While the 2013 NCHSAA football state championships still remain, the rest of the fall sports seasons have come and gone.
With 130-plus schools in the Observer area, there are hundreds of standout players and dozens of teams that had seasons to remember this fall.
From the soccer field to the volleyball court to the cross country course to the tennis court to the golf course, these are the Observers best.
Marvin Ridge (22-1-1), 3A state champion, and 2A state champion Salisbury (25-1) proved to be the top teams in the state in their classes.
The Mavericks, led by coach Jason Zak, the Observer and Regional coach of the year, won the 3A title 6-5 over Jacksonville, the highest-scoring championship game in NCHSAA state history.
The Hornets, led by coach Matt Parrish, won 25 straight games, claiming the 2A state title 2-1 over First Flight.
Salisburys state championship MVP, all-state forward Bobby Cardelle, is the Observers regional player of the year after he notched 45 goals this season including the game-winner in the finals.
The Garinger boys soccer teams run was one of the most surprising stories of the year. The Wildcats had a perfect regular season, winning the Southwestern 4A Conference title to complete their best season in school history.
Their run came up short in a second-round, 3-2 overtime loss to Southwest Guilford. The Wildcats had a season they will never forget, earning coach David Garrett the Mecklenburg coach of the year honors.
Garingers top player, Tresor Mbuyu, is the Observer player of the year (and Mecklenburg player of the year). The all-state junior forward had 35 goals and 21 assists this season.
Providence also went unbeaten in their first 24 games before coach Timothy Long and the Panthers suffered a heartbreaking 2-0 state quarterfinal loss to T.C. Roberson.
Charlotte Country Day finally won the elusive NCISAA 3A state championship with a 3-1 win over Covenant Day in the finals to finish 34-6 and claim their first title since 1992.
Buccaneers coach Brian Rosen takes home the Observer coach of the year honors (and Mecklenburg coach of the year) with the win.
Houghs Julia Brown is the Observer player of the year (and Mecklenburg player of the year) after leading her Huskies to a 32-2 mark and to a 4A state runner-up finish (to Raleigh Wakefield). Brown, an N.C. State commit, had 389 kills this season.
South Iredell sophomore Julia Scoles, who had an eye-popping 472 kills, 352 digs and 75 blocks to lead the Vikings to a 23-3 record, is the Observer regional player of the year.
Carson coach Kelan Rogers, who led her team to a 34-0 record before falling to five-time 3A state champion Cardinal Gibbons, is the Observer regional coach of the year.
Westminster Catawba (24-5) also won the NCISAA 2A state championship.
The Observer girls golf season was a year for repeat performances as Cannon School won its third straight NCISAA state title, Salisbury also won its third straight 1A-2A crown, and Ardrey Kell claimed its second straight 4A state championship.
Cannon School coach Pat Whisenant is Observer coach of the year and regional coach of the year after leading the Cougars to a 25-stroke victory. Cannon School also beat Salisbury, who won its state title by 57 shots, in the regular season by 11 strokes.
Ardrey Kell coach Bart Whitney is the Observers Mecklenburg coach of the year after leading the Knights to their second straight 4A title, and third in the last four years.
Cannon School senior Kate Collom, a Samford signee, is the Observer and regional player of the year after finishing as NCISAA state and CISAA conference runner-up.
Ardrey Kell freshman Moon Cheong finished as 4A state and 4A West Regional runner-up, winning the South Meck 8 conference title in her first year in high school.
Boys Cross Country
Providence Days Ben Huffman and Wyatt Maxey earned the co-Observer runners of the year honors (as well as co-Mecklenburg runners of the year) after both won their individual state championships.
Huffman, a two-time Observer runner of the year, won the NCISAA 3A title while also leading his Charger team a fourth straight state title. The Providence Day senior also qualified for the Foot Locker Nationals on Dec. 14 in San Diego, finishing as runner-up in the Foot Locker Southeast Regional, running a 14:44, the fastest time ever recorded by an N.C. runner at McAlpine Park.
Maxey, an N.C. State commit, became the first Providence runner to win the 4A state cross country championship.
Providence Day coach Ben Hovis is the Mecklenburg coach of the year after guiding his boys and girls team to NCISAA 3A state championships this season.
Weddingtons Rick Spencer takes Observer coach of the year (and regional coach of the year) after guiding his Warrior boys to a 3A state title.
Lake Normans Patrick Sheehan is the Observer regional runner of the year. He also qualified for the Foot Locker Nationals, running a personal-best 14:54. Sheehan, who finished 5th at 4A states, also ran a 14:55 to finish as runner-up at the Wendys Invitational.
Girls Cross Country
Providences Bianca Bishop and Grace Sullivan battled back and forth all year in practice and in competition, and will share co-Observer runners of the year (and co-Mecklenburg runners of the year) for their efforts.
Bishop, an N.C. State commit, was 4A state runner-up (running personal-best 17:40.87), third at regionals and South Meck 8 Conference champion.
Sullivan, a junior, ran a personal-best 17:38 at the Foot Locker Southeast Regional, while finishing fifth at states and winning the 4A West Regional title in 17:40.
East Lincolns Jill Farrar is the Observer coach of the year and regional coach of the year after guiding her Mustang girls to a 2A state title.
Providence coach Kurt Niedenzu is the Mecklenburg coach of the year, leading his team to a South Meck 8 and 4A West Regional titles.
Marvin Ridge freshman Alexa King is the Observer regional runner of the year, winning the 3A Midwest Regional in a personal-best 17:52 while also finishing fifth at the 3A state meet.
Salisbury again headlined the girls tennis season with itssixth straight 2A state tennis title, this time led by first-year coach Scott Maddox, who is the Observer coach of the year and regional coach of the year.
Charlotte Country Days Calvin Davis and Ardrey Kells Laura Pratt share the Mecklenburg coach of the year honors. Davis led the Bucs (19-2) to their first NCISAA 3A title since 2003, while Pratt led the Knights (15-1) to a perfect 15-0 record before falling to Carys Panther Creek High.
Three Observer girls won their respective individual singles titles with Community School of Davidsons Courtney Mudge winning the 1A championship, Bandys Cassidy Shell taking the 2A crown and Weddingtons Heidi Swope winning the 3A title.
Swope, a junior who has lost one singles match in her high school career, is the Observer player of the year (and regional player of the year) after also leading her the Warriors to a 3A state runner-up finish. Swope also won a 3A doubles state title last year with teammate Emma Yates.
Mudge, also a junior, is the Mecklenburg player of the year after winning the 1A West Regional and South Piedmont 1A conference titles.
OBSERVER FALL ALL-STAR TEAMS
All Charlotte Observer Boys' Soccer Team
Observer Player of the Year: Tresor Mbuyu, Garinger
Observer Coach of the Year: Jason Zak, Marvin Ridge
Mecklenburg Player of the Year: Tresor Mbuyu, Garinger
Mecklenburg Coach of the Year: David Garrett, Garinger
Regional Player of the Year: Bobby Cardelle, Salisbury
Regional Coach of the Year: Jason Zak, Marvin Ridge
F: Tresor Mbuyu, Garinger, Jr. All-state forward had 35 goals, 21 assists in helping Wildcats to a perfect regular season, SW4A conference title.
F: Bobby Cardelle, Salisbury, Sr.- All-state pick had 45 goals this season, including game-winner in state title game (state championship MVP), 105 goals for his career.
F: Omar Solis, South Iredell, Sr. All-time leading goal scorer in Iredell County history with 134 goals, became a two-time, all-state pick with 32 goals, eight assists this season.
F: Michael Basnett, Hough, Sr. Two-time all-state pick had 29 goals, 24 assists to help lead Huskies to 4A Western Regional final (state semifinals).
F: Seth Jones, Hunter Huss, Jr. All-state forward, broke his own school with 38 goals this season.
F/M: Will Green, Marvin Ridge, Sr. All-state pick, co-captain a big part of state champion run with 24 goals, 12 assists.
M: Klint Parker, Marvin Ridge, Sr. Another Maverick all-state, co-captain, scored 24 goals, 14 assists, will attend and play at Air Force Academy.
M: Matthew Nozedar, Providence, Jr. All-state junior had 27 goals, help to lead Providence a 24-1 mark.
M: Zhuvonte Wilson, Ardrey Kell, Sr. All-state Knight had 31 goals, 15 assists, and is graduating to early to start play for the Charlotte 49ers this winter.
M: Emmy Turcios, Salisbury, Sr. All-state midfielder had 25 goals, 12 assists to help lead Hornets to 2A state title.
D: Connor Kirby, Providence, Sr. Two-time all-state pick a lockdown defender, eraser in the back and one of the best players at any position in the state, according to Coach Timothy Long.
D: Adrian Rinde, Hough, Sr. After missing some time early, all-state defender was a big key the Huskies
D: John Canipe, Salisbury, Sr. 6-foot-2, 190
D: Marcos Vargas, Hickory, Sr. Two-time all-state pick also co-Northwestern 3A-4A conference defensive player of the year.
GK: Nick Gardner, Charlotte Latin, Sr. All-state goalkeeper a huge factor for Hawks with eight shutouts, University of Denver commit.
F: C.J. Bradley, Hough, Jr.
F: Hussein Arsene, Garinger, Sr.
F: Axel Rojas, South Mecklenburg, Sr.
F: Franklin Wepner, Newton Conover, Sr.
F: Ryan Grigston, Central Academy, Sr.
F: Brandon Flores, Carson, So.
F/M: Josh Sorenson, Butler, Sr.
F/M: Zach Durham, Fred T. Foard, Jr.
M: Alain Colnot, Thomas Jefferson Academy, Sr.
M: Francisco Prado, Community School of Davidson, So.
M: Ben Locke, Charlotte Country Day, Jr.
M: Logan Raichle, Watauga, Sr.
M: Jonathan Cruz-Nava, West Caldwell, Sr.
D: Cam Linville, Watauga, Sr.
D: Andrew Barton, St. Stephens, Jr.
D: James Max-Miller, Hickory Ridge, Sr.
GK: Aaron Chapman, South Iredell, Sr. and Matt Lauder, Charlotte Catholic, Sr.
All Observer Boys Cross Country Team
Observer Runner of the Year: Ben Huffman, Providence Day and Wyatt Maxey, Providence
Observer Coach of the Year: Rick Spencer, Weddington
Mecklenburg Runner of the Year: Ben Huffman, Providence Day and Wyatt Maxey, Providence
Mecklenburg Coach of the Year: Ben Hovis, Providence Day
Regional Runner of the Year: Patrick Sheehan, Lake Norman
Regional Runner of the Year: Rick Spencer, Weddington
Ben Huffman, Providence Day, Sr.: Back-to-back NCISAA 3A state champion, also ran personal-best 14:44 (the fastest ever by N.C. runner at McAlpine Park) at Foot Locker Southeast Regional to finish as runner-up and qualify for Foot Locker Nationals (Dec. 14 in San Diego), also CISAA conference champion.
Wyatt Maxey, Providence, Sr.: 4A state champion, 4A West Regional and South Meck 8 conference champion, ran personal-best 15:08.7 at Adidas Challenge, N.C. State commit.
Patrick Sheehan, Lake Norman, Sr. Ran a personal-best 14:54 at Foot Locker Southeast Regionals to also qualify for Foot Locker Nationals, also ran 14:55 at Wendys
Nick Linder, Providence Day, Jr.: NCISAA 3A state runner-up, CISAA runner-up, personal-best 15:34.92 at the state meet.
Andrew Fea, North Lincoln, Sr.: Ran personal-best 15:35 to finish as 3A Midwest Regional runner-up, also 3rd at states.
Ryan Shannon, North Lincoln, Sr.: Ran personal-best 15:34 to win 3A Midwest Regional, also 5th at states, NPC runner-up.
McCann Sheridan, Jay M. Robinson, Sr.: Ran personal-best 15:40 at Wendys, then finished 4th at 4A West Regional, 24th at states, MECKA conference champion.
Gil Gilreath, Northwest Cabarrus, Sr.: Cabarrus County champion, also South Piedmont conference (SPC) runner-up, 6th at regional (personal-best 15:46), 11th at states.
Alex Cornwell, Hickory Ridge, So.: Ran personal-best 15:43 to finish 4th at 3A Midwest Regional, also SPC conference champion, 14th at states.
Tim Coffey, Mooresville, Jr.: Ran personal-best 15:46.17 to win United Way Invitational in loaded field, also finished 3rd at 4A West Regional, 23rd at states.
Corbin Boyles, Maiden, Sr.
Jack Paddison, Providence Day, Jr.:
Peter Hetzel, Grace Academy, Sr.
Ryan Hobbs, Weddington, Jr.
Mitchell Resor, Weddington, So.
Danny Sodano, Cuthbertson, Sr.
Jake Blizzard, Marvin Ridge, Jr.
Matt Panza, Lake Norman Charter, Jr.
Jack Ratterree, Charlotte Latin, So.
Elijah Inuwa, Central Academy, Jr.
Frisco Poole, Forest Hills, Sr.
All Observer Girls Cross Country Team
Observer Runner of the Year: Bianca Bishop and Grace Sullivan, Providence
Observer Coach of the Year: Jill Farrar, East Lincoln
Mecklenburg Runner of the Year: Bianca Bishop and Grace Sullivan, Providence
Mecklenburg Coach of the Year: Kurt Niedenzu, Providence
Regional Runner of the Year: Alexa King, Marvin Ridge
Regional Coach of the Year: Jill Farrar, East Lincoln
Bianca Bishop, Providence, Sr.: 4A state runner-up in personal-best 17:40.87, 3rd at 4A West Regional, South Meck 8 conference champion, N.C. State commit.
Grace Sullivan, Providence, Jr.: 4A West Regional champion, also 5th at states, ran personal-best 17:38 at Foot Locker Southeast Regional.
Kayla Glova, Providence, So.: Another Panther standout finished 10th at states, 6th at regionals (running personal-best 18:18), 3rd at South Meck conference.
Alexa King, Marvin Ridge, Fr.: Maverick freshman had a breakout year as 3A Midwest Regional champion in personal-best 17:52, also 5th at states, Southern Carolinas conference champion.
Sydney Foreman, Ardrey Kell, Sr.: 4A West Regional and South Meck 8 conference runner-up, ran personal-best 17:40 at the Foot Locker Southeast Regional, finished 7th at states.
Mary Prouty, Myers Park, Jr.: Southwestern 4A conference champion, also 5th at 4A West Regionals (running personal-best 18:02), 13th at states.
Allie Castro, North Lincoln, Sr.: 3A Midwest Regional and North Piedmont conference runner-up also 3rd at states, ran personal-best 18:20 Foot Locker Southeast Regional.
Malia Ellington, Community School of Davidson, Jr.: 1A state champion, 1A West Regional champion and South Piedmont 1A conference champion, ran personal-best 18:20.70 at Frosh/Soph Invitational.
Brittany Stanley, Mount Pleasant, So.: 2A state runner-up in personal-best 18:20, also 2A Midwest Regional runner-up.
Emma Brown, Providence Day, Jr.: CISAA champion in a personal-best 18:32, also 5th at states.
Holly Bailey, Lake Norman, Fr.
Frances Massey, East Lincoln, Fr.
Caitlin Potter, North Lincoln, Sr.
Kate Eiselt, Myers Park, Fr.
Story Gourley, Myer Park, Fr.
Abby Watkins, Myers Park, Sr.
Melissa Zammitti, Lake Norman, Fr.
Natalie Andrejchak, Jay M. Robinson, Jr.
Emma Hand, Northwest Cabarrus, Jr.
Nicole Renwick, Marvin Ridge, So.
Morgan Garrett, Weddington, Jr.
All Charlotte Observer Girls Tennis Team
Observer Player of the Year: Heidi Swope, Weddington
Observer Coach of the Year: Scott Maddox, Salisbury
Mecklenburg Player of the Year: Courtney Mudge, Community School of Davidson
Mecklenburg Co-coaches of the Year: Calvin Davis, Charlotte Country Day and Laura Pratt, Ardrey Kell
Regional Player of the Year: Heidi Swope, Weddington
Regional Coach of the Year: Scott Maddox, Salisbury
Heidi Swope, Weddington, Jr.: 3A state singles
Courtney Mudge, Community School of Davidson, Jr.: 1A state champion also won the 1A West Regional and South Piedmont 1A conference titles.
Cassidy Shell, Bandys, Sr.: 2A state singles
Nancy Bridges, Shelby, Jr: 2012 2A state singles
Sarah Jiang, Cox Mill, So.: 3A state runner-up, 3A West Regional runner-up also won South Piedmont conference title.
Hannah Archer, Lake Norman Charter, So.: 2012 1A state singles
Grace Deering, Charlotte Catholic, Sr.: South Meck 8 conference champions, 4A West Regional runner-up, also a 4A state quarterfinalist, only player to beat Weddington
Lauren Gish, Lake Norman, Fr.: North Piedmont conference (NPC), 4A West Regional champion, also a 4A state quarterfinalist.
Alexandra Drye, Sr./Madeline Hoskins, Sr. Salisbury: Hornets
Alexandra Lee, Sr./Emma Pixley, Sr., Providence Day: Charger duo only lost once together in their high school career.
Lara Handlesman, Sr./Avery Hunter, So., Charlotte Country Day: All-state Bucs
Hailey Simon, Fr./Sarah Yuan, So., Ardrey Kell: 4A Western Regional champs, also 4A state quarterfinalists.
Libby Fowler, Sr./Brooke Herlocker, Jr., Gray Stone Day, Jr.: 1A state doubles champions.
Gabby Moore, Hough, So.
Marisa Deininger, Community School of Davidson, Fr.
Caitlin Villada, Gaston Day, Sr.
Jessica Rumple, Statesville Christian, Sr.
McKinley Riley, Cannon School, Fr.
Grace Steinman, Salisbury, So.
Kathryn Rush, Salisbury, So.
Meghan Hedgepath, Gray Stone Day, Jr.
Anna Flynn, Sr./Kayla Honeycutt, So., Salisbury
Anna Mattapallil, Fr./Haley Tan, Jr., Providence
Ali Bates, Jr./Bella Dokell, Sr., Lake Norman
Kelsi Kanoy, So./Meghan Smith, Fr., Watauga
Madeline Finley, Jr./Julia Kessel, Jr., Hickory
All Observer Girls Golf Team
Observer Player of the Year: Kate Collom, Cannon School
Observer Coach of the Year: Pat Whisenant, Cannon School
Mecklenburg Player of the Year: Moon Cheong, Ardrey Kell
Mecklenburg Coach of the Year: Bart Whitney, Ardrey Kell
Regional Player of the Year: Kate Collom, Cannon School
Regional Coach of the Year: Pat Whisenant, Cannon School
Kate Collom, Cannon School, Sr.: NCISAA 3A state and CISAA conference runner-up, led Cougars to 3rd straight state title.
Annie Collom, Cannon School, Jr.: Beat her older sister to win NCISAA individual state championship.
Anna Redding, Cannon School, Jr.: CISAA conference champion was also 4th at states, University of Virginia commit.
Moon Cheong, Ardrey Kell, Fr.: Knights
Isabella Rusher, Salisbury, Jr.: 2-time individual (and team) champion (2011, 2012) was 2A state runner-up, regional runner-up.
Grace Yatwara, Salisbury, So.: 1A/2A Central Regional champion, also finished 5th at states.
Samantha Vodry, Lake Norman, So.: Co-North Piedmont conference (NPC) player of the year 3rd-place at 4A West Regional, tied for 9th at states.
Abbey Hartsell, Alexander Central, Sr.: Co-NPC player of the year, tied for 9th at states, tied for 6th at regional.
Savanna Wood, Watauga, Sr.: Appalachian State signee finished tied for 6th at states, 5th at 4A West Regional.
Haley Helton, East Gaston, Sr.: Two-time conference player of year.
Chandler Case, South Pointe, Sr..: Winthrop signee led Stallions to a Region III and Upper State championships this season.
Morgan Laird, Marvin Ridge, Jr.
Megan Cullip, Ardrey Kell, Jr.
Jaelyn Tindall, South Pointe, Jr.
Madeline Hoskins, Salisbury, Sr.
Kathryn Carson, Lake Norman, Fr.
Emily Herron, Charlotte Latin, Jr.
Bailey Jones, Hough, Sr.
Renee Janis, Hough, Jr.
Jessica Prince, Piedmont, Sr.
Kelsie Rhyne, Alexander Central, Sr.
Brook Vann, Charlotte Country Day, Jr.
Roshnee Sharma, Providence Day, Fr.
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