Just like that, we’re a month into high school sports season.
Why does one month of summer feel like three months? Maybe it’s the inactivity.
One thing that isn’t inactive is the Orange volleyball team. The Lady Panthers are currently #2 in the 3A East RPI rankings. Stop me if this sounds familiar, but the only team ahead of Orange in the RPI rankings is J.H. Rose, the defending regional champions who defeated Cedar Ridge last year for a trip to Raleigh and the 3A State Championship match. Orange is not only winning, but they’re dominant. On Wednesday night, the Lady Panthers swept Roxboro Community School for their 23rd consecutive set victory. Orange is alone atop the Central Carolina Conference.
The Cedar Ridge women’s tennis team could wind up making this a memorable final season for head coach Steve Mayhew. While the Red Wolves lost to Walter Williams on Wednesday night in a match that determined first place in the CCC, Cedar Ridge is still in second place. They haven’t reached the 3A State Dual Team playoff since 2016, when they won the Big 8 Conference championship. Cedar Ridge certainly has the depth to make a run at Williams in the rematch next month in Hillsborough.
The Cedar Ridge men’s soccer team is also trying to reach the 3A State Playoffs for the first time in seven years. The Red Wolves took another step on Wednesday night with a victory over Orange in the opening leg of the Hillsborough Derby. Cedar Ridge has already surpassed its win total from last season. Next week, the Red Wolves will travel to Eastern Alamance, then host Western Alamance at Red Wolves Stadium.
Let’s look at the Magnificent Seven for the week of September 3-9th. The seven best performances by Cedar Ridge and Orange in no particular order.
- Kayden Bradsher, Orange, Fres: Scored three touchdowns in the Orange football team’s 22-0 win over Montgomery Central on Friday night. Bradsher had a career-high six receptions for 58 yards. He scored the first touchdown of his varsity career on a 12-yard run to conclude the Panthers first possession of the night against the Timberwolves.
- Ella Caltabiano, Cedar Ridge, Sr.: Won three matches in a big week for Red Wolves women’s tennis. Cedar Ridge defeated Orange for the first time since 2019. Caltabiano teamed with Catherine Ballenger to clinch the match against Orange at #2 doubles. Against Eno River Academy on September 7, Caltabiano defeated Rebecca Kelly at #2 singles 8-2. Later, she teamed with Ballenger to defeat Rebecca Kirby and Chiara Menolascino 8-1.
- Katie Silcott, Orange, Soph.: The Orange volleyball team is off to its best start ever as a 3A team. Silcott, a setter, had 46 assists in a win over Cedar Ridge that ended the Red Wolves 42-game conference winning streak. Two night later, Silcott had 35 assists and eight digs in a sweep of Person. The next night, Silcott had 41 assists, nine digs and three aces in a sweep of Roxboro Community School.
- Alejandro Macero-Ramos, Cedar Ridge, Jr.: Scored two goals for the Cedar Ridge men’s soccer team in a 5-0 win over Person. Macero-Ramos helped Cedar Ridge tie its win total from all of last season with their fifth victory of 2023.
- Makayla Davis, Orange, Sr.: Davis won her singles match for the Orange women’s tennis against Cedar Ridge against Adeline Cummings 10-7. She also captured her doubles match against the Red Wolves, teaming with Kyla Mehl to win 9-8, taking the tiebreaker 7-6. Two days later, Davis won her singles match against Person 10-0.
- Rachel Alverson, Cedar Ridge, Sr: Recorded 28 assists, six digs and three aces for the Cedar Ridge volleyball team in a win over Eastern Alamance on September 7. Against Orange, Alverson had 25 assists, two aces and four digs. Alverson leads the team in assists.
- Jayden Medley, Orange, Sr.: Racked up seven tackles for Orange against Montgomery Central. Medley also had a fumble recovery against the Timberwolves on their second series of the game. Medley finished with a sack as Orange notched its first shutout of the season.