Eight Senior Bucs Commit To College Athletics

The second Collegiate Athlete Recognition Event of the 2018-19 school year was held on February 14. Eight members of the Country Day Class of 2019 were recognized for their commitments to take part in intercollegiate athletics next year.

Eight students were recognized for their college sports commitments

Those recognized for their commitments were:

  • Sadie Charles Calame (Washington and Lee University, women’s lacrosse)
  • Lucy Elliott (Hamilton College, swimming)
  • Richard Gillespie (University of Chicago, men’s soccer)
  • Walker Gillespie (Princeton University, men’s soccer)
  • Cameron Greene (College of Charleston, baseball)
  • Will Jeffries (Williams College, baseball)
  • Triston Miller (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, football)
  • Alex Tabor (Southern Methodist University, men’s basketball)

Calame is a three-time North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association state champion as a member of the varsity girls’ lacrosse team. A 2018 All-Conference and All-State Team member, Calame is one of the most prolific attackers in the state. Heading into her senior season, she has accumulated 79 goals, 10 assists, 73 ground balls, and 45 draw controls. Calame heads to Washington and Lee to continue her lacrosse career in another high-powered offense: The Generals scored 322 goals in 2018, including 27 in their first-round NCAA Tournament game.

“Sadie Charles is an unparalleled leader who understands how to bridge the teaching with the learning, the expectations with the execution, and the belief with the success,” said Kristy Boyles, Bucs head varsity girls’ lacrosse coach. “In ten-plus years, I have never coached a player who demonstrates such an energetic passion or who creates such a positive environment for her peers in every game and every single practice.”

Elliott is a four-year member of Country Day’s varsity swim team, and helped the Bucs win two conference championships. This past season, she was an All-Conference honoree after swimming the third leg in the conference championship-winning 200-yard medley relay. She also took second place individually in both the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard breaststroke, and was a member of the second-place 400-yard freestyle relay. At the state meet, she qualified for the finals both of those same individual events, placing 7th in each.

“Lucy is an exceptional athlete, student, and person,” said Bob Peterson, Country Day’s head varsity swimming coach. “We have an amazing senior class this year, and each of them brought something special and unique. Lucy just had this way of being the base for all of it. She helped make this one of the most special seasons that I can remember in my 20 years here.”

Richard Gillespie was a major contributor to the varsity boys’ soccer team for four years at Country Day. Versatile enough to be able to perform multiple roles and play various different positions, Richard settled in to become one of the state’s most dominant central defenders. Country Day reached at least the quarterfinals of the NCISAA state playoffs all four years of Richard’s career, including an appearance in the Class 3A state championship game in 2015. Richard also earned two varsity letters in boys’ basketball, and the Bucs reached the state quarterfinals in both of those years. Richard will join a University of Chicago team that finished this past season ranked number three in the United Soccer Coaches Division III national poll after an 18-3-1 season.

“In Richard’s time as a Bucs player, he grew into one of the most talented players in school history,” Dustin Swinehart, head varsity boys’ soccer coach, said. “He is a tremendous teammate who always found ways to support and lead the team in whatever ways the coaches needed. Off the field, Richard is a true model of a student-athlete at the highest level, as his academic achievements, community impact, and high character are things any coach, program, school, and family would be proud of.”

Walker Gillespie, twin brother of Richard, also spent four years with the varsity boys’ soccer team and two with the varsity boys’ basketball team. While Richard patrolled the defensive end of the field for the Bucs, Walker was a constant offensive threat. A forward with both exceptional power and control, Walker devastated opposing teams with incredible goal production, especially in his final two seasons. As a senior, Walker was named the Charlotte Observer Player of the Year after he scored 25 goals in just 20 games (the most in NCISAA Class 4A), adding six assists. He earned All-State and All-Conference honors, and was also named the Charlotte Soccer Gala Male Player of the Year. The Princeton team he will join next fall will be coming off a 2018 Ivy League championship, and a 10-5-3 season that ended in a penalty kicks loss in the NCAA Tournament.

“It’s hard to quantify the incredible impact that Walker has had on the Country Day soccer program,” Swinehart said. “His drive to win and be excellent is seen in everything he does. He never takes plays off and never backs off in his relentless work rate and attitude. I have no doubt that Walker will make as big an impact at Princeton as he did at Country Day and will take that program to new heights.”

Greene is yet another four-year varsity Buc, now entering his fourth year on the varsity baseball team. A natural infielder, Greene started at third base his first three seasons but will transition to shortstop this upcoming campaign. Greene is an All-Conference performer, productive defensively, at the plate, and on the basepaths. He is one of the team’s leaders, helping to establish a culture that is both relaxed and focused. At the College of Charleston, Greene will join a program that has established itself as one of its conference’s most consistently successful teams; the Cougars have finished .500 or better in their conference in each of the past 17 seasons.

“Every team has that guy – the guy everyone gravitates toward,” said Mike Hennessey, head varsity baseball coach. “Cameron is the glue, the guy everyone looks to. He’s a game changer. He is an outstanding leadoff hitter who runs the bases with an eye towards disrupting the defense and creating scoring opportunities. His teammates and coaches are extremely proud of him and excited for him to be a Cougar at the College of Charleston.”

Jeffries is a three-year varsity baseball player who has performed many roles for the Bucs. In addition to playing as an outfielder most days, Jeffries has been a starting, middle relief, and closing pitcher at different points. The Bucs reached the quarterfinals of the NCISAA Class 3A state playoffs in Jeffries’s first year on varsity, and the team reached the semifinals this past season. Jeffries has left his mark with the program in the weight room as much as on the field – he was named the Spring 2018 Hard Hat Award winner by Country Day’s Strength and Conditioning program for his commitment and consistency in training. In addition to baseball, Jeffries was a major contributor to the varsity swim team, qualifying individually for the 2019 NCISAA Division I state championship meet in the 50-yard freestyle after a 7th place finish at the conference meet.  

“‘Jeff’ is our Swiss Army knife; he can do anything,” Hennessey said. “He is reliable, versatile, and confident. He is a tremendous teammate in a senior class of great teammates. Everyone is excited for ‘Jeff’ as he sets new goals and breaks new records for the Williams College Ephs.”

Miller had a standout football career with the Bucs, capped off by winning the 2018 NCISAA Division II state championship. An offensive and defensive lineman, Miller helped establish stability and toughness in the trenches and was a major part of the team’s foundation. Miller earned All-Conference and All-State honors his senior year, and the Bucs had their best record since 2012 and first state championship since 2010. On top of his illustrious football career, Miller also earned varsity letters in boys’ basketball and track and field. At North Carolina, Miller will play for legendary head coach Mack Brown, who has a 244-122-1 record in a career that also included stops at Appalachian State, Tulane, and Texas.

“I’m really glad I’ve gotten to know Triston and see what a great young man he is,” Bucs head football coach Drew Witman said. “It took a lot of time, frustration, work, more work, and patience, but we got there. Through all the ups and downs of this roller coaster ride, Triston landed on a decision that made him truly happy. We are all extremely proud of Triston and wish him all the best in Chapel Hill.”

Tabor earned three letters as a member of the varsity boys’ basketball team, playing on some of the most successful teams in the program’s history. Along the way, he left his mark as a leader and as a shooter. A two-year captain, Tabor holds school records for free throw percentage in a season, as well as three-pointers made in a game, season, and career. Perhaps his most iconic game was on the road last year at eventual NCISAA Class 3A state champion Greensboro Day, in which he set the school record for three-pointers in a game (nine), while scoring 32 points. Next year, Tabor will join an SMU Mustangs program that has reached the NCAA Tournament 12 times, including two of the last three years under head coach Tim Jankovich.

“Alex is an extremely hard worker and outstanding leader,” head varsity boys’ basketball coach Dwayne Cherry said. “He is vocal on the court and sets a good example for teammates to follow. He is very coachable and always looking for ways to improve. Alex is leaving big shoes to fill. He has truly left his mark on the program, and he will be missed.”

These eight seniors join five of their classmates who were recognized in November for similar college athletics commitments. One final group will be recognized in May.

“These events are some of my most favorite days of the year, and this one was no exception,” said Country Day director of athletics, Abe Wehmiller. “It’s great to be able to honor these student-athletes for the work that they’ve done in their time here and celebrate the fact that they’ll be joining great programs at great schools next year. And it’s awesome to see how their families, friends, and teammates come out to support them.”