Patty Evers and Phil Padgett win statewide awards from NCHSAA + more!


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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Under David Rutledge the Ashley Screaming Eagles finished with an overall record of 11-16 in boys basketball, 6-6 in the Mideastern Conference in the lone season for Rutledge at Ashley. “After careful consideration by the administration at Ashley High School, David Rutledge will not continue as head basketball coach for the 2014-2015 school year,” per Ashley A.D. Roy Turner. “We sincerely appreciate the hard work that Coach Rutledge put in for the student athletes of Ashley High this school year. Michael Propst, will serve as an interim coach until the position is filled. The position will be posted immediately on the NCHSAA website.”


WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) — Seniors Rafael Aita and Angie Sekely, who keyed UNCW’s impressive sweep of the Colonial Athletic Association Tennis Championships last weekend, have been named the Most Outstanding Performers at the three-day event in Williamsburg, Va.

The Seahawks won both championships in the same year for the first time and will learn their NCAA destinations on Tuesday (April 29) during special selection shows on The men’s show begins at 5 p.m., Eastern, and the women’s edition starts at 5:30 p.m.

Aita, ranked 52nd nationally by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, won two matches at No. 1 singles and once at No. 1 doubles to spark UNCW to its fourth CAA men’s championship in six years. He defeated James Madison’s Rob Stirling, 6-4, 6-1 in the Seahawks’ 4-0 triumph over the Dukes in the semifinals, and then rolled past College of Charleston’s Brice Allanic, 6-2, 6-1, as UNCW routed the Cougars, 4-0, in the finals.

The two-time CAA Player-of-the-Year owns a 14-4 singles record this spring and is ranked No. 94 in doubles with partner Sam Williams. He has 64 career singles victories, one shy of the school record.

Sekely, meanwhile, compiled a perfect 3-0 mark at No. 1 singles to power the Seahawks to their first CAA women’s crown. The Ontario, Canada, product cruised past Hofstra’s Sarah Bowen, 6-1, 6-0, in the quarterfinals and defeated JMU’s Taylor Pinchoff, 6-2, 6-4, as UNCW eliminated the Dukes, 4-0, in the semifinals.

Sekely then nailed down UNCW’s first title when she defeated First-Team All-CAA performer Kelly Kambourelis of the College of Charleston in the deciding match. Sekely fought off several set points to win a tie-breaker in the opening set, 7-6 (7-1), and then rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the second set to win, 6-3, as UNCW pulled out a 4-3 victory.

Sekely was the first Seahawk to be named CAA Player-of-the-Year and owns an 18-1 record this spring, including a 14-game winning streak that stretches back to Feb. 17


SOUTHPORT, NC (UNCW) — The Seahawks head to St. James Plantation this weekend looking to defend their Colonial Athletic Association title for a third time as UNCW looks to return to the NCAA tournament.

UNCW enters the conference championship ranked third in the league, according to GolfStat, behind conference newcomer College of Charleston and upstart James Madison.

Leading the Seahawks as a senior is reigning conference player-of-the-year Payne McLeod, who has come on of late with a pair of top-10 finishes in his last three outings. McLeod led the Seahawks with a 73.3 stroke average.

Joining McLeod in UNCW’s lineup are freshman Thomas Lilly, senior Stefan Brewer, freshman Preston Harrington and senior Ryan Nagy.

The Seahawks are paired with Charleston and the two groups will tee off hole 10 at 9:45 a.m.

The championship is a 54-hole event with 18 holes being played each day.


CHAPEL HILL, NC (NCHSAA) — Coaches, administrators and media representatives will be among those receiving awards next Thursday when the North Carolina High School Athletic Association holds its 2014 Annual Meeting.

The event is scheduled for the Dean E. Smith Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Thursday, May 1, the day after the spring meeting of the NCHSAA’s Board of Directors has concluded.

The Association annually presents these statewide awards in several different categories, all based on those “who have done the most for high school athletics” rather than a single accomplishment or having an outstanding won-loss record.

The awards are named in memory or in honor of outstanding individuals in each category, five of whom are current members of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame. The state winners for 2014 include:

• Doris Howard Female Coach of the Year: Patty Evers of East Bladen High School has coached women’s basketball for almost 20 years, the last 12 at East Bladen after coaching at Tar Heel, and has had her basketball team in the finals on several occasions in a couple of different classifications. She has been involved with Special Olympics as a volunteer coordinator and has also taken student-athletes to the NCHSAA Student-Athlete Summer Institute (SASI) for over a decade. She has led the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes as well as the DREAM team that has tutored, mentored and started reading programs at area elementary schools, and has also been an excellent volleyball game official. She is a former winner of the NCHSAA’s Toby Webb Award.

• Harvey Reid Male Coach of the Year: Phil Padgett of Southwest Onslow High School has distinguished himself as a high school coach in a number of sports, including baseball, golf, basketball and football, with his most outstanding achievements coming coaching football. He has headed the SW Onslow football program since 1988 and has compiled over 250 wins while winning four state championships in football (2000, ’03, ’04, ‘12) and 14 conference championships. He also served as the Southwest baseball coach for nine seasons, leading the Stallions to seven conference crowns and two consecutive berths in the NCHSAA state championship series. He was named to the “100 To Remember” NCHSAA list of coaches for the centennial celebration.

• Dave Harris Athletic Director of the Year: David Ball of Clyde Erwin High School is a graduate of Erwin High and Western Carolina with a master’s from Western Carolina as well who is in his 35th year in education. Currently a teacher and athletic director at Erwin, he has been very active in the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association, holding a number of offices, and served as president of the organization for 2011-12. Ball also currently serves on NCHSAA Board of Directors. He was named to the “100 To Remember” NCHSAA list of administrators for the centennial celebration and worked as a baseball official for 14 seasons, including two state championship series.

• Bob Deaton Principal of the Year: Jason Curtis of Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh is principal at a school with over 100 years of history, and has served in that capacity since 2006 after holding the assistant principal title and then was on the faculty before that. Prior to going to Gibbons, he was the head volleyball coach and teacher at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, CA. Not only is he principal at Gibbons, but serves as the moderator for the Surf Club at the school. He has played a vital role in the NCHSAA’s Education and Athletics Committee. Curtis is a graduate of Santa Clara University and earned his master’s at Marymount University in Arlington, Va.

• Bob McRae Superintendent of the Year: David Jones of Henderson County is the superintendent of a 23-school district that is the county’s largest employer. He has been very active in NCHSAA activities, including serving on the Education and Athletics Committee as well as a stint on the Realignment Committee. He has been superintendent in Henderson County since 2010 after holding a number of jobs in the system for the 13 years prior to that. He has also been a middle school principal and was a teacher and coach at Edneyville High School, where he led the men’s basketball team to a state championship. He is a graduate of Mars Hill College with a master’s and education specialist degrees from Western Carolina.

• Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year: Charles Curcio of the Stanly News and Press is in his second stint as sports editor there, serving since 2008, and has covered high school athletics extensively, including a number of state championship events involving Stanly County schools. He is the host and play-by-play voice for Stanly County’s Monday Night Football which he has done for 11 years. He has also been the public address voice of Pfeiffer University sports, Carolina Speed indoor football and the Charlotte Checkers hockey team. He is a graduate of Hayesville High School and then went to Pfeiffer University, where he earned a degree in journalism in 1997.

• Elton Hawley Athletic Trainer of the Year: Dr, James Scifers of Western Carolina University is a professor of athletic training at the Cullowhee schools. Scifers joined the WCU faculty in 2003 and is a former president of the North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association. He served as founding director of WCU’s athletic training program from 2003 until 2010, associate dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences from 2008 until 2009 and director of the School of Health Sciences from 2009 until 2013. He holds a bachelor’s degree from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, master’s degree in physical therapy from Emory University, and doctorate in orthopedic physical therapy from the University of Maryland-Baltimore. He won WCU’s highest teaching honor, the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, in 2006.


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Hammerheads will host Charlotte on Saturday at Legion Stadium at 7pm. Click the video icon to see our interview with Wilmington’s general manager about this week’s college night promotion.