The Watauga Middle School football team kicked-off the season with a lot of question marks.
And rightfully so. The Wolverines lost a strong nucleus to graduation from a team that was 7-1 last fall. But any doubts that existed were quickly erased in the season opener Tuesday night in Newland.
The Wolverines defeated Avery 46-16 at MacDonald Stadium. Quarterback Aaron Dobbins scored three touchdowns and threw a touchdown pass; Michael Ebaugh caught a touchdown pass; Evan Suggs, and Hamilton Castle each scored a rushing touchdown, and Watauga was five of six on extra-point conversions. Linebacker Jake Campbell, who was a standout defensively, also scored a two-point conversion.
Justin Hollars had an interception; Dakota Finger recovered a fumble and Paul Zamudio had a strong game on special teams. Watauga (1-0) has a bye next week. The Wolverines will play their home opener against West Alexander Jack Groce Stadium at the new Watauga High, Tuesday, September 7 at 5 p.m.
WHS TENNIS WINS NW3A/4A OPENER
The Watauga High women's tennis team clobbered Alexander Central 7-2 in its Northwestern 3A/4A Conference opener Tuesday afternoon in Taylorsville.
Meredith Smith, Hannah Petersen, Sarah Petersen, Margaret Anagnos and Nicole Fox were victorious in singles play; Sarah Petersen and Fox picked up a win at No.1 doubles, and Anagnos and Emily Burwell picked up a win at No.2 doubles. Ali Maupin and Savannahj Copeland won a doubles exhibition match. WHS (2-0 overall; 1-0 NW3A/4A), which plays three matches in three days, travels to Salisbury for a 4:30 p.m. match Wednesday afternoon.
WHS SOCCER BOUNCES BACK FROM FIRST LOSS
The Watauga High men's soccer team bounced back from its fisrt loss of the year by knocking off Avery 2-0 Tuesday night in the second round of the Patton Invitational in Morganton.
Eli Gailes broke a scoreless tie with a goal at the 60-minute mark of the second half. Jake Chasteen picked up the assist; Alex Parson added an insurance goal with his third of the season at the 77 minute mark. WHS (3-1) takes on Patton Thursday night at 5 p.m. to wrap-up tournament play.
WHS VOLLEYBALL FALLS IN FIVE
The Watauga High volleyball team suffered its first loss of the year Tuesday night at Lentz-Eggers Gym.
North Surry rallied from a 2-1 games deficit and defeated WHS 25-22 in game four, and 15-8 in game five to win the match 3-2. Anna Church paced WHS (1-1) with the best game of her career: 12 digs, eight kills, 20 assists and nine blocks. Hannah Stewart had 11 kills and ten digs. Kristen Carter had 27 assists.
"It was a great match," said WHS coach Kris Hagaman. "North Surry has a very good program. Give them credit, they came back and won the match. Anna has a super game. It was back-and-forth all night."
Colby Combs added nine kills and 12 blocks; Channing Hagaman had nine kills a 12 digs; Ashlin Van Dyke had 20 digs and Skylar Hicks had 18 digs.
The JV team rallied to beat North Surry 2-1. The JV team (2-0) lost game one 24-26, but won game two 25-22 and game three 25-20 to win the match.
Whitney Dunnigan paced the Pioneers with 15 assists and three kills; Meredith Farthing had 13 digs, seven kills and two blocks. Bridget McKinney had eight kills, Sarah Combs had five aces and Sierra Hill had six kills and three aces.
WHS travels to A.C. Reynolds Thursday night; the Pioneers return home to play Newton-Conover and Enka in a tri-match Saturday at Lentz-Eggers Gym. Saturday's tri-match begins at 10 a.m.