Lake Norman & Mooresville

This season’s finest: Serepca’s sibling rivalry fuels their success

Joel Serepca, left, Davidson Day Baseball, and Ashlynn Serepca, Hough Girls’ Soccer, and
Joel Serepca, left, Davidson Day Baseball, and Ashlynn Serepca, Hough Girls’ Soccer, and

Ashlynn Serepca, Hough Girls’ Soccer/Joel Serepca, Davidson Day Baseball: Davidson Day senior Joel Serepca had a career day May 3, going 4-for-4 at the plate with a grand slam, home run and six RBI in the Patriots’ 16-1 win over Lake Norman Christian at Torrence Chapel Park.

Just 4 miles away at the same time on the same day, his younger sister, Hough junior soccer player Ashlynn Serepca was busy scoring a goal and dishing out three assists in a 9-0 victory at home over Vance.

While the Serepca siblings’ May 3 performance may seem like just one big night, it’s another part of what has been a special spring season for the brother-sister duo.

Joel Serepca, 18, is batting a career-best .641, as he leads the Davidson Day baseball team (7-6) in nearly every category with 22 runs scored, 21 RBI, four doubles, three triples and three home runs.

Ashlynn Serepca, 16, has 22 goals and a career-best 27 assists for a Hough team (17-1-2) that just earned the No. 1 seed in the 4A West playoff bracket. Ashlynn Serepca, the reigning N.C. Gatorade (soccer) player of the year, is also a part of the U18 U.S. National team pool, and competed with the squad in England in February.

“It’s been a great season for both Ashlynn and Joel and it’s really cool that they are doing it all at the same time and we don’t want to miss a minute of it,” said Dave Serepca, also a Davidson Day baseball and football assistant coach, who tries to catch every game he can along with his wife, Gina.

“We’re so used to seeing Ashlynn get a lot of deserved recognition, and it’s great to see that continue. But, it’s also fun to see Joel have so much success and get a taste of the spotlight. He’s always been the underrated guy, and he’s never had a problem with it.”

Both Serepca siblings admit they push each other on a daily basis and have their entire lives.

Joel says they compete in everything from sports to board games to working out, and he jokingly takes credit for his sister’s success.

“For me, being the older brother, I kind of got the short end of the deal, because I was the big brother beating her up, making her work harder and get better,” said Joel Serepca, with a big laugh. “Now, she’s really tough. It’s kind of funny to go to her games and see her pushing people around. …

“I’m Ashlynn’s biggest fan. She’s an exciting player to watch, so even if I’m playing baseball, I try to know where she’s playing, and the score, and my dad usually gives me updates.”

Ashlynn Serepca says she wouldn’t be the same player without her big brother.

“I definitely wouldn’t be the player I am today without Joel and all the neighborhood boys growing up,” Ashlynn Serepca said. “I always wanted to play at a ‘Boy level,” and be as good as my brother. So, I had to work twice as hard. …

“People ask me a lot where I got my competitive drive, and I always says it starts with a little girl trying to play with the boys.”

This spring season will be the last for Joel Serepca, as he got an academic scholarship to Virginia Tech’s Pamplin School of Business, turning down several college baseball and football opportunities.

Ashlynn Serepca still has one more year at Hough, before taking her academic and athletic talents to the University of Virginia.

While the sibling rivalry as high school athletes is coming to an end, a whole new rivalry is beginning with their college choices – Virginia and Virginia Tech.

“I tell Ashlynn every that she’s going to the wrong school,” Joel said, with a chuckle. “But I guess I’m going to have to cheer for her when Virginia plays Virginia Tech in soccer.”

“It’s already fun to talk about the Virginia-Virginia Tech rivalry and we always talk about who is better in sports,” Ashlynn Serepca said. “This is going to be another competition for us for the rest of our lives. Because if UVa wins, I’m going to rub it in. And if Virginia Tech wins, I know he’s going to be the first one to let me know about it.”

Julia Gass, Charlotte Latin Girls’ Soccer: The Charlotte Latin junior is excelling on and off the field this season.

Gass, who starts at center back, is one of the leaders of a Hawks’ (15-1-2) defense that has allowed only eight goals in 18 games this season as they enter the NCISAA 3A state playoffs.

But what Gass has accomplished off the field is even more impressive as she is on the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte’s (RMHC) Teen Volunteer Board.

Gass organized a fundraiser for RMHC during the Charlotte Latin-Weddington game, April 28.

She raised $1,060 for RMHC from admission, Chik-Fil-A sandwiches, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and miscellaneous contributions.

Alina McCue, Covenant Day Soccer: The Covenant Day senior scored three goals in the Lions’ 4-0 victory over Rabun Gap Nacoochee on May 6, breaking the school’s all-time leading scoring record in the process.

McCue’s three goals give her 135 for her Covenant Day, surpassing the previous mark of 132. She has 24 goals this season.

Covenant Day hosts Charlotte Country Day in the first round of the NCISAA 3A playoffs, May 9.

Ayden Yates, Lake Norman Charter Girls’ Soccer: The Lake Norman Charter freshman forward scored had week to remember scoring eight goals in three games.

Yates tied a school-record with five goals in the Knights’ 10-1 win over Ashbrook on May 1.

Then, two days later, she scored two goals 4-0 win at North Gaston to make it 40 goals this season, breaking the school record of 39, held by Riley Kane.

Lake Norman Charter (15-5) hosts Madison in the first round of the 2A state playoffs, May 10.

Kristen Lliso, Butler Girls’ Soccer/Track: The Butler sophomore forward had two hat tricks last week to help the Bulldogs (8-8, 7-5) to win over East Mecklenburg and Garinger.

Lliso, who leads Butler with 20 goals this season, scored three goals apiece in the wins over Garinger, May 2 and East Mecklenburg, May 4.

Meanwhile, she also competed in the Southwestern 4A track and field championships May 3-4 at Rocky River, placing 5th in the 100-meter dash and second in the long jump.

The Butler girls’ soccer team travels to Myers Park for a first round playoff game May 10.

Erin Shaver, South Iredell Girls’ Soccer: The South Iredell freshman scored five goals in two games last week to help the Vikings cap a perfect 18-0 regular season.

Shaver had her first hat trick of the season with three goals in South Iredell’s 8-0 victory over Alexander Central on May 2.

Shaver is second on the team with 15 goals this season.

South Iredell, No. 1 seed in the 3A West bracket, hosts North Lincoln in their first round game May 10.

Luke Hackworth, Myers Park Golf: Myers Park sophomore, Luke Hackworth, led his team to a 4A West Regional title at Mooresville Golf Club on May 3 beating the field by 11 shots.

Hackworth shot a 4-under par, 68, to win medalist honors at regionals, while his best friend and teammate, Thomas Eubanks finished as runner-up with a 70.

Myers Park’s Gray Carlton (72), Jack Brea (79) and Grant Smith (80) also contributed to the win.

The Mustangs get back on the course at the 4A state championships at Pinehurst No. 6, May 8-9.

Lake Norman Charter Golf Team: The Lake Norman Charter golf team won the 2A West Regional title by 15 shots at Meadowbrook Golf Club on May 2.

Knights’ senior, Jacob Rowland, led the way with a 75, while senior Matt Miller shot 77, sophomore, Jace Arko shot 79 and classmate, Ian Johnson shot 82.

Lake Norman Charter, who won their first Big South conference title earlier this month, now takes their game to the 2A state championships at Beacon Ridge Golf and Country Club on May 8-9.

Community School of Davidson Golf Team: The Community School of Davidson (CSD) golf team won their first ever 1A West Regional championship at Cramer Mountain Golf Club on May 2, firing a 326 to beat the field by 11 shots.

The Spartans were led by freshman, Christian Jarrell, who tied for second with a 78.

Junior Carter Cook shot 80, senior and defending 1A state champion, Patten Williams shot 81, freshman, Alex Williams (Patten’s brother) shot 87, and sophomore, Brendan Coale shot 91.

CSD gets back to work at the 1A state championships at Whispering Pines’ Country Clubon May 8-9. The Spartans were 1A state runner-up in 2016.

Bauer Galloway, West Lincoln Golf: The West Lincoln sophomore won a five-man sudden death playoff at the 2A West Regional, May 2, to earn an individual berth in the 2A state championships on May 8-9 at Beacon Ridge Golf and Country Club.

Galloway won on the second hole of the playoff by birdieing the par-three, 18th hole at Meadowbrook Golf Club.

Galloway, who finished 13th in the Southern District 7 (SD7) play this season is one of three conference golfers to qualify for the state championships.

Mark Dillon Jr., Myers Park Tennis: The Myers Park sophomore won the 4A West Regional singles’ title May 6 at Ardrey Kell.

Dillon, who also claimed the Southwestern 4A singles’ title April 28, has been a major part of Myers Park’s undefeated team, who is 17-0 as of May 8.

Dillon is looking to write the next chapter in his own family’s storied Myers Park tradition, as he is the fifth Dillon to play tennis at Myers Park, joining his father, Mark Sr., his uncle, Sam, and his brothers, Reid and Christopher.

Mark Dillon Sr. helped Myers Park to two state, team titles in 1976 and 1977, winning the individual state title in 1978, before starring at N.C. State.

Dillon Jr. will compete in the 4A state individual singles’ championships May 12-13 at Millbrook Exchange Park in Raleigh.

Graham Basquin/Bobby Shore, Ardrey Kell Tennis: The Ardrey Kell senior duo won the 4A West Regional title May 6 on their home court.

Basquin and Shore, who also won the 2015 4A West Regional title, are three-time, SoMeck8 conference doubles’ champions, too.

The Knights’ duo, who have led Ardrey Kell to a 17-1 record this season, will compete in the 4A state individual tournament together May 12-13 at Millbrook Exchange Park in Raleigh.

Jonathon Perez, Lake Norman Baseball: The Lake Norman junior pitched a complete game three-hitter in a 3-1 win over Alexander Central, May 4, to clinch the North Piedmont conference (NPC) title.

Perez, who had five strikeouts in the same game, led Lake Norman (22-3, 12-2 in the NPC) to their ninth straight victory.

Perez is 8-0 on the mound this season with three complete games and 59 strikeouts in 48.2 innings of work.

Hough Baseball Team: The Hough baseball team won two games in the same day to claim the MECKA 4A conference title May 3.

Hough beat Mallard Creek, 6-0, in the conference semifinals in a 4 p.m. start.

The Huskies came back in an 8 p.m. start to knock off rival, Hopewell, 6-0 in the championship game.

Hough senior pitcher, Bailey Dees, led the way with nine strikeouts in six innings of work to get the win.

The Huskies also won the MECKA 4A regular title last week, and are 14-0 in league play this season.

Ray Torres, Providence Baseball: The Providence sophomore catcher got two big hits and a RBI in the Panthers’ 4-3 win over Ardrey Kell to claim the SoMeck8 conference championship May 4.

Torres, a preseason, All-American by multiple publications, helped Providence to their seventh conference tournament title and ninth regular season conference title under Coach Danny Hignight.

Torres is already committed to play baseball at Louisiana State University (LSU).

Reid Mayers, Charlotte Christian Baseball: The Charlotte Christian junior left fielder went 5-for-8 at the plate to help the Knights to a 3-0 series sweep of rival, Charlotte Country Day to clinch the CISAA conference title.

Mayers’ best game of the series came May 5, when he went 3-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI in the 6-0 victory over Charlotte Country Day.

Mayers and Charlotte Christian get back to action May 11, when they host a second round NCISAA 3A playoff game with the winner or Forsyth Country Day and SouthLake Christian.

Jonte Wilkes Jr., Berry Baseball: The Berry senior pitched six innings, allowing four runs while striking out three batters to earn the victory on the mound in the Cardinals’ 9-6 upset of Charlotte Catholic in the SoMeck8 conference tournament quarterfinals, May 2.

Wikes also went 3-for-3 at the plate with a home run and three RBI in the same game.

Wikes, a Brevard College signee, is hitting .500 with three home runs and 13 stolen bases this season.

Hayden Blalock/Lindsey Lanier, Providence Track: The Providence seniors both earned most valuable player (MVP) honors in leading the boys’ and girls’ Panthers’ team to SoMeck8 conference track championships at Rocky River on May 2-3.

Blalock, a University of Alabama signee, won the 800, 1600, 3200-meter runs and helped the 4 X 800-meter relay to a conference title as well. Blalock ran a personal-best 1:59.04 in the 800.

Lanier, a University of North Carolina signee, pulled off the same feat, winning the 800, 1600, 3200 while leading the 4 X 800-meter relay to a league title. Lanier ran personal bests in both the 800 (2:21.75) and 1600 (5:10.77).

Providence now heads to the 4A West Regional on May 13 at Watauga High.

Carter Williams, Charlotte Country Day Girls’ Lacrosse: The Charlotte Country Day senior scored eight goals and had seven assists in two games last week to help the Bucs to wins over Providence Day and Durham Academy.

Williams, a Coastal Carolina University signee, had five goals and four assists in the 15-3 win over Providence Day, May 3.

Two days later, she had three goals and three assists in Country Day’s (9-7) 22-10 win over Durham Academy.

Jay Edwards is a freelance writer: edwardswork23@gmail.com.

HELP US FIND THE ATHLETES

This season’s finest highlights high school athletes with outstanding performances. Information published today includes statistics through May7. 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 Season’s Finest column, send email to Jay Edwards at edwardswork23@gmail.com. Please include the athletes’ name, school, class and applicable game performance statistics. Coaches must be willing to verify information.

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