All-Lake Norman News tennis, golf and soccer teams
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Wednesday, Jun. 09, 2010

All-Lake Norman News tennis, golf and soccer teams

Tennis

All-Lake Norman News Tennis Team

For the past two seasons, the Lake Norman News' area was dominated by the Lake Norman tennis team as the Wildcats went 35-4, capping it all with 2009 3A state championship.

But less than a year later, everything has changed as Wildcats (8-6) finished in the middle of the new I-Meck conference, but also took a back seat to a resurgent Hopewell boys' tennis program that had its best season in school history.

The Titans (15-3, 5-0) not only won the I-Meck, but also set a school-record for wins. North Meck (7-4) and Mooresville (9-4) also challenged for conference supremacy, but came up short.

But while things changed in the I-Meck, they remained much the same in the South Piedmont Athletic Association, where Statesville Christian not only won their conference title again, but also finished as the state runner-up. The Lions' Blake Dunlap also repeated an as individual state champion.

All-Lake Norman News Player of the Year

Blake Dunlap, Statesville Christian: Blake Dunlap had done it all before. The Statesville Christian sophomore won his second straight NCISAA singles' title this season to establish himself as one of the better players in the state in any class.

Dunlap, who also won a doubles title with Garrison Dale, led the Lions to a second-place finish as a team.

All-Lake Norman News Coach of the Year

Craig Smith, Hopewell: After years of competing with North Meck for conference supremacy, the Hopewell tennis team came into 2010 knowing things were going to get even harder in the I-Meck.

But, all Titans' head coach Craig Smith did was lead his team to a school-record 15-3 mark, including a perfect 5-0 in conference play. Hopewell not only won the regular season title, but also won the I-Meck tournament title.

All-Lake Norman News Team

Singles

Blake Dunlap, Statesville Christian: Sophomore won his 2nd straight state title.

Diego Castano, Statesville Christian: Did not lose a match all season.

Matt Alexander, Hopewell: Led Titans to I-Meck title, 15-3 mark.

Tyler Roberts, Hopewell: Titans' No. 5 player made improbable run to I-Meck singles title.

Collin Black, North Meck: Vikings' top singles' player made it to 4A West Regionals.

Parks Thompson, Statesville: Doubles specialist was a major factor in singles in 2010.

Erik Conley, Mooresville: Blue Devils' ace was solid in a brutal conference.

Doubles

Matt Alexander/John David Curlis, Hopewell: I-Meck champions led resurgent Titans/

Brian Andersen/Jeremy Anderson, Hopewell: Different spelling (last name), same great results as doubles' duo.

Dunlap/Garrison Dale, Statesville Christian: State champions as a duo and as individuals.

Matt Crisp/Drew Harmon, Lake Norman: After state title run in 2009, this year was tough.

Golf

All-Lake Norman News Golf Team

Hopewell's Logan Harrell and North Mecklenburg's Danny Pizetoski proved they were among the N.C's best on the state's biggest stage in Pinehurst (4A state championship).

Harrell, who is committed to play golf at South Carolina next season, finished third overall at states, after sharing the overnight lead on the first day of the 4A championships.

Meanwhile, Pizetoski, who is a junior considering Furman, James Madison and Virginia, among others, finished fourth in the state meet. Both golfers were also named I-Meck co-golfers of the year.

North Meck was the top team in the area, finishing eighth at the state meet overall.

North Meck and Hopewell weren't the only story lines, as Lake Norman Charter finished 5th at the 1A state championship meet.

All-Lake Norman News Player of the Year

Logan Harrell, Hopewell: Logan Harrell is always thinking about his next opportunity.

This season, Harrell took full advantage of his senior season at Hopewell winning I-Meck co-player of the year, finishing second at the 4A West Regionals and third at the 4A State Championship meet.

Harrell did all of this after a sparkling record on the junior circuit that made him No. 1 or No. 2 in the North Carolina for the past year. Harrell is also among the top 50 junior golfers in the country, currently No. 44.

All-Lake Norman News Coach of the Year

Rick Luttrell, North Mecklenburg: For the last decade, Rick Luttrell has been the constant in North Meck's domination of ME-CA 7 conference golf. After winning seven of the past nine titles in the MECA, Luttrell did again this year, against even stiffer competition in the first-year I-Meck.

Luttrell's Vikings also finished third at the regional meet for the second year in a row, and eight in the state.

All-Lake Norman News Team

Logan Harrell, Hopewell: South Carolina-bound senior is one of nation's best.

Danny Pizetoski, North Meck: Named co-I-Meck Player of the Year with Harrell.

Conner Lewis, North Meck: Solid No. 2 played well all year behind Pizetoski.

Norm Krise, Lake Norman: Wildcats' top performer in a brutal conference.

Wil Brown Jr., Statesville: The best Greyhound at states for the 2nd year in a row.

Ian Harper, Mooresville: Blue Devils' best looking to get even better as a senior.

Mace Timberlake, Lake Norman Charter: Led Knights to fifth-place finish at states.

Colton Neill, South Iredell: Won the Iredell County Championships.

Soccer

All-Lake Norman News Girls' Soccer

The Wildcats (19-3-2) and Vikings (21-3-2) have spent most of the season in the state's top 10 despite playing in the same conference, the I-Meck, for the first time ever.

While both teams had won nearly everything they could win, neither had taken the state championship.

This year, North Meck broke through as head coach Neil Roberts and company finally won a 4A state title, five years after Roberts left UNC Charlotte to coach the Vikings' team. The Vikings beat Lake Norman 5-1 in the state quarterfinals to get there.

All-Lake Norman News Player of the Year

Alison Stearns, North Mecklenburg: Alison Stearns is just a sophomore. But the second-year North Meck forward played well beyond her years, leading the Vikings in goals on their way to a state title. Stearns' biggest goal came in the biggest game, as she scored the only regulation goal in the state championship game.

For her efforts this season she was also all-I-Meck conference, all-region and all-state.

All-Lake Norman News Coach of the Year

Neil Roberts, North Mecklenburg: Neil Roberts has won just about everything is his career as a soccer coach. After successful coaching stints at UNC Charlotte and East Carolina, Roberts has continued his winning ways at North Meck winning 74 games, four conference titles, and appeared in one regional final.

But coming into this season, Roberts wanted a little bit more and knew he had a team with the potential to win the state title.

In the end, Roberts and North finally won the big one after 80 minutes, two overtimes, two sudden deaths and two rounds of penalty kicks.

All-Lake Norman News Team

Forward - Alison Stearns, North Mecklenburg: All-state as a sophomore led team in goals.

Forward - Sarah Ann Waugh, Statesville: All-state forward is a highly-respected by all.

Forward - Taylor Waters, Lake Norman: Goal scorer also only a sophomore.

Forward - Bethany Spano, Southlake Christian: Led surprising young Eagles to standout season.

Midfield - Rebekkah Glass, East Lincoln: All-region pick a major threat for Mustangs.

Midfield - Allye Mertes, Lake Norman: All-state midfielder knows the game well.

Midfield - Katie Register, Statesville: Major part of a vastly improving Greyhound team.

Midfield - Katelyn Faucette, Hopewell: Titans' main weapon still improving.

Defender - Erin McNaulty, North Meck: Major part of Vikings' vaunted defense.

Defender - Tara Zartman, North Meck: Senior leader of the same group.

Defender - Sydney Foushee, Lake Norman: Standout defender, just a sophomore.

Defender - Hannah Mack, Mooresville: Blue Devils' junior had a lot of great players to stop.

Goalkeeper - Emily Rusk, North Mecklenburg: State championship MVP says enough.

Jay Edwards is a freelance writer for Lake Norman News. Have a story idea for Jay? E-mail him at jedwardsjr23@hotmail.com.

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