By Scott Richards
Irene Ballard has been accepted at Averett University, and after trying out for the cheer team in April, she found she made the team! Ballard for the last three years has combined sideline and competitive cheering into quite an exciting resume. She has been a member of the qualifying team for the last two years in addition to being a part of the 2014 district championship team. Her athletic interest also include a year on the varsity girls’ soccer team.
In the classroom, she holds a 4.1 GPA. Ballard is a member of the National Honor Society, and the Beta Club. In addition to all of that, she is very active in her church. At Averett, she plans to study Athletic Training.
Sierra Butler has always been one of the names spoken around Caroline when people speak of female athletes. A shot putter, she is a two time Conference 19 indoor champion, and earned a fourth place finish at the Indoor State Championships for the 2016 season as a junior. In 2017, Butler was the State runner-up Indoor State Champion. She was given the Field Award for the 2015-16 indoor, 2016-17 indoor and 2016 outdoor seasons. During her sophomore year she played on the basketball and softball teams.
Her athletic accolades are matched by her scholastic achievements. Maintaining a 3.73 GPA, she is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, and Mu Alpha Theta. With a goal of going to law school, Butler is undecided whether to attend Randolph Macon College or James Madison University.
Matt Carter is Caroline High School’s version of Mr. Baseball. A year round player, his off season work has shown well in the regular season. A three time letter winner in baseball, he was First Team All-Conference 19 Utility in 2016. Also in 2016, he earned Second team All-Team Conference 19 honors as a pitcher, First Team 4A All-Regional Utility, and Second Team 4A All State Utility. As a sophomore pitcher, he gave up one run in a playoff game against the eventual state champion. In 2014-15 Carter was on the JV baseball team.
Carter, who has achieved a 3.1 GPA, plans to study athletic training at Randolph Macon College in addition to playing ball there. He will be joining three former Cavalier teammates. Additional colleges considered were JMU, Radford, VCU, and VMI.
Deanna Evans has achieved a first in recent memory. Attending Ferrum College this fall, she will be extending her Field Hockey career to the NCAA level. She was awarded the team MVP in 2016 despite missing five games with a torn ACL. Evans started on the field hockey team at Caroline all of the three years she played. In addition, she was manager of the softball season for one season.
Off the pitch, she is a member of TAG, a Christian based organization, and has been in the JROTC for two years. At Ferrum, she plans to major in business administration with a minor in psychology.
Alantra Mines is the most decorated and well known Caroline athlete, male or female, in recent history. A three time state champion in the triple jump (2016 Indoor and Outdoor, 2017 Indoor), she has also competed in the New Balance National meet three times. A four year letter winner, Mines holds multiple regional championships, and is an All-Region place holder in sprints and the high jump. She has been a state qualifier in the high jump and a member of the state qualifying relay teams. The Free-Lance Star named her All Area in 2016 and 2017, and the FLS Track Athlete of the Year for the 2016 Indoor season. Prior to concentrating solely on track, Mines was a contributing member of the basketball team.
She is active in the community as a part of Sisters and Brothers United. Morgan State has given her a track and field scholarship where she plans to major in Sociology.
Brindon Williams is one of those athletes who can do whatever he sets his mind to. On the football team at Caroline, he played cornerback, wide receiver, quarterback, punt returner, and kick returner. A four year football player, Williams was Second Team All-Conference for two years running, in 2015 as a wide receiver and in 2016 as a kick returner. Four seasons of basketball included two years as a varsity letterman.
Williams is taking his athleticism to Averett University next year, where he was recruited as an athlete. Due to Averett’s close proximity to home, he became a priority in their recruiting efforts. Williams will be studying computer science and hopes for a career in cyber security.
Bill Wojcik drew a lot of notice in baseball during his sophomore year because of his batting. Although he played mostly second base in his career at Caroline, the 2017 season has had Wojcik all over the infield. Marymount University has recruited him primarily as a third baseman. This three year letter winner has been named All-Conference Honorable Mention the last two seasons, and Academic All-Conference, Honorable Mention Free-Lance Star All Area for 2016. In his sophomore year, he was the winner of the Tom Ball Award, given to a true student-athlete. For his commitment to the Caroline High School baseball team, he received the Coach’s Award for the 2016 season.
Wojcik’s commitment to scholarship has earned him a 3.8 GPA. After looking at VMI, he decided he will enter Marymount University this fall, where he plans to study criminal justice, with plans to join the military after college.