The Weddington Warriors defeated the Chapel Hill Tigers Friday 16-5 to win the NCHSAA 1A/2A/3A State Championship for the third year in a row.
Chapel Hill took an early lead to begin the game 1-0 but the lead didn’t last long. A turnover caused by senior Jared Papke led to a tying goal by James Shipley that started a run of 10 unanswered goals by the Warriors. The scoring onslaught alongside multiple takeaways put the Weddington Warriors far ahead as the first half ended. An impressive performance in the goal by sophomore Andrew Miller kept the Tigers scoreless in the half after the opening goal.
The second half opened much like the first with a hopeful goal by Chapel Hill. A heated back and forth battle ensued but Weddington was able to maintain a significant lead as the teams entered the fourth quarter with a score of 12-4.
An enduring defense with senior Ben Gazjuk in goal held the Tigers to only one goal in the fourth quarter. Multiple turnovers by senior Tanner Cox and several more goals by the Warriors left the Chapel Hill Tigers without enough time to mount any sort of comeback as Weddington proved once again why they are number one in North Carolina.
Senior goalie Ben Gazjuk was awarded the NCHSAA Sportsmanship Award. After a record-breaking season, senior James Shipley was awarded the NCHSAA State Championship Most Valuable Player Award.
The Warriors end their season with an overall record of 16-1. They are ranked number one in North Carolina and number seven in the United States.