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AK Sports Report (February 3-8)

By Brian Knab, 02/02/20, 8:30PM EST




(February 3-8, 2020)

Happy Super Bowl Sunday to all you big sports fans out there!  Hopefully everyone is able to enjoy the big game with family and friends before the start of another busy sports week at AK!  As we hit the first full week of February, only two weeks remain in the regular season for Basketball, while our other Winter Sports are in NCHSAA post-season competition.  Also, Spring Sports will officially begin next week (Feb. 12)…’s going to be a very busy month of February for sure!  Be sure to also check out our Community Spotlight for this month below, featuring another great AK Sponsor!  Have a great week AK!


  • October Student-Athletes of the Month
    • Male:  Congratulations to Senior Wrestler Anthony Farrand on being named AK Athletics Male Student-Athlete of the Month for December!
    • Female:  Congratulations to Junior Women’s Swimmer Emily Brown on being named AK Athletics Female Student-Athlete of the Month for December!



  • MEN’S BASKETBALLAK Men’s Basketball suffered a tough loss in the closing seconds at Harding to start this past week, but quickly responded with two impressive wins at Home to improve to 16-5 overall and tied for 1st in the SoMeck 7 Conference at 7-2.  The Knights have a huge week ahead with two conference games, highlighted by a showdown at Olympic on Tuesday, with 1st Place in the conference on the line.  Good luck this week Knights!
    • 2/4 – @ Olympic
      • JV – 4:30 PM
      • Varsity – 7:30 PM
    • 2/7 – @ Home vs. Berry
      • JV – 4:30 PM
      • Varsity – 7:30 PM


  • WOMEN’S BASKETBALLAK Women’s Basketball earned two conference victories this past week to improve to 6-3 in SoMeck 7 Conference play and 12-9 overall.  The Lady Knights look to keep things going against two tough conference opponents this week in Olympic on the road and Berry at Home.  Let’s Go Lady Knights!
    • 2/4 – @ Olympic
      • JV – 3:30 PM
      • Varsity – 6:00 PM
    • 2/7 – @ Home vs. Berry
      • JV – 3:30 PM
      • Varsity – 6:00 PM


  • MEN’S & WOMEN’S SWIM & DIVEAK Swim & Dive entered NCHSAA post-season competition in the 4A West Regional Championship meets over the weekend.  Diving took place on Friday with David Schuster earning a spot in the State Championship Meet with a 7th Place finish.  On Saturday, the Aqua Knights posted many more strong State Qualifying performances, highlighted by Women’s swimmer Teresa Ivan’s Regional Championship titles in the 50yd and 100yd Freestyle races!  Good luck to our State Qualifying Knights below in the State Championship Meet this week!
  • AK Women’s Regional Results: Teresa Ivan (1st Place in 50yd Freestyle and 100yd Freestyle); Emily Brown, Abby Bocian, Reese Yankie, Gabriella Spina (8th Place 200yd Medley Relay); Abby Bocian (5th Place 200yd IM); Abby Bocian, Taylyn Adams, Gabriella Spina, Teresa Ivan (4th Place 200yd Freestyle Relay); Emily Brown (3rd Place 100yd Backstroke); Taylyn Adams, Kylie Brewster, Emily Brown, Teresa Ivan (5th Place 400yd Freestyle Relay).
  • AK Men’s Regional Results: Gaige Ryan (2nd Place in 200yd Freestyle and 100yd Freestyle); David Schuster (7th Place Diving); Davis Hull, Jake Royster, Bastian Mazarguil, Gaige Ryan (6th Place 200yd Freestyle Relay).
    • 2/6 – NCHSAA 4A State Diving Championships @ Koury Natatorium (UNC-Chapel Hill)
    • 2/7 – NCHSAA 4A State Swimming Championships @ Triangle Aquatic Center (Cary, NC)


  • WRESTLINGAK Wrestling earned a share of the SoMeck 7 Conference Championship with an exciting 38-33 dual match victory on the road at Providence to finish 5-1 in conference competition!  The Knights then won the tiebreak draw and will enter as the #1 seed from the SoMeck 7 in this week’s NCHSAA Dual Team State Playoffs.  AK will host Tuesday on the Home mats in Round 1 and 2……..please come out and support!  The Knights also competed in the Conference Tournament this past Saturday at Harding.  See below results from our top performances!
  • SoMeck 7 Conference Tournament Results:
    • Conference Champions: Jackson Riley (138 lbs.), Anthony Farrand (145 lbs.), Cole Hepler (152 lbs.), Eric Thorn (170 lbs.)
    • Conference Runner-Ups: Cam Parker (106 lbs.), Gaetano Verni (113 lbs.), Douglas Walkley (120 lbs.), Cooper Marshall (132 lbs.), Issam Alzouby (195 lbs.)
    • 3rd Place: Beylor Morgan (126 lbs.)
    • 4th Place: Aryan Vetal (160 lbs.)
  • 2/4 – 1st/2nd Round NCHSAA Dual Team State Playoffs vs. TBD @ Home (6:00 PM)
  • 2/6 – 3rd Round/Regionals NCHSAA Dual Team State Playoffs vs. TBD @ TBD (6:00 PM)
  • 2/8 – State Finals NCHSAA Dual Team State Playoffs vs. TBD @ TBD


  • INDOOR TRACK & FIELD:  AK Indoor Track & Field competed in the Mondo Elite HS Invitational at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem over the weekend.  Full meet results can be viewed below, but a special shout out to Amber Jackson on setting a new school record in the Women’s Triple Jump to take 3rd Place against some great competition!  Amber also placed 2nd in the Women’s High Jump.  This coming week, AK will compete in the Charlotte Area Championships at Cuthbertson, in what will be the last competition before the NCHSAA State Indoor Meet the following week.  Good luck AK T&F!
    • 2/8 – Charlotte Area Championships @ Cuthbertson



AK Athletic Boosters Senior Student-Athlete Scholarships:

    • The Ardrey Kell High School Athletic Booster Club (AKABC) will award ten (10) $1,000 Scholarships in May 2020.  Applications will be available to seniors in February of 2020.  The deadline for scholarship applications will be in March 2019.  If you are interested in being notified when the application process begins, please complete this form to be added to the AKABC Scholarship Committee’s email distribution list -
    • These scholarships will be awarded to AKHS senior student-athletes based on "Excellence in Academics",  "Excellence and Leadership in Athletics" and "Contributions to the AKHS Student-Athlete Community".  These scholarships will assist AKHS student-athletes in paying to attend a 2-year or 4-year college in the fall of 2020.
    • Please note:
      • You or a family member must be an active 2019-20 AKABC member to be considered by the AKABC Scholarship Selection Committee.  It is NOT too late to join and memberships start at $60 per year!
      • Each scholarship is paid directly to the recipient's college or university in the fall of 2020.  Students who receive full scholarships are not eligible.
    • Questions?  Please contact a member of the AKABC Scholarship Committee at


  • 2019-2020 Head Coaches Contact Information


  • 2019-2020 Season Passes & AK Athletic Boosters Membership
  • 2019-2020 Season Passes and AKABC Membership are now available for purchase through Huddle GoFan digital ticketing.  Season passes get admission to all Home regular season athletic events throughout the year.  Please visit the link below to get started and ready to cheer your Knights on all season long!


  • Official Ardrey Kell On-line Spirit Wear Store
    • Visit the official on-line spirit wear store for the Ardrey Kell Knights and get decked out in some great gear to support your Knights for the upcoming season.  New gear for the 2019-2020 school year is now available and you can customize your gear with almost endless design options!  Visit the link below or click on the banner on our main athletic web-page on the CMSathleticzone site.


  • 2019-2020 AK Athletic Forms Page
    • Be sure to visit the AK Athletic Forms page on our CMSathleticzone web-site to get all the information needed for athletic participation, including the AK on-line athletic pre-participation packet, which is required for all student-athletes.  Link to the page is provided below.


  • Also, be sure to frequently view our AK Athletics Master Calendar (Google Calendar) embedded on this page.  It is always kept up to date and revised with schedule changes as we move through the season.


  • Student-Athlete Scholarship Opportunities
    • NCHSAA Scholarships:
      • ATTN Senior Student-Athletes!  The NCHSAA offers many opportunities for different scholarships they award.  The application period has begun for many of them.  Please visit the below link to the NCHSAA web-site if you are interested in learning more about the scholarships available and to apply.


  • Liz Murray Scholarship (sponsored by the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club) – ATTN Senior student-athletes, link provided below to apply.  The Hood Hargett Breakfast Club awards a monthly scholarship throughout the school year, with the first application deadline September 3rd.  Once your application is submitted, it will remain in the applicant pool for each month for the remainder of the school year.  AK has a strong history of winners…..let’s keep it going!  Click link below for more information and contact the athletic director if any questions:


February Community Spotlight – Brad Smith / Hickory Tavern

Brad Smith is the founder and owner of Hickory Tavern Restaurant.  He is originally from Hickory, NC and went to high school with our own AK Varsity Men's Basketball Coach - Coach Michael Craft.  Brad has been in Charlotte since graduating from Appalachian State University and opened his first Hickory Tavern here in 1997. Charlotte is now the headquarters of Hickory Tavern.  Brad comments, "We’ve been in Charlotte for 22 years and we now have 28 Hickory Tavern’s throughout NC, SC, AL and TN."

Coach Craft says about his friend since high school, "Brad and the Hickory Tavern have been a tremendous sponsor of Ardrey Kell basketball for the past eleven years! We eat our pre-game meals for our home games at the Tavern and they couldn’t treat us any better. It has become part of our “routine” to eat at the Tavern and the players love it. In fact, Steven Santa Ana came home from college and asked if he could eat the pre-game meal at the Tavern with us and said that is one of the things that he missed most about AK basketball---eating at the Tavern!" 

Brad explains, "All of our Hickory Tavern locations strive to be highly visible in the local neighborhoods we serve.  With AK’s proximity to our Providence Road location – AK was an awesome choice as a community partner.  The families that attend AK are our neighbors and our guests and we enjoy supporting them, particularly in sports, as our brand definitely has a passion for sports. Many of the AK athletes have grown up with us so it is extra special to see them succeed on the field and in the classroom."

Coach Craft tells us, "We have also eaten at other Hickory Taverns when we travel. They have many locations around Charlotte and the region. When we played in the state championship in 2015, we ate lunch at the Providence location before we left and then ate our pregame meal at the Chapel Hill/Carrboro location. Brad and his son, Paxson, ate with us at both locations and supported us throughout the playoffs." 

Coach Craft recalls, "Three years ago we started an in-season tournament at Ardrey Kell. I asked Brad to sponsor it and his response was 'whatever you need we are all in.' We have used it as a way to have two home games and play private schools. This year we had an exciting game with Charlotte Latin. Hickory Tavern provided food to all the teams involved and the support staff."

Brad offers, "Our partnership with AK is simple.  We provide pre-game meals for Coach Craft and in return they decorate our office with championship plaques – EZPZ – particularly from our side