High School Sports

Nominees for Charlotte Observer Athlete of the week (winner announced 10.10.19)

Here are early nominees for the second Charlotte Observer Athlete Of the Week award.

R-S Central soccer star Austin Alexander was the first winner last week, getting nearly 21,000 of the nearly 50,000 votes cast.

Each week, the Observer will compile a list of nominees, publish them and then narrow down to a #BIG5 list of finalists. Readers can then vote on their favorite, beginning every Monday.

Boys’ Soccer

Tyler Swinehart, Charlotte Country Day: The Charlotte Country Day junior defender had three second half goals, to lead the Bucs to a 5-4 victory over previously unbeaten Charlotte Latin, Oct. 3. Latin was No. 1 in the state.

Swinehart scored goals in the 52nd, 77th and 78th-minutes to help turn a 3-0 deficit into a 4-4 tie, before Country Day’s Philip Scheurer scored the game-winner in the 80th-minute.

Swinehart has four goals for Charlotte Country Day (10-8) this season.

Nathan Ladimir, Porter Ridge Soccer: The Porter Ridge sophomore midfielder had game-winning goals in wins over Rocky River and at Myers Park last week.

Ladimir scored the game’s lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Rocky River, Sept. 30.

Two days later, Ladimir had the Pirates’ lone goal in regulation (ended in 1-1 tie) and then converted the game-winning penalty kick in the shootout to give Porter Ridge the victory.

Ladimir has four goals for Porter Ridge this season

Chase Gilley, East Lincoln Soccer: The East Lincoln senior had seven goals and five assists in three wins to help his team remain perfect at 14-0 this season.

Gilley started his week with three goals and one assist in a 7-0 win at Maiden. Two days later, Gilley had three goals and two assists in a 9-0 win over West Lincoln. The following day, Gilley poured in one more goal and two assists in a 7-0 win at Pine Lake Prep.

Gilley, an Appalachian State commit, has 34 goals and 17 assists this season.

Adam Charlton, South Mecklenburg Soccer: The South Mecklenburg senior scored two goals this week to help the Sabres take over the top spot in the SoMeck7 conference standings at 10-2-1 (5-0 in the SoMeck7 conference).

Charlton had the lone and game-winning goal in a 1-0 win at Providence, Oct. 3. Two days earlier, Charlton had a goal in South Meck’s 5-0 win over Olympic.

Micah Chrisco, East Burke Soccer: The East Burke senior captain had three second half goals to lead the Cavaliers to their first victory over Patton in school history (12 years) Oct. 2.

Chrisco’s hat trick gave East Burke a 4-2 win at Patton. Chrisco, who also had a goal in a 4-2 to West Iredell (Sept. 30), leads East Burke (3-8-1) with 11 goals and eight assists this season.

Griffin Nixdorf, Pine Lake Prep Soccer: The Pine Lake Prep sophomore midfielder has four goals and four assists to lead the Pride (8-4-2) to wins over Bradford Prep and Carolina International last week.

Nixdorf had 10 goals and 12 assists this season.

Mark Tutton, Covenant Day Soccer: The Covenant Day junior goalkeeper had 37 saves in three CISAA conference games this week as the Lions went 2-1 in a four-day span.

Tutton helped Covenant Day earn its first shutout of the season in a 5-0 win over Charlotte Christian Oct. 3.

Carter Beck, East Gaston Soccer: The East Gaston senior midfielder had six goals and an assist to help the Warriors (2-9-1) to win and a tie last week. Beck started his week with all four goals in a 4-1 win over Burns, Sept. 30. The next day, Beck accounted for all three goals with two scores and an assist in a 3-3 tie with Highland Tech.

Beck has 12 goals for East Gaston this season.

Richie Cano, Hough Soccer: The Hough sophomore had five goals and two assists to help the Huskies defeat West Charlotte and Mallard Creek last week. Cano started the week with three goals and one assist in a 9-0 win at West Charlotte, Sept. 30.

Two days later, Cano accounted for three of Hough’s four goals with two goals and one more assist in a 4-0 victory over Mallard Creek. Hough (10-3-2, 6-0 in I-Meck 4A conference) has won four straight games.


Sidney Bing, Gaston Day Volleyball: The Gaston Day senior setter had 50 assists combined in two wins as the Spartans clinched the Metrolina Athletic conference regular season title without losing a set in league play. Bing had 14 assists as Gaston Day swept Westminster Catawba to complete a perfect 7-0 record in MAC play.

Bing, a Catawba College commit, then had 36 assists and six kills to lead the Spartans past Weddington 3-1 to cap the regular season with their 7th straight victory a 29-5 record Oct. 5.

Grace Scott, Nation Ford Volleyball: The Nation Ford senior setter dished out her 2,000th-career assist in a 3-0 win over Clover Oct. 3.

Scott, a St. Andrews University commit, is only the second player in Nation Ford history to accomplish this feat. Nation Ford, the defending S.C. 5A state champion, is 31-5 this season.

Katie Jamerson, Marvin Ridge Volleyball: The Marvin Ridge junior setter had 70 assists in victories over Piedmont and Cuthbertson last week as the Mavericks have now won 17 straight games. Jamerson had 35 assists in both matches for Marvin Ridge (20-2, 10-0 in the Southern Carolinas’ conference) and 667 assists this season.

Kira Rymer, South Rowan Volleyball: The South Rowan senior middle hitter had 37 kills, 19 digs, 16 assists, five blocks and two aces in two wins last week as they the Raiders (17-1) won their 14th straight game. Rymer had best game of the week with 21 kills, nine digs and eight assists in a 3-0 sweep of West Davidson Oct. 3.

Girls’ Golf

Elizabeth Lohbauer, Cox Mill Golf: The Cox Mill junior shot a 5-under 31, to help the undefeated Chargers (9-0) win another South Piedmont conference match at Red Bridge Golf Club, Sept. 30.

Lohbauer had an eagle, three birdies and five pars in her round. Lohbauer is ranked No. 45 in the state in junior golf play, according to the Tarheel Youth Golf Association (TYGA).

Kelley Topiwala, Carmel Christian: The Carmel Christian senior helped the Cougars’ girls’ golf team celebrate their first senior night with a 21-shot victory over Charlotte Country Day and Hickory Christian at Emerald Lake Golf Club, Oct. 1.

Topiwala led the way with a 37, while teammates Bethany Welch and Annalise Dale shot a pair of 40s to help Carmel Christian shoot a school-record team score of 115.

Topiwala, a Samford University commit, is ranked No. 5 in the state, according to the TYGA.

The South Iredell Girls’ Golf Team: The South Iredell girls’ golf team won its first conference title in school history last week. The Vikings won the North Piedmont conference championship by 38 shots.

South Iredell was led by Maria Franco, Adamma Anukwuem, Maggie Jolly, Erin Kimmel and Olivia Brown. South Iredell girls’ golf coach, Michael Fisher, was also named NPC coach of the year for his efforts.

May McDonnell, Charlotte Country Day Golf: After missing nearly a month with an injury, the Charlotte Country Day sophomore shot a 5-over par, 40, to tie for third place individually in tri-match with Carmel Christian and Hickory Christian at Emerald Lake Golf Club, Oct. 1.

McDonnell is averaging a 45.1 per nine holes this season.

Molly Morrison, Cannon School Golf: The Cannon School junior shot 86, her best of the calendar year, to help the Cougars repeat as Forsyth Country Day Girls’ Golf Invitational champions at Tanglewood Golf Course, Oct. 3.

Girls’ Tennis

Halle Futch, Myers Park Tennis: The Myers Park senior won all three singles’ match to help the Mustangs win at Hough (Sept. 30), Porter Ridge (Oct. 1), and at Independence (Oct. 3) and remain unbeaten at 11-0 as a team.

Futch’s gutty comeback singles’ win at Hough (1-6, 7-5, 10-7) was crucial to Myers Park’s victory in their closest match of the season.

Futch is 9-2 in singles’ play this season and 7-2 in doubles with teammate Carson Weber.

Domenica Merino, Charlotte Catholic tennis: The Charlotte Catholic junior is a perfect 30-0 (16-0 singles, 14-0 doubles) this season.

Merino was 3-0 in singles’ play and 2-0 in doubles’ last week in victories over South Mecklenburg (Sept. 30), Monroe (Oct. 1) and Marvin Ridge (Oct. 3) to help her Charlotte Catholic team remain undefeated at 16-0.

Merino plays No. 3 or No. 4 singles and No. 1 to 3 in doubles.

Kendall Cox, South Pointe (SC) Tennis: The South Pointe junior won both her singles’ matches last week while filling in as the No. 1 player for the Stallions because of an injury to her teammate. Cox, who usually plays No. 2 singles, started her week with a huge comeback win at 5-7, 6-1, 10-7 (tiebreaker) to help South Pointe swing the momentum in a 4-2 victory over Ridge View, their first Region III AAAA wih of the season Oct. 1. Cox also won her singles’ match in a tough 4-2 loss to York, Oct. 3.

Boys’ Cross Country

Bryce Anderson, Hickory Ridge Cross Country: The Hickory Ridge junior ran a 17:39 to win the Cabarrus County championships at Frank Liske Park in Concord, Oct. 1. His team took a 14-point victory in the same event.

Anderson also ran a personal-record 16:21.0 to finish fifth-place in the Boys’ Open race at the Wendy’s Invitational at McAlpine Park Oct. 5.

Jake Toomey, Weddington Cross Country: The Weddington senior won the Wendy’s Invitational (Boys’ Invitational) race running a time of 15:33.40 at McAlpine Park Oct. 5.

Toomey’s time was the eleventh best in the state this season, and just over eight seconds behind his personal-best best, a 15:25.20 that he ran at the Adidas Challenge in Cary last month. Toomey also led his Weddington team to victory at the Wendy’s.

Murphy Smith, Ardrey Kell Cross Country: The Ardrey Kell junior set a personal and school record running a 15:35.30 to win the “Seeded Invitational Race,” at the Great American Cross Country Festival in Cary, Oct. 5.

Smith, who won the same race by 14 seconds, led his Knights’ team to a 4th-place finish.

Smith also boast a 4.375 grade-point average in the classroom.

Bryce Anderson, Hickory Ridge Cross Country: The Hickory Ridge junior ran a 17:39 to win the Cabarrus County championships at Frank Liske Park in Concord, Oct. 1. Anderson also the Ragin’ Bulls’ team to a 14-point victory at the Cabarrus County championships.

Grant Howlett, Lake Norman Charter Cross Country: The Lake Norman Charter junior ran a personal-best 16:38.20 to finish 4th-place in the 3A boys’ race at the Wendy’s Invitational at McAlpine Park, Oct. 5. Howlett’s personal-best time was 30 seconds fast than his previous best and helped lead his Lake Norman Charter team to a runner-up finish in the 3A Boys’ race.

Girls’ Cross Country

Katie Pou, Nation Ford Cross Country: The Nation Ford junior ran a personal-best 17:48.80 to win the Wendy’s Invitational (Girls’ Invitational race) by nearly 32 seconds at McAlpine Park, Oct. 5.

Pou’s time was also the No. 2 time run in the state this cross country season.

Nation Ford teammate, senior, Morgan Werner came was runner-up in the same race.

Jonna Strange, North Iredell Cross Country: The North Iredell senior pulled double duty running in the Iredell County Championships and at the Great American Cross Country Festival in Cary last week.

Strange won the Iredell County Championships at McAnderson Park in Statesville running an 18:32.88, Oct. 1.

Four days later, Strange finished 10th overall in t4he “Girls’ Seeded Race,” at the Great American Cross Country Festival running a 17:54.40.

Field Hockey

Katie So, Charlotte Country Day, Sr.: The Charlotte Country Day senior scored a goal on a “reverse chip” to help lead the Bucs (12-3-2) past rival, Charlotte Latin, 4-0, Oct. 2. The reverse chip is when a player scores a backhanded goal in in the air. So, a Yale University commit, has six goals and 12 assists this season, and will be nominated for All-American status, according to Charlotte Country Day field hockey coach, Kayleigh Thies.

** Information published today includes statistics through October 6.

Want to nominate an athlete?: Athletes of the week highlights high school players with outstanding performances. The goal is to recognize all athletes in all sports, both the most accomplished and the underrated or underappreciated players. If you want to suggest someone to be included in the Athletes of the week 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.