Thursday, May 7, 2009

NCHSAA names athletes of the year

Morganton Freedom’s Ali Ford and East Burke’s Tyler Shatley are the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s athletes of the year.

It is the top athletic award given by the state association. The Burke County duo received their awards at the NCHSAA annual meeting Thursday in Chapel Hill.

Shatley, the boys’ award winner, was the Northwestern 4A football player of the year as a fullback, defensive lineman and punter. He was picked for the Shrine Bowl. In wrestling, he was conference champion, state runnerup in the heavyweight division and 34-1 with 29 pins.

In track and field, Shatley is the defending state champion in the shot put and set a school record last year with a toss of 58 feet, 1 inch. He is a National Honor Student member with a 4.58 weighted grade point average, and signed to play football at Clemson.

Ford, the girls' award winner, played five sports as a senior – basketball, golf, softball, tennis and cross country.

She was the Northwestern 4A player of the year in basketball, and finished with 2,502 points (seventh-best in N.C. history). In softball, as a shortstop she was all-conference, all-district and all-region selection four years. She played in the golf state tournament four years.

Ford earned 18 varsity letters, and was all-conference 12 times. She signed to play basketball at Elon.

- Cliff Mehrtens