Aycock's Barfield, Simmons lead ECC All-Conference parade
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 26, 2011 11:03 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock collected the most honors of schools in the News-Argus readership area that compete in the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference.
Juniors Brooke Barfield and Tara Simmons captured the player-of-the-year awards in women's tennis and women's golf, respectively. The football team and men's and women's cross country teams earned the sportsmanship awards in their respective sports.
Roger Rhodes picked up the women's golf coach-of-the-year award after leading the program to its most-successful season in school history. Davis Harris and Brad Matthews garnered coach-of-the-year recognition in volleyball and women's tennis, respectively.
Barfield, who transferred from Wayne Christian, played at the No. 1 singles slot and teamed with freshman Ashton Walker at No. 1 doubles. Barfield-Walker won the ECC doubles crown, finished in the top four in the eastern regional and advanced to the N.C. High School Athletic Association state tournament.
The duo helped the Golden Falcons compile a 22-2 dual-team record that included the program's first ECC title since 2006.
Simmons, as expected, dominated the golf scene. She captured the inaugural NCHSAA 3-A east individual crown, and helped Aycock secure the team championship. One week later, Simmons seized the NCHSAA individual title.
An avid drag racer, Rogers conceded he had a limited knowledge of golf before he took over the program. Patient parents helped him along the way and he groomed quality players to complement Simmons, who showed her leadership throughout the season.
Harris coached an experienced junior- and senior-ladened team to a runner-up finish behind Triton in ECC regular-season and tournament play. The Golden Falcons (16-6 overall) won a postseason match for the first time since 2003 and ninth time overall in program history with Davis on the bench.
Matthews had his entire starting lineup qualify for regional play in doubles, and he won his first ECC women's tennis championship as a head coach.
Eastern Wayne senior Kyle Sasser pulled off an unexpected double-double this fall. Sasser collected all-ECC accolades in men's soccer and football, and also won the soccer team's Golden Foot award for scoring the most goals (eight) this season.
North Lenoir's Donnell Garris earned the ECC men's soccer coach-of-the-year award. The Hawks logged a program-best 18-2-2 worksheet that included the ECC tournament championship, and a first-round loss to Fike on penalty kicks in the NCHSAA playoffs.
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