On a springlike day perfectly suited for an outdoor, socially distanced college signing ceremony, five Durham Academy seniors put pen to paper on Feb. 25 to formally commit to compete in college athletics next year. John Donovan will play lacrosse at Gettysburg College; Toby Harris will play basketball at Brandeis University; Katherine Lantzy will play field hockey at Middlebury College; Gavin Schulz will play lacrosse at Franklin & Marshall College; and Scott West will play baseball at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
“These five student-athletes represent the best of Durham Academy,” Director of Athletics Andy Pogach said. “They all have great individual accolades, but what sets them apart is their ability to be great teammates, to be coachable and to leave their programs better than when they started.”
Watch a recording of the signing ceremony on the NFHS Network; the ceremony begins around the 13:50 mark. Donovan, Harris, Lantzy and Schulz join the four Cavaliers who committed to play Division I athletics in November.
Gettysburg College, lacrosse
John Donovan has been a member of DA’s varsity lacrosse team since 2017 and is a four-year starter. A goalkeeper, he was named All-Conference in 2019 and 2020.
“When you look back at his career, John has been the deciding factor in so many games, from his game-saving save at the end of regulation during our epic win double OT win at Ravenscroft during his freshman year or his time-expiring save to preserve our season-opening one-goal win vs. Charlotte Latin, John has always come through for his team,” varsity boys lacrosse head coach Jon Lantzy said. “He is a two-time captain, and All-Conference player and an even better young man. I’m so proud of John and can’t wait to watch what’s ahead for him at Gettysburg.”
Donovan said he is grateful and excited for the opportunity to play lacrosse at the collegiate level — “while at the same time I'm focused on getting better and going for a state championship during my senior season! I think what I'm looking forward to most about Gettysburg is the chance to compete and get better against high level competition every day, all while getting a great education and forming relationships.
“Firstly, I would like to thank my family and friends who have supported me so much throughout my high school experience and my life,” Donovan continued. “I also cannot thank Coach Jon Lantzy enough for all he has done for me, such as calling coaches on my behalf to vouch for me and always pushing me to get better as a player and a person. During a time where COVID had made the recruiting process very different, he did everything he could for me, and that willingness to go to bat for his guys like that is why we love him so much in the lacrosse program. I would also like to thank Coach Brad Corbett for teaching me how to play the goalie position the right way from a young age and making me the player I am today. And finally, Mrs. [Liliana] Simón for being the best advisor I could ask for over the past four years!”
Brandeis University, basketball
Toby Harris has played varsity hoops at DA since 2018 and has twice been named All-Conference and All-State. In the DA record books, he stands at No. 11 in points (1,022) and No. 4 in 3-pointers (176). He was named co-MVP of the DA boys basketball team his senior season.
"Toby has been a great asset to our program over the past three years,” varsity boys basketball head coach Tim McKenna said. “His game has grown from being just a spot-up shooter to an all-around threat on the offensive end. He brings great enthusiasm to games and practices, and he is a good role model for our younger players. It will be exciting to watch him continue to grow during his time at Brandeis University."
Harris expressed gratitude to those who helped him reach his goal of playing at the college level.
“I want to thank Coach McKenna for giving me opportunities at the high school level that allowed me to play in college,” he said. “I also want to thank Coach Pogach for his continued support and efforts to help me as well. I would really like to thank my family, specifically my dad for all he has done for me throughout my basketball career. Without him, I would not be where I am today. Also, shoutout to the Guru, Mike Jones, for believing in me and helping me get to where I am as well. Thanks to everyone who has supported me and helped me along this journey.
“I am super excited to play at the next level, especially at a school like Brandeis,” Harris continued. “The coaching staff has been super open and accepting of me, and I can tell that they know what they are doing. I am really looking forward to playing for another great program and hopefully competing for a national championship.”
Middlebury College, field hockey
Katherine Lantzy joined DA’s varsity field hockey program as an eighth-grader. In the years since, she has earned All-State recognition three times; All-Conference honors four times; and the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference Player of the Year honor in 2020. She was also named the DA field hockey team’s MVP three years.
“Katherine is a wonderful player, but her stats can’t illustrate her true value,” varsity field hockey head coach Judy Chandler said, noting that Lantzy is only the second eighth-grader selected to join the varsity team in her three decades at the helm of the program.
“Katherine is a gifted athlete who chose field hockey as her passion,” Chandler continued. “She has been focused on becoming the best that she can be since third or fourth grade. She would come to the field with her dad and spend hours working on her skills, by herself or with another teammate. When she wasn't doing that, she was traveling around the country playing for club teams or participating in Futures tournaments. All that she has accomplished is well-deserved, and I couldn't be prouder of her. I can't wait to hear all about her experiences with Middlebury.”
Lantzy, who has also lettered in lacrosse at DA, said she is “beyond excited” to play at Middlebury next year. “The amazing liberal arts education and championship program fit everything I was looking for. The coaching staff, team and culture of Middlebury field hockey is unparalleled. It will be a dream come true to step on the field as a Panther in the fall!
“I would like to thank my parents for their unconditional support, my DA and Carolina All Stars teammates for pushing me to be a better player, and all my coaches for their guidance,” Lantzy continued. “I would also like to thank Coach [Katharine] DeLorenzo for this opportunity and for believing in me as a player and person.”
Franklin & Marshall College, lacrosse
Gavin Schulz, a five-year member of DA’s varsity boys lacrosse team, has been a starter for the program for three years and twice earned All-Conference honors.
“Gavin is a young man that has been around the varsity program for so many years — he lives across the street from school and you would have thought his Lower School Extended Day program was on the varsity lacrosse field watching and learning the game of lacrosse,” DA head boys lacrosse coach Jon Lantzy said. “Gavin is one of those kids that dreamed big as a young guy, went to work and made those dreams a reality. Gavin is also a two-time captain and All-Conference player. Gavin is a talented, skilled player who loves the game. Franklin & Marshall is getting a great kid that will make their program better in every way.”
Schulz said he is “overjoyed” for the opportunity to play collegiate lacrosse at Franklin & Marshall.
“It’s been a personal goal of mine for much of high school, so I don’t think I can put into words exactly how happy I am. I’d just say extremely excited! Past lacrosse, I’m excited about all the academic and extracurricular activities I’ll be able to do as a Diplomat,” he said, noting that he’s planning to continue his passion for music at the school and major in public health as a pre-health student. “Franklin & Marshall is an amazing school with amazing classes, professors and athletics, so I’m looking forward to every minute that I’ll have there.”
Schulz expressed gratitude for the support of his family and Lantzy.
“My family has always given me the opportunity to find what I like and strive to meet my goals. They were hands-off during my college search because they wanted me to find the school that fit best for me, but they still made sure I made the right choice. Furthermore, they were always willing to go throw the ball with me or take me to a recruiting event,” he said. “Coach Lantzy, although he will not take any credit, was very helpful as well. I appreciated how he would pick up the phone at a moment’s notice to call a college coach for me and get the ball rolling. He also pushes me hard every day to become a more skilled player, and I think that really contributed to my abilities on the field. More importantly, he has instilled a set of values in me and the rest of the boys lacrosse team that keeps us grounded and on the right path.”
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, baseball
Scott West has been a member of DA’s varsity baseball team since 2017. In that time, head coach Tyrone Gould said he has “had a major impact.”
“His offensive contributions and his clutch nature have helped secure wins as a member of our varsity team,” Gould said. “Scott’s reliable nature has resulted in several two-out RBIs and critical base hits.
“Scott’s work ethic and commitment to the game has set the stage for a bright future at Worcester Polytechnic Institute,” Gould continued. “Scott is a true competitor and takes great pride in dedicating countless hours to improving his skill set as a baseball player. During his time at DA, Scott has maintained high standards both academically and athletically which ultimately created an opportunity for him to play collegiate baseball. We are very excited for Scott and look forward to following his progress and success at WPI.”
West said he is looking forward to the adventures to come at WPI — both on the baseball diamond and in the classroom.
“I am very excited about the project-based learning curriculum at WPI,” he said. “I think it is going to be the perfect school for me where I can develop skills in engineering. I am also excited to experience the DIII sports lifestyle. I am looking forward to being a member of a team focused on both academic and athletic excellence.
“After COVID took away my junior season, I thought that my dreams of playing college baseball were over,” he continued. “Then I started to go to private baseball lessons. My private coach developed a throwing program that helped me gain 8 mph on my fastball. I had a great fall travel ball season after this dedicated work. My coach also helped me through the recruiting process, in a year made difficult by COVID restrictions, producing videos and talking to coaches.”