Five area soccer players have been named to this year's all-state team, headlined by a quartet of Hilton Head Island High School players headed to state championship games this weekend.
Senior forward Ruben Romero and junior midfielder Chris MacMurray were both named to the Class 3-A boys team for the Seahawks, who are appearing in their first state title game Saturday against Fort Mill. MacMurray has netted three game-winning goals this year for Hilton Head High while Romero may be the first attacking player from the school to be named to the all-state team, according to coach Wayne Quinlan.
Romero will also join Jessica Bonilla of the Hilton Head High girls team at this year's North-South Soccer Classic.
The boys were accompanied by Seahawk juniors Emily Crick and Kelsey Fitzhugh, who were both named to the 3-A girls team. The two are looking to lead Hilton Head High to its second consecutive state crown today against Eastside in Columbia.
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Martin Sotelo of Hardeeville rounds out the list, as the forward was named to the Class 1-A boys all-state team. The freshman led the Hurricanes during the regular season with 14 goals while also helping Hardeeville reach the third round of the playoffs.
State individual tennis tournament begins today
The South Carolina individual tennis tournament begins this weekend for four local high schoolers.
The actual draw does not come out until later today, so Beaufort High's Malcolm Kates and James Bachety -- along with Bluffton's Christopher Davis -- will have to wait to see their opponents in the Class 3-A/4-A bracket. Whale Branch's Dustin Jagos also qualified in the 1-A/2-A division.
Kates is seeded fifth out of 32 players.
The tournament starts at 2 p.m. today at the Lexington County Tennis Complex and will resume Saturday at 9 a.m.
SCISAA players selected to North-South rosters
A bevy of SCISAA players were named to this year's North-South rosters, highlighted by four Thomas Heyward Academy girls, who made the 1-A/2-A South softball roster.
Ashlie Layman, Taylor Ernestine, Caitlyn Cooler and Brianna Kelnhofer all were selected to this year's team. The Rebels finished their season as the state runner-up to Marlboro Academy on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Patrick Briody of Hilton Head Prep and Andrew Halley of Hilton Head Christian both made the South's 3-A baseball team.
In soccer, four area boys and four girls were selected. Campbell Goss and Logan Clark of Prep made the cut, as did Conner Akers and Billy Dailey of Beaufort Academy. On the girls side, Miranda Weslake and Madeline Griffith of Beaufort Academy were selected as were Prep's Halie Parker and Christian Academy's Nicole Sicilia.
Beaufort Academy soccer coaches honored
Beaufort Academy girls soccer coach David Byrne and boys coach Bill Dalton were both named SCISAA's Region III Soccer Coaches of the Year.
Byrne led the Eagles to the state championship game for the second year in a row this season, where Beaufort Academy fell short in a 3-2 loss to Oakbrook Prep of Spartanburg. His group finished the year with an 11-6 record.
Dalton, meanwhile, helped guide the Eagles to the Region 1-AA title this year, which Beaufort Academy clinched with a 5-0 win over Cathedral Academy. The Eagles fell to James Island Christian in the first round of the playoffs on May 7.
Battery Creek's Brown recognized
Battery Creek athlete Gretchen Brown has been named the Class 3-A Track and Field Athlete of the Year by the S.C. Coaches Association of Women's Sports. She will be recognized at the association's banquet.
At the Class 3-A state meet earlier this month, Brown won the 100-meter hurdles, finished second in the long jump, fourth in the triple jump and was part of the Dolphins' 4x100-meter relay team. The senior helped Battery Creek to a tie for 10th in the girls team competition, out of more than 30 teams.
Brown was Region 7-AAA champion in the 100-meter hurdles, the long jump and triple jump.
Stephen Fastenau contributed to this report.