Cavs Corner: A New Face at the Helm of DA Swimming

By Bria Irizarry, Colleen Gunning and Josh Andreski
Twitter: @daathletics
Instagram: @dacavsathletics

Durham Academy’s basketball teams are heading into the final week of competition before winter break hoping to avenge a few recent losses. And the swim teams are looking ahead to the first meet in over a week — with a new face at the helm of the program!

Boys Basketball

The boys varsity basketball team is 3–9 overall and 1–2 over the last three games. On Friday, the Cavaliers faced a tough opponent in Charlotte Latin. Despite falling into an early deficit in the first quarter — trailing by as many as 19 points at the end of the first half — the team made a fourth-quarter comeback attempt with contributions from juniors Matthew Chaves and Jack Condray and ninth-grader JJ Wilcox to end the game on a 10–3 run. The final score was 49–31 and the Cavs attempted to put this loss behind them before hosting Providence Day School the following afternoon. 

Ultimately, the Cavaliers faced a similar outcome in their game vs. Providence Day. The Chargers proved to be a tough challenge for DA. The Cavaliers fell behind by 16 points and couldn’t pull any closer, falling 58–27. 

The Cavs were forced to rebound against their next opponent, Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill, on Tuesday evening. Junior Jake Chisholm kicked off the scoring for the Cavs, putting up 11 points in the first quarter and 18 points by the end of the first half. Senior Alex Dunk and junior Bryson Tupper made key contributions on both ends of the floor. Dunk connected on three consecutive three-pointers and Tupper added three blocks to give DA a 39–13 lead at the end of the first half. The Cavs carried the momentum into the second half with multiple DA players — including junior Adam Roeder, senior Charlie Rand and Condray — coming off the bench to build on the Cavaliers' lead. 

The final result was 71–35 in favor of DA. Chisholm led the team with 23 points, five rebounds and two steals. The Cavs will face Wake Christian Academy on Friday at 7 p.m. in Kirby Gym before a two-week hiatus.

Girls Basketball

DA varsity girls basketball fell to two very physical Charlotte opponents, Charlotte Latin School and Providence Day, over the weekend.

The Cavs hosted Charlotte Latin on Friday night and stayed competitive throughout the first half. However, a 13–2 run from the Hawks to open the second half created a gap the Cavaliers couldn’t recover from, losing the game 69–50. Ninth-grader McKenzie Graves led the DA offense with her 20-point performance, adding in two assists and two steals. 

It was a quick turnaround for the Cavs, who returned to the court to face the Providence Day Chargers the following afternoon. Again, DA stayed close, trailing by only three points at halftime. But 10 unanswered points to start the second half allowed Providence Day to pull ahead, and the Chargers defeated the Cavs 53–36. Juniors Joelle Davis and Emerson Levin led the team from three-point range, finishing with 14 and nine points, respectively. Junior Kendall Harris held strong on the other end, pulling down nine defensive rebounds to go along with her six points and two assists.

The Cavs hit the road on Tuesday against The Burlington School. With several DA players in early foul trouble, the Spartans took advantage of opportunities at the free-throw line to top the Cavs, 56–47. Harris led DA with 14 points and four rebounds. Davis and Graves followed with 12 points each.

Varsity girls basketball sits at 4–6 heading into conference play Friday night vs. Wake Christian Academy.


John Manison, DA Swim Coach

The Durham Academy swim teams entered the week with a new face at the helm of the program. John Manison was named the varsity head swim coach this week, coming to DA from Los Angeles. In California, Manison was the owner and coach at the Sailfish Swim School and Swim Club as well as the head coach at Sierra Canyon High School. Manison also owned and taught at a tutoring service. 

“We are thrilled that John Manison will be the next head varsity swim coach at Durham Academy,” said Director of Athletics Andy Pogach. “John’s background of high school and club coaching in California is impressive, and we are excited to see what he can do with our dedicated group of swimmers.”

Manison is looking forward to implementing his coaching philosophy that he has named “STRIDE,” which highlights the importance of sportsmanship, teamwork, respect, integrity, discipline and excellence. 

“I plan to use the [STRIDE] principles to prepare our young men and women to be productive members of society,” Manison said. “We will adhere to this set of values that will foster hard work, honesty and accountability.”

Manison’s teams have already found some early success in the pool. Just two meets into the season, junior Eva Boehlke has set three school records. She swam a 56.72 in the 100-yard butterfly, a 5:13.29 in the 500-yard freestyle and a 1:56.47 in the 200-yard freestyle. 

Manison is impressed with both teams’ performances thus far, but he wants to focus his early efforts on building a strong culture. 

“Sure, we are out here to win, if we can,” Manison said. “But it is much more important to develop strong character and moral adults.”

Manison, a former paraplegic who has fully recovered, competed in national-level competitions for athletes with disabilities and has done public speaking engagements around the country about overcoming obstacles. 

Manison and the Cavalier swim teams will compete on the road against Saint Mary’s School at 4 p.m. today.

Dec 9 Winter Sports Update




Keeping Up with the Cavs

As always, you can keep up with the Cavs on Durham Academy’s website and the Durham Academy App (available on the Apple App Store).

  • For a list of all teams, their schedules and directions to games, visit
  • Click on an individual team to subscribe to automatic alerts about athletics results, postponements and cancellations, calendar and athletic event reminders.
  • All information about the daily athletics schedule is also available on DA’s Athletics Hotline: 919-489-2534 (ext. 5).

The DA App: Schedules and Results

  • The DA App allows you to keep up with athletics wherever you are. You can download the app from iTunes at The DA App pulls athletics content directly from the DA website and delivers it to iOS-based devices including iPhone and iPad.
  • The Athletics portion of the DA App (after launching, click Menu, then click Athletics to open) features results of recent games, a list of upcoming contests and team records.