111121_eda_football_holmes_northeastern_playoffs Northeastern Gatling File

Northeastern’s E.J. Gatling, shown here against Edenton earlier in the season, led the Eagles to a home victory over Washington High School during the NCHSAA Class 2A third round state playoff football game, Friday, Nov. 19.

A Northeastern High School football player was recognized by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

Edrith “E.J.” Gatling, a senior wide receiver and defensive back for the Eagles was named the NCHSAA’s Performer of the Week for Week 14 of the 2021-22 high school sports season on Tuesday.

Gatling was recognized along with New Hanover High School men’s soccer player Aidan Payne.

According to the NCHSAA, Gatling, a senior on the Northeastern football team, did it all in the Eagles’ third round playoff win. Gatling carried the ball 17 times for 152 yards and three touchdowns, caught four passes for 75 yards and a touchdown, and recorded four tackles and an interception in their 57-47 win over Washington.

Payne, a senior on the New Hanover soccer team, scored two goals and assisted on a third in Saturday’s 4A State Championship match. His efforts propelled New Hanover to a 3-0 win over Hough.

The NCHSAA highlighted both athletes on its website social media accounts.


Several area high school volleyball players were recognized by the North Carolina Volleyball Coaches Association on Monday evening.

Currituck County’s Shaelin Bilbo, a sophomore libero and defensive specialist, was named to the NCVBCA’s Class 3A All-State team.

Camden County’s McKayla Knauss, a senior outside hitter, and Peyton Carver, a junior setter and right side hitter, along with Manteo’s Jamie Holton, a senior outside hitter and setter, were selected to the NCVBCA’s Class 2A All-State team.

Holton was named the NCVBCA Class 2A Player of the Year. Holton signed earlier this month to continue her volleyball career at NCAA Division I program The Citadel women’s volleyball program.

Perquimans County’s Eby Scaff, a junior outside hitter, and Victoria “Tori” Williamson, a junior outside hitter and defensive specialist, were selected to the NCVBCA’s Class 1A All-State team.


The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced today that the Association and Varsity Brands, a national leader in the spirit industry, have partnered to establish the Tarheel Trophy Award to recognize annually the top high school varsity cheerleading team in the Game Day Division of the NCHSAA Cheerleading Invitational.

The Tarheel Trophy will go to the high school varsity team that receives the highest cumulative score in the NCHSAA State Cheerleading Invitational Game Day Division, regardless of the division in which it competes. The first Tarheel Trophy will be awarded at the 2021 NCHSAA State Cheerleading Invitational which is scheduled to be held on Saturday, December 4, 2021, at the Raleigh Convention Center.

The Tarheel Trophy is a complementary award to the Carolina Cup, which is awarded to the top overall high school varsity cheerleading team in the traditional division. The Carolina Cup was first awarded in 2005.

“We are thrilled with the continued growth of Cheerleading in our member schools and across the state and believe that the addition of a Game Day Division and Tarheel Trophy will be a great new tradition at the NCHSAA Cheerleading Invitational,” said Que Tucker, Commissioner of the NCHSAA. “We look forward to this becoming a prestigious part of the program.”

The Tarheel Trophy, along with the Carolina Cup, will be housed at the NCHSAA office. Annually the name of the winning team will be added to the base of each trophy.