It’s June. Usually, around this time, the Observer would begin to name its all-star teams for spring sports.
Only this year, COVID-19 basically took them away.
Most area athletes played five or fewer games, and all of their practice, all of their preparation, all of their hopes, were taken away. We feel the pain of these student-athletes and wanted to do something to honor them.
So we are still going to name all-star teams — with a twist.
We won’t name them by sport. So no baseball and softball and soccer all-stars. But we are going to release the entire list of boys and girls candidates that were sent in by the area schools. We normally don’t do this, but we wanted as many athletes as possible to have their accomplishments honored.
Since we didn’t have stats or accomplishments or all-conference teams to go by, we asked schools to nominate players who were stars in the classroom and stars in their communities. Some of the stories we got back were simply inspiring.
From here, the Observer’s high school sports staff will pick 10 boys and 10 girls to comprise the team and those athletes will be featured in print and online Sunday, June 14.
That same day, we are going to let you, the readers, pick the spring sports boys and girls athletes of the year. You will get to vote on a poll that will also be released on the 14th. The vote will run through Friday, June 19.
Here are the boys nominees (click here for the girls)
Notable: three-year varsity letterman and UNC Charlotte recruit. All-conference pick in 2019 carries a 4.43 cumulative GPA and is an NCHSAA scholar athlete
Notable: 3-time all-conference pick and SoMECK 7 conference player of the year in 2019. Was Hood Hargett student-athlete of the month in 2020 (Liz Murray Scholarship Recipient). A team captain, Lee carries a 4.46 weighted GPA.
Notable: Played at No. 1 singles for the past two seasons. This year, he was 3-1 in singles and 3-1 in doubles. Last season, Tyson advanced to the state finals in doubles with fellow senior Christian Miller. Tyson has a 3.96 GPA and will attend Clemson this fall. Tyson volunteers at St. Matthew Catholic Church and is actively involved in Strokes for Spokes, which is a tennis league for wheelchair tennis players.
CHARLOTTE COUNTRY DAY
FOSTER and WILLIAM HARRIS
Notable: Brothers Foster and William Harris founded the local non-profit, Naturalize Charlotte, which provides resources for immigrants going through the naturalization process. They have been awarded Charlotte’s Richard Vinroot International Achievement Award. The award recognizes those who have worked for the continued internationalization of Charlotte, contributed to efforts to improve the international community, and have a record of outstanding service to the greater Charlotte community. With the emergence of COVID-19 this spring, the boys created an online resource tool in 10 languages to make information on the pandemic more accessible to those who may not have the language skills to otherwise connect. Foster did not compete this spring due to injury. William ran in one meet, clocking a 5:02 for the 1600 meters. Foster will be attending Washington & Lee University in the fall. William will be attending Haverford College, where he will be a member of the Men’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams.
Notable: had one goal, one assists and 14 ground balls. He volunteers with mission 34, whose goal is to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness through awareness, education, and communication
COX MILL HIGH SCHOOL
Notable: GPA at the end of this year will be a 4.711. Nemani is a BETA Officer, National Honor Society member, Model U.N. President, Science National Honors Society President. He is vice president of the Concord Youth Council and is also the founder of the local chapter of an international nonprofit called ByeByePlaticBags which is a youth-led movement to eliminate plastic pollution.
Notable: 6-6 basketball forward and soccer player shot a 42 in his team’s first match at Pine Lake Country Club. He has a 4.0 GPA, is a finalist for Morehead Scholarship and the Jefferson Scholarship. Breunig is a national merit scholar nominee and class valedictorian candidate. He was 6th man on a state championship basketball team and was all-conference in soccer.
Notable: Played one game this season. Four-year starter has a 3.6 GPA and has signed with Bridgewater College to play basketball. Huntley
participated in several student service clubs and organizations.
Notable: in three games this season, guy hit .500 and had five strikeouts in four innings as a pitcher. He has a 4.5 GPA and is in the National Beta Club, National Honors Society, Cancer Services Youth Advisory Council Member, Jr. Heart Board, International Club, Spirit Club, Fishing Club, Art Club, Leader of Cancer Services Gatorade Drive
Notable: 8 goals, 10 assist in shortened season. Has a 4.6 GPA and is a member of his school’s National Honor Society and BETA Club. He was the
Gaston Christian Male Athlete of the Year. During the pandemic has produced soccer videos for younger players to keep fit on the ball
Notable: All-Conference in 2018 & 2019; only two rounds in this season, but William was T-10 for scoring in NCISAA 2A Classification. Has a 4.31 GPA and will attend University of Notre Dame. He won a Scholastic Art & Writing Gold Key for a personal essay which was nominated for the American Voices Award; won Silver Award on the National Spanish Exam, AP Scholar with Honor Award
6. D’Amore is also an Eagle Scout, long-time volunteer for Joe Martin ALS Foundation, counselor at Joe’s Camp, for kids whose family has been touched by ALS
HICKORY RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL
Track and field
Notable: Ranked No. 6 nationally in the 60-meter dash (6.76 seconds) and holds top high school times in the nation in the 200 (20.94) and 300 meters (32.84). Rose has a 3.8 GPA and is an usher at church and part of a church group that feeds homeless. He’s also a member of the Auto Bell service group.
Notable: hit .400 and has signed to play at Wake Tech. Has a 4.1 GPA and works at 9 rounds, a fitness center. His coach says Blaise is a “model student at school and in community, ambassador for the baseball team.”
Notable: scored 20 points in three games this season and had 104 in 2019. Rizzo, who has a 3.3 unweighted GPA, is treasurer of the classical music appreciation club
Notable: In three games, she was 1-1 as a pitcher and had two home runs and four RBI. Remasters has a 4.21 GPA and will graduate Summa Cum Laude. She was a four-year ambassador for the Dale Jr. Fo
undation and has helped work the Robinson High youth softball camp for three years.
KINGS MOUNTAIN HIGH SCHOOL
Notable: 2-0 record with a 1.615 ERA this season. Fisher struck out 23 and walked one in 13 innings with a .769 WHIP. He is No. 3 in a class of 277 with a 4.61 GPA and is in his school’s National Honors Society, Beta Club and he’s also a Junior Marshall. Fisher is also part of a church group that does mission work and community projects.
LAKE NORMAN CHARTER
Notable: Torres will attend the United States Military Academy at West Point in the fall. In five games, he hit .357 with a .500 on-base percentage. He had four RBIs and five runs scored. Torres, who carries a 4.425 GPA, volunteers at Angles and Sparrows Soup Kitchen.
Chris has volunteered at Camp Invention as a counselor from 2016 to 2019. He has also spread his service to various local causes such as the Ramah Church Road Second Harvest Food Bank, the Humane Society of Charlotte Pet Supply Drive, a Breast Cancer Awareness “Fun Run” campaign, and various clean-ups with the Carolina Raptor Center. Finally, he volunteered for four years as a math tutor.
Notable: Lenoir-Rhyne recruit had 20 goals and three assists in five games. Carrying a 3.4 GPA, Webster volunteers at the Angles and Sparrows Soup Kitchen, Atrium Senior Living and at the Turkey Trot 5K each November.
Notable: nvolved in the school play, national honor society, and continued to do workouts despite the uncertainty of the season. Extremely high character. GPA-4.6
Notable: 3-time state track champion also played football. Helped the 2019 track and baseball teams to state titles. This season, has worked nearly 30 hours per week at a local Publix when his season was canceled.
Notable: 4-time individual state champion and ran on 3,200 state title relay game last year. Led cross-country teams to three state titles and will run for UNC next season.
Notable: Throwing 169 feet in discus, Radhuber has a 3.78 GPA and is a member of the Connection Club and a volunteer for the Viking Training Camp. He was a school Beautification Day volunteer and he helped organize and raise $2,700 for suicide awareness.
Notable: Anderson University recruit had four takeaways and eight ground balls in two games. Gore has a 4.29 GPA and is a member of Young Life and also volunteers collecting and delivering items to a local homeless shelter.
Notable: As a freshman, he was Providence’s fourth catch. Sophomore year, he split time on the junior varsity. By his junior year, a commitment to the weight room saw him make varsity all-conference. Coach Danny Hignight said he’s the hardest-working player he’s coached in 23 years. He now has a 3.9 GPA is a team leader and a National Honor Society Member. “With the sudden ending of our season,” Hignight said, “Sam didn’t get to finish out his dream and it has been very challenging for him. He is a tremendous loss to our program not only on the field but he will be missed even more in our locker room.”
Notable: all-conference in 2019, Ravin played four games as a senior at catcher. In 2019, he set the school’s single-season putout record (225) and established the career record (540). He now has 564 putouts in his career. Ravin has a 3.78 GPA and is co-president of Cyber Seniors. He’s volunteered at on Deck Baseball camps, was a volunteer YMCA football and has volunteered at Room at the In and making cookies and playing bingo at Ronald McDonald House.
Notable: Through six games this spring, Davidson College signee was batting .600 with nine base hits, 11 RBIs, seven runs scored, two doubles and a home run. He has a 4.3 GPA and is a member of his school’s National Honor Society and has a 4.3 GPA. He’s also a student mission fellow member named to SouthLake Christian’s first Student-Athlete Advisory Council
Notable: Smith had a two-match average of 35.5 this season. He was 2017 NCHSAA Individual State Champion. Smith has a 3. GPA and served as publicity officer for the Student Council his senior year. He has doubled his required community service hours for graduation having a total during his high school career of 212.5 hours. Smith has earned his hours by volunteering at Hospice of Union County Golf Tournament where he managed several teams of volunteers. He has also volunteered at the annual Union Academy auction selling raffle tickets as well as helping to organize the set up and break down of the auction items.
Notable: Starting shortstop for all four years, he played four games as a senior and hit .444 with four RBIs and four stolen bases. He hit .381 as a junior. Sylvestre has a 4.35 GPA, is an NCHSAA Scholar-Athlete and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and National Honor Society. He was an American Mathematics Competition (AMC-10) selection.Sylvestre has met his required community service hours for graduation having a total of over 120 hours during his high school career. He has volunteered with local youth baseball camps during his high school career. He is also a volunteer with his church, Wellspring Church, leading a student minitry group as well as helping each week to break down the set up of the sanctuary, including all audio & visual equipment tables and chairs and well as volunteering in the nursery. Jaden has also volunteered with Common Heart in Indian Trail during his 4 years of high school providing food boxes through delivery to a community of eight families as well as volunteering at annual BBQs for those that are less fortunate. Through Union Academy, Jaden has also been involved with the Special Olympics, Assisted Living Community volunteer and a volunteer for Operation Christmas Child. Jaden is also a math tutor for his peers.
Notable: In four games, Barsz had 22 ground balls, 18 forced turnovers and had two assists. Townson commit has helped out with the middle school lacrosse team and coaches younger kids for the 24/7 Lacrosse program. Colby was also voted a captain this year by his teammates. Won the 2020 24/7 NC Men’s Lacrosse Player of the Year award. Multiple year All-Conference, All-Region and All-State selection. US Lacrosse All-American last year as a Junior.
Notable: In four games, Todaro had 21 goals and 10 assists. He finished his career with a Union County record 163 goals. Todaro also has a 4.40 GPA. He is a volunteer fundraiser for the HeadStrong Foundation whose mission is to improve lives affected by cancer. He Raised over $3,200 in three seasons.
He is also in the Weddington High School Mentor’s Club – Mentors underprivileged children in the community.
Notable: All-Conference honoree in 2019 after batting a team-leading .392 with 24 RBI and 12 runs scored in 25 games played, helping Colts to a conference tournament championship and second round playoff appearance.
Notable: Registered seven hits in his first ten at-bats during an abbreviated three-game season in 2020. Played in all 26 games as starting second baseman dur
ing 2019 run to a conference tournament championship and second round playoff appearance.