NWC announces all-conference teams for four sports
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
The Northwestern Conference released the all-conference teams for volleyball, boys' and girls' cross-country and girls' tennis Sunday night.
Watauga put two players, Meredith Farthing and Rebecca Hayes, on the all-conference volleyball team. League champion St. Stephens put six players on the team, including Offensive Player of the Year Breanna Hall and tri-Defensive Player of the Year Ashley Markland. Zoe Fox from Fred T. Foard and Jaden Light from Hickory were the other Defensive Players of the Year award winners.
Second-place Hickory put four players on the team, while third-place Foard had three. Patton put two on the team and both South Caldwell and Hibriten had one each. Freedom also had one player.
The coaches of the year were Hibriten's Kelly Bryant and Hickory's Jason Stephens.
Watauga put five players on the all-conference girls' tennis team, including co-Player of the Year award winner Meredith Smith.
Kelsi Kanoy and Megan Smith, who won the Western Regional doubles tournament and a match in the state 4-A tournament, were also put on the team. Annika Davidson and Nicole Fox also made the team, while Elizabeth Clark was named honorable mention.
Claire Chase from Hibriten was the other player of the year. Watauga coach Beth Watts and Hickory coach Rom Teague shared the Coach of the Year award honors.
Watauga won the NWC championship for the 12th straight season. The Pioneers finished with a 7-0 record in the league and 11-4 overall after reaching the second round of the state 4-A playoffs.
Hickory put four players on the team and Hibriten put three. Patton had two while Foard, St. Stephens, South Caldwell and Freedom each had one.
Watauga won the NWC cross-country race with 43 points, which gave the Pioneers the league championship.
Five Pioneers -- Michael Holland, Will Vandenberg, Zach Styron, Matt Osborne and Jacob Soule -- were named all-conference.
South Caldwell's Dylan Mathewson was the Runner of the Year and the only Spartan on the team. Foard's Steven Crowe was named Coach of the Year.
Foard put four runners on the team, followed by two from Freedom and one each from Hickory, Patton and Hibriten.
Watauga put six runners on the All-NWC list after winning the league meet with 41 points.
Lynde Wangler, Sophie Sloboda, Finley Collins, Lily Weeks, Celia Jackson and Kathleen Mansure were all named all-conference based on how they finished in the league meet. Hickory's Ella Juerges is the Runner of the Year and Hickory's John Hamilton and Watauga's Randy McDonough are the co-Coaches of the Year.
Hickory had four runners and Foard had three. Freedom, Patton and South Caldwell each had one.