Five local standout athletes, now graduates, will play their final high school games this month in the Virginia High School Coaches Association’s All-Star Games in Hampton Roads.
After captivating their fans these athletes from the Northern Neck District and Region A will highlight this year’s festivities. All five will be playing for the east teams. Students are nominated by their respective coaches and selected by each year’s state championship coaches. The week kicks off with basketball and always concludes with football.
The all-star football game featuring Essex’s Rahiem Rolling and defensive lineman Deiondre Dancy will be held on July 12, 7:30 p.m at Darling Stadium in Hampton City. Essex’s second baseman Taylor Glass, and Rappahannock’s pitcher Carlie Clark and outfielder Kelsey Berhalter will be in the softball game on July 11, 10:30 a.m. at Christopher Newport University.
Capping off an incredible year for Berhalter with a trip to Hampton Roads this summer has rounded out her sports resume this year. Ending her junior year on crutches after helping to win the Region A Division 1 Girls Basketball Championship, it’s been a road of recovery for Berhalter.
Among her accolades this past school year, she helped her high school volleyball team advance to the Group A Division 1 State Quarterfinals after earning the Region A Division 1 Volleyball Tournament MVP.
“It was a big surprise. I didn’t think I would get it,” Berhalter said considering the talent around the state. “I just think it’s an honor.”
Berhalter also played high school basketball.
Dancy has been known quite often by his peers for his upbeat personality even with the passing of his sister and mother Angela in May. She was one of the many Dancy told when he was named an all-star selection.
“A lot of people said I’m strong about it,” Dancy said. “I’ve had a couple of people come and ask ‘how do you do it, how are you so happy,’ and I tell them that my mother always told me not to have a sad face whether it’s a good day or bad day. So I always keep a smile on my face.”
Dancy finished his high school career in June, completing another season with the Track & Field Team and winning the heavyweight division of the National Guard’s Strongman Competition.
Clark’s high school softball career started early at Rappahannock High School and her determination could led her to be one of most award winning athletes in the Northern Neck’s history.
“When I found out I made it I was really excited,” Clark said. “It feels good because I know if I do my best we’ll be represented really good.”
Clark not only played softball, but volleyball as well with teammate Kelsey Berhalter.
While Clark said she’ll be enjoying the event, she does want to come home with a victory.
“I always want to win, but it’s good to have fun and do well personally myself,” Clark said, “but I do want to win.”
Clark will attend Texas A&M University in Kingsville and play softball.
Coaches who saw Glass for the time marveled at her reaction time in the infield and opponents could only wish a softball would get by her during games. The award winning second baseman will be the lone Lady Trojan making a trip to Hampton Roads.
“I’m excited and honored. A little nervous though,” Glass said. “I’m just ready to end it big.”
Playing on the same team with fellow district rivals Berhalter and Clark is something Glass is looking forward to later this month.
“It’s exciting to finally get to play on a team with them instead of against them. They are both great players so it’s good to see how we’ll work together,” Glass said.
As a fun fact, Glass was named the 2013 Essex High School Homecoming Queen.
Arguably one of the most passionate players from this year’s state finalist Essex Football Team, Rolling was one of the key pieces in this year’s 14 wins. Even in his final game, which resulted in a loss, he battled a much superior team, emotionally and physically.
Rolling played both offense and defense, and earned several awards this past season including the Region A Division 2 Defensive Player of the Year award. He will add his all-state selection now to his all-star selection.
“I was happy and excited in getting accepted to the all-star game,” Rolling said. “I hope to make them [Essex] proud going to Hampton to do my thing and make everyone proud.”
Rolling also played basketball.