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Six varsity student-athletes commit to compete in college
Posted 11/10/2016 03:11PM

Wearing a rainbow of baseball caps and shirts — from Michigan, Duke and Carolina blues, to East Carolina Pirate purple, to the maroons favored by Roanoke and Elon — six Durham Academy senior student-athletes committed to compete in college athletics at a signing ceremony in the lobby of Kirby Gym on Thursday. 

“It’s exciting because every year we do this, you look at the guys and girls who get to celebrate this day, they’re exceptional in a lot of ways,” said DA Athletic Director Steve Engebretsen before a smiling audience of family members, friends and coaches. “They’re obviously exceptional in the sports that they’re going to continue to play as college students, but they’re great teammates, they’re good students, they’re leaders at Durham Academy. … They’ll not only be missed as golfers and basketball players and divers and lacrosse players at DA, but they’ll be missed as students and as leaders and as citizens here.

Lydia Carbuccia will play lacrosse for East Carolina University; Christy Cutshaw will dive at the University of Michigan; Jorden Davis will play basketball for Roanoke College; Madi Dunk will play lacrosse for Duke University; Quade Lukes will play golf for Elon University; and Hannah Pope will play lacrosse for UNC-Chapel Hill. 



Lydia Carbuccia — lacrosse, East Carolina University

Carbuccia only began playing lacrosse as a 10th-grader, yet has quickly made a name for herself in the sport. In her two seasons of wearing a Cavalier lacrosse uniform, she has been named All-Conference twice and All-State once. Carbuccia, who also plays with the Carolina Fever lacrosse club, is a multi-sport athlete, having also played volleyball, basketball and softball at DA.

“A couple of years ago, I never would have imagined that I would be playing Division I lacrosse,” Carbuccia said. “I am extremely grateful for all of my family and friends who have supported and mentored me into becoming the person and athlete that I am today. I have grown to love the sport of lacrosse and am really excited to become a part of Pirate Nation.” 

Christy Cutshaw — diving, University of Michigan

A specialist in the 10-meter platform who has been diving competitively since age 9, Cutshaw won a total of 26 National medals (top 12 or higher) and many medals at the Regional and Zone level as a Junior Olympic diver. Cutshaw entered her first National Senior Women's Platform competition as a 15-year-old, finishing multiple times in the top 12. Among her greatest diving accomplishments are qualifying for and competing in the 2016 Rio Olympic Trials (finishing No. 6 in Synchronized Women's Platform) and finishing fourth in the U.S. Diving Nationals in Individual Women's Platform event in August. 

“I'm extremely excited to dive in college. It's been one of my dreams for such a long time. I'm looking forward to having a team who supports me,” Cutshaw said.My parents are the reason I've accomplished so much. They've given me a lot of opportunities and have supported me no matter what. I'd like to thank my first diving coach in Atlanta for getting me interested in the sport, and my current coach for believing in me when others did not.”

Jorden Davis — basketball, Roanoke College

Davis is in his fourth year of playing on DA’s varsity boys basketball team and has also played with the CEBA AAU basketball program. Davis is a two-time All-Conference player and has been named to the all-tournament teams for the Cannon Classic and Charlotte Latin Holiday Tournament. He is ranked among the top 100 boys basketball players in North Carolina’s class of 2017.

"I want to thank my parents for always pushing me and believing in me. They have always been there for me through thick and thin and have supported all the decisions I have made throughout my career,” Davis said. “With this said, I am very excited to be playing for Roanoke College next year.”
 

Madi Dunk — lacrosse, Duke University

Dunk, who in the spring will compete on DA’s varsity lacrosse team for the fifth year, is a three-time All-State player and four-time All-Conference player who was named 2016 TISAC (Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference) Player of the Year. Twice named a captain of the DA squad, she was named to both the U.S. Lacrosse All-American and U.S. Lacrosse Academic All-American teams in 2016. Highlights of Dunk’s lacrosse career apart from DA include competing on North Carolina’s team in the U.S. Lacrosse Women’s National Tournament three times, being named to the Under Armour All-American Underclass South Team three times and participating in Nike’s The RIDE player showcase. Dunk, who has played with the Carolina Fever lacrosse club, has also competed on DA’s varsity golf, basketball and swim teams.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to continue my lacrosse career at Duke. It's truly a dream come true to be a part of such an incredible academic institution and lacrosse program,” Dunk said. “I can't wait to challenge myself at the next level and continue to develop as an athlete, teammate and student. I wouldn't be in this position without my parents, teachers, coaches and teammates. They've all pushed me to be my very best in practice, allowing me to perform at a high level come game time." 

Quade Lukes — golf, Elon University

Lukes, who has competed on DA’s varsity boys golf team since he was in seventh grade, has been a top-four scorer since his ninth-grade year. He has been named to the All-Conference team three times and has twice made the Treyburn High School Invitational all-tournament team (as medalist last season). Away from DA, Lukes finished within the top five at the Davis Love AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) Open Tournament in 2016; won the Izod AJGA qualifier; and has placed within the top 15 at several other AJGA events.

"College golf has been a dream of mine since sixth grade. I want to thank my parents for the opportunity to chase that dream, and Coach [Greg] Murray for keeping golf fun and still pushing me to practice,” Lukes said. “What I am most excited about for Elon is the sense of family at the school, and on the golf team."

Hannah Pope — lacrosse, UNC-Chapel Hill

Pope, who in the spring will compete on DA’s varsity lacrosse team for the fifth year, is a two-time All-State player and three-time All-Conference player who has served as a team captain twice. Highlights of her lacrosse career apart from DA include competing on North Carolina’s team in the U.S. Lacrosse Women’s National Tournament two times, being named to the Under Armour All-American Underclass South Team two times and participating in Nike’s The RIDE player showcase. She has also competed on DA’s varsity field hockey team, has played with the Carolina Fever lacrosse club and plays for Team Carolina with AAU travel basketball.

“To be able to play for the defending national champions and the reigning national coach of the year, Jenny Levy, is a dream come true,” Pope said of the opportunity to play lacrosse at UNC. “My high school coaches, Debbie Rebosa and Beth Roberts, truly believed in me from the start. Katy O'Mara, my Carolina Fever club coach, pushed me and helped me reach my potential.”

View more photos from the signing ceremony on Flickr, and view a video of the ceremony below.




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