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High school notebook: Roberson, Enka forge on in soccer playoffs


11:48 PM, Nov. 06, 2012 EST

Jonathan Stillman

SKYLAND — 

Roberson continues to rise to the challenge of playing in the NCHSAA 4-A boys soccer playoffs.

The Rams and longtime coach Rob Wilcher have won 12 postseason games the past four years in the state's largest classification and made an appearance in two regional-championship games (2009 and 2011).

Furthermore, Saturday's 3-2 overtime win at Porter Ridge in the second round has earned the Mountain Athletic Conference 4-A champions the chance to continue the playoffs at home tonight at 6 p.m. against North Mecklenburg (12-7-4).

The Rams are No. 6 in the latest N.C. Soccer Coaches Association rankings for the state's largest classification, while the Vikings are No. 16.

"(North Mecklenburg) has a great tradition and I expect a strong game," Wilcher said.

"They've really come on strong as of late. We had a tough game Saturday, but gutted it out. Part of the motivation was coming here to have another home game."

Senior midfielder Jonathan Stillman has scored four goals and dished out three assists so far in the playoffs.

Hugo Lopez added the third goal on Saturday, while Connor Cowan, Diego Souza, and Alex Lewis had assists. Kevin Rhash made eight saves.

For the season, Roberson's statistical leaders are Austin Stamey (20 goals, five assists), Hugo Lopez (19 goals, 12 assists), Stillman (13 goals, 10 assists), Ben Chapel (11 goals, eight assists) and Cam Wood (four goals, 10 assists).

Roberson was a 3-A program up until 2009 and won state championships in 2002 and 2003.

Wilcher credits the Rams' tough nonconference schedule for their postseason success.

"We try and go out and play a lot of impressive teams," Wilcher said.

"We're kind of isolated here from a lot of the bigger 4-A schools, so that means we've had to travel a little more to get that kind of competition."

Enka soccer hits the road

Enka boys soccer coach Daven Hunsicker has no idea when his program last appeared in the fourth round of the NCHSAA playoffs.

Hunsicker hopes he'll still be wondering after the Jets (17-6-1) travel for tonight's 3-A game at Freedom (17-5-1).

The third-round game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. in Morganton.

"We actually played there last year (a 5-3 overtime win in the second round) so we know they will be looking for revenge," Hunsicker said.

"Both teams have similar records and I think it's going to be a good matchup. If we do what I think we're capable of, then I think we should be able to come home OK."

Enka is coming off one of its most impressive wins of the season, an 8-1 whipping of Franklin on Saturday in Candler.

Statistical leaders for the MAC 3-A champions include Brad Smith (21 goals, two assists), Juan Escobedo (16 goals, 20 assists) and Hernan Aguirre (11 goals, five assists). Goalkeeper Scott Fish and the defense have put together six shutouts.

"This group of seniors has talked about building a legacy here," Hunsicker said.

"They want to leave a lasting impression, something for the future."

N. Henderson baseball standout commits

North Henderson senior pitcher/third baseman Carson Smith has committed to play college baseball for Limestone.

Smith hit .245 with 10 RBIs and six doubles for the Knights (14-12-1) last spring. As a pitcher, he was 0-1 with a 6.84 earned-run average and 12 strikeouts in 14 innings pitched.

Smith is the second current North Henderson baseball player to pick a college - junior Zack Gahagan committed to North Carolina over the summer.

Rams junior gets invite from Midland

Roberson junior pitcher/infielder Katon Harwood has been invited to play baseball with the Midland (Ohio) Redskins next summer.

The Cincinnati-area Connie Mack team has previously hosted such former Rams standouts as Cameron Maybin, Justin Jackson and Josh Thrailkill as well as North Buncombe's Cody Geyer. Former major-league great Ken Griffey Jr. also played summer ball for the Redskins when he was in high school.

A comprehensive list of all former Midland players who have been drafted by MLB teams can be found here.

Harwood has committed to play college baseball for Clemson. He was an All-Mountain Athletic Conference selection last spring at Reynolds. Harwood had the most wins of any Rockets pitcher (five) and went 5-3 overall with a 2.68 earned-run average and 45 strikeouts. He also drove in 14 runs.

 

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