15 Seniors Commit to College Athletics
Fifteen Durham Academy seniors are trading DA green and white for jerseys and caps of new hues as they compete in collegiate athletics at the Division I and Division III levels next school year. Four student-athletes participated in a signing ceremony on Nov. 3, and the DA community gathered to celebrate the college commitments of 11 more seniors on April 28.
“This class of 102 will be sending 15 student-athletes on to the next level — quite an accomplishment and a tribute to the hard work of these young men and women behind me,” Director of Athletics Andy Pogach said at the spring signing ceremony in the Upper School quad.
“Today’s official celebration is about what this group [of student-athletes] will be doing in the future, but in reality it’s about what they have done in the past to get to where they are today,” he continued. “There are so many people here that have helped you — family members, teachers, coaches, teammates. We are all proud of you and your accomplishments and can’t wait to see what you do at the next step of your
Goldstein, a four-year member of DA’s varsity baseball team, has thrice been named All-Conference and was named DA Offensive Player of the Year in 2019 and 2021.
“Ethan Goldstein is a very good leader on the baseball team,” said Dean Dease, head coach of DA’s baseball team. “He communicates well with players and coaches. Ethan also has a very positive attitude and keeps the team motivated. I’m sure he will do well next year at Haverford.”
Case Western Reserve University
Donahue, a four-year varsity letter winner in baseball, was named All-Conference in 2021 and 2022.
“Sean Donahue is one of our hardest workers on the team,” Dease said. “He dedicated himself to the weight room, and it has paid off for him on the playing field. Sean is a quiet leader, and players will follow him because they know he does things the right way. I look forward to big things for him at Case Western.”
Niedel, a four-year member of the Cavaliers varsity baseball team, was named All-Conference and DA Defensive Player of the Year in 2021 and 2022.
“Jackson Niedel is a competitor. He has tremendous focus on the mound, at the plate or in centerfield,” Dease said. “His ability to concentrate and battle leads to his success on the diamond. Baseball is a difficult game, and Jackson works very hard to be good at it. With his mental and physical game, Jackson will be very successful at Kenyon College.”
Ohio Wesleyan University
Trahey-Matzen, a four-year member of DA’s varsity girls soccer team, was named All-Conference in 2021 and 2022 and has twice been named N.C. Soccer Coaches Association All-
“Isabel is one of the best players on our team,” said head coach Susan Ellis. “She works hard in the classroom, and her smile, personality and character bring so much joy to me and our team. She plays in our defense and is a warrior. Our team is better because Isabel chooses to play high school soccer for Durham Academy, and I am lucky I got to coach her.”
Linney has been a member of the varsity cross-country and track and field teams for the last three years, and he served as captain of the cross-country team in 2021.
“George Linney is fully in the arena. He will never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat,” said Costen Irons ’98, head coach of Durham Academy’s cross-country and track teams. “He is completely dedicated to getting better. He is one of the hardest workers on the DA distance team. George has the second-fastest mile and two-mile times on this year’s track team.”
Steinberg, a two-year member of the Cavaliers varsity volleyball team, was a team captain in both 2020 and 2021 and earned the team’s Dedication Award in 2021.
“Izzy joined the Cavs as a junior and has done a great job leading her team from the beginning,” said Latacha De Oliveira, who served as head coach of the DA volleyball team. “Izzy’s most admirable trait as a volleyball player is her practice work ethic. She enjoyed pushing herself and her teammates each day at practice and expected the level of play to always be top-notch. She plays with her heart and works very hard daily. Catholic got a good one.”
Sweet Briar College
Tucker, a three-year member of Durham Academy’s varsity field hockey team, was named All-Conference honorable mention in 2020.
“I taught field hockey to the Lower School kids every year, which is where Carson learned to play,” said Judy Chandler, DA field hockey coach from 1991–2021. “As a rising third-grader, she began to come to my DA summer camp and continued every summer until she began playing on the Middle School team. She enrolled in camps, clinics and clubs to play this game and improve as much as possible. All of her dedication and hard work has brought her to this moment.”
Kerman has competed with the North Carolina Football Club (NCFC) Youth program as a member of the top-10 nationally ranked North Carolina Courage Academy U19 team. She was selected for the Region 3 All-Region team of U.S. Youth Soccer’s Olympic Development Program.
“Katie is unstoppable. She's a force on the soccer field and in the classroom,” said Dr. Rob Policelli, her Durham Academy advisor. “She pursues excellence with a rare, unwavering determination. With her vocal leadership, thoughtfulness and immense self-motivation, she's going to impress a lot of people at Davidson.”
Track & Field
Hallyburton was crowned state champion in pole vault in 2021 and 2022. She has been named All-Conference twice, set new conference and school records for pole vault, and was named team MVP. Hallyburton placed second in the decathlon at the Ravens Relays and led DA’s 4x100 relay team to a new school record and the 2022 conference championship.
“Julianna leads by example with her work ethic,” Irons said. “… On meet days, she is tough as nails. She also pours into her teammates and makes those around her better.”
Florida International University
Yon played varsity girls soccer at DA from eighth to 11th grade, and during that time, she was twice named All-Conference and was named the team’s Offensive MVP in 2021. She has also played with the North Carolina Football Club (NCFC) Elite Clubs National League (ENCL) program.
“She was like a fire chief,” Ellis said. “Because wherever there was a trouble spot on the field, I could put her there and she would put out the fire. She is a team player and gives 100 percent of herself in every game.”
Wake Forest University
Goldthwaite has competed with the NCFC Youth program as a member of the top-10 nationally ranked North Carolina Courage Academy U19 team.
“During my three and a half years' time with Baylor, there is one constant,” said Thomas Phu, her Durham Academy advisor. “She is a self-driven, goals- and action-oriented, and happy-go-lucky young lady. She had a ‘game plan’ when it came to her academics and soccer. Baylor stuck to it, and that’s why she is where she is right now at Wake Forest.”
Marchese, a three-year letter winner with Durham Academy’s varsity volleyball team, was named All-Conference in 2021, a year in which she also served as a captain. She was honored with the DA team’s Coach’s Award in 2020.
“Gabby is the true definition of a team player. Absolute rock-star status!” De Oliveira said. “She always put the team first and fulfilled any role that was asked of her. Gabby didn't miss a single practice and put forth 100 percent effort at all times.”
Corbett, who has earned varsity letters in boys lacrosse each of his four years in the Upper School, was named All-Conference in 2021 and 2022.
“Austin has worked really hard over the years to earn this opportunity, and we couldn’t be more proud of him,” Durham Academy head varsity boys lacrosse coach Jon Lantzy said. “Austin and I started our lacrosse journey together way back in first grade youth lacrosse, and I have had a front-row seat to his growth as a player and person that has followed. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for his continued growth on and off the field.”
Epstein is a five-year member of the DA varsity girls lacrosse team and has served as a captain. She has been twice named to the All-State team, three times to the All-Conference team, and she was Conference Player of the Year in 2021 and 2022. In 2021, she was also named U.S. Lacrosse All-American and was honored with DA’s Steve Engebretsen Leadership Award.
“Brooke is DA at its finest,” said head varsity girls lacrosse coach Debbie Rebosa. “… Not only do I appreciate her strong work ethic, intense focus and incredible ability to shoot under pressure, but she is just a pure joy to be around.”
Pastor-Valverde, a three-year varsity letter winner with the DA varsity boys soccer team, is a two-time All-Conference honoree. In 2021, he was named Conference Player of the Year, a team captain, a co-recipient of the team’s MVP award and an All-State honoree.
“Diego is an inclusive leader who encourages others while also having enough individual skill and courage to take up the mantle and lead his team to succeed when we need him to do so,” said head coach Julian Cochran. “He has high expectations for others, and he holds himself to the same standard.”