Postseason accolades continue to roll in for spring sports teams in the Wilmington area as Topsail and West Brunswick earned player of the year and coach of the year honors in softball after a recent vote by the leagues coaches.
Coming off a Mideastern Conference championship and appearance in the 3A best-of-three East Regional, first-year coach Jay Abston shared Mideastern Coach of the Year honors with veteran coach Joe Noble. Noble and the Trojans made a late season push to finish second in conference.
Topsail closed the year 20-8 overall and 11-1 in league play, while West Brunswick finished 9-3 in conference and 20-6 on the year. The Trojans became the first softball team in school history to reach the 20-win plateau and also took home the Mideastern Conference Tournament title.
Keri White (Topsail) and Leilani Emile (West Brunswick) were named co-players of the year. White, a rising senior from Hampstead, proved to be a staple at the hot corner for the Pirates. Emile was a solid bat in the middle of the Trojans order, with nine home runs. She will play softball next semester at William Peace University.
In addition to White and Emile, Topsail and West Brunswick had three others make first-team all-conference, including Hayley Grizzle (Topsail), McKenzie Benton (West Brunswick) and Caroline Gore (West).
Laney finished third in league play with a 9-3 mark and landed two players on the first-team all-conference squad. Charlene Thompson is headed to Mount Olive to continue her athletic career and education after successful senior campaign. The speedy centerfielder hit .417, with 22 runs and 12 runs batted in. She was also 14-of-15 in stolen base attempts, while teammate Savannah Watkins led the Bucs with a .439 average. The sophomore struck out only five times in 66 at-bats.
Schae Dickson (Ashley) and Charlene Thompson (Hoggard) rounded out the first-team selections. Thompson helped guide the Vikings to the second round of the 4A playoffs and hit .344 on the season as a junior.
South Brunswick won the team sportsmanship award.
- Keri White, Topsail
- Savannah Watkins, Laney
- Leilani Emile, West Brunswick
- Schae Dickson, Ashley
- Charlene Thompson, Laney
- Hayley Grizzle, Topsail
- McKenzie Benton, West Brunswick
- Caroline Gore, West Brunswick
- Charlene Thompson, Hoggard
- Emily Young, Hoggard
- Zoe Candler, South Brunswick
- Jordan Smith, Ashley
- Princess Jenkins, Laney
- Kirstie Langley, Laney
- Danielle Parks, Topsail
- Victoria Elder, Topsail
- Ariana Thomas, West Brunswick
- Haley Long, West Brunswick