Members of the Country Day community gathered on November 14 to recognize five members of the Class of 2019 for their formal commitments to continue their athletics careers at the collegiate level.

Five Country Day students pose after committing to play college athletics

Those recognized for their commitments were:

  • Sophie Francis (University of California-San Diego, swimming)
  • Tyler Rigot (Bucknell University, baseball)
  • Zoe Weatherington (University of Utah, volleyball)
  • Carmen Woodruff (Georgia Institute of Technology, diving)
  • Marcus Woods (Yale University, track and field)

Francis is a three-time North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association Class 3A individual state champion, having won the 100-yard freestyle in 2017 as well as the 50-yard freestyle in both 2017 and 2018. She has earned All-Conference honors every year of her high school career to this point and earned All-State honors each of the past two seasons. She will move on to compete in college at the University of California, San Diego, where she will be coached by 2016 United States Olympic women’s swimming coach, David Marsh.

“The combination of the elite academic school along with the challenges of training for one of the world’s premier coaches might seem too much for some athletics, but not for Sophie,” said Bob Peterson, Country Day’s head varsity swimming coach. “I know that as she enters her college career and all of the challenges that come with it, she will apply the same hard work and determination that have guided her thus far, and she will do even more amazing things. It’s been an honor to coach Sophie these past three years, and I look forward to one more great season”

Rigot will soon be entering his third season as a member of the Country Day varsity baseball team’s starting pitching rotation. He has a career 9-3 record on the mound, with a 2.93 earned run average. The strong lefty has been a major piece of Country Day’s success the past two seasons, which this past spring led to the Bucs reaching the NCISAA Class 3A state semifinals. Rigot, known affectionately to teammates as “Big Rig” or “Diesel,” has been recognized as a top-500 national prospect by Perfect Game, and is a multiple-time Under Armour Preseason All-American. He was also a member of the WWBA Class of 2019 National All-Tournament Team. Rigot will join a Bucknell team guided by seventh-year coach Scott Heather, who recently managed BU to its first NCAA Tournament win in the school’s history.

“Tyler is a great teammate and a great competitor,” said Mike Hennessey, Bucs head varsity baseball coach. “He has pitched in multiple big games for us over the past two years, getting the win against eventual state champs Wesleyan Christian and against Christ School in the state quarterfinals, where he had a dominant performance. Congratulations to him on realizing his dream – I know he will continue to do great things as a Bucknell Bison.”

Weatherington was a dominant force on the volleyball court for the Bucs all four years of her high school career. A starter as a freshman on a varsity team that had just come off two consecutive state title runs, Weatherington was one of the cornerstones of the rebuilding of the volleyball program. That process has yielded impressive results the past two seasons, culminating in an extremely narrow loss in the NCISAA Class 4A state championship game this fall. Weatherington led Class 4A in kills in 2018, and she led the CISAA conference in kills, kills per set, hitting percentage, and aces. She finished her career at Country Day in second place in career kills, with 1320. Among her many awards and accolades, she is a three-time All-Conference, two-time All-State, and one-time Under Armour Honorable Mention All-American team honoree. She will compete in the Big 12 Conference at Utah, a strong program that is coming off back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

“There is no doubt that Zoe has made an incredible impact on this school and volleyball program,” said Bucs head volleyball coach Anna Moore. “I want to wish her the best of luck and congratulate her on committing to play Division I volleyball at the highest level for the University of Utah. I know she will have a great academic and athletic career!”

Woodruff is a staple on the national prep diving scene, where she is currently ranked in the top 30 in the nation in her age group on platform. She was unable to compete in high school for Country Day since the NCISAA does not sponsor diving as an official sport, but she trains year-round at the Carolina Diving Academy under the guidance of coach Aaron Hintz. Primarily a platform diver who also dabbles in the three-meter springboard, Woodruff won the AAU Junior National Championship in 2013. She has competed at nationals several times, including this past year, when she moved up to the senior level, competing against collegiate and Olympic-caliber divers. As a member of the diving team, she will compete for coach John Ames, who has helped guide the careers of eight NCAA All-Americans and two Atlantic Coast Conference champions.

“I had the opportunity to write Carmen’s college recommendation letter, and the word I used to describe her was ‘inspirational,’” said Tom Collins, Woodruff’s academic advisor. “I have no idea how she has done it all. She’s modest, kind, generous, funny, and fun-loving. I know she dreams of making it to the Olympic trials, and I believe she will do it.”

Woods, despite just beginning his sprinting career as a high school sophomore after years as a cross country runner, has become a prolific sprinter for Country Day. An incredibly versatile athlete, Woods has competed in pole vault, long jump, 100m, 200m, and 400m, as well as multiple distances of hurdles and relays. He has fantastic leadership abilities, and he serves as team captain for both indoor and outdoor track and field. He will run at Yale under the guidance of David Shoehalter, who is in his 25th year coaching the Bulldogs.

“Even from his first practice with the sprinters, Marcus left no doubt about his potential,” Al Pearman, head track and field coach, said. “Marcus took little time to show without a doubt that he was up to the task of being a hard-working athlete. Marcus is a fairly young athlete, and I believe that his best years are still ahead of him.”

This event marks the first college athlete recognition event of the 2018-19 school year; additional events are scheduled for February and May 2019.