23-24 Year in Review

Published | Jun 3, 2024


Introducing the inaugural VSN Cup, a new award to which school had the best year of accomplishments

This year’s winner is East Burke with a 219-171 score over Draughn

The accomplishments will be listed for each school below

East Burke Cavaliers

Athletes of Week: 172

Championships (21)

Girls Tennis: CVAC singles Braelyn Stilwell

Cross Country: CVAC girls 5K Cadence Willis

Wrestling: Burke Brawl: Grayson Phillips, Daniel Cook, Patrick Hernandez, Joshua Hess

Swimming: CVAC boys/girls champions

Indoor Track: KJ Byrd (1A/2A state champion), Avery Fraley (1A/2A state champion)

Girls Basketball: McDowell Christmas Tournament, CVAC regular season, CVAC tournament, 2A western regional

Softball: Burke Bash

Boys Tennis: CVAC tournament, CVAC singles Luke Borders

Track & Field: CVAC boys, 2A western regional boys, KJ Byrd (2A state champion), Avery Fraley (2A state champion)

CVAC honors (10)

Girls Tennis: player of year Braelyn Stilwell

Cross Country: girls runner of year Cadence Willis

Swimming: boys swimmer of year Tristen Carswell, boys coach of year Nikki Stamey

Girls Basketball: player of year Braelyn Stilwell

Track & Field: girls runner of year Cadence Willis, boys field athlete of year KJ Byrd, boys coach of year Joshua Martin & staff

Boys Tennis: player of year Luke Borders, coach of year Fred Brown

2A state qualifiers (11)

Cross Country: Elijah Baker, Cadence Willis

Wrestling: Joshua Hess

Girls Basketball: state championship game apperance

Boys Tennis: Luke Borders

Track & Field: Kolby Byrd, Brady Bostain, KJ Byrd, Avery Fraley, Nathan Rees, Cadence Willis

2A state playoff berths (5)

Volleyball: 2A First Round

Girls Basketball: 2A State runner-up

Boys Tennis: 2A First Round

Baseball: 2A First Round

Softball: 2A First Round

Draughn Wildcats

Athletes of Week: 137

Championships (13)

Volleyball: JV/V county, JV W Highlands

Cross Country: girls county

Wrestling: Burke Brawl: Hampton Blackwell, W Highlands: Diamond Vasquez, Destiny Vasquez, Mackinzie Basinger

Swimming: boys W Highlands

Baseball: W Highlands

Track & Field: W Highlands: Ambria Blalock, Ethan Miller (2)

W Highlands honors (8)

Athlete of Year Eli Tillery

Girls Tennis: coach of year Kelsey Houser

Football: offensive player of year Eli Tillery

Track & Field: boys field athlete of year Ethan Miller

Baseball: player of year Tate Jensen, pitcher of year Blake McElyea, coach of year Kenny Stephens

Softball: player of year Maddie Crouch

1A state qualifiers (5)

Girls Golf: Laney Hodge, Ellie Cline

Wrestling: Mackinzie Branch, Hampton Blackwell

Swimming: boys 200 Medley Relay

1A state playoff berths (8)

Volleyball: 1A First Round

Girls Tennis: 1A Second Round

Football: 1A First Round

Wrestling: 1A First Round

Girls Basketball: 1A First Round

Baseball: 1A Third Round

Softball: 1A Second Round

Girls Soccer: 1A Second Round

VSN Awards

Teams of Year

Draughn Football (head coach Chris Powell) 11 athletes of week

Nigel Dula, Hampton Blackwell, Shaydon Pino, Eli Tillery, Connor Pinkerton, Rudy Mendoza, Sterling Radabaugh, Jacob Mull, Marshall Brinkley, Justice Cunningham, Alex Wright

East Burke Football (head coach Derrick Minor) 10 athletes of week

Jordan Fox, Jacob Dellinger, Brady Bostain, KJ Byrd, Levi Coble, Diego Ramos, Darren Hammons, Cannon Morrison, Zayne Newman, Mason Robison

Draughn Swimming (head coach Stephanie Mull) 11 athletes of week

William Abernathy, Brandon Sexton, Jacob Mull, Tate Jensen, Ava Aldridge, Addy Lowman, Lilah Johnson, Ally Auton, Macy Auton, Griffin Stephens, Abdiel Tomas

East Burke Swimming (head coaches Haley Oxentine/Nikki Stamey) 10 athletes of week

Jacob Gersch, Taylor Lennex, Noah Ramsey, Tristen Carswell, Haiden Dale, Freyja Lemaire, Ella Beth Oxentine, Gracie Stamey, Grace Hammack, Amanda McLean

East Burke Wrestling (head coach Mark Boyd) 9 athletes of week

Hue Xiong, Connor Mobley, Grayson Phillips, Cody Bryant, Zach Ward, Daniel Cook, Joshua Hess, Antonio Bedolla, Patrick Hernandez

Draughn Softball (head coach Chris Powell) 11 athletes of week

Lindsey Hensley, Ava Aldridge, Maddie Crouch, Katie Hamm, Laney Winebarger, Avie Helton, Cydnee Deal, Karlie Micol, Raygen McDaniel, Kadence Clontz, Braylen Clontz

Draughn Baseball (head coach Kenny Stephens) 10 athletes of week

Jacob Mull, Tate Jensen, Blake McElyea, Logan Carswell, Logan McGee, Benson Rhoney, Gavin Keaton, Griffin Stephens, Bryson Powell, Hunter Cody

East Burke Softball (head coach Tracy Greene) 9 athletes of week

Katherine Greene, Amanda McLean, Heaven Waycaster, Hayden Lowman, Hermione Garro, Addy Fortenberry, Raegan Carter, Grace Hammack, Kyndal Morrison

Athletes of Year

Adam Manns award (Draughn): Maddie Crouch, Ambria Blalock, Eli Tillery

Tyler Shatley award (East Burke): Katherine Greene, Brady Bostain

Black & Gold award (Draughn): Speed Hatley, Helena Hatley, Trinity McDaniel, Jenna Abernathy, Hampton Blackwell, Katie Hamm, Laney Winebarger, Blake McElyea, Logan McGee

Adam Benson Cavalier Pride award (East Burke): Gavon Franklin, Asher Gebhard, Davis Wall, Jacob Dellinger, Spencer Mast, Levi Coble, Kassie Turner, Ally Moore, Kamiah Lawing, KJ Byrd, Avery Fraley, Grace Hammack


Scoring Champions: D’Andre Moore (Draughn boys), Braelyn Stilwell (East Burke girls)

Rookie of Year: Kenley Berry (Draughn girls), Owen Hartmann (East Burke boys)

Matthew 20:16 award: Jacey Davis (Draughn girls), Marshall Brinkley (Draughn boys), Kaliyah Hill (East Burke girls), Jay Dixon (East Burke boys)

Swimmer of Year: William Abernathy (Draughn)

Wrestler of Year: Hampton Blackwell (Draughn)

Baseball MVP: Tate Jensen (Draughn)

Softball MVP: Maddie Crouch, Katie Hamm (Draughn)

Amber Queen Girls Soccer MVP: Ashley Hernandez (East Burke)

Golf MVP: Nick Newton (East Burke boys)

Tennis MVP: Luke Borders (East Burke boys)

Most Viewed Stories






Special Thanks


Mears Insurance Group

Brittain’s Tree & Crane Service

B&K Moving & in-home delivery

The Barn at Wildwood Acres

Wildwood Bridal


Jamie Torres Ministries

Twin Brothers Pizza

Cavalier BBQ Bash

Lowder Lawn Care

East End Barber Shop

High Peak Baptist Church children’s group

Valdese Family Practice


Wayne Baker

David Harmon

Joshua Dula/Big Red Sports Network

Jason Roberts/J&T Pixels

Raegan Carter

Caroline Cox

Bradley Richards/Oh Snap Vidz


DaMark Screen Printing & Embroidery

Crown Awards



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