Prep Insider Blog

Observer Athletes of week: Gilley Bros. scoring big for East Lincoln soccer

East Lincoln soccer’s Chase and Logan Gilley
East Lincoln soccer’s Chase and Logan Gilley Special to the Observer

Boys athletes of the week

Chase and Logan Gilley, East Lincoln Soccer: Logan Gilley was born five minutes before his twin brother Chase.

Not long after they could walk at 18 months old, the Gilley brothers began competing on the soccer field.

Now, as East Lincoln High juniors, Chase and Logan Gilley still have “a game within a game every time they hit the soccer field, whether it’s a game or a practice.”

“Logan and I have competed to see who can score the most goals ever since I can remember,” Chase Gilley said. “…We always give each other a hard time if one of scored more goals in a game and if you lost (to your brother) in that game, you’d really be motivated to score more in the next day. I never wanted to lose to my brother and it’s made me a better soccer player because of that competition.”

Logan Gilley agrees.

“It’s always been who can one-up each other in a game, a practice, a drill, we even compete like that at home in video games,” Logan Gilley said. “Whenever I beat Chase I would let him know about it, and he would do the same to me.

…We constantly put pressure on each other and it continues to make us better (soccer) players. We always want to first, especially against each other.”

Both Chase and Logan Gilley also benefited from learning and playing soccer with their older sister, Sierra.

Sierra Gilley (now a student at Clemson University) made her own mark on the East Lincoln girls’ soccer team as she holds the school-record for assists with 57, and also scored 47 goals in her high school career.

“Sierra definitely pushed us around a little bit, toughened us up,” said Logan Gilley, laughing. “…We still talk almost every day on ‘Facetime,’ and she’s always motivating us to get better (as soccer players).”

Both Chase and Logan Gilley are on record-setting paces in junior year at East Lincoln.

Logan has a team-best 22 goals and 10 assists (2nd on team), while Chase has 21 goals (2nd on team) and a team-best 12 assists.

Chase Gilley set the school-record with 28 goals last year.

But while their individual stats are a constant source of motivation in their sibling, the Gilley brothers’ No. 1 goal is to help their East Lincoln team win games.

This year, East Lincoln is off to one of its best start in recent history at 9-1 overall, including 2-0 in South Fork 2A conference play.

“They (Gilley brothers) really don’t care about the individual stats, they just want the results, the win,” East Lincoln soccer coach, Billy Howell said. “...Chase and Logan (Gilley) have opened things up, and not only given each other opportunities, but our whole team a lot of opportunities. We’ve had a lot of guys step up this year.”

East Lincoln has also gotten big contributions from senior Miller Towson (four goals, seven assists) and sophomores Noah Graden (one goal, five assists) and Chase Lynch (one goal, six assists), according to Howell.

The Mustangs had one of their best week of the season last week, winning 6-2 at Lake Norman Charter Sept. 10, while following that up with 4-3 win in penalty kicks at arch rival Lincolnton.

The win at Lincolnton was their first at Lincolnton in school history. Chase Gilley had three goals in the victory, Logan added a goal and two assists, while Towson scored the game-winning penalty kick, and junior goalkeeper Matt Kosmala made several critical saves.

While East Lincoln is off to a great start, coach Howell, the Gilley brothers and the rest of the team are more focused on how this Mustang team finishes.

The East Lincoln boys’ soccer team has lost in the first round of the 2A state playoffs in each of the past five seasons.

But this year, the Mustangs want a lot more.

“We’ve talked about getting back to the playoffs and getting back the first round, but I don’t think that’s good enough for anyone on this team, we all want more,” said Howell, noting the East Lincoln boys’ soccer team has never been past the third round of the playoffs.

“This team (2018 East Lincoln soccer) has great chemistry and everyone is together,” Logan Gilley said. “We all have the same goal to get past that 3rd round (in state playoffs). But, once we get past the 3rd round, we want to go for the states (state championship).”

Chase Gilley is being recruited by UNC Wilmington, Temple University, the University of Charleston (WV), Limestone College, the University of Jacksonville and Manhattan College, according to Coach Howell.

Meanwhile, Logan Gilley is also being recruited by UNC Wilmington, Temple, University of Charleston and Kings College, according to Howell.

Both Gilleys say they hope to be able to play together at the next level, “but won’t pass up an opportunity if it means going to different schools,” according to Chase Gilley.

For now, Chase and Logan Gilley are enjoying every moment of their junior year at East Lincoln.

While they compete with each other at everything they do, they are also enjoying their time together and celebrate goals with a handshake they’ve been doing since they were six years old.

“We made us this handshake when we were little (six years old), it goes right hand, left hand, right hand, salute and then spin in opposite ways,” Logan Gilley said. “We’ve tried to make a new shake, but it’s too hard to remember. We will just stick with what works.”

Myers Park Soccer Defense: The Myers Park soccer team’s defense continues to dominate their opponents as they have allowed only three goals in the Mustangs’ 7-0 start this season (including 2-0 in the Southwestern 4A (SW4A) conference play).

Myers Park shutout both Garinger (9-0), Sept. 10 and Rocky River (5-0) on Sept. 12.

The Mustangs are led by junior goalkeeper Jacob Hall, center backs William Blair and Reid Bond and outside backs Matt Hedrick and Liam Trosch.

Myers Park, which has wins over Ardrey Kell, Hough, Providence and South Mecklenburg already, has outscored their opponents 31-3 this season.

Gillespie Walker.JPG
Charlotte Country Day soccer player Walker Gillespie Michael Nuckles, Charlotte Country Day

Walker Gillespie, Charlotte Country Day Soccer: The Charlotte Country Day senior scored the game-winning goal in the 74th-minute to give the Bucs’ a 1-0 win at archrival Charlotte Latin Sept. 13.

Gillespie’s goal gives Charlotte Country Day (6-3, 2-0 in CISAA) the early lead in the CISAA conference standings.

Gillespie has 11 goals this season.

Charlotte Country Day junior goalkeeper Connor McPhilliamy also recorded his fifth shutout of the year in the victory over Charlotte Latin.

Community School of Davidson soccer’s Isaac Haddock Mike Yascor Special to the Observer

Isaac Haddock, Community School of Davidson Soccer: The Community School of Davidson senior scored eight goals in two games last week to help the Spartans’ improve to 7-1-2 overall (3-0 in the PAC 7 conference).

Haddock had a hat trick (three goals) and an assists in the Spartans’ 3-1 win at Mountain Island Charter, Sept. 10.

Two days later, Haddock had a school-record five goals and another assist in Community School of Davidson’s 11-2 win at Bradford Prep.

Haddock has 16 goals and four assists this season.

Giovanni Bernard, Mountain Island Charter Soccer: The Mountain Charter sophomore forward scored a school-record five goals in the Raptor’s 8-0 win over Langtree Charter, Sept. 12.

Bernard, who had four goals in the first half, has 10 goals for Mountain Island Charter (4-5) this season.

Sidney Dollar, East Lincoln Football: The East Lincoln senior touched the ball four times (on plays from scrimmage) in the Mustangs’ 49-9 win over East Gaston, Sept. 13, resulting in 187 yards and two touchdowns.

Dollar had three catches for 103 yards and a touchdown, while taking his lone rush 84 yards for a score to help East Lincoln improve to 2-2 on the season.

The 6-foot-4, Mustangs’ wide receiver/defensive back has 14 catches for 258 yards and four touchdowns, three rushes for 114 yards and another score, and 24 tackles, two interceptions and one more touchdown on defense this season.

Cam Gill, Salisbury Football: The Salisbury senior showed his versatility, accounting for 303 yards and three touchdowns to help the Hornets to a 48-18 win over West Davidson, Sept. 12.

Gill, who had three interceptions in the West Davidson win, scored on a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown, a 35-yard fumble return for a score and had a 65-yard interception return for another touchdown to help Salisbury improve to 2-2 this season.

Naseem Jones, South Point Football: The South Point junior fullback had a game to remember with 259 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 38 carries to lead the Red Raiders to a 33-7 win at previously unbeaten, Stuart Cramer, Sept. 13.

Jones scored on touchdowns of five, 34, 25 and one-yard in the victory.

Jones has 633 yards rushing and eight touchdowns this year on 118 carries for South Point (3-2).

Sam McCollum, Avery County Football: The Avery County senior running back/defensive back/kick returner showed his versatility piling up 327 yards of total offense to help the Vikings (1-4) to their first victory of the season in a 32-28 win over Draughn, Sept. 12.

McCollum had five rushes for 210 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, seven catches for 39 yards and another score receiving and 78 yards in the return game. He also contributed six tackles, two pass break-ups and an interception for the Avery County defense.

McCollum has 436 yards rushing and three touchdowns, 105 yards receiving and three more scores. He has passed for another 348 yards and three touchdowns this season. He also has 17 tackles, an interception and six kick returns for 150 yards in five games.

McCollum has accounted for 69.6 percent of Avery County’s offensive yards and 60 percent of the Vikings’ touchdowns this season.

Sebastian Lach, Fort Mill Football: The Fort Mill senior running back rushed for 211 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries to lead the Yellow Jackets (1-4) to their first victory of the season, a 41-21 win at Lugoff-Elgin Sept. 12.

Lach, who has four 100-plus yard games this year, notched his first 200-plus contest in the win.

Lach has 725 yards and 11 touchdowns on 108 carries this season.

Charlotte Observer Girls’ Athletes of the Week

Charlotte Catholic tennis’ Rose Kenny Anne Kenny Special to the Observer

Rose Kenny, Charlotte Catholic Tennis: The defending 3A state singles’ champion beat Marvin Ridge standout Ella Imhof (3-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-7) in a three-set showdown (at No. 1 singles) to help her Charlotte Catholic team to a 7-1 win at Marvin Ridge, Sept. 12.

Charlotte Catholic, also the defending 3A state (team) champions, is 9-0 this season, and has won 75 of the 77 individual matches played (through Sept. 12 match).

Kenny is 5-0 at No. 1 singles and 3-0 in doubles’ play this season.

Kenny, who trains at Charlotte International Tennis Academy, is also one of the top ranked USTA junior players, as she is ranked No. 7 in the state and No. 39 in the Southeast region, according to

Kate Coppage, Charlotte Latin Tennis: The Charlotte Latin sophomore helped the Hawks’ (3-1) to back-to-back, road victories over CISAA conference rivals, Charlotte Christian and Charlotte Country Day last week.

Coppage, Charlotte Latin’s No. 1 singles’ player, beat all-state Charlotte Christian No. 1 Margaret Carlton in the Hawks’ 8-1 win Sept. 12.

The next day, Coppage beat Charlotte Country Day No. 1 Sydney Whitfield in Latin’s 7-2 win.

Coppage is one of the state’s best USTA junior players, as she is ranked No. 18 in the state (class of 2021), according to Coppage also trains year round at Charlotte International Tennis Academy in Matthews.

Emily Lammers, Nation Ford Volleyball: The Nation Ford junior outside hitter helped the Falcons remain unbeaten at 18-0 this season with 33 kills, 14 digs, six aces and three blocks overall in wins over Clover and Rock Hill last week.

Lammers started her week with 11 kills and two aces in a 3-0 victory over Clover, Sept. 11.

The next day, Lammers came up big with 22 kills, 13 digs, four aces and three blocks in a 3-1 win at Rock Hill.

Lammers has 155 kills, 141 digs, 35 aces and 13 blocks for a Nation Ford team ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 44 in the country, according to

Adriana Jordan, Marvin Ridge Volleyball: The Marvin Ridge senior had 26 assists, and nine digs to lead the Mavericks to 3-0 win at archrival Weddington, Sept. 12.

Jordan, who leads the state with 703 assists this season, helped Marvin Ridge improve to 27-2 record overall, including a perfect 5-0 in the Southern Carolinas’ conference (SCC) play).

The Marvin Ridge volleyball team is ranked No. 2 in the state, and No. 53 in the nation, according to

Hailey Buchanan/Morgan Edwards, East Lincoln Volleyball: The East Lincoln senior duo celebrated career milestones as the Mustangs remained a perfect 11-0 (6-0 in South Fork 2A conference play).

Buchanan notched her 1,000th-career dig in a 3-1 win over Maiden Sept. 11. She had 16 kills, 16 digs and three aces in the match.

Meanwhile, Edwards dished out her 1,000th-career assist in the same match with 40 assists and seven digs in the victory.

Buchanan and Edwards also led East Lincoln to 3-0 sweeps at Forestview Sept. 12, and at West Lincoln Sept. 13.

Buchanan now has 1,029 career digs, while Edwards has 1,058 career assists.

The East Lincoln volleyball team has won 33 of the 35 sets they’ve played in this season.

Ella Abraham, Providence Day Volleyball: The Providence Day junior setter/right side showed her abilities all over the court with 18 assists, 14 kills, 12 digs and three aces in a 3-1 win at rival, Charlotte Christian, Sept. 11.

Abraham, a co-captain, has helped the Chargers to three wins in their last four games to improve to 6-8 overall and 1-1 in CISAA conference play.

Caitlyn Logan, John Brown University Soccer (Former Metrolina Christian player): The former Metrolina Christian soccer standout was named NAIA National Womens’ Defensive Soccer Player of the Week (for her play Sept. 2-9), Sept. 11, helping her John Brown University team to upset wins over to of the nation’s top-ranked teams.

Logan had three big saves in the John Brown’s 3-2 win over No. 12 Mobile (AL), Sept. 6.

Two days later, Logan had a career-high seven saves in the Golden Eagles’ 2-1 overtime win over No. 2 William Carey (MS).

Logan has allowed only six goals in eight games with five shutouts this year for John Brown University (7-1), who also blanked St. Thomas (TX) (2-0), Sept. 13 and No. 14 Oklahoma Wesleyan (1-0), Sept. 15.

John Brown is now ranked No. 7 in the country in the NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 poll.

Alexis Sudjianto, Charlotte Latin Golf: The Charlotte Latin senior shot a two-under par 34 on the front-nine at Cedarwood Country Club to earn medalist honors Sept. 12.

Sudjianto had her second eagle in as many weeks on the par-five, No. 4 at Cedarwood Country Club (eagled No. 8, Sept. 4). She also had a birdie, six pars and a bogey in her round.

Sudjianto, a Carnegie Mellon University commit, is ranked the No. 6 junior golfer in the state, according to the Tarheel Youth Golf Association (TYGA).

May McDonnell, Charlotte Country Day Golf: The Charlotte Country Day freshman shot a career-low 40, to finish in second-place individually in the 14-player match with Carmel Christian and Charlotte Catholic at Cedarwood Country Club, Sept. 11.

McDonnell, whose 40 was nearly nine shots lower than her season average (48.5), also helped her Charlotte Country Day team shoot 17 shots below their average.

Justine Caskey, South Iredell Golf: The South Iredell senior shot a career-best 39 to earn co-medalist honors at the North Piedmont conference (NPC) match at Rolling Hills’ Golf Club in Salisbury, Sept. 12.

Caskey, who had six pars in her round, helped her Vikings’ team to a second place team finish in the NPC match.

Caskey had the lowest score in each match for South Iredell, averaging a 42 per nine holes, while helping the Vikings to a one first-place finish and four second-place finishes.

South Iredell’s goal to win its first (NPC) conference title in girls’ golf in school history this season, according to Vikings’ coach Michael Fisher.

** Information published today includes statistics through September 16th.

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 Please include the athletes’ name, school, class and applicable game performance statistics. Coaches must be willing to verify information.