Lieberman, Polk County boys track team receive WNC Sports Awards nominations

Polk County senior Troy Lieberman

Polk County has received two nominations for awards at the 56th WNC Sports Awards Banquet presented by Ingles, set for May 7 at Omni Grove Park Inn.

Senior pole vaulter Troy Lieberman has been nominated for the White & Williams 1A/2A Male Athlete – Olympic Sport award while the Polk County boys track program has been nominated for the Blue Ridge Bone & Joint/EmergeOrtho 1A/2A Male Team award.

A total of 100 athletes and teams from 29 area high schools will be honored at the event. The Mountain Amateur Athletic Club, which hosts the event, selected the finalists for 20 individual and team awards and 10 scholarships of $1,500 each.

The banquet also serves as the induction ceremony for the WNC Sports Hall of Fame. Murphy High football coach David Gentry and former Asheville Tourists executives Carolyn and Ron McKee will be the inductees to the Class of 2017.

The MAAC will also honor the Robbinsville High football program as a dynasty team and long-time Asheville Grizzlies football coach Phil Lytle will be given the MOOG/Gene Ochsenreiter Award for Lifetime Achievement. A Special Olympics Award will be presented to a local athlete and his organization will receive a $1,000 grant.

Among the 29 schools, Roberson High led the way with nine finalists, while Brevard and North Henderson had eight each.

General admission seats for the banquet, which begins at 5:30 p.m., are $40 and includes dinner and the awards program. Tickets can be purchased at wncsportsawards.org or by contacting Keith Jarrett at 828-712-6324 or keithjarrettasheville@gmail. com.

Seats for friends, family and school personnel of the finalists are $25 each. Those seats can be purchased through the school’s athletic director or by contacting Jarrett.

More than 30 local businesses and individuals provide sponsorship totaling more than $40,000 to the MAAC to conduct the banquet, which began in 1957.

Finalists for the 56th WNC Sports Awards Banquet include:

Wells Fargo 1A/2A Female Athlete – Major Sport: Alex Boone, Mountain Heritage volleyball; Alysha Floyd, Hiwassee Dam basketball, softball and volleyball; Tiffany Holloway, Andrews basketball; Heaven Nelson, Avery basketball.

Northwestern Mutual 1A/2A Female Athlete – Olympic Sport: Ralene Kwitakowski, Carolina Day cross country and track; Emma Pinder, Swain County cross country and track; LesLeigh Tabor, Franklin track; Shay Tisho, Smoky Mountain cross country and track; Eliza Witherspoon, Brevard cross country and track.

Homewood Suites 1A/2A Female Team – Major Sport: Avery County basketball; Carolina Day basketball; Cherokee basketball; Murphy basketball; Smoky Mountain basketball.

Mills Manufacturing 1A/2A Female Team – Olympic Sport: Brevard cross country; Carolina Day cross country; Smoky Mountain cross country; Swain County track.

Merrill Lynch 1A/2A Male Athlete – Major Sport: Joey Curry, Murphy football; Tanner Ellenberger, Brevard baseball and football; Tykel Landrum, Hendersonville football; Alex McKinney, Mitchell football; Tye Mintz, Cherokee basketball and football; Trey Robinson, Mountain Heritage football.

White & Williams 1A/2A Male Athlete – Olympic Sport: Noah Graham, Brevard cross country and track; River Griffith, Avery wrestling; Troy Lieberman, Polk County track; Todd Self, Mitchell wrestling; Anthony Toinetta, Cherokee wrestling.

Skyland Automotive Group 1A/2A Male Team – Major Sport: Asheville Christian Academy soccer; Avery County basketball; Brevard football; Murphy football; Swain County basketball.

Blue Ridge Bone & Joint/EmergeOrtho 1A/2A Male Team – Olympic Sport: Avery County wrestling; Brevard tennis; Polk County track; Robbinsville wrestling; Smoky Mountain cross country.

Jan and Lary Schulhof 3A/4A Female Athlete – Major Sport: Emma Binns, Roberson volleyball; Teegan Bullock, North Henderson basketball, softball and volleyball; Camryn Jansen, Roberson basketball; Caroline Marsh, North Henderson basketball and volleyball.

First Citizens Bank 3A/4A Female Athlete – Olympic Sport: Michelle Cobb, Roberson track; Adrienne Haynes, Asheville High tennis; Abby Kriegler, Asheville School swimming; Callista Rice, North Buncombe golf.

Home Trust Bank 3A/4A Female Team – Major Sport: Enka softball; North Henderson volleyball; Roberson volleyball; Tuscola soccer; West Henderson volleyball.

Arcadia Farms, Inc. 3A/4A Female Team – Olympic Sport: Pisgah tennis; Roberson swimming and diving; Roberson track; Tuscola swimming.

Goforth Builders Inc. 3A/4-A Male Athlete – Major Sport: Damien Ferguson, Erwin football; Caleb Ferguson, Tuscola football; Tyson Hichman, West Henderson soccer; Brendan Mann, Reynolds soccer; C.J. Thompson, Erwin basketball and football.

Massasoit of North Carolina, Inc. 3A/4A Male Athlete – Olympic Sport: Josh Blatt, North Henderson; Phil Daub, Enka wrestling; Rashad Morrison, Asheville School lacrosse; Noah Shore, Asheville High track; Mitchell Stanek, Roberson swimming.

McKinney Insurance 3A/4A Male Team – Major Sport: Christ School football; North Henderson basketball; Reynolds football; Reynolds soccer.

Rodeway Inn and Suites 3A/4A Male Team – Olympic Sport: Asheville High indoor track and field; Asheville School swimming; Enka wrestling; North Henderson wrestling.
Blue Ridge X-Ray Female Student Athlete Academic Award: Cameron Jansen, Roberson; McKinley Morris, Tuscola; Anna Newnam, Roberson; Maci Sena, Hiwassee Dam.

Blossman Gas Male Student Athlete Academic Award: Chris Bang, Enka; Estefano Ramirez, Blue Ridge Early College; Anthony Toineeta, Cherokee; Blake Williams, Avery County.

Asheville Citizen-Times Female Athlete of the Year: Adrienne Haynes, Asheville High tennis; Ralene Kwiatowski, Carolina Day basketball, cross country and track; Caroline Marsh, North Henderson basketball and volleyball; Callista Rice, North Buncombe golf.

Darlene and John McNabb Male Athlete of the Year: Tanner Ellenberger, Brevard baseball, football and wrestling; Caleb Ferguson, Tuscola football and track; Noah Graham, Brevard cross country and track; Tye Mintz, Cherokee basketball, football and track; C.J. Thompson, Erwin basketball and football;

Scholarship Finalists: Darren Blankenship, Swain County; Teegan Bullock, North Henderson; Caleb Ferguson, Tuscola; Alysha Floyd, Hiwassee Dam; Samantha Fortner, Mitchell; Justin Greene, Mitchell; Callie Rhea, North Buncombe; Sophie Robinson, North Buncombe; Todd Self, Mitchell; LesLeigh Tabor, Franklin.