Another year has come and gone in the High Country and in Ashe County Husky sports.
There were several highlights from this past year, but five special moments stuck out the most.
5. Women’s golf has two players in state tournament
A first for a sports program at ACHS was the women’s golf team sending two golfers to the 1A/2A State Championship Tournament.
In the previous history of the school, Ashe had just one golfer do well enough in regionals to play in the state tournament.
Sarah Hardin and Olivia Barr each got a chance to compete with the best golfers in the state.
4. Michael Elliott reaches state finals
As heartbreaking as it was for then-junior wrestler Michael Elliott to lose in the 2A State Championship 145-pound match, it was still a major accomplishment for the standout grappler. Elliott lost by a 10-8 decision, but still has this season to get Ashe’s second state wrestling championship in three seasons. Josh Wineberg also lost in the state finals his junior year before coming back to win the state title at 285-pounds during his senior season.
Elliott is off to a great start so far, sitting at 23-2 overall in the 160-pound division.
3. Marc Payne honored for coaching success
During a recent home basketball game against rival Watauga, former Ashe County, Watauga and Beaver Creek basketball head coach Marc Payne was surrounded by several former players as he was presented with a plaque honoring his outstanding coaching career.
Payne coached 37 seasons of high school basketball and won 574 games. Payne spent 14 years at Beaver Creek, 13 years at Watauga and another 10 years at ACHS.
2. Men’s soccer wins back-to-back MVAC Championships
Ashe County saw its men’s soccer team capture the conference championship for a second straight year, another first for the program in school history.
Senior Frank Ledezma not only earned MVAC Player of the Year honors, but he was also named as Regional Player of the Year, also a first for the men’s soccer program.
Ashe finished the year at 17-7-1 overall and 12-1-1 in conference play.
1. Women’s tennis team shines
One of the most consistent programs in recent memory at ACHS has been the women’s tennis team. Head Coach Larry Dix saw one of this most successful teams take the court this season and finish with the best 2A record of all teams.
Individually, Ashe had the 2A Singles Champion and 2A Doubles Champion, as well as MVAC Player of the Year. Hallie Brown took home player of the year honors and the singles title while Kasey Curcio and Ella Copeland won the doubles championship in a match where they played a pair of teammates, Mary Austin Tugman and Grace Miller.