Nine Cavs Commit to Continuing Athletic Careers in College

Story and Photography by Melody Guyton Butts

Nine 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 of the student-athletes participated in a live-streamed signing ceremony on Nov. 11 in Kirby Gym, and five were part of an outdoor signing ceremony on Feb. 25 on the Upper School quad.

“These 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.”

Jackson Brimfield

University of Louisville

Brimfield has competed with the DA varsity boys golf team since his seventh-grade year. In that time, he has been named All-Conference four times and All-State in 2019. He was the top-ranked player in the NCISAA’s 4A division in spring 2020 when the season was suspended due to COVID-19. Brimfield had top-10 finishes in multiple American Junior Golf Association events in the past three years. He is currently ranked No. 2 in his class in North Carolina in the AJGA Rolex Rankings and is ranked within the top 150 nationwide.

“I am extremely proud of Jackson,” boys golf coach Greg Murray said. “He personifies the perfect blend of talent, work ethic, sportsmanship and maturity. He has been a mainstay in our lineup since joining the team in seventh grade, and our teams have been extremely successful during that run. He is known statewide as a gentleman on the course. Louisville is getting a diamond that’s rarely in the rough!”

John Donovan

Gettysburg College

John Donovan has been a member of DA’s varsity lacrosse team since 2017, is a four-year starter and is a two-time captain of the team. A goalkeeper, he was named All-Conference in 2019, 2020 and 2021 (when he was also TISAC Player of the Year).

“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 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.

“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 said. “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.”

Toby Harris

Brandeis University

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 three-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.”

Harris expressed gratitude to those who helped him reach his goal of playing at the college level: “I am super excited to play at the next level, especially at a school like Brandeis. 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.”

Katherine Lantzy

Field Hockey
Middlebury College

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. She has been focused on becoming the best that she can be since third or fourth grade.”

“The amazing liberal arts education and championship program fit everything I was looking for,” Lantzy said of Middlebury. “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!”

Gavin Schulz

Franklin & Marshall College

Gavin Schulz, a five-year member of DA’s varsity boys lacrosse team, started for the program for three years and twice served as a team captain. He is a three-time All-Conference honoree.

“Gavin is one of those kids that dreamed big as a young guy, went to work and made those dreams a reality,” head boys lacrosse coach Jon Lantzy said. “… 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 expressed gratitude for the support of his family and Lantzy: “Coach Lantzy 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.”

Jay Shanahan

Cross-country and Track and Field
Davidson College

Jay Shanahan competed as a varsity DA cross-country runner for four seasons and has been a member of the Cavs track and field team since 2018. He holds the record for the fastest 5K cross-country time in DA history, 15:41.80, and has broken 16:00 on three different courses. As a cross-country runner, he has earned third-, fifth- and eighth-place finishes in the NCISAA meet, as well as two second-place finishes and a fourth-place finish in the TISAC meet. He has helped the Cavs earn two TISAC team championships and two state runner-up finishes.

“He loves to run. He loves to train. He loves to run fast. And he loves to run with his teammates,” said boys track and cross-country coach Costen Irons. “His enthusiasm for all of it is contagious. … It has been an honor and a joy to coach Jay Shanahan.”

Jay Shanahan said he is excited and grateful to be able to continue running at Davidson: “I never thought that I would be given the opportunity to compete in athletics at a Division 1 school. Overall, I’m looking forward to competing at the collegiate level and meeting new people. I can’t wait to meet and train with the rest of the team and compete in the Atlantic 10 like my mom used to!

Quinn Shanahan

Cross-country and Track and Field
Butler University

Quinn Shanahan competed with DA’s varsity cross-country team from 2017 to 2019. In 2019, she earned a runner-up finish in the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference cross-country meet and finished third in the NCISAA. As a competitor with the DA track and field team in 2019, she was runner-up in the TISAC 800m race and finished seventh in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 800m run.

Quinn Shanahan has also racked up a slew of cross-country honors outside of her competition in a Cavaliers uniform. Among those is a first-place finish in the Monster Dash Invitational in October 2020, which she earned with a personal-best time of 17:49.40 — the third-fastest 5K in the state and 117th fastest in the nation.

“My parents and my brother, Jay, have been with me every step of the way. I can’t be more grateful for them and their support,” she said. “My mom, especially, has supported me, motivated me and cheered me on throughout this process. She has been a motivation and one of my greatest fans (even driving me in the rain to our 6 a.m. runs!). I have learned so much from my dad, and he has only ever pushed to run faster, harder and constantly reach for the goals I thought were unattainable. My brother continues to inspire me through his own running. I’m so happy to have gone through all of this with him. He’s my best friend.”

Scott West

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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 is a true competitor and takes great pride in dedicating countless hours to improving his skill set as a baseball player.”

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.”

Anna Catherine Wilson

Cross-country and Track and Field
Davidson College

Wilson has competed with DA’s varsity cross-country and track and field teams since her ninth-grade year and served as a team captain for both teams in 2020. In cross-country, she holds a best time of 18:58, becoming only the eighth DA girl to run under 19:00 on a 5K course. Wilson has been named All-Conference three times, having notched a runner-up finish and two fourth-place finishes in the TISAC meet. She is a three-time All-State honoree, having earned third-, fifth- and seventh-place finishes in the NCISAA meet over the last three years. Wilson’s teams have twice been state and TISAC champions.

In track, Wilson was state runner-up in the 2019 NCISAA meet 3,200-meter race and third place in the 1,600-meter race. At the 2019 TISAC meet, she won the 3,200-meter race and placed third in the 1,600-meter race.

“My family and friends have always supported me with both school and running, and I am so grateful for all of their support,” Wilson said. “I have also been incredibly blessed with amazing teammates and coaches. Coach [Costen] Irons, Coach [Kristin] Stroupe and Mr. [Dennis] Cullen have been such amazing mentors and coaches to me throughout high school. … They have all taught me lessons that I will carry with me into college and beyond, and I can’t thank DA enough for the opportunities and coaches they have provided me.”