21 Carroll County high school athletes having breakthrough seasons

21 Carroll County high school athletes having breakthrough seasons

Before each new sports season, you can look around Carroll County rosters and pick out names of who’s expected to be among the county’s top talent.

A previous year’s All-County list serves as a notice as to which players are back to potentially position themselves as the county’s best. But then there are others who step up and make their names known with spectacular seasons.

Here are 21 county athletes who haven’t previously been named to All-County teams that are having breakthrough seasons to possibly join the county’s upper echelon.

Boys basketball

Pieter Borghans, South Carroll, senior: Borghans has been a top scoring option for the Cavaliers and is ranked third in the county averaging 15.4 points a game. He’s also handing out 2.6 assists and collecting 1.1 steals a game.

Peyton Conrad, Century, senior: While graduation and injury issues hit the Knights hard, Conrad has stepped up as a go-to player. He leads the county with 5.2 assists a game, while also averaging 12 points a night.

Cole Jernigan, Liberty, senior: After being an honorable mention All-County a year ago, Jernigan is putting together a season that will likely elevate his standing. He entered last week averaging 14.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists a game.

Carter Strohman, Manchester Valley, senior: Strohman is averaging 14.6 points a game for the Mavericks, providing help for first-team All-County selection Brendan Luddy. Strohman is hitting 39% of his 3-point tries. He’s also handing out two assists a game.

Alex Thompson, Liberty, senior: Thompson is emerging as a factor inside for the Lions. He’s averaging 13.9 points a game and is tied for fifth in the county with 7.5 rebounds a game. He’s also handing out 2.2 assists a game.

Colin Toms, Gerstell, junior: Toms has been a double-double machine for the Falcons, a strong No. 2 option behind first-team returner Caleb Franze. Toms is averaging 12.9 points and a county-leading 11.2 rebounds a game.

Dec. 1, 2023: Francis Scott Key's Caroline Kohr plays defense during a recent practice in Union Bridge. (Doug Kapustin / For Carroll County Times)
Francis Scott Key’s Caroline Kohr has emerged as a key player in the Eagles’ quest to repeat as county champions. (Doug Kapustin/For Carroll County Times)

Girls basketball

Caroline Kohr, Francis Scott Key, senior: Kohr has developed into a strong inside player for the county-leading Eagles. Kohr averages 7.1 points and entered the week tied for third in the county with 6.5 rebounds a game.

Julianna Lesher, Westminster, senior: Lesher is a solid performer all over the floor for the Owls. She entered last week averaging 8.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists a game.

Leah Miller, South Carroll, junior: Miller has been an honorable mention selection the past two seasons but is playing about that level this year, averaging 10 points, 7.7 rebounds and three steals a game.

Dec. 08, 2023: Gerstell #10, Taylor Moran runs the ball up the court on a fast break in the 1st half. in the 1st half. Liberty vs Gerstell girls basketball December 8, 2023 at Liberty High School.. (Chris Berry/for Carroll County Times)
Taylor Moran is averaging 13.3 points so for in her first season since transferring to Gerstell. (Chris Barry/For Carroll County Times)

Taylor Moran, Gerstell, junior: In her first year with the Falcons, Moran has proven to be a top scoring option for a team looking to make some noise in the MIAA B Conference. Moran ranks fourth in the county averaging 13.3 points a game.

Hannah Neske, Winters Mill, freshman: Neske has emerged as a solid guard for the Falcons. She’s scoring 7.6 points a game, while also handing out two assists a game.

Autumn Stottlemire, Manchester Valley, senior: Stottlemire teams with Reese Kresslein to form a dynamic one-two punch for the Mavericks. Through 12 games, Stottlemire is averaging 9.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals a game.

Liberty's Kevin Kern defeats Winters Mill's Matthew Pawley by a 9-6 decision in their 182-pound bout Wednesday.
Jeffrey F. Bill/Carroll County Times

Liberty’s Kevin Kern is 25-4 with 20 pins so far this season. (Jeffrey F. Bill/Staff)

Boys wrestling

Keelan Bailey, Liberty, freshman: Bailey has burst onto the scene this season, posting a 20-4 record with 14 pins. Earlier this month he won the 113-pound weight class at the Franklin Invitational.

Chidima Iziogo, Century, senior: Iziogo finished his junior season 18-16 and was third at the county championships. In his senior year, he’s establishing himself as one of the county’s best. He’s currently 20-1 (4-0 in county) with 12 wins by pin.

Kevin Kern, Liberty, sophomore: Kern, who made some appearances in varsity duals as a freshman, has emerged as an anchor of the Lions’ lineup this year. Kern is 25-4 with 20 of his wins coming by pin. He won the 190-pound championship at the Franklin Invitational.

Kyle Reid, Manchester Valley, sophomore: Reid won a county JV title at 106 pounds as a freshman and has kept up his success on varsity. Still at 106, Reid is 31-2 with 22 pins for the Mavericks.

Girls wrestling

Mattie Bowman, Westminster, senior: Bowman had a strong showing earlier this season at the Who’s No. 1? girls tournament. She won a pair of matches before eventually taking second at 155 pounds.

Aubrey Ohler, Liberty, freshman: Ohler, the latest in a talented line of wrestling siblings, is making the most of her opportunities as a freshman. Her win total is in double figures this year and she won the 105-pound class at Who’s No. 1?

Brynn Ryan, Manchester Valley, sophomore: Ryan was county runner-up as a freshman and is continuing to improve now into her sophomore year. She is 10-2 with all 10 of her wins coming by pin.

Indoor track and field

Ava Hoeflich, Francis Scott Key, sophomore: In one meet this year, Hoeflich set a personal record in the high jump, clearing 5-foot-3 at the CCBC Essex Lid-Lifter Invitational. For comparison, her FSK teammate Ashleigh Porter (who’s jumped 5-4 this season) won the Class 1A indoor state championship last season at 5-2.

Cailyn Stine, Century, senior: Though she’s been close, Stine has yet to win an indoor county championship during her time at Century. That could change this year as she’s one of the county’s top runners in the 300 and 500 meters. She won the 500 at the Terry Baker Invitational and the Boonsboro Warrior Invitational.

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