Top 10 sports stories of 2018
Editor’s note: This list was compiled using information from www.mitchellnews.com, our Facebook page and general feedback.
1.Brody Smith wins second-straight track title
It was no secret Mitchell High School Class of 2018 senior Brody Smith wanted to win the state championship in the 400-meter dash this season, a feat he also accomplished as a junior.
He did just that.
Smith ran a personal best 48.98 Sunday, May 20, at the 1A Track and Field State Championships in Greensboro to claim his second-straight title in the event.
2. Young signs with Appalachian State
Mitchell High School Class of 2018 senior Ben Young signed Wednesday, April 25, to continue his football career as a Mountaineer, but now at Appalachian State University.
Young made his decision official in front of his immediate family and some of the members of the Mitchell athletic department.
He will enroll at Appalachian State in the spring of 2019. Young spent all four of his years at Mitchell as the starting quarterback and heads to Boone as a preferred walk-on.
3. Five wrestlers qualify for individual state championships
Mitchell High School Wrestling qualified five wrestlers in February for the individual state championships in Greensboro.
Dylan Lowery (113 pounds), Coltin Marlowe (126 pounds) and Hudson Boone (285 pounds) earned a trip to the state championships as regional runners-up. Ryan Richardson (160 pounds) and Israel Maltba (132 pounds) earned third-place finishes with pinfall victories in the consolation finals to earn their way to the state championships.
4. Buchanan signs with Bluefield College
Mitchell senior Morgan Buchanan traded the purple and white of the Lady Mountaineers for blue and red when the 6-foot center/power forward officially signed March 21 to play basketball for the Rams of Bluefield College. Buchanan, of Bakersville, led the 20-8 Lady Mountaineers in points (12.8) and rebounds (10.8) per game in 2017-18 and chose Bluefield over several other schools.
5. 2018 football preview
The Mountaineers graduated more than a dozen players from a team that finished second in the Western Highlands Conference going 12-2 and winning a pair of state playoff games before falling to Cherokee in the 1A West Regionals.
6. Mitchell defeats Cherokee
The Mitchell High School football team saw its season end in 2017 in a 42-28 loss to the eventual Class 1A state champions Cherokee Braves. The Mountaineers had a shot at retribution Friday, Nov. 23, when the Braves traveled to Ledger for a second-round game in the NCHSAA state playoffs and Mitchell advanced by beating the Braves 21-13.
7. Mitchell falls to Murphy
The visiting No. 3 seed Murphy Bulldogs edged No. 2 seed Mitchell 33-29 Friday, Nov. 30, in a cold, wet third-round game of the 1A state playoffs.
8. 11 players named All-Conference
Eleven members of the 2018 Mitchell High School Mountaineers football team have been named to the Western Highlands All-Conference list. Individual accolades were given to junior quarterback Noah Pitman, who was named the WHC Offensive Player of the Year, senior Hudson Boone shared Lineman of the Year honors with Polk County’s Luke Sellers, Mitchell junior kicker Elliot Kadans was named Special Teams Player of the Year and junior Tyler McKinney was named the WHC’s Athlete of the Year. Also named to the All-Conference list were seniors Landon Miller, Jerry Cervantes and Hunter Johnson, sophomore Ty Sparks, senior Garrett Greene, junior Matthew Gilbert and junior Michael Robertson.
9. Greene signs with Louisiana Lafayette
Former Mitchell High School varsity baseball standout Justin Greene is set to start a new chapter in his life and baseball career. Greene, who graduated from Mitchell in 2017 and went to Arizona Western College on a baseball scholarship, will transfer to the University of Louisiana Lafayette next fall.
Greene, who made the most recent list of top-100 junior college baseball prospects, said a few Division I schools and a couple of smaller universities expressed interest in him. Greene narrowed his final two choices down to Louisiana and Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina, and said his visit to the Louisiana campus this past month sealed the deal.
10. Smoky Mountain Grapple
Mitchell High School varsity and junior varsity wrestlers performed well Friday, Dec. 21, and Saturday, Dec. 22, during the 2nd annual Headlock on Hunger/Great Smoky Mountain Grapple at U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville.
The Mountaineers finished 15th out of 24 teams from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. Ryan Richardson finished third in the 182-pound weight class and Dylan Lowery finished in fourth place in the 120-pound weight class. Junior varsity wrestlers Micah Staton (160 pounds), Brandon McGee (152 pounds) and Caleb Greene (120 pounds) finished third, second and third, respectively.