Story By Bria Irizarry
Durham Academy spring sports are ready to hit the ground running after nearly a year without competition. While last year’s practices and games were substituted with virtual trivia nights and team meetings, this year the Cavs are prepared to take to the fields, courts and tracks.
Despite the soggy conditions, DA’s spring programs — baseball, boys golf, boys and girls lacrosse, girls soccer, boys tennis, and boys and girls track and field — are two weeks into practice and looking ahead to interscholastic competition this week. DA’s track and field team will be the first to compete, taking on Wesleyan Christian Academy and North Raleigh Christian Academy in a tri-meet this afternoon. A full breakdown of what to expect from each program is below.
You can continue to stay up-to-date with our spring sports by visiting our livestream page.
On Feb. 25, DA athletics celebrated five senior student-athletes who have signed to play their prospective sports in college next year.
Gavin Schulz will play lacrosse at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
John Donovan will play lacrosse at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Toby Harris will play basketball at Brandeis University, in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Scott West will play baseball at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Katherine Lanty will play field hockey at Middlebury College, in Middlebury, Vermont.
DA baseball began the spring 2020 season 3–1 before it abruptly ended. The Cavs will look to build on the early success of last season to set the stage for this year. “The baseball program is ready to return to the diamond for a fun, energetic and competitive 2021 campaign,” said head coach Tyrone Gould. This marks Gould’s sixth season helming the program.
“We will rely heavily on our returning players to lead the way,” Gould said. “We have a lot of potential and a roster filled with guys that will make an immediate impact.” DA baseball will host Wesleyan Academy in its season opener on March 18 at 4 p.m.
DA boys golf will look to start the season the way it did in spring 2020 with a win over Wesleyan Christian Academy. The Cavs will again kick off the season at Hope Valley Country Club, their home course, on March 18 at 3 p.m. against the Trojans. Head coach Greg Murray, who is in his 35th season as head coach, believes his team has enough depth and experience to contend for another Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference championship.
“Senior Jackson Brimfield will lead the way with a young, but talented, supporting cast,” Murray said. “Junior Michael Barnes and sophomore William Chapman have scored consistently in the past, and the other returning players have improved exponentially,” he added.
DA boys lacrosse will return to action this spring after a 1–1 start in 2020, including a big home victory over Charlotte Latin. Head coach Jon Lantzy feels as though his team learned a valuable lesson last spring: that the real value of a team is found in the time spent working together toward the ultimate goal of competing. The team will roster eight seniors, four of whom have been named captains: Jackson Collie, John Donovan, Gavin Schulz and Blake Smith.
“Now that we are up and running, I’m so excited about the possibilities of what might be for these guys,” said Lantzy. “They have invested a lot and we are really working hard at being able to look at this year with no regret.”
DA boys lacrosse will open the season on March 23 at St. David’s and will compete in its home opener on March 31 at 4:15 p.m. against North Cross School from Roanoke, Virginia.
Girls lacrosse coach Debbie Rebosa is heading into the 2021 season with much to look forward to. She has four seniors, who have all been named captains, and two new members of her staff in Upper School math teacher Lauren Foster and college counseling dean Katie McEnroe.
“I am thrilled to be back on the field this season with the girls lacrosse team,” Rebosa said. “We have some talented players on our team in all grades, and I am excited to see how we will play, develop and grow together.”
After starting last season 2–1, the Cavs will again look to start the season off on a good foot, beginning with their season opener at Cary Academy on March 19 and then with their home opener on March 23 vs. St. David’s.
Head coach Susan Ellis is thrilled to get back on the soccer pitch with her team this spring. The team’s lone game last season was vs. Wesleyan Christian Academy, and the girls will again look to open the season vs. the Trojans on Moylan Field on March 18.
Ellis, who is in her 17th season as the head coach of the program, spent time with her team off the field this fall working on team culture. “Our leadership council has been meeting since the start of school to make sure our core values and tradition stay true to why we play soccer for Durham Academy,” Ellis said. “Everyone is looking forward to being back on the field with our friends, coaches and teammates.”
The boys tennis team successfully completed the most competitions of all DA teams last spring before athletics came to a halt, posting a 3–2 record. Head coach Sean Billsborrow focused on keeping the team motivated last year through various virtual team meetings and discussions.
“The guys have worked really hard on staying connected and motivated ever since last season was canceled,” he said. “I'm really excited to see that cohesiveness and hunger come out in practices and matches.”
The team will look to the leadership of five seniors when it opens its season at Ravenscroft on Friday at 4:15 p.m. The team’s home opener will take place on March 19 when it hosts Trinity School of Durham and Chapel Hill at 4:15 p.m.
Track & Field
DA track and field will be the first spring sport to compete, hosting North Raleigh Christian Academy and Wesleyan Christian Academy this afternoon in a tri-meet. The boys team will have 16 seniors taking charge this season, while the girls team will have eight seniors representing their class.
Head coach Costen Irons and his teams have enjoyed being back out on the track, and they are grateful to have some certainty this spring. “We know we are going to have a season, and we know that there are going to be things that are inconvenient,” Irons said. “We are excited to get out there and see how good we can get.”
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 www.da.org/teams.
- Click on an individual team to subscribe to automatic alerts about athletics results, postponements and cancellations, calendar and athletic event reminders. You can also import team schedules into your electronic calendars.
- 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 http://bit.ly/DACavaliers. 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.