On June 15, athletes, coaches, athletic directors and teams from across central and eastern North Carolina gathered at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh for the second annual 2019 HighSchoolOT Honors awards show, presented by Pella Windows & Doors.
A total of 41 awards were given out, including elite awards, such as the Male and Female Athlete of the Year, Male and Female Coach of the Year, the Stuart Scott Courage Award, and more. Former Garner and North Carolina State standout football player Nyheim Hines was the featured speaker and guest. Hines is starting his second year with the Indianapolis Colts.
Students and their supporters posed for photos on the Pella Black Carpet before entering The High School OT Honors Award Show in Fletcher Opera Theater at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
Following are the winners of this year’s HighSchoolOT Honors.
MARCHING BAND OF THE YEAR: Hillside Hornets, Durham
This year’s marching band of the year comes from Durham County. The Hillside Hornets’ marching band wins its first ever HighSchoolOT Honors award.
BOYS SOCCER PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Patrick O’Neill, Green Hope, Cary
Green Hope senior Patrick O’Neill led his team to the 4A state championship, serving as a team captain. He was an all-state and all-Mid Atlantic selection.
GIRLS TENNIS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Katie Andreini, Green Hope
Green Hope’s Katie Andreini led her team to the 4A state championship as the 1-seed. She went unbeaten in singles play as well.
UPSET OF THE YEAR: Northwood’s win over Hillside in boys basketball
Pittsboro’s Northwood was one of just two teams that was able to beat Hillside all season.
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Carmen Alder, Pinecrest, Southern Pines
Pinecrest’s Carmen Alder won the 4A state championship by more than 12 seconds, earning HighSchoolOT All-East Honors.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Anton Idhammar, Cary
Cary’s Anton Idhammar won the 4A state championship last fall with a time of 15:45.12.
STUDENT SECTION OF THE YEAR: Apex Friendship Pat Pit, Apex
Congratulations to the student section from Apex Friendship, winning its first ever HighSchoolOT Honors award.
TEAM OF THE YEAR PRESENTED BY SPORTS: Wake Forest football team
The Wake Forest football team won consecutive 4AA state champions season, posting a perfect 14-0 record. The Cougars also hold the longest active winning streak in the state at 45 games.
VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Sydney Dowler, Green Hope
As a junior, Green Hope’s Sydney Dowler recorded 121 kills, 59 aces, 139 digs and 862 assists, leading her team to its third straight state championship. She was also named the MVP of the state championship for the third consecutive season, the first time that has ever happened at the 4A level.
GIRLS GOLFER OF THE YEAR: Katherine Schuster, First Flight
First Flight’s Katherine Schuster won the 1A/2A state championship with a two-round score of 139. Her score was four strokes better than any other golfer across all classifications.
FOOTBALL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Traevon Kenion, Wake Forest
In his only season at Wake Forest, Traevon Kenion recorded 834 receiver yards and 15 touchdowns on 43 receptions, helping the Cougars to the 4AA state championship. He will play football at the University of South Carolina next season.
FOOTBALL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Drake Thomas, Heritage, Devil Hills Heritage linebacker Drake Thomas recorded a team-best 123 tackles last season, including 46 tackles for loss and three sacks. He also posted two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. He will play college football at NC State this fall.
PHOTOS: CARL COPELAND / HIGHSCHOOLOT