The Pitt County Post unveiled its first all-county teams on Wednesday night in a live podcast, honoring athletes excelling in football, cross country, soccer, tennis and volleyball.
Following are the selections, including the players of the year and coaches of the year for the five fall sports. A link to the podcast is at the end of the story
D.H. Conley and South Central each put together remarkable seasons, ringing up staggering offensive numbers and overwhelming opponents until running into stern challenges in the playoffs.
Quarterback Holton Ahlers, preparing for the Shrine Bowl this week and set to enroll for the spring semester at East Carolina University, directed the high-powered Conley offense and is the Post’s Offensive player of the year. Senior linebacker Alex Nease anchor a much-improved and physical Vikings’ defense and is the Post’s defensive player of the year.
Andy Tew is the coach of the year after leading South Central to its first-ever 10-win season and a spot in the third round of the playoffs. The Falcons’ best season in school history also included a first-ever win over J.H. Rose.
Ahlers capped his remarkable four-year career by completing 223 of 358 passes (62.3 percent) for 3,763 yards and 61 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He also led the Vikings in rushing with 933 yards on 109 carries, scoring 14 more touchdowns.
In his four years at Conley, Ahlers threw for 11,198 yards with 145 touchdowns and 28 interceptions.
Nease spearheaded the Conley defense, recording 141 tackles, inluding 15 for loss and eight sacks. He also had 13 quarterback hurries.
Nease came up with two interceptions, recovered two fumbles and forced one. He scored on an interception return and a fumble return.
Ahlers is joined on the first-team offense by South Central junior running back Nazir Monroe-Smith and North Pitt junior running back Tyren Jenkins; wide receivers Chris Johnson and Matthew Rostar of Conley, Ben Harris of J.H. Rose and Emannuel Lewis of South Central; and offensive linemen Caleb Brame and Panda Askew of Conley; Harrison Paramore of Ayden-Grifton; David Sawyer of Rose; 6-9, 335-pound Alvin Grizzard of Farmville Central; and Brandon Hardy of Farmville Central.
Nease is joined on the first-team defense by linebacker mate Ryder Bennett and teammates Tyquan Satterthwaite and Blake Mizzelle; highly recruited 6-2, 329-pound junior Keziah Everette of Farmville Central; Ayden-Grifton senior Jordan Lang; Terence Streeter and William Webster from Rose; Tylando Pinckney and Jerell Belcher from South Central; and big-play sophomore defensive back Michael Webb from Ayden-Grifton.
Talented Conley senior kicker Will Whitehurst and Ayden-Grifton’s Rashadeen Byrd, who had four kickoff returns for touchdowns, earned first-team special teams honors.
South Central senior quarterback Dexter McDuffie, who put up numbers worthy of first-team recognition but was edged out by Ahlers, leads the second-team offense. Joining him are teammates and offensive linemen Jake Uhle and Neal Lommatzsch; Conley running back Isaiah Gamble, wide receiver Jaquavion Bridges, and linemen Jackson Allsbrook and Kennedy Sparks; Farmville Central running back Jeremiah Sutton and wide receiver Kam McNeil; Rose junior wide receiver Grant Humphreys and linemen Storm james and Laquan Jones; and Ayden-Grifton lineman Devon Daggs.
Conley dominates the second-team defense with the selections of junior Reed Chandler, senior Josh Dees, junior Jalin Wright, and Jazion Daniels. Joining them are South Central’s Jeremy Lewis, Phillip Chen and Cole Burgess; Ayden-Grifton’s Jeremiah Alston; Rose;s Silas James and Wesley Shade; and North Pitt’s Will Green and Antonio Dixon.
South Central kicker Matthew Tawney and Rose return specialist Phifer Ozimek received second-team special teams hoinors.
Receiving honorable mention are Rose quarterback Grant Charles Jarman and teammates Jalen Walston, Zane Noles, Jake Henry Rogers, Tyrone King and Nate Peele; Conley’s Kyle Crosby, Charlie Dees, Dylan Pippen and Kam Weaver; Ayden-Grifton running back Ray Darden, Farmville Central’s Jayden Johnson and Quintaye Reid, South Central’s Khamaz Waller and Kendrick Britton, and North Pitt’s Keith Andrews, Dayquan Wood and Tayquon Ward.
The future is bright for cross country in Pitt County with just two of the top 20 boys’ times and five of the top 20 girls’ times turned in this year by seniors.
Conley junior A.J. Miller earned the distinction of Pitt County Post boys’ runner of the year with a time of 16:42.0. He led the Vikings to a fourth-place finish in the Class 3-A Eastern Regionals and finished 58th overall in the state meet.
Charlie “Choo” Justice, who coaches Conley’s boys and girls, was named the Post’s coach of the year.
Joining Miller on the Post’s first team are Conley sophomore Peyton Walters (16:50.05), South Central junior Fletcher Bost (16:54.5), Conley sophomore Aaron Kinlaw (17:16.0), North Pitt junior Trevon Hardee (17:51.0), Conley junior John Anderson (17:52.1), Ayden-Grifton sophomore Elijah Dawson (18:00.0), Conley junior Eli Orians (18:01.8), Conley senior Josh Laney (18:01.8) and Farmville Central junior Bobby Mills (18:04.0).
Comprising the second team are Conley sophomore Jalen Wilson (18:04.7), Conley sophomore Toby Bryson (18:33.0), Conley sophomore Jack Carlyle (18:35.2), Farmville Central Brennan Hartman (18:38.0), Conley freshman Seth McKinney (18:39.0), North Pitt junior Eric Rincon (18:59.0), South Central senior Nick Grizzard (18:59.1), Farmville Central freshman Josh Ray (19:03.0), South Central junior Cole Puckett (19:06.7) and North Pitt junior Lucas Tripp (19:08.0).
Ayden-Grifton senior Halei Ward earned Pitt County Post girls’ runner of the year after placing 24th in the Class 2-A state championship in Kernersville with a season-best time of 20:27.20.
Joining Ward on the first team are Conley senior and state qualifier Alysa McLaughlin (20:48.4), Conley junior Emma Cole (21:06.8), Conley freshman Jennifer Islas-Perez (21:15.4), Farmville Central junior Brooke Schwieterman (21:27.1), Conley senior Kenzie Gill (21:30.)), Conley senior Camryn Maloney (21:23.6), J.H. Rose junior Corry Eason (21:34.0) and Rose senior Ammahtullah Abdul-Rahman (21:40.0).
Conley and South Central dominate the second team, which is comprised by Conley freshman Olivia Chiancone (22:09.0), South Central sophomore Paige Witteborg (22:10.8), South Central junior Sarah Joyner (22:13.9), Conley freshman Annika Stoakes (22:24.1), Conley freshman Hannah Higgins (22:27.6), The Oakwood School’s seventh-grader Caroline Conlin (22:30.9), South Central freshman Corinne Cox (22:35.5), Conley junior Lilian Manning (22:51.4), South Central junior Emma Frinsko (22:57.0), Conley freshman Alice Guth (23:04.2) and Rose freshman Murphy Fisher (23:10.9).
J.H. Rose senior Frances Reed caps off a stellar four-year career by being named the Pitt County Post player of the year.
Reed earned all-conference honors four times and was a four-time conference tournament winner and four-time state tournament qualifier. She also was a three-time team MVP and three-time regional winner.
Joining Reed on the first team are teammates Ginger Evans and Maryah Stokes; Conley’s Madison Cullipher, Shelby Hickey and Brooke Sullivan; and South Central’s Samantha Egerton and Jayla Wooten.
Comprising the second team are Conley’s Mary Beth Cole and Carey Woodward; North Pitt’s Abigayle Culler; Rose’s Jayme Goldman, Ella Jones and Mary Grace Smith.
J.H. Rose welcomed back talented junior Jonathan Daniel for his junior year, and he turned in a season worthy of Pitt County Post player-of-the-year honors.
Daniel earned all-conference and all-region recognition as a freshman, then played in the NCFC Railhawks Academy during his sophomore year. He returned to Rose this year and was named the Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference player of the year, as well as being named all-region and all-state.
South Central’s Crystal Molina was named the Post’s coach of the year after her young Falcons, who had just two seniors, recorded wins over Rose and Charles B. Aycock, battled Conley to a 2-2 tie and came within a couple of minutes from knocking off league-leading New Bern.
Joining Daniel on the first team were senior teammate, captain and goalie Andy Billings and Rose’s Daniel Oliver Perez; D.H. Conley’s Coleman Ferrell, Zane Jernigan, Gabriel Ochoa and Ediel Lopez; South Central junior goalie Ethan Cook and teammates Jeremiah Miller, Camden Turner and Riley Morse; Farmville Central’s Julian Pena and Christian Sanchez, sophomore, Farmville Central; and North Pitt senior Diego Espino.
The boys’ soccer all-county second team lists Homero Alanzo and Ernesto Rodriguez of North Pitt; Farmville Central’s Franciso Borjas, Gustavo Cardona and Dan Lauderdale; Conley’s Liam Collier, Jorge Lopez and Zach Tucker; South Central’s Jamie Crass, Kyle White and Hunter Dail; Rose’s Quinn Siegel, Michael Valverde, and Elliott Voos; and Ayden-Grifton senior goalie Marissah Waggoner.
Senior outside hitter Alannah Thomas served not only as a dominant force at the net but also the inspirational leader for D.H. Conley and receive the Pitt County Post player=of-the-year honor in volleyball.
Conley head coach Jennifer Gillikin was named coach of the year after leading the Vikings to Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference regular-season and tournament titles.
Joining Thomas on an underclassmen-dominated first team are junior teammates Mary Horton and Macy Smith; J.H. Rose juniors Abby Wordsworth and Holly Gibson and sophomore CeCe Wilkerson; Ayden-Grifton sophomore Lexi Bryant; South Central freshman Ali Ruffin; and North Pitt junior Casandra Watson.
The second team lists Ayden-Grifton sophomore Emily Dykes and junior Zion Hardy; Rose senior Lily Eveleth and sophomore Mary Hannah Sawyer; North Pitt senior Alyssa Kerns; SOuth Central freshman Brylee Phillips and junior Courtney Powers; and Conley senior Claire Scemama.
Comprising the third team are Rose sophomore Katie Bray Carlson; Ayden-Grifton senior Haley Davis; Conley junior Elana Fuller and sophomore Olivia Hunt; North Pitt senior Cassidy Green; South Central freshman Paris Joyner and sophomore Grace Sweers; and Farmville Central freshman Lauryn Pitt.
Receiving honorable mention: Alexis Desoto and Madison Rupp of Conley; Chloe Manning-Moore, Lizzie Arrowwood and Ava Palmer of Rose; Kayla McDuffie and Amya Evans of South Central; Aaleyah Garris, Jordan Cannon, Lily Johnson and Deondra Cherry of Ayden-Grifton; Greyson Fields of Farmville Central; and Cassidy Avery and Mackenzie Staton of North Pitt.