Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing to The Wilson Times.
Two Wilson high school products recently received major honors at their respective colleges as Campbell University junior Caroline Smith was hailed as the Big South Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year in softball and Western Carolina University junior women’s soccer player Eynde Frazier was proclaimed Miss WCU at the school’s recent “2018 A-Cat-Emy Awards.”
Smith, a 2015 Beddingfield High graduate, was not only selected as the top scholar-athlete for Big South softball but also named to the all-conference first team. Smith, a two-time Big South Presidential Honor Roll member, has a 3.923 GPA as she pursues a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport science.
“I was very surprised by it,” Smith said. “I wasn’t really thinking about it. I knew I was doing well in school. I am surprised and honored.”
In 56 games, Smith, the Camels’ shortstop, hit .329 with 15 doubles (sixth in Big South), 14 home runs (tied for fourth), 48 RBIs (fifth) and 45 runs scored (seventh). She stole 13 bases in 14 attempts and her .676 slugging percentage was fifth-best in the conference.
She earned Big South Player of the Week honors twice and her 24 career homers is 10th all time at Campbell.
Smith helped the Camels to a 29-27 record and 12-9 in the Big South, good for fourth place. Campbell lost to Longwood in the Big South tournament Friday after winning a pair of elimination games. It wasn’t the finished she hoped for but Smith was happy with the season.
“I thought that we had a great season,” she said. “It was really fun. Everybody was doing really well and that was fun to see.”
Frazier, who graduated from Hunt in 2015, was bestowed the Miss WCU award that honors the college’s student-athlete who exemplifies “what it means to represent Western Carolina both on the field, in the classroom and in the community.”
Frazier, who said that she has been involved with Special Olympics in Wilson since “I was probably 3 years old!” volunteered to help with the Special Olympics Field Day in Jackson County, where Cullowhee is located.
She also is the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at WCU.
Frazier played in all 21 of the Catamounts games last fall, with a goal and an assist.
She has a 3.86 cumulative GPA in the Honors College at WCU. Frazier was named to the Chancellor’s List after the fall 2017 semester and expects to do so again when the spring 2018 list is released.
WILLIAMSON POWERING MIDDIES
Navy sophomore third baseman Jacob Williamson delivered a big two-out, two-run single for the Midshipmen in their 4-1 victory over Holy Cross on Sunday to put Navy in the Patriot League championship series against old foe Army.
William, a Hunt graduate and the 2016 Thomas Law Attorneys Male Student-Athlete of the Year, leads the Patriot League with 48 RBIs. He has helped the Midshipmen to a 38-14 record and a share of the Patriot regular-season title with Army as Navy went 18-7 in league games.
A starter in all 52 games, Williamson is batting .275 with 15 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 32 runs scored.
The Patriot’s three-game championship series is set to begin Friday in Annapolis, Maryland.
JOHNSON’S UNCP LEGACY
North Johnston High product Jamie Johnson finished her career as one of the most decorated softball players in UNC Pembroke history. She was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II All-Region First Team for the second year in a row, becoming just the second Brave to earn to all-region first-team honors.
Johnson, who was an NFCA Div. II All-American last spring, became the first UNCP player to be named to the NFCA National Player of the Year Top 25 list. She became the second Braves player attain All-Peach Belt Conference honors in three straight years, landing on the first team each time.
Johnson led the conference in batting average (.435), on-base percentage (.512) and triples (5) and was second in hits (64) and slugging percentage (.762). The UNCP third baseman was in the top five in the PBC in doubles (14), runs (48) and steals (24) and her 43 RBIs were sixth-best in the conference.
WILLIAMS HEADED TO NFL
Malik Williams became the second member of the vaunted Hunt High football teams from earlier in the decade to earn a shot at making an NFL roster when the Louisville University senior signed a free-agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons just after the NFL draft last month.
Williams, who primarily played defensive back with the Warriors, turned into a running back at his two junior college stops in California before signing with the Cardinals. His 545 rushing yards ranked second only to 2016 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson last fall and Williams’ 7.9 per-carry average was tops among those Cardinals ball carriers with at least 10 attempts.
Williams missed two games late in the season after dislocating his wrist during a nationally televised game against North Carolina State on Oct. 5 but returned to play in the Cardinals’ last five games, including their 31-27 loss to Mississippi State in the TaxSlayer Bowl.