Coates, Suggs tabbed Player of the Year


ELIZABETHTOWN — Senior baseball pitcher Alex Coates and senior soccer player Lacey Suggs were each named co-Four County Conference players of the year in their respective sports.

The all-conference teams were released on Monday after voting by the conference’s coaches.

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Coates tabbed tops

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Coates led a list of four Eagles from East Bladen High on the All-Four County Conference baseball team, but the righthander took the top honor.

The Eagles, who won the Four County Conference title with an 11-3 record — their first conference championship since winning the Three Rivers Conference in 1998 — finished the season with an overall mark of 15-7.

Coates was selected as the conference’s co-Player of the Year along with Michael Strohman of Heidi Trask High.

Through the regular season, Coates was undefeated on the mound until the final game when rival West Bladen upset the Eagles. Coates, who also lost a tough non-conference game against Class 4-A Scotland County in an East tournament, finished the season with a 10-3 record after the Eagles got nipped in the first round of the Class 2-A playoffs by Currituck.

Joining Coates on the all-conference team from East Bladen was senior left fielder Nikita Owens, junior catcher Kyle Tatum and sophomore shortstop Sincere Smith.

West Bladen, which finished the season 8-14 overall and 7-7 in the conference, had two players named to the all-conference team.

Seniors Chandler Lennon and Jeremy Hunt, both of who were pitchers and outfielders, were selected for the honors.

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Suggs is POY

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Suggs, who has committed to play her college basketball at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, was selected as the co-Conference Player of the Year on the soccer pitch after scoring 40 goals during her seniors season.

The East Bladen senior was also the Four County Conference’s Player of the Year for basketball three straight years.

Joining Suggs from East Bladen on the all-conference squad were seniors Abby Ward and Claire Campbell. The Lady Eagles finished 19-3 overall and 12-2 in the conference.

From West Bladen, Akira Grimes was the lone selection after the Lady Knights finished 1-23 overall and 0-13 in the conference.

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Lady Knights place three

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West Bladen took three spots on the all-conference team after finishing the season with a 15-9 mark overall and 11-3 in the conference.

Junior catcher Alanna Ludlum (.395 batting average with 24 RBI), junior outfielder Logan Autry (.423 batting average) and junior first baseman Laikyn Pait (.430 batting average, 32 RBI and two home runs) were selected.

For East Bladen, senior pitcher Miller Heustess was the lone player from the Lady Eagles softball team on the all-conference team after East Bladen finished the season with a 5-11 record overall, 4-10 in the conference.

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Eagles on the track

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East Bladen put three individuals and a relay team on the all-conference team for track and field.

For the boys, long-jumper Ethan Hines — who took third place in the state’s Class 2-A competition — along with shot-putter Derrick Burney and discus thrower Alex Goss were each names to the squad.

For the girls, the Lady Eagles’ 800-meter relay team earned recognition.

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On the links

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The Eagles and Knights did not have any selections to the conference’s golf elite.

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