Shining at the Next Level: February 10-23, 2020

New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties produce a large number of athletes that continue their careers at the next level.  Each week, this list will feature a number of area athletes who are finding success in the college ranks.

Check back for weekly updates on the second and fourth Monday of each month.


***Full list of area baseball players in college***

Fr. infielder Jac Croom, UNCW (2019 New Hanover grad): In three home victories at the Hughes Bros. Challenge, Croom hit .556 (5-for-9) with one walk, two RBI, three runs and one stolen base.

Soph. catcher Colby Emmertz, Maine (2018 Topsail grad): Opened the season by hitting .286 (6-for-21) with four walks, one double and four runs in six losses.

Sr. outfielder Max Johnson, N.C. Wesleyan (2015 New Hanover grad): Continued his great start to the season by collecting four extra-base hits (one double, two triples and one home run) in six contests. 

Soph. pitcher Price King, Brunswick CC (2018 Ashley grad): Started and tossed 4 2/3 shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out seven, in Sunday’s 4-1 victory over Bryant & Stratton.

R-Sr. utility Jake Madole, East Tennessee State (2015 Topsail grad): In the first five games of the season, Madole hit .294 (5-for-17) with four doubles, one home run, five RBI and three runs.

Sr. pitcher Payton Rice, Embry-Riddle (2016 Topsail grad): Had a pair of six-inning starts and allowed only three earned runs while striking out 12 to lower his season ERA to 2.84.

Fr. infielder/pitcher Alex Sniffen, N.C. Central (2019 New Hanover grad): Struck out 11 and allowed four earned runs in 9 1/3 innings over three appearances on the mound.

Hoggard graduate Matt Suggs now plays baseball at UNCW. [UNCW Athletics]

Soph. catcher Matt Suggs, UNCW (2018 Hoggard grad): Through the first eight games of the season, Suggs leads the Seahawks with an on-base percentage of .538 thanks to four hits and eight walks.

Jr. outfielder Rob Wilkerson, Methodist (2017 Hoggard grad): In seven contests, Wilkerson hit .364 (8-for-22) with three walks, one double, five RBI, four runs and three stolen bases.


***Full list of area men’s basketball players in college***

Sr. G Trae Bryant, Oklahoma City (2015 Hoggard grad): Played all 40 minutes and connected on 15 of 16 free throws to finish with 18 points in a six-point loss to John Brown on Feb. 13.

Sr. C AJ Frye, N.C. Wesleyan (2016 Hoggard grad): In his final home game, Frye scored 22 points on 9 of 13 shooting and added five rebounds and three assists in an 81-70 win over Covenant on Saturday. In three games, Frye averaged 15.3 points and 4 assists.

Sr. F/C Mitch Layton, N.C. Wesleyan (2016 North Brunswick grad): In an 88-81 loss to Methodist on Feb. 12, Layton finished with eight points and six rebounds. He also grabbed six rebounds in 13 minutes of action during Saturday’s Senior Day victory over Covenant.

Sr. G Qadhafi Turner, Brevard (2016 Ashley grad): On Senior Day, Turner tied his career high with 20 points, all in the second half, and added five steals in a come-from-behind 84-80 victory over Huntingdon on Saturday.


***Full list of area golfers in college***

Fr. Harrison Wierse, Barton (2019 Topsail grad): In his first spring tournament, Wierse finished tied for 10th by finishing at 8-over-par during the three round Lincoln Memorial University Spring Intercollegiate Kickoff that concluded on Feb. 11. Wierse had rounds of 73, 74 and 77.

Topsail graduate Harrison Wierse plays golf at Barton. [Barton Athletics]


***Full list of area men’s lacrosse players in college***

Soph. attack Cole Boggio, Roanoke (2018 Cape Fear Academy grad): Finished with one goal, one assist and two ground balls in a season-opening loss to Christopher Newport on Wednesday. In Saturday’s 14-6 victory over Sewanee, Boggio had an assist and three ground balls.

Fr. attack Eli Copeland, Lander (2019 Topsail grad):  In victories over Emmanuel, Ga. (14-13 on Feb. 12) and Lees-McRae (18-8 on Feb. 15), Copeland finished with two goals, six assists and nine ground balls.

Fr. face off Noah Ehinger, Wingate (2019 Laney grad): Won 20 of 24 faceoffs, scooped up 17 ground balls and also scored in a 19-13 win over Westminster on Feb. 16.

Jr. midfielder Luke Frankeny, Mount St. Mary’s (2017 Hoggard grad): Had a goal and two assists to help Mount St. Mary’s secure an 11-10 victory over Towson on Feb. 15. 

Jr. midfielder Finn McGrady, William Peace (2017 Laney grad): In Saturday’s 12-11 loss at Ferrum, McGrady had a goal as well as a pair of assists.

Soph. attack/midfielder Riely Murray, William Peace (2018 Laney grad): Had a big game in a 14-12 home win over Marymount on Feb. 16, finishing with two goals and three assists.

Soph. attack Gunner Philipp, Army (2017 Hoggard grad): Scored a career-high two goals in a 15-4 win over Rutgers on Feb. 15 and found the back of the net once in Sunday’s 9-7 loss at Syracuse.

Soph. attack Brewer Warlick, William Peace (2018 Laney grad): Found the back of the net twice on only three shots to help the Pacers secure their first win of the season on Feb. 16.


***Full list of area track & field athletes in college***

Jr. Jathan DeBerry, UNC Pembroke (2017 North Brunswick grad): Claimed the 60-meter hurdles title at the Mountain East Conference Indoor Championship with a time of 8.20 and was also fourth in the high jump (6-5.5) to help the Braves finish second as a team.

R-Sr. Dandrell Utley, Charlotte (2015 New Hanover grad): Helped the 49ers wins the Conference USA Indoor Championship on Sunday by finishing fourth in the triple jump with a personal-best distance of 48-8.


***Full list of area softball players in college***

Fr. pitcher Morgan Beeler, Lenoir-Rhyne (2019 West Brunswick grad): Saw time in the circle in six victories and finished with 28 strikeouts while allowing nine runs in 25 1/3 innings.

Sr. pitcher/infielder Preston Ellenberg, Catawba (2015 North Brunswick grad): Earned a complete-game victory by allowing two runs and striking out four in a 7-2 win over UNC Pembroke on Feb. 16. Ellenberg struck out 12 and allowed only two runs in 6 2/3 innings in a 2-1 loss to Young Harris on Saturday.

North Brunswick graduate Preston Ellenberg now plays softball at Catawba. [Catawba Athletics]

Sr. catcher Jordan Floyd, Wingate (2016 Ashley grad): Helped the Bulldogs go 6-0 by hitting a remarkable .500 (9-for-18) with two home runs, four doubles, 10 RBI and nine runs.

Soph. outfielder Cierra Watts, Coker (2018 West Brunswick grad): Hit .444 (4-for-9) with one double, three RBI, one run and one stolen base in two wins over Fairmont State and a loss to Mount Olive.


***Full list of area women’s basketball players in college***

R-Sr. G Jada Bacchus, Mount Olive (2015 Ashley grad): In a Senior Night victory over North Greenville on Saturday, Bacchus had a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds. She averaged 17.7 points and 9.3 rebounds in three contests.

Jr. G Ayonna Cotten, Mississippi Valley State (2017 New Hanover grad): Finished with a team-best 21 points by hitting a pair of 3-pointers and going 9 of 10 from the free throw line in a home loss to Texas Southern on Saturday.

R-Fr. G Jenson Edwards 2018, High Point (Laney grad): In three Big South Conference contests, Edwards averaged 6.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4 assists. She currently has 54 assists and only 29 turnovers on the season.

Soph. G Azariah Fields, Mount Olive (2018 New Hanover grad): Averaged 12.3 points and 4 assists in games against Lee-McRae, Barton and North Greenville.


***Full list of area women’s lacrosse players in college***

Soph. midfielder Skii Bollinger, St. Andrews (2018 Ashley grad): In wins over Columbia, S.C. and Salem, Bollinger finished with seven goals and a pair of assists.

Fr. attack Kara Cheers, St. Andrews (2019 West Brunswick grad): Was instrumental in leading the team to wins over Columbia, S.C. (18-9 on Feb. 15) and Salem (19-5 on Feb. 18) by finishing with eight total goals on 11 shots.

Soph. midfielder Alyssa Cooke, Presbyterian (2018 Hoggard grad): Finished with one goal, one assist, three ground balls and two caused turnovers in a loss to VCU on Sunday.

Soph. defense/attack Meghan Eamma (2018 Laney grad): In Wednesday’s season-opening 19-3 loss to Guilford, Eamma scored a pair of goals and also had three draw controls, two ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Jr. midfielder Kendall Goldblum, American (2017 Hoggard grad): In three wins to open the season, Goldblum finished with nine goals, four assists and 23 draw controls. She had four goals and two assists in Saturday’s narrow 20-19 win at Longwood.

Fr. midfielder Delaney Popella, Lynn (2019 Topsail grad): In her first collegiate game as well as the first in program history, Popella scored three goals and added an assist and three ground balls in a 16-11 loss against Roberts Wesleyan on Thursday.

Topsail graduate Delaney Popella now plays lacrosse at Lynn. [Lynn Athletics]

Soph. midfielder Hannah Scharf (2018 South Brunswick grad): Opened the season with a solid performance in a 15-12 loss at Berry on Feb. 15, finishing with three goals, four ground balls and four draw controls.

Fr. midfielder Megan Trout, Gardner-Webb (2019 Ashley grad): Scored a career-high two goals to help the Bulldogs earn an 18-5 win over Akron on Feb. 16.


***Full list of area tennis players in college***

Jr. Kara Ferner, Christopher Newport (2017 Hoggard grad): In a 9-0 victory over Millsaps on Feb. 15, Ferner won 8-3 at No. 2 doubles and rallied for a 4-6, 7-6, 10-5 victory at No. 4 singles. She picked up the team’s only singles victory (6-2, 6-1 at No. 4) in Sunday’s 7-2 loss against Swarthmore.


***Full list of area track & field athletes in college***

Fr. Caroline Flax, UNC Pembroke (2019 Hoggard grad): Helped the Braves claim the title at the Mountain East Conference Indoor Championship by finishing in a tie for third in pole vault (10-10).

Fr. Courtney Lines, UNCW (2019 North Brunswick grad): Finished fourth in the long jump with a distance of 18-2.5 and was sixth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.6 at Saturday’s Bahamas House First Chance Meet in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Fr. Addi Teter, Montreat (2019 Coastal Christian grad): Was on the third-place 4×800 relay that finished with a time of 10:36.04 at the Appalachian Athletic Conference Indoor Championship.


***Full list of area wrestlers in college***

Jr. Jonathan Miller, UNC Pembroke (2015 Laney grad): Secured a second period pin at 141 pounds in a dominant 60-0 win over Spartanburg Methodist on Feb. 11 and had a dominant 22-4 tech fall in a 40-6 victory over Davis & Elkins on Feb. 14.