Thirteen EAHS winter sports stars earn All-Conference honors

Eastern Alamance head women's basketball coach Tim Krotish (left) was named the Mid-State Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Eagles to a 24-5 season and the Mid-State Conference regular season and conference tournament titles. Sophomore guard Laila Anderson (right) was one of three Eagles to make the All-Conference squad, joining teammates Amiyah Evans and Hali Watkins. 

Prior to the decision by the State of North Carolina to cancel public school classes and extracurricular activities throughout the state, the Mid-State Conference announced its All-Conference selections for the winter sports of men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, and men’s and women’s swimming. 

A combined total of 13 Eastern Alamance High athletes across the five winter sports were recognized for All-Conference recognition by the Mid-State Conference. In addition, women’s basketball head coach Tim Krotish and men’s swimming head coach Stephen Loy were each named Mid-State Conference Coach of the Year. 

Krotish led the youthful Eagles’ women’s basketball squad, who featured four sophomores in their starting lineup, to a 24-5 overall record, a share of the Mid-State Conference regular season title and the Mid-State Conference Tournament championship, along with a run to the third round of this winter’s NCHSAA 3A state playoffs. 

In addition to Krotish’s recognition as the league’s Coach of the Year, three members of the Eagles rotation - sophomores Laila Anderson, Hali Watkins, and Amiyah Evans - were all named to the All-Conference squad. 

Anderson led the Eagles with an average of 15.3 points per game, while Watkins also averaged in double figures with 10.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.9 steals per contest. Evans averaged 8.1 points, five rebounds, and 2.8 steals an outing for the league champions. 

Eastern High’s men’s basketball team posted two players - Nick Blackwell and Darius Kane - to the Mid-State All-Conference squad. Although it was a disappointing season for the Eagles, who followed up their 2018-19 league championship season with a 10-15 record this winter, Blackwell and Kane were shining lights. 

Despite missing several games early on with an injury suffered during football season, Kane led the Eagles with an average of 15.2 points per game, while Blackwell also averaged in double figures with 10.6 points per outing, along with a team-high 4.9 rebounds an outing. 

Three members of the EAHS men’s wrestling squad - Christopher Watson, Noah Forshee, and Bricy Chavis-Munoz - were named All-Mid-State Conference. Watson, EAHS’s 106-pound grappler, posted a record of 38-5, earning the Mid-State Conference individual title in his weight class, and advancing to the NCHSAA 3A state finals. 

Forshee won the Mid-State Conference crown in the 160-pound weight class and narrowly missed advancing to the state finals, finishing his senior season with an overall record of 30-4. 

Chavis-Munoz placed fourth in the Mid-State Conference tournament at 182 pounds and finished the season with a 21-11 overall record. 

As a team, the 2019-20 Eagles posted a 20-5 overall record in dual team matches, along with a 3-3 record in Mid-State Conference play, finishing in fourth place out of eight teams in the league. 

The Eagles had a solid year in men’s and women’s swimming, as men’s standout Owen Sawyer and women’s star Sophia Lange each won individual conference titles. Sawyer joined teammates Doc Engwall, Ethan Brouwer, and Jackson Stokes on the EAHS men's 200-yard individual medley relay team, which qualified for the state championships. 

Sawyer won Mid-State Conference championships for the Eagles in the men’s 200-yard individual medley, as well as the 100-yard butterfly race, while Lange earned first place in the 100-yard butterfly and 500-yard freestyle races. Lange won a state championship for the Eagles in 2019 in the 500-yard freestyle event, and placed fourth in the 500-yard freestyle and fifth in the 100-yard butterfly events in the 2020 NCHSAA 3A state finals.

Sawyer was Eastern’s lone representative on the All-Mid-State Conference men’s swimming team for 2019-20, but the Eagles as a team won the league’s Sportsmanship Award. In addition, Eastern head coach Stephen Loy was named the Mid-State Conference men’s swimming Coach of the Year for his efforts. The Eagles posted a strong third place finish at the Mid-State Conference meet. 

Four members of the EAHS women’s swimming team - Lange, Braylee Carter, Molly Widderich, and Sydney Levanthal - were named All-Conference, while Lange was named the Mid-State Conference women’s Swimmer of the Year. The Eagles placed fourth in the Mid-State leaguewide meet.