Shining at the Next Level: November 18-24, 2019

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 each Monday.


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

Sr. QB Burke Estes, Randolph-Macon (2016 New Hanover grad): Led the Yellow Jackets to a 35-3 win over Apprentice in his final collegiate game by going 12 of 16 for 149 yards and a three touchdowns.

R-Sr. DE Alex Highsmith, Charlotte (2015 Ashley grad): Helped the 49ers become bowl eligible for the first time in program history by finishing with five tackles, including a sack, in Saturday’s 24-13 victory over Marshall on Senior Day. Highsmith now has 9.5 sacks on the season, which puts him in a tie for 14th in the nation.


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

Soph. G/F Josh Aldrich, USC Upstate (2018 New Hanover grad): Grabbed six rebounds to go along with five points in Wednesday’s 76-50 loss at Louisville.

Hoggard graduate AJ Frye now plays basketball at N.C. Wesleyan. [Photo courtesy of Rodney Williams]

Sr. C AJ Frye, N.C. Wesleyan (2016 Hoggard grad): Scored a team-high 18 points and added nine rebounds in his return to Wilmington on Tuesday as the Battling Bishops took on UNCW.

Fr. G Chance Poole, Johnston CC (2019 Pender grad): In Wednesday’s 79-74 win over Lenoir CC, Poole finished with six assists and five rebounds.

Soph. G Ramello Williams, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (2018 New Hanover grad): Finished with four points, six rebounds and five steals in a 121-67 victory over Southwest Christian JV on Tuesday.


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

Fr. S Julianna Askew, North Florida (2019 Ashley grad): Finished with 31 assists, 12 digs, five kills and two blocks in Thursday’s loss to Liberton in the ASUN tournament quarterfinals. Askew was named to the ASUN All-Freshman team on Wednesday. She is currently second in the country in assists. 

Sr. MB Madi Ford, Limestone (2016 Topsail grad): In Tuesday’s four-set victory over North Greenville, Ford had four kills and six blocks. 

R-Fr. S Samantha Luscher, Appalachian State (2018 Ashley grad): Dished out 19 assists and added three digs and one block in two sets against UT Arlington on Thursday.


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

R-Sr. G Jada Bacchus, Mount Olive (2015 Ashley grad): Scored 13 points to go along with nine rebounds, four assists and three steals in a lopsided victory over Southern Wesleyan on Saturday.

Fr. G Blair Barefoot, Lenoir-Rhyne (2019 Hoggard grad): Went 3 of 3 from the field and 5 of 6 from the free throw line en route to a career-high 12 points in Wednesday’s 75-54 home win over Lees-McRae.

Jr. G Ayonna Cotten, Mississippi Valley St. (2017 New Hanover grad): Poured in a game-high 24 points and added four assists in a 100-82 loss to Austin Peay on Monday. Cotten was 8 of 13 from the field, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range.

Soph. G Azariah Fields, Mount Olive (2018 New Hanover grad): Averaged 19.5 points and 3.5 assists in a pair of contests. Field scored 20 points and dished out seven assists in her return to Wilmington as the Trojans suffered a 75-67 loss to UNCW on Wednesday.

New Hanover graduate Azariah Fields now plays basketball at Mount Olive. [Photo courtesy of Rodney Williams]

Fr. C Jackalyn Ingram, Brunswick CC (2019 New Hanover grad): Scored four points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds in Wednesday’s 68-34 home win over Johnston CC.

Fr. G Ratavia Merritt, Brunswick CC (2019 Pender grad): In a pair of victories, Merritt averaged 13.5 points, 3.5 assists and 2 steals. She scored a game-high 17 points on 8 of 11 shooting against Johnston CC on Wednesday.

Soph. F Kapria Pressley, Brunswick CC (2014 New Hanover grad): Pressley averaged 13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in wins over Johnston CC on Guilford Tech.


Jr. Jonathan Miller, UNC Pembroke (2015 Laney grad): Earned a 19-5 tech fall victory at 141 pounds to help the Braves beat Mount Olive on Sunday.