Hill, Long named top athletes

North Surry’s Taylor Hill, left, and Carson Long, right, receive the Surry County School’s athletes of the year awards from Curtis Taylor, Surry Telephone and Carolina West Wireless.

North’s Taylor Hill crushes a ball at home for an extra-base hit. She was a two-time all-conference player in softball and volleyball and runnerup for player of the year in basketball.

East’s Carson Long sinks a free throw during the winter season where he was named player of the year.

North’s Taylor Hill makes a kill at home back in the fall when she was named player of the year.

East’s Carson Long holds a runner on at first in baseball where he earned all-conference status.

North Surry’s Taylor Hill and East Surry’s Carson Long have been named the 2014-15 Surry County Schools athletes of the year.

East Surry took home the Capitol Bank Cup after two teams and individual wrestlers advanced all the way to the state championship level.

Surry County Schools held its annual year-end sports banquet this week.

After recognizing the many players who made all-conference teams during the past year, SCS and Surry Telephone Membership Corp. honored one male and female athlete with the top award.

Curtis Taylor, Surry Telephone and Carolina West Wireless, described Hill’s illustrious career.

“This young lady is a three-sport athlete, participating in volleyball, basketball and softball, Taylor said.

Hill was a three-year member of the volleyball and basketball varsity squads and a four-year player on the varsity softball team.

The 5-foot-9 outside hitter made the all-conference team twice and earned the Western Piedmont Conference player of the year award this season.

The Lady Greyhounds won the conference title all three seasons she played and won the state title in her sophomore year.

The Hounds also won or tied for first for the conference title all three years she played basketball. She was runnerup to Marlee Wilmoth in the WPAC player of the year voting.

In softball, Hill was one of the best hitters in the league and provided some pop to the lineup. She made the all-conference team twice.

“She is a rare three-sport athlete and she has experienced a lot of individual and team success in athletics during her participation in 10 varsity sports seasons,” said Shane Slate, her coach for both volleyball and basketball.

“She was all-conference in all three sports she played and was a member of seven conference championship teams. She is an explosive athlete with a gritty attitude and she does not back down from any challenge. She has been instrumental in winning over 200 contests during her time as an athlete at our school. She is recognized by her classmates as a leader both on and off the playing field.”

Hill had some opportunities to play college sports in both volleyball and softball, but has decided to focus on academics, her coaches said.

Next, Taylor introduced the boys’ winner from East Surry.

Long was a three-year member of the varsity basketball team and a two-year member of the varsity baseball team.

After a modest sophomore campaign in basketball, Long’s role increased greatly over each of the next two seasons.

He became an all-conference player as a junior, then was named the Northwest Conference player of the year as a senior.

Along the way, he also was named to the All-Northwest Team, the N.C. Basketball Coaches Association’s All-Region Team and the NCPreps All-State Team.

In baseball, Long played a utility role on the 2014 team that went all the way to the state championship series. As a full-time starter this season, Long made the all-conference team for the first time.

Basketball coach Jason Anderson said, “He is a team player and he accepted his role on our basketball team each year. As a junior, he was our second-leading scorer and our leading rebounder. As a senior, he averaged a double/double with 22.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.”

Baseball coach Barry Hall said, “He stepped up and became a team leader for us this year. He switched positions and gave us defensive stability at a key position. He also provided a major offensive lift for us being among the team leaders in batting average, home runs and runs batted in.”

Long will continue his basketball career at Guilford College.

The ceremony ended with the presentation of the Capital Bank Cup to the county school with the best overall sports season.

Points are awarded to the schools on criteria modeled after the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s original Wachovia Cup competition.

The further a sports team goes in the playoffs, the more points are earned for the school.

East Surry won the award this season thanks to second-place finishes by the volleyball and soccer teams, a sixth-place finish by the boys’ golf team, a sectional final appearance by the baseball team and several playoff berths. The Cards also had wrestlers competing deep into the state championship like Eddie Nunez and Caleb Lowe.

In addition to holding the Cup for the next year, East Surry received a $1,000 check for its athletic program from Capital Bank.

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