Grant Kiker, Charlotte Christian soccer, sr.: The 6-foot-2, 165-pound, senior forward has proven to be a prolific scorer.
But the week of Sept. 5-11 was one for the ages. Kiker scored 12 goals and dished out two assists in four games.
He started his week with a three-goal, two assist effort in a 5-4 win over CISAA conference rival, Cannon School. In the game, he had three goals in the final five minutes to secure the win.
But Kiker wasn’t even close to finished. He scored all four goals in the Knights a 4-3 win over St. David’s in the Ravenscroft Invitational on Sept. 8, netting two goals in the final minutes in the come from behind victory.
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Kiker saved his best for the last game of the weekend. He scored four goals in the final 20 minutes of a win over Cary Academy, turning a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 win.
Kiker, who is a college soccer prospect according to Charlotte Christian coach, Nate Ennis, has a Charlotte Observer-area best 19 goals and three assists this season.
Nolan Groulx, Davidson Day football, so.: Davidson Day sophomore, Nolan Groulx, has been lighting up scoreboards on Friday night.
But, Groulx had his biggest overall game to date in the Patriots’ 41-14 win over Charlotte Country Day. He caught 11 passes for 119 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for another 103 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Groulx also had 96 yards returning kicks (41 yards on kick returns, 55 on punt returns) and made two tackles on defense.
Groulx leads the Observer-area with 45 catches for 747 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
Dallas Baker, Providence soccer, sr.: The Providence senior forward had a game to remember against rival, Butler, accounting for all five Providence goals in their 5-1 win. Baker scored three of those goals and assisted on the other two Panthers scores.
Baker now has 10 goals and five assists for Providence (5-1-2), who is ranked No. 12 in the state in the N.C. (4A) coaches’ poll.
Claudine Taylor, Butler volleyball, sr.: The Bulldogs’ senior libero leads the state with 294 digs this season through Sept. 11.
Taylor, who averages 30 digs per match, had 87 digs the week of Sept. 11, including a season-high 47 in a loss to Marvin Ridge on Sept. 8.
Taylor’s hustle has helped Butler (7-4, 4-0 in the Southwestern 4A conference) to five wins in their last six matches. The Bulldogs also are in first-place in their league with a win over defending champion Myers Park.
Taylor’s future on the court also is bright. She is being recruited by multiple college volleyball programs, including Florida Southern, Long Beach State, Marshall, Niagara and St. Lawrence, according to Butler coach, Heather Webb.
Lindsay Hinrichs, Charlotte Latin volleyball, jr.: The Hawks’ junior was all over the court in a nail-biting 3-2 loss to Weddington. She tallied a career-best 18 kills, 30 digs and three aces.
Camille Kane, Charlotte Latin, field hockey, sr.: The University of Virginia commit had her second straight hat trick. She scored three goals in the first half of a 6-0 victory over Charlotte Catholic.
Mariah Howlett, Lake Norman Charter cross country, jr.: The Lake Norman Charter junior continued her dominant start to the season. She won the Cannon Invitational Sept. 10 with a season-best time of 18:55. She beat the field by six seconds. Her run also was the No. 8 time run in the state in the 5K this season.
Howlett won the Luminary Invite at Ashbrook to start the season, and finished third overall in the Providence Invitational.
Quinn Schneider, Woodlawn School, cross country, sr.: The defending, NCISAA 1A state cross country champion (two-time, all-state) is off to a strong start. He picked up his second win in as many meets at the Cannon Invitational. Schneider ran a 16:26 at Cannon to beat the field by 13 seconds. The time, 16:26, was the third fastest time in the meet’s 18-year history.
Schneider also won his first Southern Piedmont Athletic Association conference meet on Aug. 29, running 16:36.
Schneider and the rest of the team, are hoping to win their third straight, NCISAA 1A team, state title.
Kane, an all-state forward, has six goals in two games this season, as the Hawks look to repeat as NCISAA state champions.
Hannah Hovsepian, Hough, girls golf, jr.: The Hough junior opened her 2016 high school season, firing at 39 at Irish Creek Golf Club to earn medalist honors at the first MECKA 4A conference match of the year.
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help us find the athletes
This Fall’s Finest highlights high school athletes with outstanding performances. Information published today includes statistics through Sept. 11. In most cases, the athletes featured will come from sports that don’t get a lot of recognition. However, the goal is to recognize excellence. If you want to suggest someone to be included in This Fall’s Finest column, send email to Jay Edwards at email@example.com. Please include the athletes’ name, school, class and applicable game performance statistics. Coaches must be willing to verify information.