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Pilson earns All-State honor

AHOSKIE – The All-State selection process in tennis is simple.

Win a state title.

A pair of Roanoke-Chowan athletes at Ridgecroft School did just that during the 2004 campaign.

Whitney Pilson and Hayes Bryant worked together to secure a state title in the doubles championships and earned honors as North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association All-State players.

Pilson, a recent graduate of Ridgecroft School, was a two-sport athlete for the Lady Rams, excelling in tennis and soccer during her athletic endeavors.

&uot;It’s an honor to be a part of the All-State team,&uot; Pilson said. &uot;I feel it is quite an achievement for me to be on the same level as the top players around the state.

&uot;The game that qualified us was quite intense and I’ll never forget it,&uot; she added.

Ridgecroft Headmaster Elton Winslow, who helped coach the tennis squad, said Pilson’s work ethic helped her be successful.

&uot;Whitney was one of our senior leaders,&uot; Winslow said. &uot;She worked extremely hard and improved herself as the season went along.&uot;

In addition to being named All-State in tennis, Pilson earned the honor of All-Academic-Tarheel Independent Conference. That was just one of the many academic honors she earned.

Pilson was also chosen as Student of the Month, Murfreesboro Exchange Club Youth of the Month, Virginian-Pilot Scholastic Achievement honoree and won the Ridgecroft Psychology Award and Physics Award while earning the title of Valedictorian of the Class of 2005.

Pilson said her favorite sport was tennis because of the mental part of the game.

&uot;Tennis is my favorite because it’s a mind game and I enjoy the thrill of figuring out the puzzle,&uot; Pilson said. &uot;I also like playing with my doubles partner – Hayes.

&uot;Four players on the court adds an interesting mix to everything,&uot; Pilson said.

Winslow said the fact that Pilson and Bryant didn’t begin the season as doubles partners showed how hard they worked.

&uot;Whitney and Hayes didn’t start playing together until later in the season because of an injury to Hayes’s ankle,&uot; Winslow said. &uot;They took time to get to know each other and then had an excellent tournament.&uot;

While she excelled at tennis, Pilson was also a standout on the Rams’ soccer squad.

&uot;I can’t say enough about what Whitney meant to our team,&uot; RHS Soccer coach Beth Bryant said. &uot;She was a good role model and a good leader.

&uot;She was also excellent at controlling the back of the field,&uot; Bryant added. &uot;She worked hard and was a solid player for us this year.&uot;

Pilson is the daughter of Charlene and Jimmy Eason.