Bears busy with cross country, tennis, soccer playoffs
by Jeff Linville Staff Reporter
The Granite Bears will compete for a state title in two sports Saturday, while three soccer teams compete in the second round of the state playoffs.
Former state 1A champion Kirsten Parries will run in the cross country championship Saturday afternoon at Beeson Park in Kernersville.
The Lady Bears tennis team will be in Burlington competing in the state 1A dual-team championship at 12:30 p.m.
While these events are taking place, Mount Airy also will be hosting a soccer game. Rather than play at the typical 6 p.m. start time, the Bears will play Bishop McGuinness at 2 p.m.
In Dobson, Surry Central will play Lake Norman Charter at 5:30 p.m.
East Surry has a long bus ride down to Monroe to play Union Academy at 6 p.m.
In cross country, Parries has gotten faster over her four years at Mount Airy, but the competition has gotten tighter every year.
This Saturday, the favorite for the 5,000-meter race is Malia Ellington, Community School of Davidson.
Parries will be in the running along with returning champion Sophia Bhalla (Lincoln Charter), Hannah Zenker (Franklin Academy) and Carly Kreber (Bishop McGuinness).
In tennis, the Bears go for their third-straight tennis title in what might be Scott Kniskern’s final year as head coach.
Kniskern and his wife Andrea had their second child this year, and he recently changed jobs, joining the American Red Cross.
Senior Davi Barbour has been a starter her entire career at Mount Airy. Kniskern and the Bears have an 89-7 record over Barbour’s four years. A win Saturday would give the Bears 20 wins in a season like her previous three years.
Mount Airy has been the top-ranked team in 1A all season. In this week’s poll, announced Wednesday, Raleigh Charter is ranked sixth, just behind the Franklin Academy team it beat to reach the final.
For other area teams, Bishop is ranked second, and East Wilkes 10th, with North Stokes an honorable mention.
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