CHARLOTTE – This spring was memorable for the Hickory Ridge baseball and girls soccer teams, with both making inspiring runs deep into the 4A state playoffs in just their second year at the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s highest classification.
Justifiably, the Ragin’ Bulls walked away with many of the Southwestern 4A conference’s top individual honors.
In girls soccer, Hickory Ridge standout Emma Wakeman was named the SW4A Keeper of the Year. In addition, the Bulls’ Carrie Maxwell was selected as the SW4A Coach of the Year.
Meanwhile, in baseball, Hickory Ridge senior Nolan DeVos was chosen as the SW4A Pitcher of the Year.
Wakeman was an ultra-reliable performer for the Bulls’ when she was in goal. In 20 games, she allowed just five goals while collecting 53 saves (an average of 2.7 saves per game). She also notched eight shutouts. Wakeman, a junior, additionally found time to score two goals for the Bulls.
Hickory Ridge (16-7-1 overall) was second in the SW4A standings after Myers Park. The Bulls made it to the second round of the state playoffs, eventually getting clipped by a strong Pinecrest team that has reached the 4A championship game.
Another Ragin’ Bull, Maddie Milliron, joined Wakeman on the All-SW4A first team. Hickory Ridge’s Sholeh Njafian, Anna Cornelius and Nia Gaither were second-team selections.
The Ragin’ Bulls baseball team finished with a 17-9 overall record and tied Porter Ridge for the second-best mark (10-4) in the SW4A behind champion Myers Park. Hickory Ridge went on to reach the third round of the playoffs, where they lost only to Mooresville, which is set to play for the state championship next week.
DeVos, who has signed with Davidson College, posted a 7-2 record on the mound with a 2.64 ERA and 112 strikeouts.
DeVos also was a great weapon for the Bulls at the plate, batting .344 with 13 RBIs and a team-leading three home runs.
DeVos was joined on the all-conference team by teammates Ick Cirino, Adam Wilkerson and Joey Tuders.
The rest of the All-SW4A baseball team included Myers Park’s Pat Alvarez, Preston Cavenaugh, Jack Shaw, Wilson Glasgow and Preston Hall; Porter Ridge’s Conner Smith, Blake Efird and Nick Wernli; Independence’s Jonathan Todaro, Noah Howie and Raja Milton; East Mecklenburg’s Trey Truitt and Sabian Jones; Butler’s Drew Roberts and Canon Pierce; Garinger’s Jamon Sanders; and Rocky River’s Korey Hailey.
Myers Park’s Alvarez is the player of the year, and Porter Ridge’s Daniel Cooke is the coach of the year.
The All-SW4A girls soccer first team also included Myers Park’s Megan Frost, Ariana Mabadi, Sallie Parkhurst and CeCe Cobb; Porter Ridge’s Nicole Christy and Ella Joaquin; and Independence’s Annaliese Shelley and Holly Hunter.
The other second-team members are Butler’s Megan Laventure, Paige Summerhill and Sofia Brotherton; Myers Park’s Morgan Smiley, Charlotte Butler and Amanda Stines; and Independence’s Hannah McClain.