Shining at the Next Level: January 27-February 9, 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***

Jr. pitcher Caleb Bishop, Mount Olive (2017 New Hanover grad): Has yet to allow an earned run in six innings over two appearances to open the season. Bishop has three strikeouts and no walks.

Soph. infielder Peter Frey, Barton (2018 Topsail grad): In the first seven games of the season, Frey hit .273 (6-for-22) with one double.

Sr. outfielder Max Johnson, N.C. Wesleyan (2015 New Hanover grad): Got off to a great start by hitting .600 (6-for-10) with two walks, one home run, four runs, one RBI and five stolen bases from the leadoff spot in the first three games of the season.

New Hanover graduate Max Johnson now plays baseball at N.C. Wesleyan. [N.C. Wesleyan Athletics]

Soph. pitcher Zach Kelly, South Brunswick (2018 South Brunswick grad): In five appearances, Kelly allowed one run on two hits and struck out four in 5 2/3 innings.

Sr. pitcher Payton Rice, Embry-Riddle (2016 Topsail grad): Picked up his first victory of the season by allowing one earned run on four hits with nine strikeouts in six innings in 7-3 win over Valdosta State on Feb. 1.

Jr. pitcher Austin Skipper, William Peace (2017 New Hanover grad): Struck out five and allowed only three hits in 5 1/3 scoreless innings in Saturday’s 5-1 victory over Brevard.

Jr. outfielder Rob Wilkerson, Methodist (2017 Hoggard grad): Went 3-for-5 with a double, triple, two RBI and two runs on Sunday to help the Monarchs pick up an 11-8 victory over Texas Lutheran.


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

Soph. G/F Josh Aldrich, USC Upstate (2018 New Hanover grad): In a 91-74 home win over Campbell on Feb. 1, Aldrich scored eight points on 4 of 4 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench.

Sr. G Trae Bryant, Oklahoma City (2015 Hoggard grad): Scored 12 points in all three games and shot 54 percent from the field (13 of 24).

Sr. C AJ Frye, N.C. Wesleyan (2016 Hoggard grad): Poured in a career-high 43 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a 110-98 loss at Pfeiffer on Feb. 1. Frye finished 17 of 25 from the field and 9 of 11 from the free throw line. In Saturday’s win over Berea, he had another big performance with 23 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Sr. F/C Mitch Layton, N.C. Wesleyan (2016 North Brunswick grad): Helped the Battling Bishops earn a 90-84 comeback victory over Methodist on Jan. 29 by finishing with 10 points and four rebounds.

Sr. G Qadhafi Turner, Brevard (2016 Ashley grad): Went 6 of 9 from the field and 4 of 6 from 3-point range en route to a season-high 16 points in a 67-63 win over Maryville on Jan. 28. In four games, Turner averaged 10 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.8 steals.


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

Sr. Blake Taylor (2016 Wilmington Christian Academy grad): Shot a final round 69 to finish tied for 22nd at the Sea Best Invitational in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. on Tuesday. Taylor made five birdies and finished the tournament at 2-over-par.


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

Soph. defender Matthew Bowerman, NJIT (2018 New Hanover grad): Scooped up five ground balls and caused a turnover in Saturday’s 11-8 loss at Monmouth.

Fr. defender Patrick Calhoun, William Peace (2019 Ashley grad): Made his first career start and scooped up four ground balls while also causing a turnover in Saturday’s 20-8 defeat to Shenandoah.

Jr. midfielder Luke Frankeny, Mount St. Mary’s (2017 Hoggard grad): In Saturday’s season-opening 14-8 loss at Delaware, Frankeny scored a team-best five goals.

Soph. attack Brewer Warlick, William Peace (2018 Laney grad): Let the Pacers with four goals on eight shots in a 20-8 loss at Shenandoah on Saturday.


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

Jr. De’Shawn Ballard, Appalachian State (2017 Laney grad): Broke the school record in the 200-meter dash at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic over the weekend with a time of 21.18 seconds in a fifth-place finish. He was also 18th in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.93 seconds.

Laney graduate De’Shawn Ballard now runs track at Appalachian State. [Appalachian State Athletics]

Jr. Jathan DeBerry, UNC Pembroke (2017 North Brunswick grad): Had a pair of fifth-place finishes in the 60-meter hurdles (8.49) and high jump (6-2.75) at the Buccaneer Invitational at East Tennessee State.

R-Sr. Dandrell Utley, Charlotte (2015 New Hanover grad): Finished ninth out of 49 competitors in the long jump with a distance of 22-11.25 at the Carolina Challenge on Jan. 31.


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

Fr. pitcher Morgan Beeler, Lenoir-Rhyne (2019 West Brunswick grad): Picked up a pair of victories over Columbus State (11-2 on Feb. 1) and Erskine (9-3 on Feb. 3) by striking out 10 in 12 innings and allowing only five earned runs.

Sr. pitcher/infielder Preston Ellenberg, Catawba (2015 North Brunswick grad): Went 1-0 in the circle with an ERA of 1.56 and 10 strikeouts in nine innings in two starts to help the Indians open the season with four victories.

Sr. catcher Jordan Floyd, Wingate (2016 Ashley grad): Hit .300 (6-for-20) with five RBI in six games.

Ashley graduate Jordan Floyd now plays softball at Wingate. [Wingate Athletics]

Jr. outfielder Hayley Grizzle, Barton (2017 Topsail grad): Went 3-for-7 with a double, three runs, two RBI and a stolen base in four victories to open the year.

Soph. catcher/infielder Alleigh Himes, Winston-Salem State (2018 North Brunswick grad): Tied the game at 4-4 in the fifth inning with a 2-run homer in an 8-4 win over Alderson Broaddus on Saturday. 


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

R-Sr. G Jada Bacchus, Mount Olive (2015 Ashley grad): Averaged 13.3 points and 9 rebounds in four contests, including a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds in a 64-55 win over King on Saturday. 

Fr. G Blair Barefoot, Lenoir-Rhyne (2019 Hoggard grad): Played a season-high 26 minutes and finished with eight points and three assists to help the Bears rally for a 56-52 win over Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday.

R-Fr. G Jenson Edwards 2018, High Point (Laney grad): Was on the court for more than 30 minutes in all four games and finished with 20 points, 13 assists, 12 rebounds and four steals.

Soph. G Azariah Fields, Mount Olive (2018 New Hanover grad): Scored 11 points and dished out three assists in a dominant 86-56 victory over Converse on Jan. 28.

Fr. G Ratavia Merritt, Brunswick CC (2019 Pender grad): Reached double figures off the bench in games against Fayetteville Tech (86-25 win on Jan. 28), Caldwell Tech (81-61 loss on Feb. 2) and Louisburg (98-77 loss on Wednesday). In those contests, Merritt averaged 16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3 steals and 2.7 assists.

Soph. F Kapria Pressley, Brunswick CC (2014 New Hanover grad): Scored a game-high 34 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists and three steals in a loss to Louisburg on Wednesday. In three games, Pressley averaged 24.7 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 60 percent (33 of 55).


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

Soph. midfielder Alyssa Cooke, Presbyterian (2018 Hoggard grad): In a pair of contests, Cooke scored three goals and added an assist. She also scooped up two ground balls and had two caused turnovers.

Fr. midfielder Megan Trout, Gardner-Webb (2019 Ashley grad): Registered her first career goal in Friday’s 22-7 loss at Duke. Trout also found the back of the net and had three draw controls on Sunday in a dominant 19-3 victory over Howard. She has two goals on two shots on the season. 


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

Jr. Kara Ferner, Christopher Newport (2017 Hoggard grad): Picked up a pair of victories in a 6-3 loss against Washington & Lee on Sunday. Ferner rallied for an 0-6, 7-5, 10-8 win at No. 5 singles and teamed with Reagan Delp for an 8-2 victory at No. 3 doubles.

Hoggard graduate Kara Ferner now plays tennis at Christopher Newport. [Christopher Newport Athletics]


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

Sr. Desire Brown, UNC Asheville (2016 Trask grad): Was a member of the 4×300 relay that finished third at the Appalachian State Open on Friday with a time of 2:50.16. Brown also tied for fourth in the 300-meter dash with a time of 41.29.

Fr. Courtney Lines, UNCW (2019 North Brunswick grad): Had a distance of 17-9.75 to finish second in the long jump at the Roanoke College Invitational Challenge on Feb. 1.

Fr. Maddie Norr, UNCW (2019 Hoggard grad): Earned 2.5 points for the Seahawks with a sixth-place finish in the high jump (4-9) at the Roanoke College Invitational Challenge on Feb. 1. 

Soph. Jelonnie Smith, Appalachian State (2018 South Brunswick grad): Finished third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.54 at the Buccaneer Invitational on Feb. 1 and was on the third-place distance medley relay (12:05.60) at the South Carolina Invitational over the weekend.


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

Jr. Harrison Campbell, Duke (2017 West Brunswick grad): In Wednesday’s 20-19 loss against Gardner-Webb, Campbell earned a 14-7 major decision at 133 pounds.

Jr. Jonathan Miller, UNC Pembroke (2015 Laney grad): Helped the Braves win the Mountain East Conference Championship on Feb. 1 by finishing as the runner-up at 141 pounds. Miller also picked up an 8-3 decision in a 43-0 win over Lander on Wednesday.