Bryce Harman, L.C. Bird
Armed with a big left-handed bat and a full scholarship to East Carolina University, Harman had a big season for Bird this year. The Washington Nationals inquired about drafting Harman in the fourth round, but the Skyhawk standout elected to attend college, perhaps hoping to further improve his draft stock. The team captain and leader for the Skyhawks also lettered in basketball and was a part of the Bird team that was state-runner-up in 2011. Statistics were unavailable at press time.
Pitcher of the Year
Rick Spiers, Matoaca
When the Matoaca Warriors needed to win, Rick Spiers got the ball. During the 2013 season he went 8-2 with a 0.79 ERA, striking out 50 batters and allowing just six earned runs. For his play he was honored as the Central District Player of the Year and was an All-Central Region second team member. The junior was essential to the Warriors success in a tightly contested Central District as Matoaca finished the regular season standings in a tie with Thomas Dale and Prince George. Matoaca won the tiebreaker for the regular season Central District Championship and were co-tournament champions along with Thomas Dale before falling 3-2 to James River in the Central Region tournament.
Jessica McCabe, Matoaca
Future James Madison pitcher Jessica McCabe led the way for an upstart Matoaca Warriors roster that battled to a first-round Central Region loss to Cosby. The Warriors finished the regular season in a three-way tie for the Central District crown, and were named co-champions of the Central District tournament. The junior won 15 games, struck out 175 batters over 125 innings, and sported a 1.66 ERA. McCabe also fired no-hitters against Thomas Dale and Meadowbrook and a perfect game against Colonial Heights. Offensively, the standout hit .500 with a home run and 24 RBI. The junior was honored with Central District Pitcher of the Year, All-Central Region second team and All-Academic accolades.
Grayson Smith, Thomas Dale
In the pre-season, Coach Mark Fowler stated that Grayson Smith would have to step up and score the ball for the Knights to have another successful season – and that he did, leading the team with 25 goals. For his play, he earned First Team All-State, First Team All-Central Region and Central District player of the year honors. The Knights won their 14th straight Central District regular season championship and their 14th Central District tournament championship in the past 16 years and they were crowned co-champions with Colonial Heights.
Regan Flores, Thomas Dale
Flores led the Knights by scoring 17 goals on the season to go with 10 assists. As the Knights top offensive threat, she earned All-Central Region second team All-Central District first team and All-Academic honors. The Lady Knights were the 2013 runner-up in the Central District to Prince George. Flores will attend Radford University and has plans to be a member of the dance team, the RU Rockers.
Austin Powers, Matoaca
Powers, the runner-up in the Central District singles tournament was the top seeded player for Matoaca under head coach Christopher Szybisty. Powers guided the Warriors all season long, winning 15 of his 21 matches including several pivotal matches against Thomas Dale down the stretch as the Matoaca earned a share of the Central District title with the Knights. For his work with the racket and in the classroom, Powers received All-Central District and All-Academic honors.
Linda Nguyen, Meadowbrook
As the top seeded player for the Lady Monarchs, Nguyen played to 9-4 record in singles and a 9-3 doubles record with older sister and senior Lisa Nguyen. Under head coach Carol Griffiths the doubles duo placed third in the Central District doubles tournament. Nguyen was the only Monarch to be named to the All-Central District team, and also received All-Academic honors for her hard work in the classroom.
Devon Marrow, Meadowbrook
Marrow had an outstanding year for the Monarchs, who continue to have a strong track and field program under Coach Randy West. The senior was named the Central District male track athlete of the year. Marrow was a Central District champion in the 400 meters and the 800 meters while anchoring Meadowbrook’s 4 x 400 team that won the Central District title. Marrow, who plans to attend Richard Bland and join their new track team, also placed third in the region in the 400 meters.
April Wilson, Thomas Dale
After a very successful high school career, Wilson will be running track next year for the Norfolk State Spartans. Her senior season was full of accomplishments as she was the district champion in the 400 meters, All-District in the long jump and triple jump, and was ran the anchor leg on the 4 x 400 relay team which broke a Thomas Dale school record. Wilson led the Lady Knights to their fifth straight Central District championship in 2013.
SPRING COACH OF THE YEAR
Fred Stoots, Matoaca
Stoots just completed his 11th year as head coach of Matoaca baseball was selected as the coach of the year for his efforts in turning around a Warriors team that started their season 2-5 to go on to win the regular season Central District championship and become Co-Central District tournament champions before falling in a close game in the Central Region tournament to James River, 3-2. Stoots is a 1999 graduate of Longwood University where former Warrior Cory Ramsey pitches. During the 2013 season his program had 19 players at the college level.