Jake Watts turned in a solid effort in his final high school game Wednesday night.
Watts, who will attend Milligan College, an NAIA school in Johnson City, TN., this fall, came through with another marvelous performance in the East-West Senior All-Star game at the Wake Forest University Baseball Park in Winston-Salem. The former Watauga High product went three innings and gave up one run, unearned, on two hits with four strikeouts, but received a no-decision for his efforts. The West won game one of that double-header 8-7; the East came back to win game two, 6-0.
For Watts it was a fitting end to a brilliant senior year. The righthander was 9-4 with a 2.20 earned-run-average in 2011. He was 12-6 in his two-year varsity career with the Pioneers. Watts was 3-1 in the state playoffs this season, and he had a microscopic 0.45 ERA in his last five appearances of the year. He only gave up two earned runs during that stretch.
Dylan Norris did not play in the East-West game. The senior, who was the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference Pitcher of the Year his junior year, was 2-1 with a 3.82 ERA this past season. But he was hampered by a shoulder injury.
Norris had surgery on his ailing right shoulder Tuesday. He is expected to make a full recovery according to his high school coach Pete Hardee.
"He'll be stronger that ever," he said. "Dylan has a great future, and should do very well at the next level."
Norris, who will attend Pfeiffer University, a Division II school this fall, still had four complete games this season, despite the injury. He also had 37 strikeouts and only allowed eight walks in 29 1/3 innings. He was named Honorable Mention in the NW3A/4A Conference this season.
Matt Proffitt, Max Linville and Ryan Turner will represent the Pioneers at the North Carolina State Games this weekend. They will play for the Region 7 All-Stars. Region 7 plays Region 5 Thursday night in the opening round at 7 pm. All games, except the consolation round, will be played at the Wake Forest Baseball Park; the consolation-round games on Sunday will be played at Forsyth Country Day School in Winston-Salem.
BRADY, MAUNEY SELECTED FOR STATE GAMES
Sophomores Lillie Brady and Lydia Mauney of the Watauga High women's soccer team will be competing in the North Carolina State Games this weekend at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.
Brady and Mauney will be playing for the West girls. They take on the East in their first-round game Saturday morning at 10 am. The East girls are led by former WHS soccer coach Doug Kidd. The medal-round games will be played Sunday morning at 9 am; the consolation games will be played at 11:30 am.
Brady and Mauney are the first WHS players to compete in the state games in two years. WHS did not have a representative last season. The WHS men have not had a player competing in the state games in four years.
FORMER PIONEER TAKES OVER AT FRED T. FOARD
Jason Phelps, who graduated from Watauga High School in 1992, has been named the new head football coach at Fred T. Foard. He replaces Ryan Gettys, who stepped down after eight seasons with the Tigers. Phelps, who spent the last three years at Barltett Yancey High School (6-26), graduated from Appalachian State University in 1996. He played defensive back for the Mountaineers for two years. The Tigers were 0-11 last season.
BOWNE, ANDERSON ANNOUNCE RETIREMENTS
Gary Bowne, the longest tenured coach in the greater Hickory area, has announced his retirement. Bowne was a head coach for 34 seasons, the last 21 at St. Stephens. He won 295 games in his career (295-286), and 277 with the Indians (277-257)......Danny Anderson, the men's basketball coach and Athletics Director at West Caldwell, has announced he will retire August 1. Anderson has coached for 29 years, the last 19 at West Caldwell. He leaves with 582 career victories. Anderson, who will also step down as AD, led the Warriors to the state championship game in 1994, 1999 and 2010. West Caldwell was 24-3 last season and lost to Mountain Heritage in the second-round of the state playoffs......And former Avery quarterbacks/wide receivers coach Kyle Richardson has been named the new head coach at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill, SC. Richardson, who graduated from ASU in 2001, has been the offensive coordinator at Northwestern the last four years. He's also had coaching stints at Southeastern Louisiana University as wide receivers coach, North Gwinnett High School near
Atlanta as offensive coordinator, and Lee County High School as receivers coach.