News

Cavs Corner: After Successful Winter Season, Attention Turns to Spring Sports

By Andy Pogach, Assistant Director of Athletics and Sports Information Director, Varsity Girls Tennis Coach 
Twitter: @daathletics
Instagram: @dacavsathletics 
 

The amazing boys basketball season has come to a close, following Friday night’s 64—43 loss to Greensboro Day School in the state semifinals. Thanks to everyone who came out to support the Cavs during the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association tournament!

Boys Basketball

On Friday, the Cavaliers — who set a school record with 28 wins on the year — battled with the eventual state champion Bengals until an 18–2 third-quarter GDS run put the game away. Senior Bryant Randleman led the Cavs with 15 points and nine rebounds, while ninth-grader MJ Rice added 11 points. The Cavs trailed 23—12 early before a 13—2 run tied the game at 25. Sophomore Cole Sinclair hit a 3-pointer on the first possession of the third period to give the Cavaliers their only lead of the game at 28—27. The Bengals then scored on their next seven possessions to reopen a double-digit lead.

It was quite a scene at Ravenscroft, as hundreds of DA students, teachers, parents, alumni and fans took over the three sections behind the Cavs’ bench to create an incredible environment. On behalf of Coach Tim McKenna, thank you for being such passionate fans all season long! The Cavs finished the season eighth in the final Phenom Hoop Report statewide private school poll and are No. 13 in this week’s HighSchoolOT area poll.
 

 



Winter Varsity Awards Program

At Tuesday’s winter varsity awards program, six Cavaliers were presented with All-Conference certificates. For just the third time in school history, the boys basketball team placed three players on the All-Conference squad, led by Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference player of the year Randleman. Rice and Sinclair were also voted All-TISAC. Randleman and Rice also became the first DA boys basketball players to make the NCISAA All-State team since 2007. Senior Imani Spence was named an All-TISAC honoree on the girls side, while eighth-grader Joelle Davis earned honorable mention All-Conference. Finally, ninth-grader Alfred Honore was presented with an All-Conference certificate in recognition of his victory in the 100-yard butterfly event at this year’s TISAC swim meet.
 

 

 



Spring Sports Preview Part I

Baseball

We have quickly transitioned into spring, and weather permitting, the baseball team will play its opening day game this afternoon at home vs. Charlotte Latin. Last season’s TISAC tri-champions, DA will look to win the conference outright this year and advance to the state tournament for the first time since 2009. Captains Michael Jaffe, a senior, along with Benny Klein and Brandon Caveney, both juniors, will provide the leadership for a team that will have four ninth-graders and two eighth-graders. Jaffe, an All-State honoree a year ago and a Johns Hopkins University baseball commit, will be counted upon on the mound, in the infield and at the plate this year for the Cavs. He led the team in batting average (.439), hits (29) and runs (26), while spending the majority of defensive innings in the middle infield positions. Klein had a team-leading 3.40 ERA last year and pitched in many clutch situations in his 12 appearances. Caveney had nine hits and seven RBIs in 2018, while also pitching six innings.

Head coach Tyrone Gould indicates that pitching and defense will be key for his team, especially early in the season during a difficult non-conference stretch that includes 4A opponents Latin, Cannon School and Greensboro Day School. While last year’s team came on strong at the end of the season, Gould is hoping for a more consistent 22-game effort from his team. Once conference play begins, Gould points to the April 9 and 11 matchups with Wake Christian, the team he believes will be the toughest conference opponent. The Cavs will have to rely on some new faces on the hill this year, with more than 75 percent of last year’s innings pitched by graduated seniors. At the plate, besides the three captains, only sophomore Scott West and senior Kyle Shelley had more than 10 at bats last year. West batted an impressive .421 in limited action as a ninth-grader, while Shelley had three hits and four walks. Ninth-grade newcomers Jackson Niedel, Ethan Goldstein and Sean Donahue, along with returner Zeph Hollenbeck, will be relied upon heavily this year, and eighth-graders Miles Newsome and Sam Schaeffer will also play important roles. In addition to this afternoon’s season opener, the Cavs will have three more games before spring break, including a home game Friday vs. St. Thomas More and Tuesday’s home matchup with Norfolk Academy.

Girls Lacrosse

Coach Debbie Rebosa and her girls lacrosse team are coming off an 8–9 season that saw them fall to the eventual state champion Charlotte Country Day School in the semifinal round of the state tournament. The girls lacrosse team will once again have a challenging schedule that includes both state tournament finalists Country Day and Charlotte Latin, public school power East Chapel Hill School and out-of-state competitor Hockaday School (Dallas, Texas) in the annual King of Spring event held over spring break. Leading the way this year for the Cavs will be senior captains Anna West and Julia King. West, who last year earned conference player of the year, All-State and All-America honors, led the Cavs in both goals (75) and assists (26). King, a defender, returns to the team after being away in 2018. Returning All-State juniors Charlotte Easley (56 goals and 15 assists) and Caroline Sapir (27 goals and 15 assists) will provide scoring depth from the midfield position.

While the Cavs return with more than 95 percent of their scoring from last season, Rebosa is excited about some of the newcomers who she thinks will make an immediate impact. Multi-sport star Imani Spence, fresh off a five-year varsity basketball career, will join the lacrosse team for her senior season. Sophomore Bella Adams and a trio of eighth-graders (Ona Lukes, Spencer Jennings and Riley Leversedge), should complement the veteran pieces in the Cavs’ quest for a winning season and a run at a conference and state title. Junior Ella Virkler and ninth-grader Mirella Kades are both back after splitting time in the goal last year. Virkler was an All-Conference honoree after making 176 saves in 2018. Rebosa points toward the two Charlotte contests, as well as the two meetings with Ravenscroft School, as the key games for her squad this year. It all starts Wednesday at Chapel Hill High School.

Boys Tennis

Last year’s run to the state championship culminated a stretch of three straight years with 17 wins for the DA boys tennis team. With All-State performers James Shaheen and Priyan de Silva, along with lineup regulars Kenan Ulku-Steiner, Jack McCallie and Alexander Brandt, off to college, it will be a new top-six for head coach Sean Bilsborrow. Losing the top five players in the lineup to graduation will mean some retooling for a group that was a top-four seed in the state tournament eight consecutive years and advanced to the semifinal round the last six seasons.

The goal of winning the TISAC championship is still right in front of them, as a trio of experienced seniors will be put in leadership roles. Dylan Jones, Charlie Wilson and Sheridan Kum have all spent time in the lineup over their careers, with Kum being the most experienced; he was 7–1 in singles and 8–2 in doubles a year ago. Sophomores Joey Shaheen, who spent a lot of last season in the No. 6 singles position, and Jackson Zobrist, who played six singles in the state championship match, are returning. Also returning are sophomores Jack Preble and Frank Borden, who Bilsborrow believes will make a contribution this year. The Cavs will be put to the test early as they head to Florence, South Carolina, for the annual Florence Tennis Association tournament. The Cavs’ first match is Friday night vs. A.C. Flora High School of Columbia, South Carolina. The 4A favorite Greensboro Day, as well as other North Carolina and South Carolina powers, will be in the bracket and will provide the Cavs an early idea of their strengths and weaknesses. Greensboro Day, Charlotte Latin, Providence Day, Charlotte Country Day and Cardinal Gibbons are all on the challenging schedule for the Cavs this year.

While we will not have a Cavs Corner the next two weeks, we will be back on March 21 with more spring sports previews, as well as recaps of all of the action from the first three weeks of the season. In the meantime, please follow all of our teams on our social media platforms as well as da.org/athletics. Thank you, as always, for your support of DA athletics!
 



Keeping up with the Cavs

As always, you can keep up with the Cavs on Durham Academy’s website and the DA App: www.da.org/athletics: Schedules and Results

  • 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.
  • For a recap of athletics results and scores, visit www.da.org/scoreboard.
  • 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.