It’s time to vote for the first Charlotte Observer boys spring sports athlete of the week

Langston Wertz Jr., Jay Edwards
·7 min read

This week, the Observer opens voting for the first boys spring sports athlete of the week.

Readers can vote as often as they like through Thursday when a winner will be announced.

Each week, the newspaper will release a list of finalists based off of coaches nominations.

Here are this week’s finalists:

Adam Bennett, Hough Baseball: The Hough senior pitcher gave up only two hits, striking out nine batters in 5.2 innings of work to lead the Huskies to a 1-0 win over Providence March 6

Bennett, who got the win on the mound against Providence, allowed only one walk in same game to help Hough win their season opener.

Reed Bolin, Charlotte Country Day Baseball: The Charlotte Country Day senior tossed a complete game with nine strikeouts in five innings of work to lead Charlotte Country Day to a 13-0 win over North Raleigh Christian March 6.

Bolin is 1-1 on the mound with season with a 2.17 earned-run average (ERA), including 15 strikeouts in 9.2 innings of work.

Charlotte Country Day is 3-2 this season.

Jake Cunningham, Ardrey Kell Baseball: The Ardrey Kell senior missed most of last season with a torn hip labrum, according to Knights’ baseball coach, Hal Bagwell.

This season, Cunningham is already making up for lost time as he hit the go-ahead home run in the fourth inning.

Cunningham also made a game-saving catch in the field in the sixth inning, before helping his team get the last four outs on the mound to earn the save in the same game.

Cunningham, a Charlotte 49ers’ signee, helped Ardrey Kell to a 1-1 start this week.

Tommy DeRienzis/Diego Sanjuan, St. Stephens’ Tennis: The St. Stephens’ senior duo earned a “golden set,” by beating their Bunker Hill opponents’ 8-0 in their doubles’ match without giving up a point in the entire match.

DeRienzas and Sanjuan helped St. Stephens win 9-0 at Bunker Hill as a team to start the season 1-0.

Lexton Ford, West Caldwell Golf: The West Caldwell junior shot a 3-under-par 33 to lead his team to a 13-shot victory over Alexander Central at Brushy Mountain Golf Club March 4.

Ford had three birdies and six pars in his round, hitting all seven fairways and all nine greens in regulation.

Ford is a two-time, all-Northwest Foothills’ 2A conference performer.

Matthew Gooch, Carmel Christian Tennis: The Carmel Christian senior won both his singles and doubles’ matches to help the Cougars to a 5-4 win over Charlotte Latin at the Levine Jewish Community Center March 2.

Gooch beat Charlotte Latin’s Aathreya Mahesh 6-4, 6-1, at No. 1 singles.

He also teamed with Gabe Avram to defeat Latin’s Mahesh and Andrew Lewis, 8-2, at No. 1 doubles to score the critical win to help Carmel Christian to victory.

Jack Harrison, SouthLake Christian Lacrosse: The SouthLake Christian senior goalkeeper had 14 saves, saving 78 percent of the shots on goal in the game, to lead the Eagles to a 5-4 win over Charlotte Latin March 3.

Anderson, an Anderson College (SC) commit, has 20 saves for SouthLake Christian (2-0) this season.

Carson Hegele, Cuthbertson Baseball: The Cuthbertson got off to a hot start to the season, going 4-for-4 at the plate with a stolen base and four runs scored to help the Cavaliers to a 16-3 win at Cox Mill in his first start in a varsity game March 4.

Hegele also turned a double-play in the same game as Cuthbertson (1-0) won their only game of the week.

Eli Jerzembeck, Providence Baseball: The Providence sophomore pitcher struck out 10 batters and didn’t allow an earned in four innings of work to earn the victory in a 3-1 win over Marvin Ridge March 4.

Jerzembeck, a University of South Carolina commit, helped Providence to a 2-1 start to the season, also beating East Mecklenburg (12-2) and a tough 1-0 loss at Hough.

Cooper King, Carmel Christian Baseball: The Carmel Christian senior was dominant with 17 strikeouts in six innings on the mound to lead the Cougars to an 11-2 win over Hickory Grove March 6.

King, a N.C. State commit, struck out every batter in the lineup at least once, striking out batters six through nine twice in the same game.

He also earned the save with two strikeouts in a 7-6 win over Lake Norman Charter March 4.

King was also 3-7 at the plate with a home run and five RBI in two games this week.

Carmel Christian is 2-1 this season.

Mikey Lavella, Community School of Davidson Lacrosse: The Community School of Davidson star had five goals (on six shots), including the game-winning score with three minutes left to give the Spartans a 7-6 victory at Pine Lake Prep March 2.

Lavella also had one assist in the same game to help Community School of Davidson (1-0) win their season opener.

John Miralia, Providence Day Baseball: The 6-foot-6 senior had a big week on the mound and at the plate for Providence Day this week.

Miralia pitched four shutout innings with eight strikeouts in a 9-5 win over Wake Christian March 6. He also went 1-2 at the plate with a home run and three RBI in the same game.

Miralia also went 4-for-5 at the plate with a home run and two RBI in a 5-4 victory over Ravenscroft in eight innings March 7.

He went 2-for-4 with an RBI double in Providence Day’s second game of the same day, resulting in a 6-2 win over North Raleigh Christian.

Miralia is 7-of-11 at the plate this season with two home runs and five RBI for a Providence Day team off to a perfect 3-0 start.

Micah Stechmiller, Lake Norman Charter Lacrosse: The Lake Norman Charter junior had 12 goals, 11 assists and 13 groundballs in wins over Christ the King, Patton and St. Stephens.

Stechmiller started his week with eight goals, five assists and three groundballs in a 22-15 win over St. Stephens March 2.

Two days later, he had two goals and five assists in a 20-4 win over Patton.

Stechmiller finished the week with two goals, one assists and six groundballs in a 12-6 win at Christ the King to help Lake Norman Charter to a perfect 3-0 start this season.

Anthony Todaro, Weddington Lacrosse: The Weddington senior attacker scored 12 goals and had five assists in wins over Dorman (SC) and Page.

Todaro started the season with seven goals and four assists in a 22-9 win over Dorman (SC), March 2.

The SUNY Binghamton University commit also had five goals and one assist in a 7-4 victory over Page to help Weddington improve to 2-0 on the season.

Kenny Walter, Cox Mill Golf: The Cox Mill junior shot a 3-under par 33 at Skybrook Golf Club to lead the Chargers to a 51-shot victory in their South Piedmont conference (SPC) opener March 4.

Walter had two birdies and an eagle on the par-5, 8th-hole to lead Cox Mill to victory.

** Information published today includes statistics through March 8.

Want to nominate an athlete?: Athletes of the week highlights high school players with outstanding performances. The goal is to recognize all athletes in all sports, both the most accomplished and the underrated or underappreciated players. If you want to suggest someone to be included in the Athletes of the week column, send email to Jay Edwards at Please include the athletes’ name, school, class and applicable game performance statistics. Coaches must be willing to verify information.

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