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Beyond the Scoreboard: 57th WNC Sports Awards Banquet set for Sunday

Hendersonville High soccer standout Eden Hawkins is a finalist for Female Athlete of the Year. (Photo credit: Eden Hawkins)

The 57th WNC Sports Awards Banquet presented by Ingles will be held Sunday, honoring 124 of WNC’s top high school athletes and teams.

The Mountain Amateur Athletic Club conducts the event, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at Omni Grove Park Inn.

The banquet will recognize the 124 finalists for 22 individual and team awards. The John & Darlene McNabb Charitable Foundation will sponsor the presentation of 16 scholarships of $1,500 each.

A record crowd of 900 is expected for the banquet, which also serves as the induction ceremony for the WNC Sports Hall of Fame, presented by Dixon Hughes Goodman.

The Class of 2018 includes three retired legendary high school coaches – Reynolds High football coach Bobby Poss, Smoky Mountain High basketball and volleyball coach Cindi Simmons and West Henderson High basketball and volleyball coach Jan Stanley.

Poss won five state 4-A championships in a 28-year career at five schools. He is the only coach in North Carolina history to win state titles at three schools.

His career mark is 241-89-1 (.730). He won two state championships at Reynolds High (1999 and 2002), two at Fayetteville 71st (1984, 1986) and one at South View (1991).

The captain of his 1972 Indiana State football team, Poss was a second-team All-American in 1972 and honorable mention All-American in 1971. He was inducted into the Indiana State Hall of Fame in 2006.

Simmons coached at Sylva-Webster High and Smoky Mountain High from 1983-2013.

She won three state straight titles in volleyball (1991-93) and posted a career mark of 383-203. She won the 2007 state title in basketball and had a career record of 514-280. Simmons won nine conference titles in volleyball and eight in in basketball.

Simmons was an outstanding high school and college basketball player at Hayesville High and Western Carolina. She is a member of halls of fame for WCU, NCHSAA and Jackson County.

In a 35-year career as volleyball coach at West Henderson High, Stanley posted a record of 699-115 (.858). Her teams reached the state championship series nine times and won five state titles in three decades (1989, 1990, 2003, 2004 and 2008) while winning 30 conference crowns.

As a basketball coach with the Falcons for 18 years, she finished with a 281-161 record (.639). She won the state championship in 1990-91 and claimed nine conference titles.

She played basketball at Hendersonville High and basketball and tennis at Baptist College of Charleston. Stanley is on the Wall of Fame at West Henderson High and is a hall of fame member of the NCHSAA and Hendersonville High.

The MOOG/Gene Ochsenreiter Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to long-time Erwin High statistician Gene McClure.

For 51 years, McClure’s knack for numbers served the Warriors’ needs for the boys and girls teams, along with long stints doing similar duties for the football, baseball and softball teams.

A retired math teacher, McClure, 85, began his career at Erwin in 1958, teaching business and math, and he retired in 1987 but has continued to serve as the school’s scorekeeper and statistician for 30-plus years after retirement.

The Pamfilis/Roden Special Olympics Award will be presented to Sarah Male, of Mars Hill.

Male, 39, has participated in Special Olympics competition for 16 years.

She has competed in track and field, basketball, bocce, bowling, swimming, horseback riding and golf.

With creative, adaptive ideas on how to participate, Male hasn’t let visual impairment hamper her ability to compete.

Male has had great success, winning gold, silver and bronze medals. In 2014, she was among 48 athletes representing Team North Carolina in the Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey.

The banquet, first held in 1959, has honored more 4,000 local athletes and teams over 57 years.

The WNC Sports Hall of Fame, founded in 1978, has 86 members.

Finalists for the 57th WNC Sports Awards Banquet include:

Wells Fargo Division II Female Athlete – Major Sport: Jessica Beckner, Murphy basketball and volleyball; Cierra Chandler, Mountain Heritage basketball; Kate Condra, Asheville Christian volleyball; Hannah Jennings, Madison softball; Abigail Knight, Robbinsville softball.

Carole Martin/Northwestern Mutual Division II Female Athlete – Olympic Sport: Erin Butler, Asheville Christian swimming; Abigail Kriegler, Asheville School swimming; Rachel Kuehn, Asheville School golf and tennis; Emma Pindur, Swain County track & field.

Homewood Suites Division II Female Team – Major Sport: Asheville Christian volleyball; Carolina Day basketball; Madison softball; Mountain Heritage basketball; Murphy basketball.

Mills Manufacturing Division II Female Team – Olympic Sport: Asheville School tennis; Carolina Day cross country; Carolina Day track and field.

Merrill Lynch/Keller Ferrell Division II Male Athlete – Major Sport: Josh Cottrell, Hayesville basketball; Joey Curry, Murphy baseball and football; Jalen Lecque, Christ School basketball; Tye Mintz, Cherokee basketball and football; Trey Robinson, Mountain Heritage football; Ben Young, Mitchell football.

White & Williams Division II Male Athlete – Olympic Sport: Payne Anderson, Robbinsville wrestling; River Griffith, Avery County wrestling; Kade Millsaps, Robbinsville wrestling; Will Paul, Swain County wrestling; Kevin Snyder, Christ School track and field.

Skyland Automotive Group Division II Male Team – Major Sport: Cherokee football; Christ School football; Mountain Heritage basketball; Mountain Heritage football; Murphy baseball; Murphy football.

EmergeOrtho Blue Ridge Division/ Division II Male Team – Olympic Sport: Asheville School swimming; Christ School lacrosse; Robbinsville wrestling.

Jan & Lary Schulhof Division I Female Athlete – Major Sport: Kloyee Anderson, Enka softball and volleyball; Eden Hawkins, Hendersonville soccer; Abby Krueger, Roberson volleyball; Anna Morgan, Smoky Mountain soccer; Pali Smith, Reynolds soccer; Shay Tisho, Smoky Mountain basketball.

First Citizens Bank Division I Female Athlete – Olympic Sport: Veronica Judson, Smoky Mountain tennis; Madison Polyasko, Smoky Mountain tennis; Grace Reeder, Roberson swimming; Elise Wright, Roberson cross country and track; Jaiden Tweed, Owen softball; Ana Tsiros, Asheville golf.

HomeTrust Bank Division I Female Team - Major Sport: Hendersonville soccer; Reynolds soccer; Roberson volleyball; Smoky Mountain basketball; Tuscola basketball.

Carolyn & Nat Arthur Division I Female Team – Olympic Sport: Brevard cross country; Owen cross country; Roberson swimming and diving.

Goforth Builders Inc. Division I Male Athlete – Major Sport: Garrett Blaylock, Roberson baseball; Ren Dyer, North Buncombe basketball; Alex Flinn, Reynolds football; Tykel Landrum, Hendersonville football; Nathan St. Onge, Reynolds football; Izzy Garcia-Perez, Asheville High soccer; Izaiah Vignali, Reynolds soccer.

Massasoit of North Carolina, Inc. Division I Male Athlete – Olympic Sport: Josh Blatt, North Henderson wrestling; Terran Brown, Pisgah wrestling; Johnny Darguzas, Tuscola swimming; Phil Daub, Enka wrestling; James Mason MacDonald, Tuscola swimming; Toney McGee, McDowell wrestling; Nathan Richards, Franklin cross country and track; Paul Searcy, North Henderson wrestling.

McKinney/Nationwide Insurance Division I Male Team - Major Sport: Reynolds football; Reynolds soccer; Roberson baseball.

Rodeway Inn and Suites Division I Male Team – Olympic Sport: Brevard tennis; North Henderson wrestling; Reynolds cross country; Smoky Mountain cross country; Tuscola golf; Tuscola swimming.

Blue Ridge X-Ray Female Student Athlete Academic Award: Emma Binns, Roberson volleyball; Anna Newnam, Roberson swimming and diving; Shelby Wolfe, Cherokee basketball; Katelyn Jones, Murphy football and soccer.

Beverly-Hanks Realty Male Student Athlete Academic Award: Reid Arwood, Roberson swimming and diving; Branson Smith, West Henderson tennis; Ty Snelson, Madison football; Zachary Theodossiou, Asheville High tennis.

Apollo Flame Division II Female Athlete of the Year: Jessica Beckner, Murphy basketball and volleyball; Kate Condra, Asheville Christian Academy volleyball; Rachel Kuehn, Asheville School golf and tennis; Emma Pindur, Swain County track and field.

Young Transportation Division II Male Athlete of the Year: Joey Curry, Murphy baseball and football; Jalen Lecque, Christ School; Tye Mintz, Cherokee football; Trey Robinson, Mountain Heritage football; Ben Young, Mitchell football.

Asheville Citizen-Times Division I Female Athlete of the Year: Kloyee Anderson, Enka softball; Eden Hawkins, Hendersonville soccer; Abby Krueger, Roberson volleyball; Elise Wright, Roberson cross country and track.

Darlene & John McNabb Division I Male Athlete of the Year: Phil Daub, Enka wrestling; Alex Flinn, Reynolds football; Garrett Blaylock, Roberson baseball; Tykel Landrum, Hendersonville basketball and football; Nathan St. Onge, Reynolds football; Izaiah Vignali, Reynolds soccer.

Scholarship Finalists: Jessica Beckner, Murphy; Izzy Garcia-Perez, Asheville High; Micaiah Darity, Hendersonville; Tanner Gilliam, Hendersonville; Zaria Joyner, Carolina Day; Tykel Landrum, Hendersonville; Elizabeth Liner, Pisgah; Coltin Marlowe, Mitchell; Corey McVay, Reynolds; Tye Mintz, Cherokee; Jessie Pitman, Mitchell; Chloe Profitt, Reynolds; Nathan Richards, Franklin; Brody Smith, Mitchell; Jaden Woods, Madison; Kaleb Woods, Owen.

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