For the past four seasons, the Lake Norman girls' soccer team has not lost a game in March, going 57-0-6 in that span, including 9-0-2 this season.
Lake Norman, ranked No. 8 in the state, has tied both North Mecklenburg and Fort Mill (S.C.) but blown out the rest of the competition, outscoring its competition 51-4.
The Wildcats are used to hot starts. They have started recent seasons 15-0 (2009), 19-0-1 (2008) and 14-0-3 (2007). This year, they hope the end result and the quality of play are more to their liking.
"We don't just judge our success by wins and losses alone," coach Jon Mertes said. "We want to play the best we possibly can between the 18s (yard lines). Right now, we aren't playing our best yet."
The Wildcats have been led by sophomore Taylor Waters, the team's top scorer. Junior Jackie Weston is not far behind in goals and leads the squad in assists. But Mertes said the team has no stars, and it's the deepest he's ever had.
"We have more talent than we've ever had before, one through 18," he said. "This team is as close and tight-knit as any. I think in time, we will be playing at another level."
Just kicking it
The Statesville girls' soccer team is also off to a great start at 8-1-1. The Greyhounds, led by seniors Sarah Ann Waugh and Katie Register, are up to No. 4 in the state in 3A and lead the North Piedmont Conference outright.
Southlake Christian, No. 7 in the state, is also hot at 8-0 overall, including 7-0 in Metrolina Athletic Conference play. The Eagles, who have a win over one ranked team in Covenant Day, have outscored their opponents 36-3.
The Lake Norman softball team is 12-0 (5-0 in the I-Meck Conference) this season and has dominated nearly every team in its path, outscoring opponents 115-19.
The Wildcats, led by coach Bob Hall, have notched their two biggest victories in the last two weeks, beating I-Meck rivals North Meck and Hopewell.
After beating the Vikings 1-0, Lake Norman scored five runs in the seventh (last) inning for an improbable comeback win over the Titans. That gave them sole possession of first place in the conference.
Chloe Archer, Mariah McGuffey, Kayla Pine and Stacey Houser, all hitting over .460, lead a potent offense.
The Hopewell boys' tennis team also is off to one of its best starts in school history at 9-2. The Titans are led by No. 1 Matt Alexander, the 2009 ME-CA 7 singles champion and a state qualifier, as well as No. 2 John David Curlis. The Titans blanked Lake Norman 9-0 Tuesday.
The North Mecklenburg 1,600-meter relay team broke a 29-year-old record March 27 at the Queen City Relays on Myers Park High School's track.
The relay squad - Briana Brazile, Lindsey Lang, Alexis Jordan and Trikeria Johnson - broke the meet record set in 1981 by Menchville (Va.) High School, with a time of 3:59.16. The same quartet also won the 800-meter relay.
Two of the North Neighbors area's best basketball players showed they were among Charlotte's best at the Charlotte Pro-Am All-Star Classic last weekend. Hopewell's DeMon Brooks had 24 points to lead the East squad to an 84-82 victory. Brooks, a 6-8 senior, was named MVP.
North Meck's Lauren Lewis had a similar day for the East girls' team, which won 80-72 in overtime. Lewis was named MVP for her team after scoring 15 points, including back-to-back three-pointers to open the overtime period.