Country Day’s varsity athletics teams recently completed their winter 2018-19 season, their most successful winter in eight years. Each team qualified for postseason play, and ten Bucs earned All-Conference and/or All-State Team recognition.
The varsity boys’ basketball team had one of its most successful seasons in recent history, earning many mentions from local media outlets along the way. After defeating two-time-defending state champion Greensboro Day, the team earned a spot on the Charlotte Observer Sweet 16 for the first time in the poll’s history. The team went on to win the WNC Holiday Basketball Classic before eventually earning the number seven seed in the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association Class 4A State Playoffs. Additional highlights for the Bucs included home wins over eventual state runner-up Christ School and Providence Day, the first win over the Chargers since 2012.
After defeating Covenant Day School in the second round of the state playoffs, the Bucs faced a rematch with Greensboro Day. Country Day held a one-point advantage against the Bengals heading into the fourth quarter of the state quarterfinal matchup, but the back-to-back state champs had a strong final frame, ending the Bucs’ dream run. Greensboro Day would go on to win its third straight state title. The team finished the year with an 18-12 record; its winning percentage was its best since going 20-8 in 2007-08.
Rylan McLaurin ’19 and Alex Tabor ’19 both eclipsed 1,000 career points scored during their senior campaign, and both earned Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association All-Conference honors. Tabor was also named to the All-State Team and the North Carolina Private School All-Star Team.
The Bucs’ varsity swimming team had another strong run in 2018-19, culminating in several conference championships. Sophie Francis ’19 continued adding hardware to her trophy case, earning conference titles in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard freestyle. Francis, Elizabeth Redvanly ’19, Lucy Elliott ’19, and Hannah Baumgartner ’22 won the 200-yard medley relay, earning each swimmer All-Conference recognition. Elliott had individual runner-up finishes in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly, while Baumgartner was runner-up in the 50-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle. Will Cooper ’21 led the charge for the boys, placing in the top five in all four of his events. The girls were third at the conference meet, and the boys finished fourth.
Both the boys’ and girls’ teams had strong, steady days at the NCISAA Class 4A State Championship Meet in Greensboro. While Country Day did not secure any state championships, solid finishes across the board contributed to strong team finishes. The girls placed fourth in the meet, while the boys took home seventh place. The girls' finish was the team's best since 2011-12, and the boys' result was their best since 2013-14.
Country Day’s varsity wrestling program continued its rise in 2018-19, both in achievement and in participation. With fifteen Bucs on the roster, the team was able to compete in most weight classes throughout the season. At the CISAA conference meet at Cannon School, the team placed fourth. Josiah Connors ’19, Will Kercher ’21, and Will Shircliff ’19 finished as runners-up in their respective weight classes, while Sam Davis ’19 was the conference champion in the 160-pound class, earning All-Conference designation.
At the state meet, Connors earned a dramatic, last-second win in the championship match of the 195-pound class to become the first Buc to win a state wrestling title since 2016. Connors qualified for and competed in the 2019 National Prep Wrestling Tournament at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania to cap off his All-State senior season. The team finished 7th at the state meet, the first time it finished in the top eight since 2011-12. In addition to Connors' state championship, four additional Bucs reached the podium in their respective weight classes: Davis (3rd place), Kercher (3rd place), Shircliff (5th place), and Andrew Wilks ’20 (5th place).
· The girls’ basketball team qualified for the NCISAA State Playoffs for the second consecutive season and won a first-round matchup against Charlotte Christian, 44-33. It was the team's first postseason win since 2009-10. The team lost a tough second-round road game at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School. Mary Holland Waters ’22 was named second-team All-Conference.
· The cheerleading team continued to build momentum, fielding a squad of 22 members. The team cheered at home basketball games throughout the season, helping to energize the Bruton Smith Athletics Center crowd during the breakthrough 2018-19 basketball season.
· The dance team was enthusiastically received for each of its performances. For her efforts, Azariah Miller ’22 was named second-team All-Conference.
· Country Day had its most successful winter in eight years, as measured by the Wells Fargo Cup standings. With four teams contributing points due to their top-eight state finishes, the 97.5 points the Bucs compiled this season were the most since Country Day earned an even 100 in winter 2010-11. Combined with 225 points from the fall season, Country Day currently has 322.5 points, well outpacing the 262.5 from this time last year.