Three Country Day seniors were honored in an on-campus ceremony on May 3 for their commitments to compete collegiately in their chosen sports this coming fall.
The students recognized were:
- John Demas (Randolph-Macon College, football)
- Sienna Joseph (Centre College, field hockey)
- Rylan McLaurin (Presbyterian College, football)
Demas is a two-sport standout for the Bucs, having been a varsity starter in baseball and football for the past three years. On the football field, Demas was one of the central pieces of the Bucs’ defense, playing inside linebacker. Despite missing three games, Demas was still able to finish the year as the team’s leading tackler in his senior season, earning 45 solo tackles and 15 assisted tackles. His contributions helped lead the team to the NCISAA Division II state championship in 2018. Demas will join another football program coming off of a successful 2018 campaign when he joins the squad at Randolph-Macon College. The Yellow Jackets finished with a 9-3 record, and they defeated the number eight nationally-ranked team in the first round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs.
“John is a tough competitor who works his behind off,” said Drew Witman, Bucs head varsity football coach. “This year, we saw it all come together at a position he really found a home at. His leadership, communication, toughness, physicality, and speed really took his game to the next level, and it was fun to watch.”
Joseph is another major contributor to two sports at Country Day, and she chose field hockey as her sport of choice at the next level. Joseph was an All-Conference performer as the Bucs’ starting goalkeeper. This past season, Joseph and her teammates held opponents to under one goal per game en route to an appearance in the NCISAA state championship game. Joseph was also a major performer for the girls’ soccer program; her highlights on the soccer pitch included a hat trick she scored against Charlotte Christian during her senior season. Joseph chose Centre College as her college destination because of a special combination of a Chinese undergraduate curriculum and an exceptional field hockey program.
“Sienna is fearless and a fighter and, as we say, and absolute ninja,” said Bucs head varsity field hockey coach Kayleigh Thies. “Her passion for field hockey is something I’ve always admired about her. She puts her whole effort in, and that is why she was an all-conference player last fall. She’s a competitor, and I could not imagine her having a college experience without sports, especially field hockey.”
McLaurin was a pivotal player in three sports at Country Day, but team success culminated for him this past fall as he caught a fourth down pass from teammate Russell Tabor that proved to be the state championship-winning score. A versatile athlete who can contribute anywhere on the football field, McLaurin was one of the Bucs’ top offensive threats in 2018, as he was second on the team in both rushing and receiving yards. He was also third on the team in touchdowns, scoring five on the ground and three through the air. A two-way player, McLaurin also racked up 26 tackles and brought in two interceptions. His efforts earned him first-team All-Conference honors as a senior. He was also second-team All-Conference in basketball, and he is a standout sprinter on the varsity track and field team. McLaurin looks forward to his new home on the gridiron when he heads to NCAA Division I Presbyterian College this fall.
“Rylan is the savviest player I have ever coached,” Witman said. “From sport to sport, Rylan has the ‘it’ factor. It is easy to see his ability on the field, on the court, or on the track. He was a true ‘point guard,’ not just for the basketball team, but also for the school. He’s always looking for that way to help, and when it’s time to score, he makes it count. We are all excited to watch him light it up on Saturdays for Presbyterian.”
The ceremony was the final of three events held throughout the year recognizing the accomplishments of senior student-athletes who have made the choice to continue their athletics careers at the next level. Thirteen other members of the Class of 2019 were honored at ceremonies held in November and February.