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Vote for the Charlotte Observer high school athletes of the week (10.29.21)

·6 min read

Here are the nominees for the Charlotte Observer athletes of the week.

Readers can vote as often as they want until Friday, around noon, when the poll will close.

To vote more than once, please refresh the page.

Soccer/Field hockey

David Diaz, Northwest Cabarrus Soccer: The Trojans’ senior forward accounted for all five goals as Northwest Cabarrus beat Carson and West Rowan.

Diaz has two assists in a 2-0 win at West Rowan Oct. 19.

Two days later, he scored all three goals in a 3-1 victory over Carson.

Diaz has 11 goals and seven assists for a Northwest Cabarrus team (7-8-1) that has won four straight games through Sunday.

Josie Mae Gruendel, Covenant Day Field Hockey: The Lions’ junior had a hat trick to lead Covenant Day to a 4-1 win over Cary Academy in the NCISAA state quarterfinals Oct. 23.

Gruendel’s efforts helped the Covenant Day girls’ field hockey team (6-6-2) to their first appearance in the state semifinals in school history, where they will play at Charlotte Country Day Oct. 26.

Valentino Lira, Concord Academy Soccer: The Eagles’ junior took over the game with five goals and two assists in the second half to lead Concord Academy to a 10-2 win over High Point Christian in the second round of the NCISAA 3A state playoffs Oct. 21.

Lira also had the game-winning goal in 1-0 win at Calvary Day School in the NCISAA 3A state quarterfinals Oct. 23.

Lira has 28 goals and 18 assists for Concord Academy (16-6) through Sunday.

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Drew Brown, Gaston Day Volleyball: The Spartans’ senior had 55 kills and 24 digs in three playoffs wins.

Brown had 18 kills, three digs and four aces in a 3-0 win over Salem Baptist in the first round of the NCISAA 2A state playoffs Oct. 19.

Two days later, Brown had 15 kills, 10 digs and three assists in 3-0, second round victory over Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill.

Brown finished off her week with 22 kills and 11 digs in a 3-0 win over Freedom Christian Oct. 23.

Brown has 553 kills and 305 digs for a Gaston Day team (28-9) that has won 11 straight games through Sunday.

Caroline Farthing, Watauga Volleyball: The Pioneers’ junior outside hitter had 11 kills, 10 digs and two aces in a 3-0 win at Ashe County Oct. 18.

She also had 22 kills, 26 digs and four aces in a 3-2 victory at T.C. Roberson Oct. 20.

Farthing had 19 kills, 10 digs and two aces in a 3-0 first-round playoff win over Porter Ridge.

Farthing, an Appalachian State commit, has 318 kills, 213 digs and 44 blocks for Watauga (19-4, through Sunday).

Emma Norris, North Iredell Volleyball: The Raiders’ junior outside hitter had 26 kills to lead to North Iredell to a 3-2 victory at Fred T. Foard to win the Western Foothills’ Athletic conference title Oct. 20.

Norris also helped North Iredell to conference tournament wins over East Lincoln (3-0, Oct. 19) and St. Stephens (3-0, Oct. 18).

North Iredell (22-1) also beat West Charlotte in the first round of the 3A state playoffs Oct. 23.

Sydney Schulze, Charlotte Country Day Volleyball: The Buccaneers’ senior outside hitter had 11 kills, 19 digs and one ace in a 3-0 first round NCISAA 4A playoff win over Rabun Gap Nacoochee Oct. 19.

She also had 22 kills, 16 digs and two aces in a 3-1 second round win over Providence Day Oct. 21.

Charlotte Country Day’s (12-14) season ended in a 3-0 loss at Cannon School in the NCISAA 4A state quarterfinals Oct. 23.

Sydney Tate, Davidson Day Volleyball: The Patriots’ sophomore setter had 98 assists and 22 digs in three playoff wins.

Tate had 14 assists and two digs in a 3-0, first round NCISAA 2A state playoff win over Westminster Catawba Oct. 19.

Two days later, she had 31 assists and four digs in a 3-0 second round playoff victory over Statesville Christian.

Tate finished off the week with 53 assists and 16 digs in a 3-1, NCISAA 2A state quarterfinal win at Rocky Mount Academy Oct. 23.

Tate has 340 assists and 65 digs for Davidson Day (19-4) this season.

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Cross Country

Kasey Cone, Charlotte Country Day Cross Country: The Buccaneers’ sophomore ran a personal and school record 18:15.10 to win the CISAA Conference individual title by 36 seconds at McAlpine Creek Park Oct. 19.

Cone’s efforts also helped the Charlotte Country Day girls’ cross country team to their first CISAA title in 30 years.

Annie Miller, Metrolina Christian Cross Country: The Warriors’ freshman shattered (by 32 seconds) the Metrolina Athletic Conference girls’ cross country record time, running a personal-best 18:50.60 to win the league title at McAlpine Creek Park, Oct. 21.

Miller’s record-breaking run also helped the Metrolina Christian girls’ cross country team to their seventh straight MAC title.

Caiden Seufert, Covenant Day Day Cross Country: The Lions’ junior ran a personal-best 17:22.50 to finish eighth individually while helping the Covenant Day boys’ cross country team to a CISAA Conference title at McAlpine Creek Park Oct. 19.

Seufert’s run, which was 18 seconds faster than his previous best, helped Covenant Day stop Providence Day’s 21-year streak of conference titles.

Gavin Sweeney, Lake Norman Cross Country: The Wildcats’ senior ran a 16:15.86 to win the Greater Metro 4A conference title at Frank Liske Park in Concord Oct. 20.

Sweeney, a Liberty University commit, also led the Lake Norman boys’ cross country team to a conference title, winning the league title by nearly 24 seconds.

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Girls’ Golf

Caroline Johnson, Pine Lake Prep Golf: The Pride junior shot a 2-over-par 73 to tie for first-place individually at the 1A/2A West Regional Golf Tournament at the Country Club of Salisbury Oct. 18.

Johnson’s efforts also helped the Pine Lake Prep girls’ golf team to a 1A/2A West Regional title by one shot over Newton Conover.

Sophie Lature, Cox Mill Golf: The Chargers’ sophomore shot a 7-under-par 65 to win the 4A West Regional title at Stonebridge Golf Club Oct. 19.

Lature had eight birdies and nine pars in her round to win the regional title by six shots.

Lature led the Cox Mill girls’ golf team to a third-place finish.

Nicole Nash, Ardrey Kell Golf: The Knights’ junior shot an even-par 72, to finish in third-place individually while leading the Ardrey Kell girls’ golf team to victory at the 4A West Regional golf tournament at Stonebridge Golf Club Oct. 19.

Nash had three birdies and 13 pars in her round at regionals.

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** Information published today includes statistics through Oct. 23.

Want to nominate an athlete?: Athletes of the week highlights high school players with outstanding performances. The goal is to recognize all athletes in all sports, both the most accomplished and the underrated or underappreciated players. If you want to suggest someone to be included in the Athletes of the week column, send email to Jay Edwards at Please include the athletes’ name, school, class and applicable game performance statistics. Coaches must be willing to verify information.

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