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Woolfolk, Byerson to again become household names in area basketball | Richmond Free Press

Woolfolk and Pearson — famous names from the Richmond basketball archive — are back in the news hoops, this time in Chesterfield County.

Mia Woolfolk and Mackay Pearson are primetime representatives of the fast-paced Manchester High School boys’ and girls’ teams at Billy Bridge Road.

The Manchester boys 8-0 are headed to winter break. The Lancers girls’ team finished 7-1 for 2021.

Woolfolk, a 6ft 2cm sophomore with dominant indoor skills, plays for coach Rashid Wright. Pearson is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound runner-up for coach Josh Carlson.

Not surprisingly, teens make headlines. They both come from very long families and are very athletic.

Mia’s father, 6-foot-6, Peter Woolfolk, starred on the compound of Jefferson-Huguenot-Wythe High School in Richmond, where he led the Trojans to the 1984 State Group AAA title, and later at the University of Richmond, where he helped the Spiders reach The NCAA Sweet 16 in 1988.

Mia’s brother is Jay Woolfolk, a former Benedictine College prep athlete who is now on a scholarship to play football and baseball at the University of Virginia.

Mackay is the 6-foot-8 son of Brad Pearson, who starred in Virginia Union, along with his younger siblings, Brandon and Braxton. Brad, who later played for the NBA G-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce, was All-CIAA and CIAA Defensive Player of the Year under VUU Coach Dave Robbins in 2008.

The Pearson brothers played at Thomas Dale High School in Chester.

During the December 18 games, Mia Woolfolk averaged 18 points, nine rebounds, and three steals per game in her first season.

“Mia is smart and has an imposing physical presence,” said coach Wright. “We’re just looking to expand her game, and she’s very open to learning.”

Once the right hand polishes her moves on the left side, coach Wright notes, “She’ll be among the best in the state.”

Woolfolk was a dynamic performer at Billy Bridge Middle School in Chesterfield in the fall of 2019 (the middle school girls play in the fall) and then played for the Manchester High School junior team in 2019-20. She transferred to Trinity Episcopal last school year but did not compete due to injury. Her return to Manchester High School impressed the coaching staff.

Pearson made the Manchester high school team as a freshman and is now a staple on coach Carlson’s front court.

“MacKay is a man and a child,” said coach Carlson. “He has a big body. He is very physical. He can throw it (dunk).”

Pearson averaged around 13 points and nine rebounds, while serving as a fearsome defensive stop in the paint.

Woolfolk and Pearson are considered the most year-round basketball stars.

Mia is an outstanding softball player known for her strength in the plate. Manchester’s short 190-foot ramparts are meant to be a hit this spring.

Mackay doubles as one of the Lancers’ most prominent stars in football. His muscular play in the trenches helped Manchester reach the third round of the 6A Regionals this past season. It was a defensive end across the region.

The Lancers boys’ basketball team is coming out of the 12-2 season in 2020-21 and looking stronger this round.

On the other hand, a year ago the Manchester girls team was only 3 to 10 years old. The addition of Woolfolk and freshman Ryan Wright, daughter of Coach Wright and others, turned things around.

Woolfolk and Pearson are almost too good to be true – huge, strong and incredibly talented. They are only second year students.

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