As the spring sports season ends, many teams in the North Neighbors area have shown they're among the state's best.
From Lincoln to Iredell to Cabarrus County, some of your favorite players and teams have proven to be champions.
To recognize the best in each spring sport, we'll pick our All-North Neighbors teams in a series of stories for the next month.
We begin today with tennis and golf – where Lake Norman dominated the hard courts, winning a state title, and the ME-CA 7 conference had the strongest players overall on the links.
Top tennis coaches, player
Coaches of the Year: Chris and Lezlie Carroll, Lake Norman.
Chris and Lezlie Carroll don't just share a last name and a home. The couple, who combine to coach the Lake Norman tennis teams, are leading the Wildcats program to new heights.
After guiding the boys' team to a 17-1 mark last year, including their only loss in the state quarterfinal to Hickory, the team and their coaches took it to another level this season.
The Carrolls, in only their second year on the job, led Lake Norman to a 20-3 record and their first state title in school history. The Wildcats won big, sweeping the state championship match 5-0 over Southern Nash, and didn't even have to play the doubles matches.
“We played at the top of our game,” Carroll said. “To peak at the state championship match is something special. It's almost hard to believe.”
Player of the Year: Andrew McKinnon, Lake Norman.
Andrew McKinnon is used to winning. This year, the Lake Norman senior did a lot of it. He won more than 50 matches for his team, in both singles and doubles, and helped the Wildcats to their first state championship ever.
McKinnon, 26-2 in singles play this year, isn't finished: He'll take his talents to Appalachian State next year.
Top golf coach, player
Coach of the Year: Rick Luttrell, North Mecklenburg.
For the past nine years, Rick Luttrell has been the constant in North Mecklenburg's domination of ME-CA 7 Conference golf. Under Luttrell, the Vikings have won seven of the past nine conference championships, including the 2009 title.
The Vikings also finished third in the Midwest Regional this year and ninth at the 4A state meet.
Player of the Year: Logan Harrell, Hopewell.
Harrell's team missed a chance at the state meet as a group, but Harrell excelled as one of the top individual players in the state. A junior, he finished third in the regional meet and tied for seventh at the state meet, becoming the only 4A individual from our area to garner all-state honors.
Harrell is also a fixture on the junior circuit, where he has been ranked as high as sixth in the state by Golfweek.com.