The Three Rivers Conference recently released its spring all-conference selections — all but baseball, since Whiteville and West Columbus are playing for Class 2-A and Class 1-A state titles, respectively — and both East Bladen and West Bladen well represented.
But it was girls soccer where Bladen County shone brightest, as the Lady Eagles took both the Player of the Year and Coach of the Year honors.
Despite playing less than a full season because of an injury that kept her sidelined over the last eight matches, Ashley Hardin was named the top player in the conference by coaches. Hardin, a junior, scored 12 goals and had 23 assists in 11 matches. She also had 162 steals over those 11 matches.
East Bladen coach Jay Raynor was tabbed the best coach in the conference after leading the Lady Eagles to a perfect 14-0 conference mark and 18-1 record overall. His team outscored it opponents by a 93-13 margin, and eight of those goals came in the season-ending Class 2-A playoff match against N.C. School of Math & Science.
Also getting conference honors in soccer for East Bladen were first-teamers Hannah Devane, Ting Lin, Patience Ward and Sarah Johnson; the honorable mention list included Cybil Campbell, Kenia Medina, Katie Evans, Gracyn Martin, Isabella Smith and Sara Gargala.
The Lady Knights of West Bladen also made an appearance on the all-conference soccer team, with Glorimar Cruz-Pagon getting a first-team nod and honorable mentions going to Melennie Hernandez and Claudia Reyes.
West Bladen placed a pair of player s on the all-conference first team in sophomore catcher Alara Cashwell and senior pitcher Madison Collins, who is set to sign to play her college softball at Southeastern Community College on Tuesday.
The Lady Knights also had honorable mention nods go to Abby Dawson, Carley Dawson and Kyla Reed.
For East Bladen, freshman pitcher Kayleigh Raynor was selected for the first team, while Erica McKoy and Alyssa Futrell were named honorable mention.
The Knights placed two players on the all-conference first team in No. 1 singles player Joseluis Osorio, who finished second in the Three Rivers Conference Tournament, and Logan Lewis. A trio of West Bladen players — Desmond Lesesne, Victor Arellano and Jacob Hester — were tabbed for the honorable mention list.
The Eagles placed Jay McGill on the conference’s first team, while the duo of Jacob barber and Jackson Bostic were chosen for the honorable mention list.
West Bladen had one player, Evan Richardson, named to the all-conference first team, while teammate Chad Garner was picked for the honorable mention team.
East Bladen placed on player, Nick Norris, on the conference’s honorable mention list.
Boys track & field
The Knights had four athletes selected for the conference’s first team in Jacob Bryan, Bryan Padilla, Trenton Lyons and Thomas Galin.
The Eagles saw Trevearius Carter named to the first team.
Girls track & field
Four athletes from West Bladen were chosen for the conference’s first team. They were Patience Parker, Turea Lucy, Jamil Bostic and Victory Crawford.
East Bladen placed Teronda Autry on the conference’s first team.