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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hunt's high-scoring O'Brien commits to UNC

NOTE: Corrected version with accurate season goals total.

Hunt forward Eric O'Brien has made a verbal commitment to the University of North Carolina men's soccer program. Because Eric is just a junior, he hasn't been officially offered by UNC but he's decided he wants to be a Tar Heel, and become possibly the first Wilson County player to sign a soccer scholarship from Carolina.

O'Brien currently has 55 goals on the season, which isn't what I reported earlier today. One of the four goals O'Brien was credited with in Tuesday's 9-1 playoff win against Charles B. Aycock was actually put in the net by junior Craig Edwards.

Sooo, the 55 goals still has him ninth on the single-season scoring list of N.C. High School Athletic Association players. O'Brien probably has no chance to catch Michael Richardson, who scored 92 goals for Surry Central in 2002, a year after finding the net 87 times. But the third-highest total of 66, belonging to Eastern Alamance's Matt Smith in 2003, is reachable. Certainly if the Warriors, who will play West Craven at home in the second round of the NCHSAA 3-A playoffs Thursday night, play at least three more games (which would match their furthest playoff foray), O'Brien should be able to land in the top five. He would need nine goals to do that.

By my count, Hunt has 152 goals this season, leaving the Warriors eight goals shy of the 10th-highest single-season total in NCHSAA history, done in 2002 by, of course, Surry Central.

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