Three seniors who were vital to the rise of the Orange lacrosse program will conclude their high school careers at the Bull City All-Star Game on Wednesday night.
Midfielder Tigh Metheny, defensemen Nick Cardone and Braden Hunt have been named to the All-Star Game, which will be held on Wednesday night at Koskinen Stadium at Duke University, the home of the ACC Champion Duke men’s lacrosse team.
Cardone will suit up for the White Team while Metheny and Hunt were named to the Blue Team, which will be coached by Northwood’s Randy Cox, who won the 3A/2A/1A Eastern Regional Championship earlier this month. It was the first time the Chargers reached a state championship game in lacrosse. Chapel Hill’s Jacob Manning will also coach the Blue Team.
Ken Broomfield of Wilmington Laney and John Van Lunen of First Flight will coach the White Team.
Cardone, Metheny and Hunt were three seniors chosen among over 240 players nominated by 92 coaches. 60 men and 59 women’s players were selected for the two games.
The women’s game will be held on Wednesday afternoon at 3:30. The men’s game will start at 6:30.
Cardone, Metheny and Hunt were members of the most successful four-year class in Orange lacrosse history. They were freshmen on the 2020 team that roared out of the gates with a 7-0 start, outscoring opponents 92-33. They ended the season with a decisive win over Roxboro Community School, which was the final sporting event played by any local team for eight months before COVID-19 shut down the season. The RCS game was the final one for Orange senior attacker Wyatt Jones, the first Panther lacrosse player to sign with a Division I school when he played with Mercer.
As the pandemic restrictions eased, Cardone, Metheny and Hunt became key players for Orange’s run of three consecutive conference championships, the first titles in team history. Metheny scored four goals and three assists as a sophomore.
In 2022, Orange won the new Mid-Carolina Conference championship, reached the state quarterfinals for the first time ever and also hosted the Eastern Regional Championship game against First Flight. Cardone and Metheny were named All-Conference. Cardone led the team with 25 created turnovers. He also registered 63 ground balls, fourth on the team. Metheny was another cog in an offensive machine that scored a Mid-Carolina Conferee-leading 273 goals.
Metheney was tied for second on the team with 45 goals. He also finished with 69 points, second on the team. Hunt, in his first full varsity season, had 41 ground balls as a defenseman.
The 2022 team had a 17-3 record, breaking the school record for wins. This year’s team eclipsed that mark with a 18-4 record, once again reaching the 3A/2A/1A Eastern Regional Championship game. Metheny had a career-high 53 goals and scored 68 points. Cardone led the team with 34 turnovers created and was fifth on the team with 60 ground balls.
In April, both Cardone and Metheny signed with Division II Catawba College in Salisbury.
This season, Hunt created 26 turnovers, second on the team. He also had 35 ground balls.
The Bull City All Star Game is a benefit for the Duke Cancer Institute and North Carolina High School Athletic Association scholarships. Organized by Franklin Zirkle, a former head coach at East Chapel Hill and Leesville Road, the game is named in honor of Tony Cullen. One of the most successful players in Duke history, Cullen scored 106 career goals and 114 assists before he graduated in 1979. Afterwards, Cullen went on to coach the Blue Devils for nine years. After his coaching stint ended, Cullen went on to become a college lacrosse official.
In its first year of operation, the Bull City All Star game raised $2,500 for Duke Cancer Institute. Last year, in its first year back after the pandemic, the All-Star game raised $10,000.