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  • Progress photo by Travis Dockery

Cottrell sets new HHS record

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For Yellow Jacket fans the name Cottrell has been a staple of basketball for many years. The Cottrell family has had many rolls for the Jackets from wearing the uniform to patrolling the sidelines in coaching positions. Former Yellow Jacket Zach Cottrell was even Hayesville’s all-time leading scorer with 1,950 career points. Zach slipped to second place on the list after little brother Josh scored 17 points against the Andrews Wildcats Friday, Feb. 9.

Josh entered the game with 1,941 points and was Hayesville’s leading scorer in the 69-56 loss.

In his final year as a Yellow Jacket, Josh is averaging 27 points per game which is tops in the Smoky Mountain Conference. Against Swain County on Jan. 5 Josh entered the record books for most points in a game for any Hayesville player with 44.

After eclipsing his brother’s benchmark, Josh said, “It's an honor to be to able get the record and also very humbling, I know it took a lot of teammates giving me the ball during opportune times and great coaches who've helped me and who drew up the plays.” Josh said taking the record-holder title away from his brother, who now plays for Appalachian State, made the accomplishment even sweeter. "I'm calling him tonight and you can be sure I will bring it up at all family functions. 

Hayesville head coach and Josh’s father Michael Cottrell was obviously proud of his son saying, “It's really bitter-sweet for me. One part of me feels for Zach, who is very proud of his brother, and the other part of me is extremely happy for Josh. He's put in years of hard work to get to this point and is a heck of a player and deserves this.” 

As the playoffs continue, Josh now has a shot at another history making moment. Only two players from western North Carolina have scored 2,000 points and with 1958, Josh has a  chance at becoming the third before he heads to Western Carolina University in the fall. When asked about potentially joining such an elite club Josh said, “It's a long way to get to that point and right now we just have to focus on winning games and moving on in the state playoffs..” 

With the loss to Andrews, Hayesville will now wait to see where they fall in the state brackets. 

By Travis Dockery Sports writer

Clay County Progress

Mailing Address: PO Box 483, Hayesville, NC 28904
Physical Address: 43 Main Street, Hayesville, NC 28904
Phone: 828-389-8431
Fax: 828-389-9997