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The varsity girls lost in the final seconds, 41-39, to Cape Fear Academy Saturday afternoon in the second annual St. David’s Tip-Off Classic. The Warriors (1-3) led by four at halftime and by three starting the fourth quarter. However, Cape Fear rallied for a six-point lead. JuJu Medlin hit back-to-back three pointers to tie it at 39 before Cape Fear scored with 10 seconds left. St. David’s had a chance to tie at the buzzer, but missed the first free throw to end the game. “I was proud of the way we fought back to give ourselves a chance at the end,” said coach Alan Hinnant. “JuJu hit a pair of huge shots and played great defense all day. We improved despite the loss.” Karis New led the Warriors with 18 points while Medlin had 13. 

The Warriors varsity girls and boys earned their first victory Friday in the second annual St. David’s Tip-Off Invitational. Tai Goode made two free throws with 1.7 seconds left for a 45-43 comeback victory over Coastal Christian of Wilmington. St. David’s wiped out a nine-point deficit with a 20 point fourth quarter, keyed by a full court press. “We got stops and turnovers from our press and that was the difference,” said coach Will Coley, whose team is 1-2. “We got it done when we needed to and we’ll keep improving.” Nick Green scored seven of his 10 points during the fourth quarter run. Goode had 14 points, seven rebounds and five steals, while Keonte Bradley scored 14 and grabbed nine rebounds. The girls game was close all the way as the Warriors prevailed 34-31. JuJu Medlin scored six of her 10 points in the third quarter, then Grace Haile scored six of her 10 in the fourth to seal the win. Karis New added eight. “We competed hard the entire game and played outstanding defense,” said coach Alan Hinnant. “It’s always good to get that first win.”   

The Warriors swim teams opened the season Thursday at Ravenscroft. The boys finished second behind the hosts, while the girls were third behind NRCA and the Ravens. For the girls, Sarah Spencer Ball won the 50 freestyle, finished second in the 100 free and was part of the third-place 200-medley relay team along with Caroline Ross, Annie Mears and Abigail Drummond. Mears won the 100-butterfly and was second in the 200 individual medley. Ross took second in the 100-backstroke and third in the 200 free. Tyler Bennett led the boys with second place finishes in the 200 and 500 freestyle races and was part of the third place 200 relay team along with Blake Stanley and the Patrick brothers, Will and Brian.  Will Patrick took second in the 50 free, third in the 100 free and third in the 400 free relay along with his brother, Isaac Bostic and Gunnar Kratz. Bostic was third in the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly.

The JV Warriors picked up their first win with a 59-37 victory over Southern Wake Academy Thursday in Fuquay-Varina. 12 players. scored for St. David’s (1-2). Paxton Williams led the way with 12 points, while John Hauser and Clay Matthews added eight. SDS travels to Ravenscroft Tuesday.

The Warriors varsity boys opened the home season with a down to the wire battle with Village Christian of Fayetteville that turned into a 65-55 loss Tuesday. The teams were tied 53-53 with three minutes left before the Knights turned a missed shot and three turnovers into a 12-2 closing run. “We’re still learning and that was the difference in this one,” said coach Will Coley. “I loved our effort and intensity and we’ll learn from tonight.” Keonte Bradley led the Warriors with 18 points. Tai Goode had 15 with six rebounds and five assists, while Nick Green added 14 points. Earlier, the varsity girls fell 66-35. Karis New led the scoring with 16 points and Samantha Leshnock added eight. The JV boys started the evening with a 58-34 defeat. Judson Thompson led with 11 points. All three teams host Coastal Christian of Wilmington Friday.

All three Upper School basketball teams lost the season-opener at Trinity Academy Friday in Raleigh.  The JV team fell 68-27, the varsity girls dropped a 40-35 overtime decision and the varsity boys fell 65-58. The girls trailed by nine points in the first half, but fought back to take a three point lead with 1:30 to play. The Tigers came back to tie in regulation and won the extra session. “I’m proud of the way we competed,” said coach Alan Hinnant. “We played tough and I’m excited to see this team grow.” Senior Karis New led SDS with 18 points, while classmate Julia Hensley added eight. The boys faced a capacity crowd who came to see a Trinity team that featured one of the top juniors in the country, 6’9 Isaiah Todd, who transferred from Richmond, Va. over the summer.  The Warriors trailed, 14-11 after the first quarter and 34-32 at halftime. Keonte Bradley scored eight of his team-high 23 points in the third quarter and Tai Goode added seven off three steals for layups for a 49-49 tie into the final period. Todd answered with eight points for Trinity in the fourth quarter to seal the win.  “We faced a big challenge tonight and I am very pleased with our effort,” said coach Will Coley. “We’ve only had the entire team together for four days, so we did well given that.” Bradley added nine rebounds and three blocks to his 23 points. Goode finished with 11 points, six assists and four steals. Bo Rieker also had 11 points. All three teams are home Tuesday against Village Christian.

Varsity Tennis

 Co-Coaches Award: Gracie Crowder

Co-Coaches Award: Catherine Yancey

MVP:                               Alice Holding

EPIC All-Conference:Alice Holding, Madison Smith, Gracie Crowder, Louisa Holding and Grace Haile

NCISSA All-State:Alice Holding, Madison Smith, Gracie Crowder and Louisa Holding


Varsity Football 

Hear of a Warrior Award: Houston Walker

Warrior to Watch:                 Ford Everett

MVP:                                             Tai Goode        

Big 8 Football All-Conference: Cooper Crosby, Houston Walker, Tai Goode, James Talton, Robert Batchelder and Ford Everett

NCISSA All-State: Houston Walker, Tai Goode, Cooper Crosby and James Talton


Varsity Volleyball

Leadership Award: Lindsey Klinck

Coaches Award: Karis New

MVP: Olivia Leshnock

EPIC All-Conference:Olivia Leshnock


Varsity Soccer

Outstanding Defensive Player: Owen Williams

Outstanding Offensive Player:Miller Ashe

Outstanding Midfield Player:William Sheehan

Senior Excellence Award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America:Reid Barber

EPIC All-Conference:Miller Ashe, Owen Williams

NCISSA All-State:Miller Ashe


Varsity Cross-Country

Warrior to Watch: Judson Thompson

Hardest Worker: Luke McClutchey

MVP: Winston Tuttle


Varsity Girls Golf

Most Outstanding Golfer: Abigail McClatchey

Most Improved Golfer: Lila Smith


Varsity Cheerleading

Warrior to Watch: Susanna Martin

Coaches Award: Bailey Zeller

Most Valuable: Gracie Powell


JV Football

Leadership Award: Henry Koon

Coaches Award: Ollie Koon

Warrior to Watch: William Watson


JV Volleyball

Most Improved Player: Avery Lloyd

Work Ethic Award: Leah Rufenacht

Sports Leadership Award: Kyra Parker


MS Tennis

Dynamic Duo Award: Sibley Hash & Margaret Scoggin

Warrior to Watch: Kennedy Holmes


MS Soccer 

Coaches Award: Chris Messmore

Offensive Player Award: Beck Maddison

Defensive Player Award: Jackson Moore


MS Cross Country

For the Team Award: Hunter Hueman

Heart of Gold Award: Griffin Chesson

Newcomer Award: Hutch Marshall

Most Outstanding Warrior: Laura Martin


MS Volleyball

Most Outstanding Leadership: Catherine Hodge

Most Outstanding Defensive Player: Emily Deihl

Most Outstanding Offensive Player: Greysen Woody


MS Cheerleading

Coaches Award: Emma Aldredge

Outstanding Rookie: Ginny Powell

Best All-Around Cheerleader: Mae Cline

A national high school organization has recognized St. David’s senior Reid Barber with its Senior Excellence Award. United Soccer Coaches picked Barber for his exceptional contribution to the Warriors while exemplifying the finest attributes of a high school student-athlete. “Reid was an incredible leader for us,” said coach Jose Cornejo. “He had a positive attitude on the field and showed his teammates the value of consistency and hard work every day. He was an outstanding four year player for us and he certainly has earned this award.” 

Nine Warriors earned All-State recognition for fall sports. Seniors Alice Holding, Madison Smith and Gracie Crowder and sophomore Louisa Holding helped St. David’s win its seventh straight state title. Seniors Tai Goode, Houston Walker and Cooper Crosby along with junior James Talton led SDS to the football state championship match. Senior Miller Ashe was the soccer Warriors leading scorer and helped the team advance to the state quarterfinals.

18 Warriors earned fall sports All-Conference honors in a vote from the Eastern Plains Independent Conference (EPIC) and the Big Eight football conference.  Seniors Tai Goode (Player of the Year), Robert Batchelder, Cooper Crosby and Houston Walker made the football squad along with junior James Talton and sophomore Ford Everett. Senior Matthew Haist was Honorable Mention. Seniors Gracie Crowder, Alice Holding and Madison Smith made the All-EPIC tennis team along with junior Grace Haile and sophomore Louisa Holding. Junior Catherine Yancey was Honorable Mention. Seniors Miller Ashe and Owen Williams made it for soccer, while senior Reid Barber was Honorable Mention. Junior Olivia Leshnock was selected for volleyball and senior Lindsey Klinck made Honorable Mention. Additionally, Jenn Crowder won the EPIC tennis Coach of the Year and Dan Casey earned the honor for the Big Eight football conference. 

The Warriors bid for a state championship fell short as Faith Christian of Rocky Mount rallied for a 24-20 victory Friday night at John A. Murray Field. St. David’s took a 6-0 lead just before halftime as James Talton hit Ford Everett with an 18 yard scoring pass. The Warriors made it 14-0 on the first drive of the second half when Talton found Robert Batchelder for a 62 yard scoring strike. Talton struck again with a 42 yard TD to Cooper Crosby for a 20-12 lead with 1:32 left in the third quarter. However, Faith answered as the quarter ended to make it 20-18, then drove 78 yards on seven plays to take the lead with 2:30 left in the game. The Warriors couldn’t answer and both teams finished 9-1. “We are very disappointed, but give credit to Faith,” said coach Dan Casey. “It was two great teams going at it and they came away on top. I’m so proud of our guys for playing their hearts out. Our seniors were huge for us again and I thank them for their contribution to our program.” Faith had 339 total yards, with 266 on the ground, while St. David’s gained 246 of 266 total thru the air.  Batchelder caught seven passes for 182 yards. Matthew Haist led the defense with seven solo tackles and six assists. SDS senior James Motter took the photo that accompanies this post.

The Warriors claimed their seventh straight state championship with a 5-1 victory over Parrott Academy Saturday at Salem Academy in Winston-Salem. St. David’s took a 2-1 lead after doubles as Alice Holding/Gracie Crowder (8-4) and Grace Haile/Louisa Holding (8-5) won their matches.  Madison Smith closed out her singles opponent 6-1, 6-2 to make it 3-1, Alice Holding won 6-1, 6-0 for a 4-1 advantage, then Haile wrapped up the title, 6-2, 6-2. “Every championship is special, but this is our first one without a loss,” said coach Jenn Crowder, whose team finished 21-0. “These girls get along great and played for each other all year. Parrott gave us a battle and we’re very happy to come out on top.” SDS ended the season on a 43 match winning streak over the last two seasons. 

The Warriors advanced to the 8-man state championship game with a 66-31 rout of Rocky Mount Academy Thursday night at John A. Murray Field. St. David’s is 9-0 and will host Faith Christian of Rocky Mount Friday, November 2ndat 7 p.m. The Eagles scored on their opening drive, but the Warriors reeled off 30 unanswered points before the first quarter ended. “We showed great maturity there,” said coach Dan Casey. “RMA was the defending state champs and always have a scheme or two to throw at us. We bounced back from that early score and took control.” St. David’s rolled up 588 total yards with 468 on the ground. Tai Goode ran for 235 yards and scored three touchdowns, while Houston Walker tallied 169 and scored twice. “They were both terrific tonight and James Talton (QB) did a great job of setting the pace and getting us into our offense.” Talton was 5-8 for 118 yards and two touchdowns through the air and ran for two more scores. Cooper Crosby led the defensive with 7.5 tackles, while Ford Everett had seven. “We played well tonight and will need to again,” said Casey. “Faith is a physical team and will be ready to play.” St. David's freshman Redmond Smith took the photo that accompanies this post.

The JV football Warriors ended the season with a 32-0 loss to Harrell’s Christian Academy Wednesday night at John A. Murray Field. “I’m proud of the way we competed tonight and throughout the season,” said coach Hunter Wentworth. “Every player has improved since the beginning and they’ve been a great group to coach.” St. David’s finished 2-5. 

The Warriors will play for their seventh straight state title after a 5-0 semi-final victory over Cape Fear Academy (Wilmington) Tuesday at the Satellite Athletic Complex. St. David’s is 20-0 and riding a 42 match winning streak. They will face Parrott Academy Saturday afternoon at Salem Academy in Winston-Salem. The Warriors have defeated Parrott twice during the regular season. St. David’s seized momentum in Tuesday’s match behind the doubles team of Alice Holding and Gracie Crowder. They rallied to win three straight games for a 9-7 victory that gave SDS a 3-0 lead. “That was huge for us,” said coach Jenn Crowder. “They competed hard and managed to pull it off. Everyone played well today and we are looking forward to playing for the championship Saturday.” Grace Haile/Louisa Holding (8-0) and Madison Smith/Elizabeth Holderness (8-0) started the match with convincing victories. Louisa Holding (6-1, 6-0) and Haile (6-1, 6-0) won their singles matches to help the Warriors advance. By state tournament rules, all other matches stop when one team wins five.

The middle school tennis teams quest for the conference tournament championship ended with an 8-1 loss to St. Timothy’s in the title match Monday at the Millbrook Exchange courts. The Warriors finished 10-2 and made it to the finals for the fifth straight year, all against the Titans. St. David’s won the first three times, while St. Timothy’s has claimed the last two. “They have a very good team,” said coach Emily Nelson. “I’m proud of the way my girls competed today and throughout the season. Every player has improved since the beginning and we had a lot of fun.” Margaret Scoggin teamed with Sibley Hash to win doubles 8-6. 

The varsity boys soccer season is over after a 1-0 loss to Coastal Christian Saturday afternoon in Wilmington. The 8thseeded Warriors finish with a 9-7 record while top-seeded Coastal moves on to the state semi-finals.  “We played really well and gave it our best,” said coach Jose Cornejo. “We’ve had a great season and I’m proud of them.”

The Warriors finished an undefeated regular season with a 52-8 pounding of Southampton (Va.) Academy on Senior Night at John A. Murray Field. St. David’s scored first when Tai Goode threw a 65 yard halfback pass to Robert Batchelder in the first quarter. “That was a special play,” said coach Dan Casey. “One of our biggest fans, Mac Boxley, passed away Wednesday. He gave me a playbook when I started here and that was one of his favorites. Mac was a huge supporter of St. David’s athletics and the school overall so this one was for him. His daughter, Elizabeth Feeney, teaches here and I coached his grandson, John Mac (Class of 2018). His granddaughter, Claire, is a student here as well. We missed him in the stands tonight and we know he is proud.” Goode finished with 117 yards rushing and a touchdown, which gives him 33 for the season. Batchelder caught three passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns as the Warriors had 389 yards of total offense, while holding the Raiders to 143. Quarterback James Talton was 3-5 for 112 yards as the starters didn’t play in the second half. “We were solid and sometimes spectacular, which is a sign of a maturing team,” said Casey. “Our defensive line was outstanding and the seniors came up big on their night.” The Warriors are the top seed in the state playoffs and host Rocky Mount Academy Friday. SDS senior James Motter took the photo that accompanied this post.

The St. David’s boys soccer team used stellar goaltending and a second half goal to advance to the 3A semi-finals with a 1-0 victory over Caldwell Academy Thursday at the Satellite Athletic Complex. The 8thseeded Warriors (9-6) travel to Wilmington Saturday to take on top-seeded Coastal Christian. “Owen Williams was terrific in goal today,” said coach Jose Cornejo. “He made several outstanding saves before and after we scored. We played with heart and determination and believed we could make it happen. I’m proud of everyone’s effort today.” Matthew Kimbrough scored on a pass from Jacob Breckenridge with 12 minutes left and the defense made it stand up. 

The top-seeded tennis Warriors advanced to the 3A state semi-finals with an efficient 5-0 rout of conference rival Cary Christian in a match that lasted a little over an hour Thursday at the Satellite Athletic Complex. St. David’s, now 19-0, will face Cape Fear Academy at home Tuesday. The Warriors steamrolled through doubles behind Alice Holding/Gracie Crowder (8-0), Louisa Holding/Grace Haile (8-1) and Madison Smith/Elizabeth Holderness (8-1) for a 3-0 lead. Alice Holding made it 4-0 with a 6-0, 6-0 singles win, then Smith clinched the match with another 6-0, 6-0 victory. By rule, state tournament matches are stopped when one team reaches five victories.  “We were focused and ready,” said coach Jenn Crowder, whose team is seeking its seventh straight state title. “We all know what’s at stake and we took another step toward our goal.”  

The varsity girls volleyball season came to a disappointing end with a 3-2 loss at Grace Christian Thursday night in the 3A state tournament second round. The Warriors won the first two sets, but the Eagles came all the way back to advance. “We played great in the first two sets, then made some mistakes,” said coach Romel Lightbourn, whose team finished 10-11. “Grace executed when they needed down the stretch and played phenomenal defense.” Junior Olivia Leshnock earned All-Conference honors, while senior Lindsey Klinck was named Honorable Mention.