Surry County seeks Hall of Fame nominees

Part three of three in a series highlighting Surry County athletes who were named All-State by HighSchoolOT in 2021-22.

Surry County student-athletes have shown they can compete with the state’s top high school students this past school year.

Student-athletes are recognized at several levels depending on their level of achievement. North Carolinas are first honored on an all-conference basis, then the top of those selections receive all-region/all-district honors based on the sport. Only a select few athletes are recognized as the best in the state.

The 2021-22 school year marked the second year that HighSchoolOT, a Raleigh-based high school sports news site, has published all-state teams for every sport offered by the NC High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA). However, the HSOT awards not only featured student-athletes from the four NCHSAA public school classifications, but also private schools from the NC Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA) and some home schools.

The All-State awards were decided based on statistics, postseason results, and input from a panel of high school sportswriters from across the state. The number of selections was different for each sport.

Part 1 of this series, featured in the August 4 edition of News, highlighted athletes named HSOT All-States in sports for the fall 2021 season. Part 2, featured in the August 6 editions August, recognized All-State Athletes for the Winter 2021-22 season, and Part Three recognized All-State Athletes for the Spring 2022 season.

Jared Hiatt (NSHS ’23) – Second Team Outdoor Track, Long Jump

Outside track selections were recognized based on their performance at the NCHSAA State Championship Meet or NCISAA Invitational. The top two performances in each event – regardless of classification – earned the athletes first-team honours. The third and fourth highest performances received second team honors, and the next two best finishes received third team honors.

Honorable mentions were not named for outdoor athletics.

Hiatt looked to replicate his successful, state championship-winning indoor track season when things moved outdoors for the spring.

He started by winning the Foothills 2A Conference Championship in the long jump and triple jump, then finished second in the high jump. The only two performances at the FH2A Championship that reached the second Team USA MileSplit standard were the scores of Hiatt and Wilkes Central’s Terry Hayes in the long jump.

Hiatt and Hayes went on to fight at the 2A Midwest Regional Championship. Both improved their long jump games, but this time Hayes finished first and Hiatt took second. Both distances again met the second-team standard. Hiatt beat Hayes in the high jump to win his own regional title.

Hiatt won the ultimate prize at the 2A State Championship with a jump of 22 to 10.75 feet. He also won a bronze medal in the high jump with a jump of 6-04.00. Jared’s championship winning distance once again reached second team standard, and he was just one of 15 boys in championship competition – across all events – to qualify for the honor in all tests.

Hiatt’s distance was fourth best in the state and would have placed him on the podium in all four public school divisions. In the first team, the 3A champion posted a mark of 23-04.00 and the NCISAA Division 1 champion finished at 23-01.25. Hiatt was joined on the second team by gold medalist 4A, who had a 22-11.5 mark. The third team saw runners-up 4A and 2A post distances of 22-10.00 and 22-09.25.

Bradley Davis Jr. (ESHS ’22) – Boys Golf Second Team

Golf selections for all states were determined based on an average handicap rating. For NCHSAA members, the Two-Day Championship Tournament Index was used, while the NCISAA Index Match of the One-Day Championship and One-Day Qualifier. According to HSOT, additional steps have been taken to weigh the NCISAA Championship more than the qualifier.

There were 10 golfers each named to the first, second and third teams. Honorable mentions were not named for golf.

Davis was named second-team All-State after finishing second overall in Division 2A. He led East Surry through the 36 holes of Foxfire Resort’s Red Fox Course. Davis shot 75 (+3) on the first 18 holes, then tied it on the second 18.

The Cardinal was East Surry’s top golfer when the school won the 2A State Championship.

Bradley was also East Surry’s most consistent golfer throughout the 2022 regular season. Posting the lowest combined score in seven conference meetings, Davis was named Foothills Conference Golfer of the Year. 2A. The Cardinals won the FH2A Conference Championship by 31 strokes, then won the 2A Midwest Regional Championship with a 19 stroke advantage.

He will continue his golf career at Gardner-Webb University.

Josh Pardue (SCHS ’23) – Third Team Boys Tennis

HSOT has named a first, second and third team for men’s tennis. There were 12 selections for each team, adding up to 36 total selections for the state. Regular season competition was the primary factor in determining an individual’s selection as the NCISAA does not hold individual championships.

Pardue was named a Third Team All-State member. He was Surry Central’s No. 1 seed all year and helped lead the Eagles to an unbeaten 12-0 conference campaign, scoring the school’s first conference championship in the sport in more than a decade. ‘a decade.

Josh went 14-0 in singles action throughout the regular season to be named Foothills 2A Conference Player of the Year. He won his match in the first round of the 2A Dual Team State tournament, then suffered his only loss against the eventual 2A champion in singles.

Pardue went 13-0 in the regular season with doubles partner Jacob Edmonds. The duo went on to win the FH2A Doubles Championship, finished second in the Midwest 2A Regional and qualified for the 2A State Doubles Tournament. Pardue and Edmonds finished the year 19-2 as a team.

Folger Boaz (ESHS ’23) – Second Team Baseball

A total of 125 players have been named All-State in baseball. There were 25 players each in the first, second and third teams, and each of these teams had minimum requirements for each position. The honorable mention team contained 50 spots regardless of position or classification.

Boaz was one of 32 repeat selections to the All-State Team. He was named honorable mention in his sophomore year and a second-team member as a senior.

Boaz, who was named to the NC Baseball Coaches Association (NCBCA) 2A All-State team, helped East Surry to a 24-2 overall record. The Cardinals won the regular season and FH2A Conference Tournament championships with an undefeated record, and their only division loss came in the fourth round of the state playoffs against the eventual state champion.

According to MaxPreps, the left-handed pitcher finished third in the state among all win classifications with an 11-0 record. He led Division 2A and was third in the state with 126 strikeouts, and was one of five players to pitch at least 60 innings and have an ERA of 0.89 or less.

As a hitter, Boaz tied for the most RBIs in the state with 49—which set a new school record—and finished ninth in the state in home runs with seven. He finished the year with a .390 batting average and .521 on-base percentage.

He is a UNC-Chapel Hill Baseball commit.

Dakota Mills (SCHS ’22) – Third Team Baseball

Mills was named to the All-State Third Team after a historic senior season at Surry Central.

The receiver/shortstop, who was also named to the All-State NCBCA 2A team in addition to being Surry Central’s Male Athlete of the Year, finished the year with a .985 fielding percentage . He made 82 strikeouts from 196 total chances while adding 11 assists, two double plays and committing just three errors.

He set two school records this season in batting average and stolen bases. Mills’ .568 average (42/74) is tied for 19th in state history, and his 30 stolen bases rank 27th all-time.

Mills also posted a .667 on-base percentage with 42 hits and 22 walks. He hit 5 homers, 3 triples, 7 doubles and 19 RBIs while scoring 42 runs

The Golden Eagles were 12-13 overall and 6-6 in conference.

He would continue his baseball career at Surry Community College.

Rylan Venable (MAHS ’24) – Baseball Honorable Mention

Venable was one of two Surry County sophomores recognized on HSOT All-State teams, the other being Surry Central wrestler Jacob Price.

The Granite Bear, named an all-state honorable mention, helped Mount Airy to a 19-9 season in which the team finished second in the Northwest 1A conference. The 2022 team’s 19 wins are the second in school history according to Mount Airy sports historian Doug McDaniel, behind only the 1939 team which finished 20-0.

This year’s team has also won seven straight games at one point – a feat last achieved by the 1958 Bears who won 10 straight games.

The right-handed pitcher threw 91 strikeouts in 55.2 innings, had a .88 ERA and a .172 OBA. He ranked No. 5 in Division 1A and No. 19 in the state in strikeouts.

Venable, the NW1A pitcher of the year, was also No. 2 in ERA Division 1A among pitchers with 50 or more innings pitched. He was No. 9 statewide in that category.

At plate, Venable finished batting .402 with 37 hits, 20 RBIs and 32 runs. Of his 37 hits: four were home runs, two were triples, five were doubles and 26 were singles.

He also stole 22 bases this season.

About Laurence Johnson

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