Parents Association & Parents Council
The Durham Academy Parents Association supports the school's academic, social, fine arts and athletic objectives. Parents Association encourages volunteerism, raises and disperses funds, promotes communication and cooperation, and provides input to the school on issues of concern and interest to parents. All Durham Academy parents are members of the Parents Association.
The Durham Academy Parents Council is the governing board of the Parents Association. This group comprises members of an executive committee; division representatives; members of schoolwide committees on matters such as diversity, wellness and athletics; and parents who organize both community-building and fundraising events. See a list of the parents who serve on Parents Council.
Parents Bulletin Board
Welcome to a new year of Durham Academy athletics and the first Cavs Corner of 2018–2019. In this column each week, I will provide an update on our varsity teams’ results and preview the week ahead in DA athletics. In addition to recaps, we’ll have photos, interviews and game highlights.
The 2017–2018 school year was an extremely successful year for us in the athletics world. Our boys program won the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference’s Prestige Cup, an all-sports competition that awards points for end-of-season conference finishes. Six Cavaliers teams earned conference championships, and the varsity girls tennis team won its first-ever state crown. Last year saw 18 Cavaliers earn All-State honors, while 50 student-athletes were named All-Conference. It will be tough to top 2017–2018, but our fall teams are already out working hard in attempt to do just that.
Over the next few weeks, I will preview all of our fall sports teams, looking at their goals, leadership and key contests on their schedules. This week’s Cavs Corner previews our state champion girls tennis team, as well as the varsity volleyball team led by new coach Kyle Lewis. We also recap the first week of contests, including three games (one each by boys soccer, girls tennis and field hockey) that are all early candidates for “game of the year.”
Season Preview: Girls Tennis
Last year was a banner year for the varsity girls tennis team, of which I serve as coach, as we captured the school’s first tennis state championship. This year’s squad returns five of six starters, including four All-Conference honorees and All-State/TISAC player of the year Joy Callwood, and the team is ready to take another run at the state crown. We have already proven that depth will not be an issue this year, as injuries and Senior Challenge had us without our full lineup in all three of our early-season matches. Twelve of the 13 team members have participated in at least one match, with 11 girls registering at least one win.
We opened the season last Wednesday against St. David’s School, the 2017 NCISAA 2A state champ and one of just two teams to hand us a loss a season ago. While the match was early in the season and the opener for both teams, it had the feel of an October state playoff contest. DA and St. David’s are ranked No. 5 and No. 3, respectively, in the opening High School OT poll and are both ranked No. 1 in their respective divisions in the pre-season North Carolina High School Tennis Coaches Association poll.
We took a 2-1 lead after doubles thanks to wins on court two by junior All-Conference teammates Alexis Galloway and Madeline Towning and court three by senior captain Julia King and junior newcomer Sarah Clark. While Galloway on court two and junior Taylor Hunter on court six were the only Cavs to take home singles wins in the 5-4 team loss, I was impressed with our grit and fight against one of the best teams we will play all year.
We rebounded with an 8-1 win over Wesleyan Christian Academy and a 7-2 victory over Chapel Hill High School that was highlighted by two doubles sweeps and strong play from the middle of our singles lineup.
Callwood, Galloway, Towning and junior Renee George could all be playing No. 1 singles at other schools, and we are fortunate that they all accept their role on our team and put team goals before their own. Clark, who played No. 2 singles at Noblesville High School in Indiana for two years, has made a seamless transition to our team and has already proven to be a huge addition in both singles and doubles. The bottom of our lineup will be anchored by ninth-grader Mukta Dharmapurikar, who has improved her game tremendously over the last year, and junior Taylor Hunter, who won some huge matches for us last season. King will continue to reprise last year’s role as a doubles specialist and is already 2-0 in that spot.
The goal of winning back-to-back state championships will not be easy, as the balance of power has shifted back to the Charlotte schools with Latin, Covenant Day and Charlotte Christian being major obstacles. Our trip to Charlotte on Sept. 21–22 to battle Latin and Country Day will tell us a lot about where we stand, and in October, we have a chance to battle Cardinal Gibbons, the other team that beat us last year. Ultimately, we want to win another conference crown and set ourselves up for a deep run in the state tournament. Our depth and doubles play are going to be something that we think can help us get back to the championship match.
Season Preview: Volleyball
The volleyball team has a new look this year, as former assistant coach Kyle Lewis takes the reins of the program. Lewis will have a young core to lead a team coming off of a 10-17 season and a first-round state tournament loss. Things seem to be clicking early, as the Cavaliers are 2-0 following victories at Greensboro Day and Carolina Friends.
Lewis will rely on the leadership of captains Adriana Kim and Millie Loehr, both juniors, and senior Lana Kalfas to help guide a team that will have two eighth-graders and a sophomore playing all six rotations. In fact, those three youngsters — sophomore Elizabeth Kohn and eighth-graders graders Olivia and Hannah Kohn — are all members of the same family. All three Kohn sisters made positive contributions in the Cavs 25-13, 25-18, 25-8 win in Greensboro. Elizabeth had six kills, eight digs and five aces; Olivia had three aces, two kills and led the team with 18 digs; and Hannah added five kills, two aces and five digs.
Loehr is poised for a breakout season, as her ability to put the ball away with power will complement the Cavaliers’ defense; she had six kills in the opener over Greensboro Day. Junior Adriana Kim, the Cavs’ lone returning All-Conference player, will be key in getting the ball to Loehr and junior Lauren Grosshandler (team-leading eight kills at Greensboro Day School). Kim had a team-high 17 assists in the win over the Bengals. Kalfas, who missed last season while being away during the fall semester, should be ready to jump right back in where she left off her sophomore year when she had 64 kills, 25 blocks and seven aces. Senior Imani Spence, who has played multiple positions during her time in the volleyball program, had five kills and an ace in the season-opener.
The Cavs improved to 2-0 with Wednesday’s four-set win at Carolina Friends. DA was poised to go up two sets to none but let a 24-20 lead slip away in set two. Despite the hiccup, the Cavs regrouped to win 25-20 and then 25-15 and take the win over the Quakers. Watch Loehr with a fourth-set kill below.
Lewis has said that his goal for the team is to finish in the top two in the TISAC and advance to the NCISAA final four. Standing in the way of the Cavs will be powerhouse North Raleigh Christian Academy, the defending state champs and currently ranked No. 5 in the High School OT poll. The Cavs will get very familiar with the NRCA gym as they head to the home of the Knights on Sept. 7 and 8 for the annual “Volley with the Knights” tournament, and then will return three days later to play NRCA in a conference match. Next up for Coach Lewis and his team will be their home opener on Wednesday afternoon vs. the Carolina Mustangs.
Week in Review
While we will preview our remaining fall teams in the upcoming weeks, I’d like to now look back at an exciting first week of play for our field hockey and soccer teams.
Coach Judy Chandler’s field hockey team once again participated again in Cary Academy’s Play 4 the Cure tournament featuring 12 top teams from the state of North Carolina and Virginia. The Cavs finished 2-2 on the weekend and capped off the tournament with a thrilling overtime loss to defending state champs Charlotte Latin. DA held on to a 2-1 lead until just two minutes remained before the Hawks tied the game and then later won it six minutes into the 7v7 sudden victory overtime period. Despite the loss to Latin, the Cavs should feel confident heading into their season, as they controlled much of the play against one of the best programs in the state. The Cavs defeated both Chapel Hill High and Charlotte’s Ardrey Kell High for their two wins while falling in their opener 3-2 to Cary Christian. Sophomore Katherine Lantzy led the team with four goals on the weekend, including this penalty stroke tally to open the scoring in the Latin game.
Senior Eleanor Robb and eighth-grader Emilie Kirschner added three goals each while freshman Emmie Savarino scored her first two varsity goals. Finishing out the scoring in the tournament were goals from juniors Abby Hulka and Elizabeth Owens. Junior goalkeeper Victoria Lawson was impressive in her debut, making 50 saves while allowing just nine goals in 246 minutes of tournament action.
The boys soccer team is 1-1 after opening the season with one of the longest games in school history, a 10-round penalty kick shootout victory over Fayetteville Academy on Aug. 15. With new NCISAA rules this year mandating a winner in all games, the Cavs and Eagles played 100 minutes of scoreless soccer leading to the PKs. Senior goalkeeper Roberto Escobar proved to be the hero, as he saved two would-be game-winning penalty kicks in the fifth and eight rounds, keeping the Cavs alive. After senior Wilson Stringer scored the eighth PK on the Cavs 10th shot, Fayetteville Academy missed its opportunity, and DA survived their opener against last year’s 2A state champion. Just two days later, Julian Cochran’s team was back on the road as the Cavs headed to Concord to battle the 3A state runner-up Cannon School. The Cougars scored twice early before senior Jack Horgan scored DA’s first goal of the year off an assist from junior Will Nichols. Neither team scored in the second half, and the Cougars held on for the 2-1 win. The Cavs are back in action Tuesday night against Riverside High in their home opener.
Two sports that have yet to open their seasons are cross-country and girls golf. The cross-country teams will host Cary Christian in their first meet next Wednesday, while the golfers travel to Wesleyan Academy on Tuesday afternoon.
Strawbridge Studios will be offering official team and individual photos
Durham Academy athletics has partnered with Strawbridge Studios to offer official team and individual photos to families for purchase. All of our fall teams that practice at the Upper School will have photos taken Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon. Our middle school teams will have photos taken Sept. 13. Emails will be sent to parents of student-athletes on fall teams with additional information, and all fall student-athletes will be given order forms to bring home. Additional forms can be picked up in the athletic director’s office.
Please continue to follow our athletics program on both twitter (@DAAthletics) and Instagram (@DACavsAthletics). We hope you can come out to support our teams in person this year. We are looking forward to a great 2018–2019 Cavaliers season!
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.