Suffolk spring talent abounds

Published 4:15 pm Saturday, June 6, 2015

The 2015 spring sports season once again yielded some rich candidates to consider to claim the female and male awards for Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Spring Player of the Year.

While King’s Fork High School sophomore soccer star Cydney Nichols garnered the female award, she was picked from a strong field of Suffolk softball standouts.

Nansemond River High School junior middle infielder KateLynn Hodgkiss helped power another very successful Lady Warriors squad that went 19-3 this year, qualified for regional play and won the conference tournament championship.

Email newsletter signup

Though she was sidelined by injury for some games this season, and rested in other contests that were lopsided, she put up impressive numbers. Through 14 games played, she carried a .476 batting average, .622 on-base percentage and .548 slugging percentage.

She was recognized as the Ironclad Conference softball Player of the Year.

The other softball player in the running for that title was King’s Fork senior pitcher Sydney Wash, who finished her four-year varsity career with a stellar season.

Through 110 innings pitched, she threw 169 strikeouts, allowed only 38 hits and had an earned run average of 0.55.

She was also strong on offense. Through 62 at-bats, she had a .387 batting average and a .468 slugging percentage, with 24 hits, 12 RBIS and 11 runs scored.

Nansemond River High School senior baseball standout Robert Fitzwater received the male Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Spring Player of the Year award, but he, too, was chosen from good company.

Suffolk Christian Academy junior Shawn Moose continued to be a remarkable presence on the diamond, helping the Knights win their conference tournament championship for the third straight season.

He was named the conference Player of the Year for the second straight year.

Against conference opponents this season, Moose led his team with a .667 batting average, a 1.333 slugging percentage, a .719 on-base percentage, 18 hits, 22 runs scored, six doubles, three triples and two home runs in 27 at-bats. He also had 11 runs batted in.

He spent 10 innings on the mound against conference opponents, facing 34 batters. He threw 24 strikeouts, allowed only 30 hits, his opponents’ batting average against him was .088 and he had an earned run average of 0.00.

He spent most of his time on defense at shortstop where he shined due to his athleticism, quickness and arm strength.

Nansemond River senior tennis player Nipun Chhabra had a strong year on the court that brought some well-deserved conference recognition.

Down 0-3 in the first set of the Ironclad Conference singles tournament final against a talented senior star from Denbigh High School, Chhabra engineered a remarkable comeback by changing his style of play. He won 12 out of the next 13 games to emerge as the conference champion.

During the regular season, he went 5-0 against conference opponents and 8-6 overall, honing his abilities against challenging foes from the Southeastern District for the first half of the season.