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Offensive player of the year: Holton Ahlers

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D.H. Conley's Holton Ahlers, offensive player of the year, poses in the studio on Dec. 19, 2017. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


The Daily Reflector

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Perhaps Holton Ahlers’ most outstanding moment of his senior season was tying the NCHSAA record with nine touchdown passes in D.H. Conley’s conference championship victory over South Central to close the regular season.

But when Ahlers, The Daily Reflector’s all-county offensive player of the year for the second straight season, looks back at that win, he sees it as an encapsulation of his time at Conley not because of his stellar performance, but because of the way his team buoyed his spirits in the days following the loss of a dear friend, Turner Shafer.

“The week before, my best friend passed away and it was just kind of dark in my life,” Ahlers said. “I knew that I could depend on the team to get me through that. We were playing South Central for the conference championship and all the fans showed out. It was just a special night. It was something that kind of reflected on not just that night, but my whole Conley career with everyone behind me and supporting me. I’ll forever be grateful for that.”

The nine scores Ahlers tossed that night were part of an eye-popping 61-touchdown pass campaign that also garnered him state offensive player of the year honors from the Associated Press. That total is the fourth-most passing TDs in a single season in NCHSAA history, and Ahlers threw just four interceptions against those scores (that’s roughly a 15-1 ratio, if you’re counting).

His 14 rushing touchdowns gave him a touchdown responsibility of 75, the second-highest mark in state history. He was also MVP of the Shrine Bowl all-star game.

But with his high school career behind him and his future as a college player set to begin thanks to his signing with East Carolina last week, Ahlers was introspective not just on his senior season, but his entire four-year tenure and the lasting legacy he and DHC’s other seniors leave in their wake.

“We changed the culture at Conley football for the good,” he said. “Going into every game, I think our fans and us and the coaches and everyone around believed we at least had a chance to win, and that’s something that wasn’t there before for a lot of Conley football’s history.

“We always talked about leaving our own legacy and I think we did that.”


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High Schools

December 08, 2018

Farmville Central’s boys’ basketball team defeated Greene Central for the second time this season, winning 72-64 in Snow Hill on Friday night.

The Jaguars (6-0) were led by a sensational performance by Terquavion Smith, who finished with 20 points, including four 3-pointers. Justin…


December 07, 2018

Pitt County East Carolina football recruits Jeremy Lewis of South Central and CJ Johnson of D.H. Conley doubled down on their commitments following the arrival of new head coach Mike Houston this week.

Attempts to reach Farmville Central’s Keziah Everett for comment were unsuccessful.



December 06, 2018

This time, Farmville Central wasted little time exerting its will.

The Jaguars started fast and never looked back in an 87-44 win over North Lenoir Wednesday. One day after needing a late run to defeat Ayden-Grifton 91-78, Farmville Central (5-0) led for all but the first 1:20 of the contest.


120518-FC basketball

December 06, 2018

South Central boys basketball took down Greene Central once again Wednesday night, earning an 80-41 victory. 

It was the second meeting of the young season for these two teams, with the Falcons also taking the win on the road, 92-61 on Nov. 27. 

The Falcons were once again led by North…


December 06, 2018

It’s not uncommon for students at John Paul II Catholic High School to congratulate 6-foot-4 junior guard Jordan Yarrell on a great performance. The leader of the Saints is a true utility player, working on becoming even more of a leader of the small squad. Athletic Director Sean Murphy…

120618-Jordan Yarrell

December 05, 2018

Farmville Central’s boys basketball team won the first round of its series with rival Ayden-Grifton Tuesday night, 91-78 in Littlefield. 

The Jaguars were led by their backcourt duo of Terquavion Smith (24 points) and Justin Wright (23 points). Dyquavis Wilkins also had a strong outing,…


December 01, 2018

The Farmville Central Jaguars maintained their perfect record and netted Larry Williford’s 300th-career win in the process after defeating Greene Central, 65-45, on Friday night in high school basketball action. 

The Jags were led by their dynamic backcourt duo of Terquavion Smith and…


December 01, 2018

State high school athletic officials gave South Central and D.H. Conley a choice after a fight broke out after a football game on Nov. 1: Miss the state playoffs altogether or accept sanctions that included player suspensions, a ban of individual Conley students and a ban of South Central’s…


November 30, 2018

PRINCETON - Riverside High School’s football team made school history Friday night.

The Knights turned two late defensive stands into touchdowns by the offense and defeated Princeton 56-46 in the second round of the Class 1-AA state playoffs.

Riverside is advancing to the third round of the…

November 29, 2018

After a stellar 24-1 senior season at D.H. Conley, Ayden native Kori Adams joined the Wingate University volleyball squad. Now, once again a senior, Adams and the Bulldogs have advanced to the Elite-8, the highest level of competition for Division II volleyball. When all is said and done, Adams…

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