With the year coming to a close, it’s time to look back at some of the top sports stories of the year to see what local teams and athletes have accomplished.
West Stokes basketball team excels
The Wildcats varsity boys basketball team finished an impressive season last winter, when the team made it all the way to the regional semi-final of the state playoffs. Defeat finally came at the hands of Cuthbertson, who handed West Stokes a 74-60 loss to end their season. The Wildcats ended with a record of 24-6 — a record that coach Dan Spainhour said was only possible with the leadership of Austin Fleming, DeMarion Jones, Josh Spainhour and the contributions of many others.
West Stokes wrestler seizes third at state
In February, West Stokes senior Jacob Tilley grabbed a bronze medal in the 160-pound weight class during the state 2A wrestling championships. Tilley won four straight matches in the consolation bracket to secure his place as a bronze medalist in his weight division. To win bronze, Tilley had to avenge an earlier defeat by Eastern Randolph’s Cole Muehlbach. Tilley narrowly won by 6-5 by decision with a takedown in the final six seconds of the match. Tilley ended his season not only with a bronze medal, but also a scholarship to wrestle for Jamestown College in North Dakota.
South Stokes baseball team advances
Last spring, the South Stokes varsity baseball team advanced to the second round of the state playoffs. The Sauras traveled to Millers Creek to face off against West Wilkes in the second round but fell 5-2. Sauras Coach Mitch Adams said that while losing in the second round was a tough loss, overall, the 2012 baseball season was a huge success for the team.
The West Stokes Wildcats also had a stellar season, finishing with a 22-4 record overall. The Wildcats lost in the first round of the state playoffs to the Bandys.
North, West softball teams get big wins
The Lady Vikings made school history earlier this year when the softball team knocked off six-time state 1A champion East Surry for the first time and grabbed the team’s first regular-season conference title. The team fell in the third round of state playoffs to West Wilkes, which brought an end to the team’s impressive 2012 campaign with a record of 21-4.
The Lady Wildcats won the district championship and advanced to the 2A sectional round of the state softball playoffs, eventually falling to West Stanley with a 12-2 loss. Coach Rick McHone said that the team had a “good run” this year.
West girls soccer squad rolls through playoffs
In May, the Lady Wildcats varsity girls soccer team rolled through the first rounds of state playoffs. The team shut out Piedmont High School 3-0 in the third round of the state 2A soccer playoffs on May 16. In beating Piedmont, the Lady Wildcats secured their third consecutive district championship and entered into the fourth round of playoffs. The team was ousted in the fourth round with a 1-0 loss. West Stokes finished the season with an overall record of 20-3-2.
Stokes track and field stars excel at state
Athletes from the area competed in the 2012 state track and field championships and took home several medals. North Stokes’ Tess Rogers won her second straight gold medal in the pole vault and the team placed third overall. Viking Hannah McBride won a silver medal in the 1,600-meter run. South Stokes’ Aaron Pentasuglia grabbed silver in the discus throw with a hurl of 141 feet, 4 inches. Saura Tylesha Goolsby earned a silver medal in the discus, as well, with her throw of 115 feet, 11 inches. The West Stokes relay team of DeMarion Jones, Brock Reynolds, Zane McGhee and Larry Severt won a bronze medal.
Football teams compete in playoffs
Stokes County teams had impressive football seasons this year, making it to the state playoffs in November. The Sauras even got a win against their heritage rival, the Wildcats, a feat that had not been accomplished in almost a decade. South Stokes had a close game against East Surry in the first round of state playoffs but ended up narrowly losing 24-22. The Sauras ended their season with a record of 8-3.
Following a state championship season the previous year, the Wildcats made it to the second round of state playoffs, where they faced the Andrews Red Raiders. Despite giving it their all, the Wildcats fell in a 31-0 shutout, ending their season with a record of 7-4. North Stokes fell in the opening game of the state playoffs in a 52-6 loss to East Columbus.
West boys soccer team makes run for state
The Wildcat varsity boys soccer team had a good run this season and made it to the third round of the state playoffs. The team took a few lumps early in the season, but once the team entered conference play, it remained undefeated for the better part of the season. In the third round of state playoffs in November, the team faced Cuthbertson. The Wildcats tied it up 1-1 with the Cavaliers and sent the game into overtime. In the first period of overtime, the Cavaliers grabbed a goal and inched by for a 2-1 win, bringing an end to the Wildcats’ season.
Big year for Sauras golf
The Lady Sauras clenched the Northwest Conference title this year at Pilot Knob Park. The team also had a fifth place finish at the regional golf tournament, with the top three Saura players qualifying for the state tournament at Pinehurst. Brooke Martin, Brooke Kiger and Nicole Rogers headed to Pinehurst and grabbed a sixth place overall finish in the state tournament with a total score of 565 over two days.
Saura Keenan Denny headed to the state 1A boys golf championships at Keith Hills Country Club in Buies Creek last May and finished with a five-way tie for eighth place. At the end of Day 1, Denny was within striking distance of grabbing gold.
North volleyball team makes it to playoffs
The Vikings volleyball team beat out Gray Stone Day 3-2 in the first round of state playoffs in November to advance. But, the defending state 1A champions ended up falling in the second round to Lake Norman Charter 3-1. The Vikings ended their season with a record of 11-13.
Cross country teams fare well at state
The men’s cross country teams at West Stokes and North Stokes both had strong showings at the State Cross Country Championships at Beeson Park in Kernersville in November. The Wildcats finished just outside of the top 10 in 11th place in the 2A race with a total time of one hour and 30 minutes and scored 273 points. The Vikings finished in eighth place in the 1A race with a total time of one hour and 30 minutes and scored 211 points.
Top individual honors went to North Stokes’ Sean Condon and West Stokes’ Jason Barber. Viking Sean Condon finished in seventh place in the 1A race with a time of 16:47. Condon was the first Viking runner to break the 17-minute barrier in several years. Wildcat Jason Barber finished in 11th place in the 2A race with a time of 16:41.