Kelly Tripp just completed her sophomore year for the Chargers, where she was a top player in basketball (10 points, four assists, three steals and two rebounds per game) and regional winner and state qualifier in the state track championship meet.

Here is a Q & A with our Ayden-Grifton girls athlete of the year.

Q: What year are you in school?

A: I just completed my sophomore year at Ayden-Grifton.

Q: What sports did you participate in?

A: Track, volleyball and basketball.

Q: What events did you run in track?

A: In track, I ran the 200, the high jump, the 4 by 1 (400 relay) and 4 by 2 (800 relay).

Q: How did you do this season?

A: I qualified for states in the high jump, and the 4 by 1 relay was second and the 4 by 2 relay was sixth.

Q: Where were you born and raised?

A: We lived with my grandparents and then we moved to Ayden.

Q: What’s your earliest recollection of playing sports in general? What sport did you pick up first when you were a little kid?

A: When I was little, I didn’t do any sports or anything. I was interested in dolls.

Q: Dolls! Tell me a little bit about that.

A: I would get my grandma to buy me dolls and doll clothes when I was younger. I had two baby dolls, a dollhouse. I was a girly-girl when I was younger.

Q: When did you start sports?

A: When I was in seventh grade in middle school, my friend got me into basketball. Then it was volleyball and track.

Q: What was it like when you first started?

A: It was actually pretty fun. In eighth grade, my friend’s uncle suggested we try out for the high school team.

Q: Going from middle school to high school can be daunting. What was your experience like when you tried out for basketball as a freshman?

A: It was actually pretty nice. We were on the team because we weren’t going to have a JV (junior varsity) team, so we were automatically on the varsity. The girls that were already on the team had their places; I just had to find mine.

Q: What has sports done for you?

A: Sports has kept me busy and it’s a lot of fun.

Q: In school, what are favorite subjects?

A: I like math.

Q: What do you like so much about math?

A: It’s not English. I have always struggled with English. I don’t like to read; it’s just not my thing. I have a hard time focusing in English.

Q: What do you like to do when you have spare time?

A: I like shopping.

Q: What’s your favorite place to shop?

A: The Raleigh mall (Crabtree Valley). The first time I went was two years ago with my mom and grandmom.

Q: What stores did you end up gravitating to? If you went today, which stores would you hit first?

A: Forever 21, and Route 21, American Eagle and Aeropostale.

Q: Do you watch other sports?

A: I do like watching the NBA. I like watching when the games are on, I don’t follow any specific teams or players.

Q: Which sport is your favorite, and why?

A: Probably basketball. I get to work with my friends and it’s fun. You can get physical, or not, but it’s fun either way.

Q: How did you get involved in track?

A: I did track so I could be fit for basketball. Actually, I have friends in basketball, volleyball and track that only do those sports.

Q: Is the high jump as difficult as it looks?

A: Once you get the hang of it, it’s easier. But as the (bar) moves up, you have to do a bit more each time.

Q: What do you like food-wise, and does it change when you are playing sports?

A: My favorite is pizza. I eat (whatever) and I still can stay the same weight. There is a lot of stuff I don’t like because I am a picky eater.

Q: What kind of music do you like?

A: I listen to rap, hip-hop, R&B.


Holly Cannon: She was an outstanding volleyball player and track performer for the Chargers this season.

Kylie Guthrie: Kylie batted .415 with 17 hits, 17 runs and eight runs batted in for A-G this season.

Summer Little: She was part of Ayden-Grifton’s volleyball team and batted .289 in softball with 14 hits, 11 runs scored and eighty RBI.

Jayla Johnson: Jayla, a senior, was a consistent sprinter and part of the 400-meter relay team that finished second in the state.

Lauryn Arnold: The senior played in the No. 1 dingles position for the Chargers’ tennis team.

Contact Jim Green at