• Hiwassee Dam's Haylie Shope receives her NCHSAA Athlete of the Year award on Thursday.
    Hiwassee Dam's Haylie Shope receives her NCHSAA Athlete of the Year award on Thursday.

BREAKING NEWS: Shope is state's top female athlete

    Chapel Hill – Hiwassee Dam’s Haylie Shope collected the highest of her many athletic honors Thursday when she was named the NCHSAA Female Athlete of the Year for all classifications across the state.
    Shope is a standout for the Lady Eagles in volleyball, basketball and softball. She was all-state in basketball the last two seasons and in softball since her sophomore year. She was the 1A pitcher of the year last year while helping the Lady Eagles to a runner-up finish in the state playoffs.

   "We researched it, and it's close 100,000 athletes that play a sport – every grade, every sport, every classification. And for her to be the female athlete of the year – the best – is just something about how hard she’s worked and how successful of a high school career she’s had," former Hiwassee Dam girls basketball coach Ray Gutierrez said.

   Shope will play softball at Kennesaw State next season. The Lady Eagles begin her final playoff run next week on Tuesday or Wednesday, pending the bracket announcement this weekend.
    Look for more about Shope’s accomplishments in the May 11 edition of the Cherokee Scout.