Grading Out: Spring athletes come out strong

Published 2:37 pm Monday, March 6, 2017

The spring athletics season is upon us. This early portion of the season will see Beaufort County’s competitors get their feet under. A lot of teams load up their non-conference schedules with tough foes as they try and prepare themselves for league competition later on.

Many of the local squads have been successful against stronger teams. Northside won each of its first baseball games of the season. The Panthers capped off the perfect season-opening week with a thrilling, extra-innings win over a 2-A ball club in Ayden-Grifton.

Northside softball, Southside baseball and Southside softball were also perfect in their first week. Here are the local standouts that helped make that possible.



Zach Woolard was key to Northside’s success in the first week of the season. The junior pitcher threw three innings of scoreless relief in a 10-0 win against South Creek in the Panthers’ second game of the season. He struck out seven of the nine Cougar batters he faced.

Woolard then turned around and started Friday’s game against Ayden-Grifton. He worked through four innings, conceding four runs on four hits. He struck out two and didn’t issue any walks.



Southside has some power at the plate that helped it score 31 runs in its first two games. Sophomore Rachel Buck accounted for 15 of those runs. She scored six herself and batted in nine more.

The Lady Seahawks have 19 extra-base hits already. Buck has six of those — a double, three triples and two home runs. It’s an encouraging sign for Southside’s bats to be alive at the onset of the season.



Washington’s soccer team started hot with a 9-0 win over Northeastern, but fizzled out a bit when it ran into tough competition in the Battle at the Beach tournament in Jacksonville.

Prescott has found twine five times in three games so far. Even though the Lady Pack lost its two weekend tilts against Havelock and Southwest Onslow, she and the rest of the offense showed that they’ll be plenty dangerous this season.



Like a few other teams in the county, Northside softball swept its season-opening week. The Lady Panthers are in the process of retooling their offense, but one wouldn’t guess considering the 27 runs they’ve scored in two games.

Newman was one of three Northside batters to collect five hits in the first week — joining Kaitlyn Spain and Brooklyn Hudnell. She batted in six runs and scored four herself. She was also a perfect 5-of-5 on the base paths.



Brantley Cutler toed the rubber for the first time in almost a year when he started Friday’s game against South Creek. The Seahawk southpaw rolled through nearly four innings before getting in a jam. During that span, Cutler struck out seven batters in a row and nine total.

At the plate, Cutler was one of three Seahawks to notch multiple hits. He batted in one of Southside’s runs in an 11-4 win. He and his team started off the season with a 2-0 week.