Area Sports Briefs: Hightower named 3A Player of the Year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 8, 2024

From staff reports

East Rowan graduate Cobb Hightower, a UNC recruit, has been named 3A Player of the year by the North Carolina Baseball Coaches Association.
The shortstop also was the South Piedmont Conference Player of the Year.
East’s Logan Dyer, Harrison Ailshie and McCall Henderson were named to the 3A All-State team.
Ailshie recently was named South Piedmont Conference Pitcher of the Year.

A.L. Brown rising senior CJ Gray, a 6-foot-2 right-handed pitcher/shortstop, who is committed to N.C. State and plays for the South Charlotte Panthers, was clocked at 96 mph at the National Program Invitational in Georgia.

The son of former Livingstone football player Charlie Gray, Gray has elite hand speed and arm speed and owns one of the top fastballs in the Class of 2025.

He’s also getting Division I offers as a quarterback.


Grace Christian pitcher Cameron Seagroves, a Campbell recruit, is the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year for North Carolina.

Heart of a Champion

Carson’s Carson Aman (football, track and field) and West Rowan’s Sarah Waller (golf) were NCHSAA Heart of a Champion award winners.
Heart of a Champion recognizes student-athletes who have participated in at least one varsity sport or cheerleading and remained ejection-free during the school year. These students exemplify outstanding citizenship and sportsmanship in their community.

HS track

A.L. Brown thrower Dario “DJ” Drye will compete for Barton College.
Drye placed sixth in the discus in the 4A State Championships.

HS football

Salisbury kicker Hank Webb received an offer from Hampden-Sydney. He’s also been offered by Catawba.

HS athletics

Reidsville football/basketball star Kendre Harrison was named Male National Athlete of the Year by MaxPreps.

HS basketball

Jim Baker, a member of the 2024 Salisbury-Rowan Hall of Fame class, will be coaching Cannon School’s boys basketball team next season.

A North Rowan and Catawba College graduate, who was Catawba’s head coach for 20 seasons, Baker has been at Central Cabarrus in recent seasons and guided the Vikings to 65 straight wins and to NCHSAA 3A championships in 2023 and 2024.


Jamyrah Cherry, a standout for Salisbury last season, will play for Winston-Salem Christian’s national team next season.


HS girls soccer

Salisbury Maddie Crabb and Stella Koontz; South Rowan’s Ava Schleyer; West Rowan’s Tempe Jones; Carson’s Haylee Feehan, and East Rowan’s Lillian Jeffers made all-region teams announced by the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association.


College baseball

NC Wesleyan pitcher Cord Butler (A.L. Brown) was named a Division III All-American.


College football

Georgia linebacker Jalon Walker (Salisbury) is one of the 42 players on the watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.

The award gets its name from NFL Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott. IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

The award goes to a defensive player each year who has made an impact off the field as well as on it and is the only major college football award that considers character as well as on-field achievements.


College baseball

Former Catawba baseball star David Thomas was inducted into the South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame.

“He was our Mickey Mantle,” Catawba coach Jim Gantt said of the switch-hitting center fielder, who wore No. 7.


Pro basketball

KJ Sherrill (West Rowan) was part of a championship team in his first year coaching in Germany.

The 32-year Sherrill played eight seasons overseas and played college basketball at Charlotte and Augusta, where he teamed with his younger brother, Keshun Sherrill. Sherrill coaches the Dragons Rhondorf in the German B League.


Rowan Bulls

Avery Patterson (A.L. Brown) can still shoot.

Patterson, who played college ball at St. John’s, had a 65-point game in April for the Rowan Bulls. He made 14 3-pointers.

Patterson scored 43 in a game last week.

The Bulls play in Fayetteville on Sunday.


Track and field

Rowan athletes competed in early June in the Body Armor State Games in Charlotte.

9-10 Boys
Brayden Ellis: Turbo Javelin- 53 feet, 11 inches, 8th
Braejohn Ellis: Turbo Javelin- 65-11, 4th
11-12 Boys
Eric Fisher: 80 meter hurdles — 14.77, 4th and 400 meters — 1:05.20 7th
Braxton Ellis: Discus— 45-7, 4th, Shot put—22-11.75, 5th and Aero Javelin— 51-7, 7th
13-14 Boys
Bralin Ellis: Shot Put— 40-9.75, 2nd, Discus —108-4, 2nd and Javelin— 88-3, 3rd
Dyllion Steele: Javelin – 55-2, 6th
15-16 Boys
Brenden Ellis:Javelin – 113-8, 3rd
17-18 Girls
Brittany Ellis: Javelin – 93-0, 1st and Discus —113-1, 4th
17-18 Boys
KJ Oglesby:  400 intermediate hurdles — 57.41 seconds, 1st and 110 high hurdles — 15.72 4TH