Local athletes pronounced last week’s Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star Week activities a big success.
“I had an amazing time,” Cabot softball player Lauren McCluskey said of her experience playing for the East, which swept a doubleheader over the West, 6-2 and 5-3. “It was so much fun. I absolutely loved playing with the girls I’ve grown up playing against for years.”
More than 20 local athletes and coaches were involved in All-Star Week at the University of Central Arkansas.
“The whole environment was just fun and easygoing,” McCluskey said. “I even found myself talking to girls on the other team during the game. The whole experience was just a ton of fun, and I enjoyed playing with new and old friends. My coaches were great. They were just super positive and supportive the whole time. It definitely helped us to win both games. I wish I could do it all over again.”
But All-Star Week marked the end of her competitive softball career. She said she would attend ASU-Beebe and then UAMS for nursing school.
North Little Rock’s Nick Butler and Lonoke’s Haven Hunter will be roommates this fall when they play baseball for Eastern Oklahoma State College, and they were teammates for the East last week.
“The overall experience was just a blessing to be a part of,” Hunter said. “The people there made sure we were taken care of, then the competition was one-of-a-kind, playing with the best in the state. You really got to see how you compared to everyone else. It was an exciting couple of days.”
The East tied the West in the opening game of the doubleheader, 10-10, before taking the second, 9-6. Butler delivered a three-run triple.
“It was pretty cool being selected to play with some of the best players in Arkansas,” Butler said. “When I first found out, I was pretty shocked.”
Locals on the All-Star rosters included:
East football — Jordan Washington, Sylvan Hills; Easton Seidl and Chris Jones, Cabot; Travoris Akins, Marlon Jenkins and Jaden Salley, North Little Rock
East volleyball — Maddie Brown, Cabot; assistant coach Kham Chanthaphasouk, Cabot
East softball — Lauren McCluskey, Cabot
East baseball — Michael Coven and River Hunt, Sylvan Hills; Haven Hunter, Lonoke; Denver Mullins, Cabot; Nick Butler, North Little Rock; head coach Ronnie Goodwin, Cabot
West boys basketball — Tremont Robinson, Maumelle
East boys basketball — Assistant coach Johnny Rice, North Little Rock
West boys soccer — Brett Bishop, Central Arkansas Christian
East girls soccer — Hadley Dickinson, Cabot; Ella Miller, North Little Rock; Nakiya Smith, Sylvan Hills; assistant coach Michael Klucher, North Little Rock.
Washington notched a 41-yard touchdown as the East romped, 55-14.
Robinson scored eight points to help the West beat the East in the boys basketball game, 110-98.
Bryant’s Caroline Campbell gave credit to Dickinson for spot-on passing in the East’s 3-1 girls soccer victory.
Other All-Star results included the West over the East in boys soccer, 3-2; the West over the East in volleyball, 19-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-17, 15-8; and the East over the West in girls basketball, 68-58.