By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Four Cherokee Braves have received recognition by the Smoky Mountain Conference on various All-Conference teams for Fall Sports. Dorian Walkingstick was named first team All-Conference as a running back and Jesse Blanton received an honorable mention All-Conference nod as a quarterback. Senior volleyball standout Rayna Davis was named All-Conference in volleyball and Raven Frankiewicz was named All-Conference in soccer.
“It was an honor and privilege to coach both of these fine young men,” said Braves head coach Craig Barker of Walkingstick and Blanton. “They were definitely the highlights of the season.”
Walkingstick was the top rusher for the regular season in all of western North Carolina (all divisions). He gained a total of 2,139 yards on 308 carries and scored 18 TDs.
Walkingstick commented, “I’m very happy to get All-Conference. I feel great to be able to get it, but I want to do better than this past year. I hope to better our team and myself in the future.”
Dorian’s father, Chris Walkingstick, commented, “I’m very proud of Dorian and his accomplishments. It’s good to see his hard work payoff during the games but now he will have a target on his back next season. I’m sure he will work even harder and welcome the challenge.”
Barker added, “Dorian rushed for over 2,000 as a sophomore; something never done before here at Cherokee. We are extremely proud of Dorian’s accomplishments thus far into his career and expect bigger things in the future.”
Blanton, who signed last week to play football this fall at Carson-Newman, completed 31 of 80 passes for 491 yards, 7 TDs and 6 ints on the season. He also rushed 125 times for 612 yards and 8 TDs. “Jesse did a great job as quarterback/defensive back and team leader,” Barker commented. “He will be sorely missed.”
Davis has been a standout player for the Lady Braves for four years and earned her second All-Conference nod in a row.
“Being a senior, it is a true honor, especially coming from a volleyball program that isn’t well-known,” she said. “Coach Hogner helped us grow not only as individuals but as a team. Our record may not show it, but we really improved. There is no way I could have earned All-Conference without my teammates making the good passes and the good sets that were necessary for us to get the points. I thank God for blessing me with a wonderful volleyball season I will never forget.”
Her mother, Debora Foerst, related, “Watching her play any sport is always exciting for me, and it is certainly an honor for her to earn All-Conference in volleyball two years in a row. It is also exciting to see the volleyball program growing and improving through the hard work of the all the dedicated athletes under the leadership of Coaches Terry Hogner, Carrah Swimmer, and Tommy Teesateskie.”