02/07/2023
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The top 2017 Bladen County sports stories are listed. They are not rated as far as 1 thru 17 but these are the top sports stories of the year.

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Priest

East Bladen Football – Shared the Three Rivers Conference Championship with South Columbus and Whiteville. Senior Xavier Wooten rushed for 1,841 yards and 29 touchdowns and was named All-Area. Senior Caleb Strait was named All-State and played in the Shrine Bowl.

Coach Robby Priest was named TRC Co-Coach of the Year and selected as a Shrine Bowl Coach. Seven Eagles were named to the All-Conference team. East Bladen posted an 8-1 league record, was 12-2 overall and reached the third round of the state play-offs.

Ten Bladen County football players on all-conference football team

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Scott and family

Emily Scott Wins Hall Of Fame Award –East Bladen’s Emily Scott was named the winner of the 2017 U. S. Army – Pro Football Hall of Fame Award of Excellence.

Emily Scott wins Army Hall of Fame Award of Excellence

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McGill

East Bladen’s Men’s Soccer – Won the Three Rivers Conference Championship with a perfect 14-0 record and were 21-2 overall. Brooks McGill was the Three Rivers Player of the Year, Coach Jay Raynor was TRC Coach of the Year and five Eagles were named All-Conference.

Five Eagles chosen all-conference soccer

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Suggs

Lacey Suggs Awarded Scholarship – Lacey Suggs finally was given a chance to play at UNC-Wilmington, and the East Bladen stand-out has blossomed into the team’s leading scorer and a team captain.

Lacey Suggs receives UNCW basketball scholarship

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West Bladen Softball – Won the Four County Conference Championship with a 13-1 league record and 20-4 overall mark. Seniors Alanna Ludlum, Laikyn Pait, Logan Autry, and Sophia Singletary and sophmore Carley Dawson were named All-Four County Conference from Coach Joey Autry’s team. Five players were named All-State.

Five West Bladen Knights receive all-state softball honors

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Walters

Abbey Walters Named National Player of the Week – Bladenboro native Abbey Walters was named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II National Softball Player of the Week in February. Walters finished the year in the Top Ten in the Peach Belt Conference in batting average (.415), stolen bases (28), runs scored (54), pitching wins (12), strike-outs (115).

Abbey Walters named Division II National Player of the Week

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West Bladen Women’s Tennis – Battled South Columbus to the final match before finishing second in the Three Rivers Conference with a 16-2 record.

Coach Mary Catherine White’s top doubles team of juniors Conner Brisson and Savannah Lee won the Three Rivers Tournament Doubles Championship. Brisson and Lee placed fourth in the Mid-East Regionals to qualify for the state tournament.

Eight Bladen tennis players named all-conference

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Hancock

Cade Hancock Raises $25,280 for Charity – Elizabethtown’s Cade Hancock, a sophmore at Harrells Christian Academy, was named the Coastal Rivers Conference Golf Player of the Year. Later in the year Hancock who has won 13 times on the junior golf circuit raised over $25,280 for charity through an American Junior Golf Association program.

Cade Hancock raises $25,280 for charity and AJGA

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Ethan, left, and Eian Hines

Eian Hines Second in State Long Jump – East Bladen’s Eian Hines missed a State Class 2A Long Jump Championship by ¾ of an inch. His brother, Ethan Hines, placed fifth in the Long Jump. The Eagle team finished tenth in the state meet.

Eian Hines won the Long Jump in the Mid-East Regional and finished second in the 100 Meter Dash. Teammate Atlas Goss won the Discus at the regionals.

Eian Hines finishes second in state long jump

East Bladen Eian Hines and Atlas Goss win regional track events

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Tatum

East Bladen & West Bladen Baseball Tie For Second Place – East Bladen and West Bladen tied for second-place in the Four County Conference baseball standings with 11-3 records behind 12-2 Midway. Both Bladen teams lost one-run play-off games on the road. Coach Kim Cain’s Knights (13-10 overall) in the first round; Coach Russell Priest’s Eagles (15-7 overall) in the second round.

East Bladen senior catcher Kyle Tatum was named the Four County Conference Player of the Year. Also named to the All-Conference team were East Bladen’s Xavier Wooten and Sincere Smith and West Bladen’s Scott Bowen, T. J. Guyton and Jarrett Williams.

Kyle Tatum named Four County baseball player of the year

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Murchison

East Bladen’s Larrell Murchison Signs with N. C. State – East Bladen’s Larrell Murchison who had visited Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas made a last-minute change and signed a football Letter of Intent to play at N. C. State.

Larrell Murchison signs with NC State

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East Bladen Girls Basketball Second in Conference –East Bladen’s girls finished second to Class 2A State Champion Clinton in the Four County Conference. Coach Patty Evers’ Lady Eagles were 22-6 overall and 12-2 in league play and reached second round of the state play-offs.

Four Bladen athletes named All-Four County girls basketball

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West Bladen Boys Basketball Third in Four County – West Bladen’s boys finished third in the Four County Conference with a 9-5 league record and 18-10 overall mark. Coach Travis Pait’s Knights reached the second round of the state play-offs.

Three Bladen athletes named All-Four County boys basketball

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Thompson

Kayla Thompson 8th Best Woman Golfer in State – Clarkton native Kayla Thompson, a senior at UNC-Wilmington, was named the eighth best woman golfer in North Carolina.

Kayla Thompson 8th best woman golfer in North Carolina

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East Bladen Girls Soccer Third in Four County – East Bladen’s girls finished third in the Four County Conference with a 10-4 league record and 16-5 overall mark. Coach Jay Raynor’s Lady Eagles reached the second round of the state play-offs.

Five East Bladen players named All-Region soccer

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Bladen County Athletes Playing in College – Several Bladen County Athletes had good years for their respective college teams. Brandon Council started the final 8 games of the season for the Akron football team. Farrell Murchison rushed for 542 yards for Winston-Salem State.

Rahu Purdie was Lander basketball’s second-leading scorer last year and is averaging a team-best 17.2 points and 2.6 assists this season.

Bladen County athletes playing in college

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West Bladen Football – West Bladen’s football team won their first two games and was 4-4 through their first eight games before finishing with a 4-7 record under Coach Kris Williams. Senior B. J. Drake rushed for 1,423 yards and 20 touchdowns. Drake and seniors Jonathan Robinson and Dayveon Swindell were named All-Three Rivers Conference.

Football: West Bladen 49, West Columbus 28

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West Bladen Girls & Boys Win First Track Meets – The West Bladen girls and boys track teams won track meets for the first time in school history.

West Bladen girls track team wins first meet

West Bladen boys win first track meet