Editors note: Starting today, each Wednesday the Community News sections will highlight high school athletes with outstanding performances in fall sports. In most cases, the athletes 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. Information published today includes statistics through Aug. 21.
Christian Thomas, East Mecklenburg, Sr.: The 5-foot-11, 150-pound Eagles’ senior had a great start to both his football and soccer seasons. He doubles as the East Meck kicker and center midfielder.
Thomas scored four goals and added one assist as the East Meck soccer team went 2-0-1 on the week, beating Hickory Ridge and Olympic, while tying Queens Grant. Thomas even played goalkeeper for six minutes, when regular starter, Miguel Contreras, went out with an injury, before returning, according to East Meck soccer coach, Timothy Long.
Thomas also went 9-for-9 on extra points to help the East Mecklenburg football team tie a school-record with 63 points in 63-20 season opening win over Berry Academy.
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Tyus Fields, Hough, So.: The Husky sophomore had two interceptions to help lead Hough’s football team to a 54-6 win over Harding in their season opener.
Fields (5-foot-10, 170), already a Division I college recruit, also had one catch for nine yards and two rushes for six yards for the Hough offense.
Fields comes from a football family. His father, Mark Fields, enjoyed a 10-year NFL career as a linebacker, including his final three seasons with the Carolina Panthers (2002-2004). Meanwhile, his older brother, Mark Fields, II (also a former Hough standout), is a sophomore cornerback on the Clemson University football team.
Brian Stanley, Christ the King Catholic, Sr.: The Crusaders’ senior has 10 goals and six assists on the young soccer season, helping Christ the King to a 5-1 start.
Stanley scored seven goals and four assists The week of Aug. 15-21, scoring a hat trick (three goals) against Gaston Day in a 4-1 win, two goals against both Pine Lake Prep in a 2-1 win, and Carolina Day in a 7-2 win.
Carly Peck, Providence, Soph.: The Providence sophomore outside hitter was a major factor in Panthers’ 3-1 start this volleyball season.
Peck had a team-best 41 kills as well as 18 digs, four blocks and three aces earlier this month as Providence scored wins over Apex, Myers Park and Vance, while losing to Broughton High.
Skyy Howard, Mallard Creek, So.: The 6-foot-3 Mavericks’ sophomore is a big reason the Mallard Creek volleyball team got off to a 4-0 start as she had a team-best 37 kills, 36 digs and six blocks in the season opening week.
Howard, already a Division I college recruit according to Coach David Brooks, led her team with 19 kills and 14 digs in a win over Butler and also had 20 digs in a victory over Weddington.
Sarah Billiard, Covenant Day, Sr.: The Covenant Day all-state senior, outside hitter also had a big opening week in volleyball with 65 kills, 58 digs and 48 receptions as the Lions went 3-3 in the Best of the Carolinas’ tournament at Charlotte Country Day.
Billiard, a University of Virginia commit, led her team to wins over Charlotte Catholic, Cuthbertson and Northwestern, as she was named to the Best of the Carolinas’ all-tournament team.
Caroline Kurani, Providence Day, Sr.: The Providence Day senior had a strong showing at the season-opening Florence, S.C., Tennis Association tournament (Aug. 19-21), winning four of her five matches.
Kurani played No. 1 singles, winning three of her four matches, while also combining with classmate, Addison Heintze, in doubles to give the Chargers the tie-breaking win over Myrtle Beach High.
Sophie Spada, Charlotte Country Day, Fr.: The Bucs’ freshman started her high school cross country career with a bang, winning the Mecklenburg County Cross Country Two-Mile Preview at Myers Park High by two-tenths of a second. Her time was 14:54.4. Spada had the top female time across all-classifications at the meet.
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know of an athlete?
Have a good candidate for the next edition of This Fall’s Finest? Send email to Jay Edwards at email@example.com. Please include the athletes’ name, school, class, and the applicable game performance or statistics, and any other pertinent information.