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Vote for the News & Observer high school athlete of the week

·6 min read

Here are this week’s candidates for the News & Observer high school athlete of the week.

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

Maria Atwood, Holly Springs Golf: The Golden Hawks’ senior shot a two-under-par 34 to earn medalist honors while leading the Holly Springs’ girls’ golf team to victory in a South Wake Athletic 4A Conference match at Raleigh Golf Association Sept. 13.

Atwood also shot a 37 to earn medalist honors, while leading the Holly Springs’ golf team to a runner-up finish at another conference match at The Preserve at Jordan Lake Sept. 15.

Atwood is James Madison University commit.

Elijah Ayankoya, Chapel Hill Football: The 6-foot, 200-pound senior running back had 221 yards rushing and three touchdowns on just 10 carries to lead Chapel Hill to a 35-21 win over Person Sept. 17.

Chapel Hill is a perfect 4-0 through Sunday.

Seelybanks Brock, Trinity Academy Tennis: The Tigers’ junior setter had 46 assists, 18 digs, 13 kills and 11 aces as Trinity Academy beat Carolina Friends, Friendship Christian and Thales Academy Apex.

Brock has 170 assists, 48 kills, 46 aces and 45 digs for a Trinity Academy team (9-3) has seven straight wins through Sunday.

Sophie Carlson, Green Hope Volleyball: The Falcons’ junior outside hitter had 11 kills, four digs and two blocks in a 3-1 win at Brougton, Sept. 13.

The next day, Carlson had 15 kills and two digs in a 3-0 victory over Cary.

Carlson finished off her week with 24 kills, 10 aces, five digs and two blocks in 3-2 win at Holly Springs, Sept. 16.

Green Hope is still undefeated at 11-0 through Sunday.

Gabriella Cicuto, Cary Academy Field Hockey: The Chargers’ senior accounted for all three goals with the game-winning score in overtime as Cary Academy won 3-2 at Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 13.

Cicuto also had two assists in the same game.

Cicuto, an Indiana University commit, has three goals and three assists for Cary Academy (3-4, through Sunday).

Mason Fortune, Millbrook Football: The 6-foot-1, 180-pound sophomore quarterback went 17-of-22 passing for 280 yards and four touchdowns to lead Millbrook to a 42-9 win over Sanderson, Sept. 17.

Fortune is 71 of 96 for 1,383 yards passing and 18 touchdowns for a Millbrook team that is a perfect 5-0 this season.

Rebecca Goswick, Falls Lake Academy Volleyball: The Firebirds’ senior defensive specialist had 35 digs this week to lead her team to wins over Franklin Academy, Granville Central, and Raleigh Charter.

Goswick had 15 digs in a 3-0 win at Raleigh Charter Sept. 16.

She had 14 digs in a 3-1 victory at Franklin Academy Sept. 14.

The previous day, Goswick had six digs and four aces in a 3-0 win at Granville Central.

Goswick has 116 digs and 16 aces for a Falls Lake Academy team (8-3) that has won six consecutive games through Sunday.

Kate Gross, Heritage Volleyball: The Huskies’ junior outside hitter had 28 kills and 23 digs to lead Heritage to wins over Rolesville and Wakefield.

Gross had 11 kills and 12 digs in a 3-0 win at Wakefield Sept. 13.

Two days later, Gross had 17 kills and 11 digs in 3-0 sweep of Rolesville.

Gross has 151 kills and 131 digs for a Heritage team (6-7) that has won five straight games.

Ben Hornstein, Durham Academy Cross Country: The Cavaliers’ freshman ran a personal-best 16:41.10 to finish seventh-place at the Adidas Challenge at WakeMed Complex Sept. 18.

Hornstein’s time was the second fastest time run by a freshman in the state this season.

The Durham Academy boys’ cross country team also won the Adidas Challenge title.

Skyler Locklear, Cleveland Football: The 6-foot, 185-pound senior quarterback was 15-of-22 for 307 yards passing and a touchdown, while also rushing for 72 yards and a touchdown on eight carries to lead Cleveland to 50-7 win over Corinth Holders Sept. 17.

Locklear, an Austin Peay University commit, is 37 of 56 for 704 yards passing and five touchdowns, while rushing for 244 yards and six more scores for Cleveland (4-0) this season.

Nicholas Luke, Fuquay Varina Cross Country: The Bengals’ senior ran a 17:23 to win the Cleveland High School 5K, Sept. 15.

He also ran a 16:46.40 to finish in 11th-place in the Boys’ Invitational race at the Adidas Challenge at WakeMed Complex in Cary Sept. 18.

Sadler Miller, Corinth Holders Golf: The Pirates’ senior shot a 3-under par 33 to win the Greater Neuse 4A conference match at River Ridge Golf club Sept. 13. The Corinth Holders girls’ golf team also won the conference match.

Miller fired a 1-over-par 72 to tie for a runner-up finish as the Madyson Scott Memorial Tournament at Pine Hollow Golf Club Sept. 15.

Miller, who averages a 36.3 per nine holes this season, led her team to a 5th-place finish at the Madyson Scott Memorial tournament.

Ian Rouse, Jordan Cross Country: The Falcons’ junior ran a personal-best 16:10.30 to win the Boys’ Invitational race at the Adidas Challenge at WakeMed Complex in Cary Sept. 18.

Rouse, who won the race by nine seconds, also led his Jordan boys’ cross country team to an 11th-place finish at the Adidas Challenge.

Krister Sjoblad, Athens Drive Cross Country: The Jaguars’ junior ran a personal and school-record 15:52.60 to finish in 13th-place in the Boys’ Championship race at the Adidas Challenge at WakeMed Complex in Cary Sept. 18.

Sjoblad’s efforts also helped his Athens Drive boys’ cross country team to an 18th-place finish at the same event.

Andrew Stancil, North Johnston Soccer: The Panthers’ senior scored three goals and had two assists as North Johnston won 9-0 over Southwest Edgecombe, Sept. 16.

Stancil has four goals and four assists for North Johnston (4-3-2) this season.

** Information published today includes statistics through Sept. 18.

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.

If you can’t see the poll on mobile, click here

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