ICARD — Trey Blackwood lived in the pool through almost all his athletic career, including all four years at East Burke.
His prowess in leading the Cavaliers as a four-time all-conference swimmer earned Blackwood the 2018-19 Alex Gugouis award for EBHS male athlete of the year.
“It has been a pleasure to coach Trey and work with him all these years,” said former EB swimming coach David Andersen, who also coached Blackwood on the Valdese Torpedo summer swim team.
“He has a strong work ethic, character and integrity,” Andersen added. “He always demonstrated great sportsmanship and is supportive of his teammates. He helps make the team a family instead of a group of individuals.”
His most successful event as a Cavalier swimmer was the 100-yard backstroke, qualifying for both the NCHSAA 1A/2A West Regional and state championship meets all four years.
He placed in the top 10 at regionals in his junior (10th) and senior (eighth) seasons, winning the county championship in the event as a freshman and sophomore.
“I’m really happy to be a part of the team. Being able to go to state (all four years) was a real honor for me,” said Blackwood.
Blackwood also qualified for regionals in the 100-yard butterfly in 2017 and was part of two regional and state qualifying relays in his career: the 200 medley (2016) and 400 freestyle (2018). He also gained two county championships as a sophomore in both relay events.
This past spring, Blackwood participated on the boys tennis team, earning the team’s Cavalier Award after gaining three singles wins and one win in doubles.
As Blackwood will be heading to Appalachian State for a political science major, he left these simple words for the Cavalier swimming teammates he leaves behind.
“Just always do your best (in the pool),” he said, “and reach that best time while excelling in the water.”
Jason Baker can be reached at email@example.com.