WEST JEFFERSON — With the winter sports season in full swing and springs sports still to come, there are a lot of things to look forward to from now through the next four months.
Varsity basketball championship race is wide open
It’s safe to say that no one is really sure how the chase for the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference Championship is going to shape up with only a handful of conference games in the books.
Right now, Wilkes Central and Alleghany entered play this week with 3-0 records in the conference. After that, every other team except Elkin has at no more than two conference losses on the men’s side.
Things are even crazier on the women’s side with every team having at least one loss. Three teams have one loss (North Wilkes, East Wilkes and Alleghany) and three teams have two losses (Ashe County, Elkin and Wilkes Central).
Will the Bulldog wrestling team go unbeaten?
After the football team capped off a fantastic unbeaten season in the fall, the wrestling team is trying to add on to the athletic success for the Bulldogs this year.
The Ashe County Middle School wrestling program under the guidance of head coach Alex Wray has been nearly unstoppable.
Ashe finished up the 2016 part of their schedule unbeaten with four regular season matches and the conference championship tournament still to come. The Bulldogs host Forbush on Jan. 6 before traveling to Central Wilkes on Jan. 10. Ashe will host Starmount in the last home match of the season on Jan. 13 and then travel to West Wilkes on Jan. 17 for the regular season finale. The conference championship tournament will take place at East Wilkes on Jan. 28.
11 and counting
So far, the Husky indoor track team has had 11 of the team members qualify for the state championship meet coming up Feb. 10 in Winston-Salem.
Carter Wilson, Nick Lanfranchi, Bella Potter, Mahaley Cronk, Tafton Baker, Terek Ashley, David Roten, Riley Rchardson, Jason Durr, Wesley Waddell and Josh Hardin have all qualified to compete for a state championship.
The next chance for the indoor team to lock down a qualifying spot will be on Jan. 9 a Alexander Central.
Lady Huskies 4-peat?
For the last three seasons, the MVAC championship in women’s soccer has went through Ashe County. When it was all said and done, it has been the Lady Huskies at the top of the food chain for each of the last three seasons. Can they make it number four this year?
Ashe will have to replace several key players, including Valerie Keys, Bekah Bowers and reigning MVAC Player of the Year, Mahala Land.
Clean sweep repeat?
It was a fantastic track season in 2016 with both the men’s and women’s teams winning the conference title last year. The biggest question is if they can do it again in the spring of 2017?
The men’s team will have to replace some strong performers, including Andrew Tedder, Sam Hudler, Victor Melo and Alex Richardson just to name a few.
For the women, they are expected to bring quite a few of their top returners back so another trophy winning celebration is certainly not out of the question for either of the two teams.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.