–There are some very special conference championship chases going on right now. The Cedar Ridge men’s soccer team is in first place in the Central Carolina Conference after a resounding night at Red Wolves Stadium on Wednesday. Salomon Hernandez scored on a header with 4:17 remaining in game off an assist from Illah Babchenko. The Red Wolves have never won a conference championship as a 3A team in men’s soccer. While they still have seven conference games remaining, the Red Wolves on the pitch is bringing a lot of energy to Red Wolves Stadium. They return home to face Northwood on Tuesdays.
–Who can beat the Orange volleyball team in the CCC? Orange swept Western Alamance on Thursday night to improve to 6-0 in conference play. Orange has won all 18 sets in league play and 38 of its last 39 overall. Cedar Ridge travels to Orange next Thursday. If the Red Wolves can’t beat Orange, the Lady Panthers could gain the elusive conference championship well before the regular season ends.
–Really hope the Person football coach slept well last Friday night with his team leading Cedar Ridge 67-0. With seconds drifting away on a running clock in the fourth quarter, his team ran hurry up to the line so they could tact on another touchdown. The situation for Cedar Ridge football is tough, but I’ve been around long enough to see programs that appeared to have little hope turn things around. Happened at Jordan. Happened at Chapel Hill. Happened at Hillside. Come to think of it, I can recall a Hillside team that trailed Northern Durham 51-0 at halftime in 2000. Northern kicked a field goal on the final play of the first half. The next year, they beat Northern. In fact, Hillside had the game won and elected to throw a 47-yard touchdown in the final minute in an example of what Hillside’s then-coach called “Steve Spurrier coaching.” I hope Cedar Ridge’s returning players have long memories.
- Graylinn Serge, Cedar Ridge, Sr: Finished with a season-high 18 kills against East Chapel Hill in a five-set win inside Wildcats Gymnasium. On September 12 against Western Alamance, Serge had 13 kills with 14 digs, and four aces in a 3-1 Red Wolves win. In a sweep of Walter Williams, Serge had eleven kills, 14 digs and two aces as the Red Wolves won three matches in four days.
- Naomi Dyreng, Cedar Ridge, Jr.: Dyreng had her second consecutive first place finish for the Cedar Ridge women’s cross country team. She led the pack during a CCC meet at Orange High with a time of 21:54.00. On September 7, Dyreng finished first at a meet on her home course. The Cedar Ridge women finished first at the Orange meet.
- Erik Galunas, Cedar Ridge, Soph.: The goalkeeper for the Cedar Ridge men’s soccer team, Galunas had a clean sheet against Southern Alamance in Graham on September 11. Galunas made a diving save in the final minute to keep the game level in the final minute. Two nights later, the Red Wolves earned a 2-1 victory over Orange in the opening leg of the Hillsborough Derby at Red Wolves Stadium. Galunas had eight saves.
- Ava Wilkerson, Orange, Soph.: Had 12 kills against Roxboro Community School on September 13. She also had an ace and three digs. Wilkerson finished with eight kills in a sweep of Southern Alamance in Graham. Orange has won 13 in a row. Wilkerson has 223 kills for an Orange team looking to win its first conference championship in volleyball since the mid-2000s.
- DeAndre Brown, Orange, Jr.: Brown led the Orange football team with 16 tackles in a rugged game at Western Alamance last Friday. He added his first rushing touchdown on a four-yard run in the third quarter. Midway through the season, Brown leads Orange with 60 tackles and has four sacks, one shy of the team lead.
- Ellie Wilson, Orange, Fr.: Wilson had the longest match of her young career in the Orange women’s tennis team’s win over Roxboro Community School. Wilson defeated Elizabeth Ess 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 10-8. Two days later against Southern Alamance, Wilson won another three-set match against Morgan Edmunds 4-6, 6-4, 13-11.
- Cameron Mayhew, Cedar Ridge, Sr: Mayhew continued an impressive season for the Cedar Ridge women’s tennis team with a singles win against Western Alamance’s Amelia Weaver 6-1, 6-2. Against Walter Williams, Mayhew won her #1 singles match over Abigail Brown 6-3, 6-1. Mayhew is 8-1 in singles action this year.