The Country Day boys’ tennis team won its third consecutive state championship and three other teams earned top-three finishes on Saturday, as the Bucs wrapped up a highly successful spring season.
After storming through the early rounds of the playoffs, the number-one seeded Bucs faced a re-match against second-seeded Greensboro Day—a team they beat 6-1 in their first match of the season—with the state title on the line. On a sweltering day at Salem Academy, Country Day started off the afternoon by winning two of the three doubles matches. David Saye ’22 earned the first singles win of the day at the number one line, quickly followed by Tarun Prakash ’19 at number four. The Bucs led on three other courts, but it was Michael Smith ’19 at the number six line who finally broke through to clinch the title for the Bucs, defeating his opponent, 7-5, 6-4.
The title is the 19th boys’ tennis championship in Country Day’s history, the 18th under head coach Calvin Davis. The Bucs finished the season with a 20-2 overall record, going 19-0 against schools from the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association. In each of those 19 wins, Country Day never allowed an opponent to win more than one individual match.
Saye and Bennett Turner ’20 were named All-State. Saye was the CISAA conference player of the year, while Turner, Prakash, and Kaelan van Cleeff ’21 were also named All-Conference.
“I’m really proud of this talented group of players,” said Davis. “Today, they fought hard for their team, their school, and their place in the history of Country Day Tennis.”
Also on Saturday, the Bucs’ boys’ varsity lacrosse team battled back and forth with top-seeded Christ School before falling to the Greenies, 7-6, in the finals of the NCISAA Division I tournament. The Bucs finished their season with a 19-6 overall record that included the 500th win in program history. This was the sixth consecutive year the program has reached at least the semifinal round of the postseason.
Seniors Sean Krupa and Graham Mitchell and junior Phelps Thomas were named to the All-State team; those three and Jarratt Bell ’19, Ian Firth ’22, Taylor LaFar ’21, and Burke Logan ’20 garnered All-Conference nods.
Track & Field
Closer to home, the boys’ and girls’ varsity track and field teams both registered strong showings in the NCISAA Division I championship meet, held Friday and Saturday at Cannon School. The boys’ team finished third in team standings, equaling their state meet finish from a year ago. The girls continued their recent ascension in the state ranks with a runner-up finish, building on a 3rd place in 2017 and a tie for 2nd last year.
The Bucs brought home 10 individual event titles over the two days of the meet: Girls’ Discus (Zoe Weatherington ’19, 124-07), Girls’ 4X800 Meter Relay (Linde Fonville ’22, Kathryn Leighty ’20, Clarkson Graham ’20, Sophie Spada ’20; 9:27.89), Boys’ Discus (Jack Stajos ’20, 162-8, Girls’ Shot Put (Weatherington, 39-0); Girls’ 100 Meters (Kaia Putman ’21, 12.13), Boys’ 100 Meters (Marcus Woods ’19, 10.61), Girls’ 1600 Meters (Spada, 5:05.89), Girls’ 400 Meters (Graham, 58.43), Girls’ 200 Meters (Putman, 25.16 seconds), and boys’ 200 Meters (Woods, 21.22).
Leighty (400 Meters), Spada (1600 Meters), Stajos (Discus, Shot Put), Weatherington (Discus, Shot Put), and Woods (100 Meters, 200 Meters) also earned conference titles at the CISAA Championships the week prior.
Other Spring Sports
- Baseball reached the state quarterfinals before falling to eventual state champion Charlotte Christian, continuing a streak of consecutive postseason appearances that dates back to 2001. Senior Will Jeffries, who will continue his playing career at Williams College next year, earned All-State honors; Christopher Manzano ’20, Henry Merchant ’19, and Huck Wathan ’21 joined Jeffries in receiving All-Conference recognition.
- Boys’ Golf finished in a tie for 3rd place at the NCISAA 4A state championships, held over two days at Grandover Resort in Greensboro. It was Country Day’s highest finish at the state level since also finishing 3rd in 2011. Sophomore Timmy Gannon was the team’s top individual performer, carding a 75=77-152 to finish in a tie for 12th. Gannon and Max Jacobson ’22 earned All-Conference honors.
- Girls’ Lacrosse saw its streak of six consecutive state championships finally come to an end with an 11-9 loss to Ravenscroft in the state semifinal round. Seniors Sadie Charles Calame and Emily Cory and sophomores Jordy Miller and Addie Riley took home All-State hardware. Calame, who will play at Washington & Lee next year, was also the CISAA Player of the Year and was joined on the All-Conference team by Cory, Miller, Riley, Frances Bowles ’19, Blake Burnam ’19, Evie Palmer ’22, and Taylor Riley ’19.
- Girls’ Soccer reached the postseason for the third straight year before falling in the opening round to Cannon, 3-2, in overtime. Cameron Grainger ’20 earned a spot on the All-State team; Grainger, Harper Shaw ’22, and Adriana Thompson ’22 were all recognized as All-Conference performers.
- Softball continued its recent resurgence, earning an opening round win in the state playoffs before falling to eventual champion Cannon in the quarterfinals. Senior Katie Batten and sophomore Lindsay Batten both earned All-Conference honors.
For the season, Buccaneer teams amassed 300 points in the NCISAA’s Wells Fargo Cup competition that recognizes top-eight team finishes at the state level. Those points brought the Bucs’ total to 622.5 on the year—their highest ever since the competition moved to a multi-classification format in 1999-2000. That was good enough for 2nd place in the 4A classification, a placing Country Day last achieved in 2010-11.
“Saturday was a great day for us,” said director of athletics, Abe Wehmiller. “From a three-peat in Boys’ Tennis to a hard-fought championship game in Boys’ Lacrosse to some outstanding performances in Track & Field, it was all we could do to keep up with the action. It was a fitting end to a great spring and a great year. We’re proud of the work our student-athletes and staff have put in and are excited to see the great results that work has produced.”