The Mooresville boys' soccer team has been waiting for this season. With 12 seniors back from last year, including eight starters, the Blue Devils (19-2-2 in 2008) anticipated having one of their best teams in some time.
So far, Mooresville (4-0) and ranked No. 14 in state, is off to a great start, winning the Freedom Invitational tournament last weekend with victories over No. 10 Asheville, McDowell and Freedom.
Senior forward Danner McCulloh scored five goals in the first three games and was named the tournament's most valuable player. Midfielder Nic Norment was named top attacker of the tournament, and Josh Skidmore and Ulises Solorio were selected to the all-tournament team.
“This was a great tournament win, and a great way to start our season,” Mooresville coach Steve Stith said. “I think we got a lot of confidence going forward.”
Mooresville will be challenged in the new I-Meck conference, which includes Hopewell, Lake Norman, Mallard Creek and North Meck high schools.
“It's going to be a dogfight,” Stith said.
North Mecklenburg (3-0-1), No. 15 in the Observer's Sweet 16, upset No. 8 South Mecklenburg 2-1 Tuesday as Patrick Harrow scored the winning goal with just under three minutes left. The Vikings also beat East Mecklenburg 6-0.
The Lake Norman boys' soccer team is ranked No.3 in the state and is off to a 3-1 start this season, having beaten East Meck and Porter Ridge before losing to Saint Stephens.
South Iredell (2-1) stayed at No. 9 in the 2A poll with a 6-3 victory over East Lincoln and a 3-2 win over North Iredell.
The Lake Norman tennis team improved to 3-1 this week with wins over Statesville and South Iredell.
Senior Shruthi Rajan, the Wildcats' No. 1 player, is undefeated this year and last. She has won a school-record 74 times in her career and has a good chance to be the first player in Lake Norman history to win 100 matches.
North Meck junior golfer Katie Kirk moved to No. 3 in the state and No. 218 in the country (on the junior golf circuit) this week, according golfweek.com, after finishing in the top 11 in three straight junior tournaments this month.
North Meck's volleyball team improved to 3-0 on the season by beating state-power Myers Park in four games last week.
Lake Norman is also 3-0, having beaten South Iredell Monday night.
Mooresville begins its quest this week to win a fourth straight state championship in cross country.
The Blue Devils, led by head coach Mike Serefine, will have to do it on the 4A level this season, having won the past three titles in the smaller-school 3A classification.
“We approach every year with same goal in mind,” Serefine said of the team's aim toward a fourth straight title.
All-conference senior Josh Cox, who has been a part of each title team, will be expected to lead the way on the course.
Cox, who is being recruited by several schools, is getting the most interest from Wake Forest University and High Point College right now.
Seniors Jordan Hall, Chase Martin and Jordan Sledge will also be key for the Blue Devils as well as the No. 2 runner, junior Braedon Koerwitz.
Matt Horn gets honor
Former North Meck soccer player Matt Horn, who now plays for Winthrop University, has been named the Big South Conference's representative to the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.
Horn, a sophomore, is just one of 31 student-athletes across the country who represent their conferences at national conferences to help maintain the structure of the NCAA governing body on an ongoing basis.
Horn, named to Winthrop's President's List in spring 2009 for maintaining a grade-point average over 3.0 , also assists in reading programs and soccer clinics at several local schools.
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer.