Smith to Play in State Games, Evaul Named Coach of Year

Mary Chesnut Smith has been named as one of twelve 1A State Players of the Year for her efforts as a junior midfielder for the Lady Viking Soccer team.  Those same efforts also earned her a spot on the Western team that will compete in Charlotte this weekend in the State Games.

Smith earned All-Conference, Player of the Year honors in the Western Highlands Conference in women’s soccer, as well as earning the Female Athlete of the Year honor in the Western Highlands Conference.  She led the Lady Viking soccer team in goals and assists on their way to the State Title contest last week.

On Sunday, the accolades kept pouring in for the Avery Lady Vikings, with Head Coach Tom Evaul being named the NCHSAA 1A Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year.  Evaul led the Lady Vikings to their best record in school history, putting together a memorable season that will be discussed for years to come.

Evaul has always been a quiet, humble coach, who wants no attention placed on him; something that has contributed to the success of both the men’s and women’s teams at Avery High.  His faith, not only in his players, but God has contributed to many successes over the years, and has been seen throughout this storybook season.

“I wouldn’t have received anything this season had it not been for a total team effort by these 17 girls and the coaching staff,” exclaimed Evaul.  “They are the ones that made all this happen.  As I told them towards the end of the season, ‘…if you play the game, they will come, and they will acknowledge you and what you are capable of accomplishing.’  They just took off and did what they had to do to reach the level they reached.

“I am truly sorry we weren’t able to bring home the big one, but the night before the game as I was restlessly trying to get some sleep, I finally just prayed to God and said, ‘Your will be done.’  I soon fell asleep knowing that the next day would be in God’s hands, it just wasn’t our time yet, but it has been a great experience for all of us involved.”

Evaul’s humble remarks echoed through the Lady Viking soccer program this season.  The team remained focused through the season, not on earning victories, but on remaining true to their beliefs and focusing with Bible Studies during the year.  Elyse Perry and others headed up the effort, remaining focused on being examples on the field, and not on fighting for the win.

There were a number of contests this season where it was evident that other teams would do anything to win a game, including trying to injure players to take them out of the contest.  The focus of the Lady Vikes remained strong, however, as they battled through the adversities; with no better examples than the resiliency of the Avery players.  Smith had to overcome a number of injuries this season, many that were intentionally inflicted, and Hayden Blackburn played part of the first half and the entire second half in the State Title contest with a broken arm.

Congratulations to Smith, Evaul and again to all the Lady Vikings on a great 2010 season!

Avery Athletics Close Year with Athletic Awards

On Tuesday, June 1, the Viking Athletic Department honored their student athletes for their performances during the year.  A number of athletes were honored for their All-Conference Efforts, as well as many other awards being given during the evening which was capped with the Male and Female Athletes of the Year.

The evening opened with each sport handing out individual awards to players, naming coaches awards and presenting each athlete with plaques and certificates to commemorate their efforts.

Following the individual sport awards, the school then honored the All-Conference athletes, and named the NCHSAA Academic team members.  They then took the time to honor five athletes and coaches who were honored by the Western Highlands Conference as coach or player of the year.  Dustin Clarke was named player of the year in men’s basketball and Mary Chesnut Smith was named player of the year for Women’s soccer.  Morgan Bounds and Mercedes Bentley were each honored as Goalkeeper of the Year in the WHC for men’s and women’s soccer respectively, and Bo Manis was awarded the Coach of the Year award in Men’s Basketball.

Men’s and Women’s soccer coach Tom Evaul was named Avery High Head Coach of the Year, and Susan Hawkins was awarded the Assistant of the Year.

The final Conference award of the evening came next, when Mary Chesnut Smith was again honored, this time as the WHC Female Athlete of the Year.

Avery then honored Elyse Perry and Luke Pittman with the Sportsmanship of the Year award, recognizing them for their outstanding leadership both on and off the floor.  Kyle Griewisch and Caroline Crenshaw were then awarded the Edward Jones Scholar Athlete of the Year awards, holding the highest GPA among the senior athletes.

Griewisch and Lauren Avery were then honored as the Male and Female Athletes of the Year for their accomplishments during the 2009-10 seasons.  To earn Athlete of the Year, the student had to compete in two Varsity sports and contribute to their team’s successes on the field of play.  Griewisch played soccer and ran track for the Vikings, leading the men’s soccer team into the playoffs and helping to lead the Viking track team before injury kept him out of regional competition.  Avery earned All-Conference in Tennis and Basketball, helping to lead the Lady Vikings into the playoffs in both.

During the evening, the coaching staff and athletes presented a plaque to Athletic Director Matthew Bentley in commemoration of his efforts as the AD at Avery High, with a number of his former wrestlers on hand to help present the award.  The award was presented by Hank Hardin, who coached Bentley during his time as an Avery wrestler, and spoke of the passing of the torch from coach to athlete, that is continued through the later coaching of others.

The evening was touching, with several great athletes being honored.  Congratulations to each of the night’s honorees, and thanks for the wonderful memories of this past year in Avery High Athletics.

HCSA Announces 3 on 3 Soccer Tournament

High Country Soccer Association is pleased to announce that it will be hosting the 5th round of the North Carolina Champions Cup 3v3 Tournament series on July 17, 2010.  The Mountain Madness 3v3 Tournament is open to players age 6 through adult with the top 3 teams in each division earning points towards the North Carolina Champions Cup and qualifying for the 3v3 Finals in Myrtle Beach, SC in August.
3v3 soccer is a unique competitive format focusing on speed, footwork, and solid teamwork.  The small field lends itself to short, quick passing and a high speed format.  Teams consist of no more than 6 players with three on the field at a time.
Team registration and more information is available through the High Country Soccer Association website – www.hcavalanche.org.  Click on the Tournaments menu option.  The tournament is open to anyone wanting to participate – no special membership required.

Our Apologies! Blog now back up!

My sincerest apologies for the past week or so of nothing being posted.  Due to technical difficulties I have been unable to post on the blog, but hopefully those are now fixed and will be in the past.  Just wanted to let everyone know and hopefully we will be able to bring you the most up-to-date sports news around the county as the summer months approach.  Again, I apologize for the inconsistency and inconvenience.