The North Carolina Softball Coaches Association recently announced its 2016 all-state player recipients. The annual award is given to athletes who play at the highest level in all aspects of the game and have consistently demonstrated the ability to lead their team through strong performances on the field.
After splitting Northwest Conference Player of the Year honors with East Surry’s Emily Cummings this season, North Stokes shortstop Chandley Garner and was named 1A all-district NCSCA player of the year and all-state athlete.
This summer Garner is traveling with the Lady Lightening team to California, New Jersey, and Florida before finishing out her last season with the Vikings.
Named as 2A all-state selections from South Stokes were shortstop Katie Manring and recent graduate Samantha Williams.
Manring, who verbally committed to play at Campbell University early in her high school career, said this season was a memorable one.
“It was definitely one of our better years. We worked together as a team and I felt like we all meshed well and played as one,” she said. “I was very happy with our performances especially against Forbush to win the conference tournament.”
Manring is already preparing to enter her senior season strong.
“I want to make sure I lead by example, not only by how I play but mentally being encouraging and positive for my teammates.”
Williams signed to play for Lynchburg College in November of last year and left her mark on the Sauras softball and volleyball program by earning Western Piedmont Athletic all-conference accolades in both sports.
“My senior year was big for me,” Williams said. “I wanted to finish my high school season off right and I feel like I did. South prepared me by showing me that hard work pays off. Softball is a team sport and you can’t play as an individual.”
Mackenzie Parker and Ashley Philyaw represented West Stokes on the NCSCA all-state list.
“Both Mackenzie and Ashley led by example on the field this season,” explained Wildcats assistant coach Robert Money. “I see both improving from this past season to next year. They both consistently were at off season workouts and saw what kind of potential we had this past season. We only lost two seniors and we’re expecting a lot more from the girls next year with the leadership of these two on and off the field.”
Parker, who’s committed to Appalachian, contributed at shortstop and on the mound.
“She started pitching very well with Alyssa Duggins as a one-two punch, which made it difficult for other teams. She was always hard out at the plate,” Money said.
Philyaw earned WPAC player of the year with solid performances on third base and in the outfield.
“We all knew she had the talent, but it was a matter of her believing in herself,” Money said. “It’s very well deserving to such a hard worker. And because of her hard work, there are six or seven schools pushing to get her now.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.