennis and was runnerup for player of the year. She was all-conference this season in basketball and won player of the year.

“Even more importantly, her teams were successful,” said proud father Myles Wilmoth, athletic director. “She helped lead her tennis and basketball teams to four conference championships her junior and senior years.

“She ranks in the top 10 percent class academically, earned an Armfield Scholarship and was one of the Surry Central yearbook editors.”

“It has been a pleasure to see this young woman grow as a player and an individual. I am excited to see the accomplishments she will have as a leader in our community and churches,” said tennis coach Dennis Miller.

“Even as a freshman you could tell this young lady was naturally a leader and a motivator. It has been awesome to see her mature into the floor general we know today. She is the best true point guard this program has ever seen. She understands the game and was truly a coach on the floor,” said Holt.

“Next year she plans to attend University of North Carolina at Charlotte to become a physician’s assistant,” said Myles Wilmoth.

Needham was a three-sport athlete, playing football, basketball and tennis. He was a leader on all three squads as the quarterback and a team captain in football, point guard and a team captain in hoops and a team captain in tennis.

In football, Needham was on the field for more than 80 percent of snaps because he also played defensive back.

“This young man is the grittiest and toughest player I have ever coached,” said Southern.

He received the team’s Pine Knot award for toughness and received the team toughness award in basketball, too.

He was a starter his last two years in basketball and led his team in scoring while being voted all-conference.

“This young person is the consummate student‐athlete, leader, and role model. He exemplifies everything that is positive in high school athletics,” said basketball coach Ken Eiswald.

In the spring, Needham was a three-year starter and likely would have started as a freshman except for an injury.

He received three all-conference honors and qualified for the 2A regional tournament all three seasons.

“This Student‐Athlete is a great student, excellent athlete, superior teammate and even better person,” said tennis coach Mark Parsons.

Next year Needham plans to attend the UNC Greensboro to earn a degree in supply chain management.

Holt, who played for the Lady Eagles from 1996-99, has been a Central coach for 13 years. This year her team went 21-6, 9-1 in the conference and tied for the conference regular-season title.

Four of her starters were named all-conference and the other was an honorable mention. Wilmoth earned player of the year under her tutelage.

For her effort, Holt was named the Western Piedmont coach of the year this season.

Southern is another homegrown coach, having graduated from Central in 1992. He has been a coach at the school for 19 years, including the past eight as head coach.

When the next season begins, Monty will tie the record for the longest tenure at the helm and will have coached more games than any other coach in school history, said Myles Wilmoth. With five more wins, he will become the school’s all-time leader in wins as well.

In going 7-5, the Eagles had three straight fourth-quarter comebacks.

The offense rushed for more than 1,900 yards and 16 TDs, while the passing attack added another nine TDs.

The defense gave up only 8.1 points a game over the last seven weeks. In eight games, the team had three or more takeaways; the defense turned three of those into scores going the other way.

In his career, Central has rewritten the record books with 38 school marks, said Wilmoth.

Some of those include most points in a game (76), most TDs in a game (11), most forced turnovers (eight) and going 65 consecutive games without being shutout.

Wilmoth also mentioned four coaches who won conference coach of the year.

In addition to Holt for girls basketball, he named Daniel Broughton, girls golf; Dennis Miller, girls tennis; and Dara Kowalcik, girls swimming.

Four-year players

Alex Martin Football

Alyssa Draughn Cheerleading

Austin Peele Football

Ben Shinault Tennis

Emilee Stanley Soccer

Hogan Coe Baseball

John Marshall Baseball

Jose Avalos Soccer

Laken Patterson Cheerleading

Laura Dobbins Volleyball

Maddy Snow Soccer

McKayla Draughn Volleyball

Robert Moser Football

Samantha Atkins Cheerleading

Sydney Elam Swimming

Travis Green Baseball

Wesley Wood Swimming

Two-sport athletes

Marlee Wilmoth Tennis & Basketball

Olivia Fowler Tennis & Basketball

Stephanie Boone Tennis & Cheerleading

Stephen Bruner Football & Baseball

Uriel Secundino Soccer & Wrestling

Kelsey Taylor Basketball & Volleyball

Weston Mosley Basketball & Tennis

Zack Martin Football & Wrestling

Three‐sport athletes

Kirk Needham Football, Basketball, Tennis

Emma White Volleyball, Basketball & Softball

Kristin Key Volleyball, Basketball & Softball

McKenzie Danley, Volleyball, Basketball & Softball