Youth sports teams and individuals competing across many levels of play have enjoyed a ton of success this summer as the Wilmington area continues to prove its might on the field both locally and across the country.
A pair of Topsail High School varsity soccer players recently represented North Carolina at the US Youth Soccer (USYS) Southeast Region III President’s Cup in College Station, Texas. Competing for the Jacksonville Area Soccer Association’s (JASA) 00′ Coastal Surge U15 club team, Elizabeth Canfield and Danielle Vara are now preparing with their teammates for the USYS National Championship set for July 13-18 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The run to nationals began with the North Carolina State Championship at the Kepner Cup in Greensboro back in November 2015, which earned the team a shot to play for their home state at regionals held earlier this month. Battling competitors in temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees, the ’00 JASA Coastal Surge advanced to the finals following a 1-1 tie against Tennessee and three consecutive wins against teams from North Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Canfield and Vara are the only two players within the three-county area on the team as 00′ JASA Coastal Surge includes members from Onslow, Pender, Craven, Greene and Pitt counties.
The Topsail High School standouts played a pivotal role on a competitive Pirates’ side against tough Mideastern Conference competition this spring. The rising sophomores started nearly every game as freshmen, while Canfield tallied four goals and three assists. Vara made 18 appearances and collected four assists.
During their time in Oklahoma this July, 00′ Coastal Surge will compete against sides from California, Illinois and New Jersey.
Following Sam Hall’s memorable run to the 3A state championship series this spring alongside his teammates on the Topsail baseball team, the rising senior from Hampstead was among 100 of the top ballplayers from across the country invited this past week to the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars showcase event.
After 12 games and two scouting days, the 40-man roster for the 18U National Team Trials was announced by USA Baseball. Geographically, nine players hail from California, followed by seven from Florida and four each from Alabama, North Carolina, and Texas.
Hall, a Clemson University commit, was among those 40 to be selected for trials, which will run September 11-15 in Houston, Texas. From there, the 20-man 18U National Team roster will be finalized and the team will participate in the COPABE Pan Am “AAA” Championships in Monterrey, Mexico, from September 23-October 2.
The Wilmington 10U Fast-Pitch softball team is on its way to the North Carolina Little League State Tournament later this month in Washington, N.C. after cruising to a District 6 Title this past weekend on the fields at Hoggard High School.
Wilmington outscored its three opponents 42-5, including a 12-2 victory over Person County to clinch a spot in the state tournament.
“This year the goal is not only to win at the state level, but move on to the regionals,” said Scott Donovan, an assistant coach with the 10U Wilmington ball club. “We’re very proud of the hard work and effort our girls give. Last year, the 10U team finished second in the North Carolina state championship.”
Maddie Scanlan went 3-for-4 in the final game with three runs scored, while Deirdre Donovan struck out 11 in the circle. Griffin Pearce also tossed a no-hitter during the tournament and Sydney Ciamillo reached four times in the opening game to help guide the Wilmington Little League All Stars.
Other players on the team include: Macey Ciamillo, Lilly Edwards, Griffin Pearce, Lara Granados, Makenzie Curry, Layla Carr, Aimee Rosenblum, Mia Akin and Sawyer Rigdon.