Candidates show Suffolk’s athletic depth

Published 8:07 pm Saturday, June 28, 2014

Only two student-athletes, one female and one male, can be chosen for the Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Spring Player of the Year awards, but they were chosen from elite company.

Included in the group of female candidates named on June 3 was Nansemond River High School freshman softball player Katelyn Biando.

She had an extraordinary year on a team stocked with stars, leading the Lady Warriors during the regular season with a .577 batting average and 30 hits. She also hit in 23 consecutive games.

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King’s Fork High School junior softball player Shaina Holland was praised by her coach during the season as being her team’s most consistent hitter, batting around .500. She helped her team win the conference tournament championship and reach the regional playoffs for the first time ever.

Nansemond River senior soccer player Emily Leverone was the Ironclad Conference girls’ soccer Player of the Year for her prolific offense, which helped her team reach the regional level for the first time. She also made valuable defensive contributions in the post-season, helping the Lady Warriors win the conference tournament.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy senior softball player Macy Mears played every position this year except for catcher. The only senior on a young team, she helped it reach the state playoffs. She made the all-conference first team for the fifth consecutive year and the all-state first team for the third consecutive year.

Nansemond River junior outdoor track and field athlete Zakiya Rashid helped her team win its first-ever regional and state titles this year, along with a conference championship. She won the conference, regional and state titles in the shot put, among other victories.

Male candidates named on June 3 included Nansemond River senior soccer player Gabe Everette, who was the conference boys’ soccer Player of the Year. He produced 16 goals and 17 assists and played strong defense this year, helping his team achieve a variety of firsts: double-digit wins, post-season wins, a title game appearance and a regional berth.

Suffolk Christian Academy sophomore baseball player Shawn Moose was named the Hampton Roads Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player this year. In 13 games played with 48 at-bats, he produced a .979 slugging percentage, .668 on-base percentage and .604 batting average, with 29 hits, 29 runs scored and 23 RBIs. He also went 3-0 on the mound.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy senior golfer Trey Wren led his team to the state championship by turning in the best round in the event, hitting a two-over-par 73 on a challenging and damp course. This earned him the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II Player of the Year award.

He was also one of his team’s top players throughout the season and made it four years in a row as an all-conference honoree by placing among the top 10 golfers in the conference championship.