No. 6 sports story of 2018 | Area individuals earn state, national awards
By Malcolm Shields
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
From state to national awards, multiple figures in the region were recognized during the past year.
Those accomplishments are the No. 6 sports story of 2018.
The John A. Holmes athletic department won multiple awards during the past year.
In January, Edenton head coach Paul Hoggard was named the National Federation of High Schools North Carolina Football Coach of the Year.
Edenton athletics was recognized by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association during its fall banquet in May.
Edenton athletes Anna Bass and Ben Ward were named NCHSAA Heart of a Champion award recipients.
Edenton softball and volleyball player Sharon Jackson was named the NCHSAA Willie Bradshaw scholarship award recipient for Region 1.
Edenton baseball coach Robert Jordan was named the NCHSAA baseball coach of the year for the 2016-17 year, while longtime coach Andy Downing received the NCHSAA Homer Thompson Eight Who Make A Difference award for Region 1.
The Homer Thompson award recognizes individuals for their exemplary sportsmanship.
Former Perquimans boys basketball coach Tommy Johnson was selected to serve as an assistant coach at the 2018 East-West All-Star boys basketball game July 16 in Greensboro.
Johnson did not return to coach the Pirates after the 2017-18 season.
Elizabeth City State men's basketball player Zaccheus Hobbs was named the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Rookie of the Year in late February for the 2017-18 season.
Northeastern's Traveon Freshwater was one of 51 finalists named to the 2018 Butkus Award high school watch list in July.
The award is given to the nation's top high school linebacker.
Freshwater would add to his achievements in October as he was named to participate in the 2018 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas all-star football game.
Northeastern head football coach Antonio Moore also received his Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas blazer at halftime of the Eagles' first round state playoff game against Fairmont Nov. 16.
Moore was selected in December 2017 to serve as an assistant coach in the 2018 Shrine Bowl for Team North Carolina.
Freshwater and Moore were unable to attend the game because Northeastern played in the NCHSAA 2A state championship game Dec. 15.
The state title game was held the same day as the Shrine Bowl contest in South Carolina.
Former Elizabeth City State and NFL quarterback Johnnie Walton was named a finalist for the Black College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019 in October.
The year concluded with Currituck and baseball coach Justin Hill being recognized by the North Carolina Baseball Coaches Association for Currituck having the Field of the Year in Region 1.