Month: October 2022

Orange’s Schmid wins 3A Regional Men’s Cross Country title; Dyreng finishes 5th for Cedar Ridge women

Gabriel Schmid has won many races this cross country season by going the extra mile in training.

On Saturday in the 3A Mideast Regionals, he went the extra tenth-of-a-mile and still won.

Competing at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, Schmid won the men’s individual 3A Mideast Regional Championship on Saturday, a year after finishing fourth in the same event.

The Orange men’s team, who won the regional championship in 2021, finished second in the team standings with 72 points. Durham School of the Arts took the regional title totaling 58 points.

Cedar Ridge, led by senior Roman Morrell finishing fifth overall, came in sixth with 172 points.

The Cedar Ridge women’s team finished fifth in the team standings. Sophomore Naomi Dyreng came in fifth overall in the individual women’s standings while fellow sophomore Abigail Klaitman finished seventh.

Orange’s Grace Pell was the top individual women’s finisher for the Lady Panthers at 23rd.

Schmid’s victory came a year after his former teammate, Spencer Hampton, finished runner-up in the men’s regional race behind Carrboro’s Quinn Baker.

It was Schmid’s fourth win of the 2022 season, his seventh top-five finish and the first Orange runner to win a regional championship at the 3A level.

Schmid knows the course at WakeMed Soccer Park very well. It’s where he won the Early Bird Challenge on August 20, the first race of the season.

That’s why it was a surprise to him when the course appeared to have added a few more turns he wasn’t familiar with on Saturday afternoon. As he went around the trail, the marshals directed him toward a fork. Schmid took a right.

It turned out to be the wrong turn. Schmid went a full tenth-of-a-mile before he realized he was supposed to have taken a left.

“I swear they changed it,” Schmid said.

Fortunately, Schmid was able to correct himself, catch back up and cross the finish line 36 seconds ahead of Northwood’s Christian Glick. Schmid had a time of 15:59.38. Click finished second at 16:35.87.

Last week, Schmid captured the Central Carolina Conference championship at Lake Cammack Cross Country Course in Burlington. The Orange men’s team won the conference championship.

Last spring, Schmid took the regional championship in the 3,200 meters in outdoor track and field at Franklington High School, as well as a 3rd place result in the 1,600 meters. He went on to finish 2nd in the 3,200 meters at the NCHSAA 3A State Championships at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro.

Schmid led a group of young Orange runners to the runner-up team finish. Junior Alden Cathey finished 13th (17:11.72); freshman Lucas Van Mater came in 14th (17:12.50); sophomore Peter Musser was 18th (17:29.09); freshman Myles Jarman came in 28th (18:04.01); sophomore Cyrus Neal was 35th (18:19.03); and Aiden Viola was 44th (18:55.73). For the second straight year, Orange qualified as a team for the 3A State Championships at the Ivey Redmon Sports Complex in Kernersville next Saturday.

Morrell, who has five wins and ten top-five finishes this season, will advance to the 3A State Championships, as well. Red Wolves freshman Ryan Matthews finished 26th at 17:51.88. Cedar Ridge sophomore Edgar Ibarra came in 41st (18:50.93), while freshman Michael O’Melia crossed the finish live 52nd. (19:07.04).

In the women’s race, Dyreng’s fifth-place finish came in her first-ever appearance at the regionals. She finished second on the CCC Championships last week in Burlington. This season, Dyreng has three top-five finishes.

Klaitman, also competing in her first regional race, finished seventh at 21:15.01.

Orange’s women’s team, which finished second in the CCC Championships, had Pell lead their pack at 22:36.85. Orange junior Kassi Scarantino finished 34th (23:11.84). Freshman Evelyn Gover came in 35th (23:12.17)

Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week: Cameron Lanier

This week’s Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week is senior middle blocker Cameron Lanier. Through the course of her four years at Cedar Ridge, Lanier is just the second player in school history to reach 500 career kills. She actually surpassed the mark last year during the 3A State Championship match when the Red Wolves defeated North Iredell at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh. The funny thing is that volleyball wasn’t Lanier’s first choice of sport when she was growing up. In her adolescent years, Lanier was a softball player. Once she moved to the hardwood, she adapted quickly. Lanier was a starter during her freshman year at Cedar Ridge. Since then, she has won seven championships, including three conference regular season championships, two conference tournaments and a regional title, along with the state championship. Earlier this year, Lanier announced she would attend Elon University to play volleyball. She will go down as a vital member of the volleyball class of 2023, which has a career-record of 83-10 as of now. In her career, she has 623 kills and has won eleven state playoff matches. On Tuesday night, Cedar Ridge will travel to Greenville to face J.H. Rose for the 3A Eastern Regional Championship.

Alumni Update: Guentensberger plays on homecoming for Appalachian State

Colin Guentensberger: On Homecoming for Appalachian State, former Orange High linebacker Colin Guentensberger played in his first-ever game for the Mountaineers. Appalachian defeated Robert Morris 42-3 at Kidd Brewer Stadium. It was a long road for Guentensberger to suit up for the Mountaineers and see the first game action of his career. He suffered a torn ACL last year and spent much of 2022 recovering. Guentensberger, a senior walk-on, had one tackle against the Colonials. In 2018, Guentensberger was the leading tackler for Orange and manned the middle linebackers corps along with Jett Statterfield, whose uncle is current Louisville coach and former Appalachian State and Orange High quarterback Scott Satterfield.

Payton Wilson: Wilson had possibly his best game of the season in #24 N.C. State’s come-from-behind win over Virginia Tech on Thursday night. Wilson finished with seven tackles, including two sacks as the Wolfpack rallied from a 21-3 deficit to defat the Hokies for the first time during the tenure of head coach Dave Doeren. Wilson had two-and-a-half tackles for loss. N.C. State, now ranked #21 by the Associated Press, will face Wake Forest at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh on Saturday night.

Keyshawn Thompson: The Campbell Fighting Camels lost to North Carolina A&T 45-38 in Big South Conference action at Trust Field in Greensboro on Saturday. Thompson had one tackle for the Camels, who are now 4-4, 2-1 in the Big South. Campbell led 28-10 at the end of the first quarter.

Darius Satterfield: Elizabeth City State suffered a heartbreaking loss to Bowie State on Saturday at Roebuck Stadium in Elizabeth City. The Bulldogs’ Kwincy Hall returned a kickoff 88 yards with 52 seconds remaining for the game-winning touchdown. Satterfield was the placekicker for the Vikings. He scored three extra points. He also had five kickoffs, one for a touchback. Elizabeth City State is now 2-7, 2-5 in the CIAA.

Braxton Mergenthal: Division III Hampden-Sydney defeated Guilford College 28-21 on Homecoming for the Tigers. Mergenthal entered the game on defense for Hampden-Sydney, who are now 5-3. They’re 4-1 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

Trenton Gill: For the first time in his NFL career, Gill played at AT&T Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon. Punting under the infamous world’s largest big screen, Gill averaged 50.8 yards on four punts. He had a 62-yard punt and had one downed inside the 20-yard line. The Bears are 3-5.

Ivy Garner: The top-seeded Liberty women’s soccer team has advanced to the Atlantic Sun Tournament championship game. The Flames defeated Jacksonville 3-0 in the quarterfinals on Thursday at Osborne Stadium in Lynchburg, VA. Garner assisted on the game-winning goal scored by McKinley Burkett in the second minute. Garner played 46 minutes. In the semifinals on Sunday, Liberty defeated fifth-seeded Eastern Kentucky 3-1. Garner played 39 minutes and had one shot. Liberty now has a 12-game unbeaten streak, a program record. The Flames will face Florida Gulf Coast on Friday night for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Kayla Hodges: Hodges soccer career has likely ended after Virginia Commonwealth was upset by St. Joseph’s in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament 1-0 at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond, VA on Friday. Hodges didn’t play in the game. The Rams end the season 8-3-8. In her first season with the Rams, Hodges played eleven games with four starts. She had two shots.

Emerson Talley: The Division II Lenoir-Rhyne women’s soccer team ended the regular season with a 4-1 win over #12 Catawba to claim the South Atlantic Conference regular season championship. Talley played six minutes against the Hawks. On Saturday, the Bears defeated Newberry 1-0 in the opening round of the South Atlantic Conference Tournament at Moretz Sports Athletic Complex in Hickory. Lenoir-Rhyne will face Limestone in the semifinals on Friday afternoon.

Lottie Scully: The Binghamton volleyball team won a thriller over Maryland-Baltimore County 3-2 in Baltimore on Sunday. The Bearcats won on scores of 23-25, 26-24, 20-25, 25-20 and 15-13. It ended the Retrievers 23-match winning streak against America East Conference opponents. Scully had a season-high 63 assists for the Bearcats. She also finished with three kills, one block and four digs. Binghamton is 14-7 overall, 5-2 in the America East Conference. They will face the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Friday night.

Aaliyah Harris: The former Orange High point guard made her unofficial debut for the Division III women’s basketball team over the weekend in an exhibition game. Randolph-Macon was selected to win the Old Dominion Athletic Conference last week.

Cedar Ridge volleyball sweeps Hunt in final match in Hillsborough, faces Rose in State Semis

Over the last four years, the senior class of the Cedar Ridge volleyball team has scored 3,714 points at home.

It would have been more if they had played more than three home games during the pandemic year of 2020-2021.

While Saturday’s 3-0 win over Wilson Hunt (23-5) in the 3A NCHSAA State Quarterfinals will go down as Cedar Ridge’s 24th sweep in 25 wins, it was also the seniors’ final win inside Red Wolves Gymnasium. In a year where suspense has yielded to dominance, the final five points ever scored by the Cedar Ridge seniors at home are emblematic of the excellence and mental toughness that has become their hallmark.

Ahead by two sets against Wilson Hunt, the Warriors largely controlled play in the third frame behind the play of junior Gracelynn Wolzen and senior Alex Williams, who surpassed 1,000 career kills in her final game.

The Warriors, who led 17-12 at one point in the third set, were only two points from the set after a kill from senior Kayla Haley, who injured her knee earlier in the match and couldn’t even stand during team huddles.

With Cedar Ridge (25-1) trailing 23-20, the Red Wolves seniors took their final bow in Hillsborough and left a mark that will live forever.

It started when Cameron Lloyd, who finished with 13 kills, spiked home a cross-court pass from junior Rachel Alverson.

Cedar Ridge coach Fiona Cunningham immediately put in senior Julie Altieri, who has made aces and assists her trademark since she was a freshman on the varsity. Isolating on Hunt libero Lanier Johnson, Altieri fired a line drive that skipped off Johnson’s fists and into the front row of bleachers, propelling the Red Wolves student section into hysteria.

After a timeout, Altieri aimed at Johnson again, who ducked her head on what was, to the truest sense of the term, a headhunter. The ball sailed over Johnson’s back and landed firmly in the upper left corner for another ace to tie the set.

Of course, the storybook way for the senior class to close out its last home game would be for the school’s all-time assist leader to set up the school’s all-time kills leader. Which is exactly what happened on the final two points.

After Johnson made a dig on Lloyd’s first attack, senior Melissa Benkowitz bumped it to Altieri. Lloyd took the pass and opted for a soft tap that was briefly kept alive by middle blocker Audrey Earp, but quickly fell to the floor.

Altieri set the Fike defense off balance on match point when her serve had to be chased down by setter Ashton Frazier. After Addie Reid got the dig, it was Altieri to Lloyd one final time inside Red Wolves Gymnasium.

The smooth swing sent the ball crashing to the floor between three outstretched fists of Hunt players who all dove in vain. Really, it looked no different than hundreds of points before it which Altieri had set up for Lloyd. The only thing special about it was it’s the last time it will happen in Hillsborough.

“Cameron really stepped up when we needed her in that third set,” Cunningham said. “She was really a consistent force for us.”

Hunt, who went undefeated in the Quad County Conference, quickly fell behind in the first set due to Cedar Ridge’s serving. Altieri and Benkowitz each recorded aces during Cedar Ridge’s 9-4 run to open the match. After the Warriors closed the gap to 10-7, a block by Reid triggered a 9-3 spurt that put the Red Wolves in control of the set. Lloyd had three kills during the run. Cameron Lanier, who finished with eight kills, earned set point off an assist from Alverson.

The second set was even at 8-8 before the Red Wolves went on another of its patented sprees. This time it was a 10-2 run that was triggered by a thunderous kill by Lanier. Senior libero Grace Young recorded three straight aces to build the Red Wolves’ advantage to 22-12. Alverson had a quick kill, her only one of the day, to put the Red Wolves ahead two sets.

Cedar Ridge recorded 13 aces, including four by Benkowitz. Altieri and Young each had three. Alverson finished with eight assists.

Now Cedar Ridge will venture back to where its 2022 journey started. They will face J.H. Rose in Greenville for the Eastern Regional Championship on Tuesday night. Last November, the Red Wolves swept the Rampants to win the regional championship in Hillsborough.

On August 18, in the Red Wolves’ season-opener, the Rampants got revenge in a 3-1 victory in Greenville. It’s Cedar Ridge’s only loss of the season. They’ve lost just one set since then.

J.H. Rose, the champions of the 4A/3A Big East Conference and the #1 East seed, has won 30 in a row at home.

Cunningham, who was sick the night of the August matchup against the Rampants, isn’t expecting another sweep by anybody on Tuesday night.

“It’s going to be about who is more calm, cool and collected,” Cunningham said. “Both teams are phenomenal. Both teams are gonna play their absolute best that day and I can promise it’s going to be more than three sets one way or the other. Neither team has much experience this year going to sets four and five. So it’s going to be a lot about who can stay composed and who can keep pushing through to the end.”

Orange Panther of the Week: Nate Sorrells Defensive Player of the Week: Jabari Albright

This week’s Orange Panther of the Week is junior running back Nate Sorrells. In addition, the Orange Defensive Player of the Week is senior Linebacker Jabari Albright. On Monday night, Sorrells rushed for a career-high 202 yards as the Panthers defeated Cedar Ridge 50-0 at Auman Stadium to retain the Victory Bell. In addition, Sorrells threw an 84-yard touchdown pass to Wynston Brown for the Panthers first home win of the season. Albright had two rushing touchdowns for the Panthers and rushed for a career-high 87 yards. In September, Sorrells rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns in a victory over Granville Central. Albright managed to bounce back from an ankle injury early in the season and was among the leading tacklers on the team this season. He played his final game for Orange against Eastern Alamance on Friday night. Sorrells didn’t even have football as his first sport. He started as a soccer player, hut moved over to the gridiron, where he’s been a steady presence on Orange’s offense for the past two years. Sorrells will start preparation for the 2023 season on Monday. 

Cedar Ridge’s Cameron Lloyd & Julie Altieri discuss volleyball reaching the state semifinals

It was the 45th and final home game for the Cedar Ridge volleyball team’s class of 2024 on Saturday afternoon. They made it an afternoon worth remembering as the Red Wolves defeated Wilson Hunt 3-0 on scores of 25-15, 25-15 and 25-23 in the state quarterfinals. The Cedar Ridge senior class end their careers with a record of 42-3 inside Red Wolves Gymnasium, winning its last 28 home matches. With the Red Wolves trailing 23-21, senior setter Julie Altieri stepped back and delivered two straight aces to even the match. Altieri fed senior Cameron Lloyd for the final two points of the match. Lloyd finished with 13 kills, two assists and one ace in her final match in Hillsborough. Altieri, who is nearing over 2,000 assists for her career, came away with 23 assists and three aces. The Red Wolves have won 25 matches in a row. The senior class has a career record of 83-10. On Tuesday night, the Red Wolves will journey to Greenville to continue the season where it starter—against J.H. Rose. The Rampants are the only team to beat the Red Wolves this season. It was will be for the 3A Eastern Regional Championship. The two teams met for the East Region championship last year, with Cedar Ridge coming away with a 3-1 victory. 

Orange men’s soccer makes state playoffs for the first time since 2017

The Orange men’s soccer team started its season with a 2-nil loss to Riverside on a mild August night at Linny Wrenn Stadium in Durham.

As indicated by the scoreline, it was a tepid showing offensively for Orange, whose best chance to score came on a penalty kick that was saved in the first half by Riverside goalkeeper John Ballard.

Offensively, that Orange team from two months ago bares little resemblance to the squad that is now in the state playoffs. Along the way, the ride through October has been filled with last minutes heroics that have paced the way for the Panthers’ first appearance in the state playoffs since 2017.

Orange, which finished third in the Central Carolina Conference, received a #21 seed and will face #12 seed J.H. Rose in Greenville on Halloween night. The field of 64 in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3A State Tournament was released on Friday afternoon.

Rose, who finished third in the 4A/3A Big East Conference, received a #12 seed. The Rampants ended the regular season on a five-game winning streak, including a victory over D.H. Conley, who tied with Jacksonville for the Big East Championship.

Orange started 1-5 and didn’t score multiple goals in a game until they defeated Cedar Ridge 3-1 on September 14 in the opening leg of the Hillsborough Derby. At that point, the offense picked up and the Panthers won five in a row, its longest winning streak in five years.

The Panthers’ run to the postseason hasn’t lacked for drama. On October 13, Orange stunned Chapel Hill 3-2 at Ron Benson Field. They played the final 20 minutes with only ten men. Junior Emmanuel Mil Cruz scored the game-winning goal with 35 seconds remaining after Cooper Zinn scored the equalizer off an assist from Darius Corbett.

The following game, the Panthers defeated Northwood 3-2 in Pittsboro after scoring two goals in the final 15 minutes. Dylan Silverman notched the game-winning goal with 1:32 remaining with a laser shot from 25 yards away. Tyler Mann, the leading scorer on the team, tied the game. Mil Cruz scored Orange’s opener.

Orange’s senior night against Eastern Alamance last Monday may have been the most memorable of all. In a 4-2 overtime win, Corbett scored two goals in his final game at Orange Soccer Field. Zinn and Mann also scored.

Corbett, a centerback, scored Orange’s first goals of the year on penalty kicks, including the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over Knightdale, their first win of the season. Mann leads Orange with eleven goals. Cooper Zinn has seven goals.

Corbett is paired as a centerback with senior Tucker Gaddy, who were instrumental in four shutout wins this season, along with goalkeeper Connor McMurtry.

The winner of J.H. Rose-Orange will face the winner of #5 Southern Nash vs. #28 Southern Wayne in the second round.

Orange’s inclusion in the field of 64 continued a strong showing for the Central Carolina Conference, home to the defending 3A State Champions Western Alamance. Five CCC teams made the state playoffs. Walter Williams, who defeated Orange 3-0 in the regular season finale on Wednesday, is the top-overall seed in the 3A East Region.

Western Alamance (#13 seed) will host Northern Nash in the opening round. Northwood (#22) will travel to Swansboro on Monday. Eastern Alamance will go to Croatan.