BY MICHAEL HELD
KENLY—Jada Santiago and Trey Whitley both hit walk-offs, if you will, in each of their senior seasons at North Johnston High and the multi-sport stars received the female and male athlete of the year honors accordingly.
Santiago had a dominant spring season as she led the Panthers 27-3 softball team with a .612 batting average, drove in 62 runs and hit 14 home runs.
Santiago, who will continue her playing days at UNC-Wilmington, was also an all-conference honorable mention selection in volleyball and main fixture on the girls basketball team.
Whitley was the runner-up in the Eastern Plains Conference Player of the Year award in baseball this spring. Recently drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, Whitley hit .442, drove in 19 runs and stole 19 bases in 20 attempts and posted a 7-3 record with a 1.26 earned run average on the mound. He also averaged 10.7 points per game for the basketball team and was named all-conference in football.
Whitley was joined on the all-conference team by Tucker Batten (.553 batting average seven doubles), Brandon Barnes (.360, 16 runs, 11 RBIs) and Colby Hall (.423, 19 runs, 15 RBIs).
Santiago had plenty of familiar company on the all-conference team in softball.
Blayke Batten (.495 batting average, 13 doubles, nine home runs), Lindsey Massengill (.519 batting average, 38 runs driven in), Amberlynn Pearce (19-3, 2.20 ERA) and Jordyn Scott (.558 batting average, six home runs 11 doubles) were also named to the all-conference team.
In girls soccer, Barrett Davis helped account for 26 of the team’s 38 goals on the season as the senior forward netted 20 goals and dished out six assists to lead the Panthers’ contingent of EPC all-conference selections. Forwards Michelle Rodriguez and Maira Teruel were also named to the all-conference team as were defenders Olivia Hill and Victoria Williams.
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