Cedar Ridge Men’s Tennis

Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week: Fionn Kuo

This week’s Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week is junior men’s tennis player Fionn Kuo. On Wednesday, Kuo reached the Mideast Regionals in doubles play along with partner Lev Bearman. They were voted the #1 doubles team from the Central Conference during the league’s tennis championships at the Burlington Tennis Center on Wednesday. This is Kuo’s first season at Cedar Ridge. He earned the #1 singles spot that Josh Mayhew left behind. This season, Kuo went 10-2 in singles play for a Red Wolf team that is 11-2. Kuo also teamed with Bearman to go 4-0 in doubles play. On Friday, Cedar Ridge will travel to Western Alamance. With a win, the Red Wolves will tie the Warriors and earn a share of the Central Conference championship. Among Kuo’s highlights for the season was a three-set win over Nathan Bermeo of Eno River Academy on April 4. He defeated Zac Blizzard of Durham School of the Arts 6-0, 6-0 on March 7. In his first match with the Red Wolves, Kuo defeated Yisak Turney of Southern Alamance 6-1, 6-0. Cedar Ridge has earned an automatic trip to the 3A State Dual Team Playoffs. Part of the reason for their continued strong play under new head coach Mike Rodgers is the play of Kuo, who will venture into the regionals at the Burlington Tennis Center next month.

Cedar Ridge men’s tennis seniors discuss 11-2 season

The Cedar Ridge men’s tennis team will reach the state playoffs under first-year head coach Mike Rogers. The Red Wolves have gone 11-2, 10-1 in the Central Conference. On Friday, the Red Wolves will face Western Alamance with a chance to tie for the Central Conference championship. This season, the Red Wolves have been led by Fionn Kuo, a junior who is in his first year at Cedar Ridge. Kuo has replaced Josh Mayhew, the first player in the history of Hillsborough to reach the state singles final four times, as the Red Wolves #1 singles player. There have also been singles players like Lev Bearman, Joe Garbee, Griffin Thomas, Jackson Baker and Charles Dean. Bearman, who played for the 2022 Cedar Ridge team that won the Central Conference championship, went 10-1 this year for the Red Wolves in singles play. Garbee went 9-2. On Wednesday at the Central Conference Men’s Tennis championships at the Burlington Tennis Center, Kuo and Bearman qualified for the Mideast Regionals as a doubles team, receiving the #1 seed. Cedar Ridge will end the regular season against Western Alamance in Elon on Friday, then prepare for the 3A State Dual Team Playoffs. The Mideast Regionals and the 3A State Championships will be held at the Burlington Tennis Center. 

After three straight state final appearances, Mayhew named CCC Men’s Tennis Player of the Year

BURLINGTON–Moments after Josh Mayhew finished the last match of his Cedar Ridge career, he was approached by the mother of one of his opponents.

“I just want to wish you all the best going forward,” the lady said. “My son is happy you’re graduating.”

It was the mother of A.J. Swisher of St. Stephens High School in Hickory. Mayhew has beaten Swisher each of the last two years in the 3A State Singles Tournament semifinals. This year, Mayhew won 6-0, 6-0.

In the process, he became the first player from Hillsborough to ever reach a state championship final three consecutive years.

After finishing the season 20-3, Mayhew was named the Central Carolina Conference men’s tennis player of the year last week. It’s the second straight year that Mayhew has earned the honor. Last season, Mayhew had an undefeated record during the regular season and was the top singles player for a Cedar Ridge squad that won the CCC Championship. It was the first men’s tennis conference title in school history.

“That was my favorite moment of my career,” Josh said. “Getting to see everybody feel so accomplished. It was great.”

If you’ve ever driven by the narrow highway that divides Orange High School from Orange Middle School early on a weekday morning or late in the afternoon and peered out through the trees at the tennis courts, chances are you’ve seen Mayhew. If Cedar Ridge’s courts aren’t available, he’ll simply go to Orange’s courts because it’s more convenient to his tireless schedule.

Even before this year, Mayhew had a relentless workout slate that started at 6AM, if not earlier, and concluded well into the night with pickleball matches with his father Steve, his mother and his sister, Cameron. Sometimes, the pickleball matches start the day.

This year, he added group training in Raleigh under the supervision of instructor Scott Emerson. Mayhew stood alongside football players for agility workouts and plyometrics inside Emerson’s garage.

It’s little wonder that Mayhew was named “Most Dedicated Athlete” at Cedar Ridge’s Senior Awards Night held inside Red Wolves Gymnasium last week. It’s another honor to Mayhew’s voluminous trophy case that includes the 2022 HighSchoolOT.com honor for Best Men’s Tennis Player.

Last December, Mayhew formally signed to play tennis at Belmont Abbey.

In addition to reaching three straight state championship finals, Mayhew also went to the Mideast Regional Final three straight years.

“I just couldn’t be more proud of him,” said Steve Mayhew about his son. “He’s a special talent. I’ve never coached anyone as talented as Josh nor anyone who has the work ethic that he does. As his Dad, I know what he puts in everyday. He averages 15-20 hours a week. That doesn’t include the yoga and the stretching and all that. You multiply that by 52…He’s earned everything he’s ever got because of his work.”

Nirvana’s final listed track on their 1991 classic “Nevermind” was “Something in the Way,” which has been the theme whenever Mayhew has reached the final. Or more to the point, “Someone.” As a sophomore, Chapel HIll’s Dennis Perumov defeated Mayhew in the regional and state championship finals.

The past two years, Terry Sanford’s Drew Hedgecoe denied Mayhew’s attempt to become the first Hillsborough tennis player to win a singles state championship. But it’s not indicative of the legacy that Mayhew will leave behind at Cedar Ridge as the most decorated high school tennis player in Hillsborough history.

“Drew just played crazy good,” Josh Mayhew said. “You just take it for how it is. If someone plays that good, there’s not much you can do about it. I can’t be upset about how I played. He just deserved it.”

As he moves on to Belmont Abbey following graduation next month, Mayhew doesn’t plan on reducing his workload.

“I have a lot to do. I’m not done,” Mayhew said. “I want to start for the team and see where that takes me.”

Cedar Ridge’s Mayhew qualifies for 3A State Singles Tennis Tournament for 3rd time

BURLINGTON–The most decorated tennis player in Cedar Ridge history will return to the 3A State Tournament one more time.

On Saturday, senior Josh Mayhew reached the final of the Mideast Regionals at the Burlington Tennis Center. It was the third straight year that Mayhew reached a regional final. In the semifinals on Saturday morning, Mayhew defeated Jayden Pham of Terry Sanford 6-1, 6-2 to reach the final.

In the opening round on Friday afternoon, Mayhew defeated Bryce Pittman of Northern Nash 6-1, 6-0. In the second round with a spot at the state championships on the line, Mayhew upended Zac Blizzard of the Durham School of the Arts 6-1, 6-0.

In the regional final match on Saturday, Drew Hedgecoe of Terry Sanford defeated Mayhew 6-0, 6-1. It was the second straight year that Hedgecoe and Mayhew met in the regional final. Hedgecoe, the defending 3A State Champion, also met Mayhew in the 3A State Championship match last May in the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center in Greensboro.

Mayhew is the first Cedar Ridge tennis player in history to reach the state tournament three different times. He is only the second player in school history to reach the state singles final. In 2010, Jerry Newburg reached the 2A final, where he lost to Ethan Caudell of St. Pauls 7-5, 6-0.

After losing virtually his entire freshman season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayhew quickly broke new ground for men’s tennis at Cedar Ridge. With his father Steve Mayhew, a former Orange High tennis player, as head coach, Mayhew reached the Mideast Regional final after beating Chapel Hill’s Eddy Ferreira 6-2, 6-2. In his sophomore season, Mayhew went 15-3. All three of his losses came against the same player, Chapel Hill’s Dennis Perumov. Mayhew became the first Cedar Ridge player to reach the state singles final of a 3A event, where he faced Perumov. In the state semifinals, Mayhew bounced Marvin Ridge’s Soham Pradhan 6-2, 6-4.

As a junior, Mayhew was the Central Carolina Conference Player of the Year. He led the Red Wolves to the CCC Conference Championship, where they face Carrboro in the 3A State Dual Team Tournament in the opening round. Mayhew reached the final of the 3A Mideast Regionals. In the opening round of the 2022 regionals, Mayhew defeated Luke O’Donnell of Franklinton 6-1, 6-0. In the quarterfinals, Mayhew defeated Pham 6-2, 6-2. In the semifinals, Mayhew rolled past Jacob Womble of Lee County to reach the finals.

In the 2022 3A State Tournament in Greensboro, Mayhew won over Ajay Swisher of St. Stephens 6-0, 6-1. In the opening round of the 3A State Tournament, Mayhew knocked off J.J. Werner of First Flight 6-0, 6-2. In the quarterfinals, Mayhew advanced beating Shiv Patel of South Point 6-0, 6-2.

Mayhew is only the third player ever from Hillsborough to play for a state singles championship. He is the first one to do it multiple times. The only player from Orange High to ever accomplish that feat was Britton Webb in the 2006 2A final. Will Rollinson of Cardinal Gibbons defeated Webb 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.

Last week, Mayhew was named the Central Carolina Conference Player of the Year for the second year in a row. Last fall, he officially signed to play at Belmont-Abbey College in Belmont. He will start next fall.

Last summer, Mayhew was named Best Tennis Player at the HighSchoolOT.com Honors in Raleigh. He is up for that same honor once again this year.

Next weekend, Mayhew will have one more trip to the 3A State Tournament, which is slated to be played at the Burlington Tennis Center once again. He will start in the round of 16. The semifinals and the championship match are scheduled for Saturday.

Mayhew’s sister, Cameron, also plays at Cedar Ridge. Josh is a regular at her matches during the fall whenever he’s away from his relentless training schedule.

Odds and Sods: Mayhew, Richards-Baker lead Cedar Ridge men’s tennis past Orange; golf scores

Men’s Tennis: Cedar Ridge 5, Orange 4: The first matchup between Cedar Ridge and Orange on March 13 boiled down to one doubles match, which Orange captured.

On April 13, the Red Wolves turned the tables.

Walker Richards-Baker and Lev Bearman won the match at #2 doubles for the Red Wolves that clinched a 5-4 victory over Orange. Richards-Baker and Bearman teamed to win 8-3.

It was Cedar Ridge’s fifth win in a dual match over Orange in their last six meetings.

Cedar Ridge’s Josh Mayhew, who played for the 3A singles Regional Championship each of the last two years, won both of his matches. He captured a victory at #1 singles 6-1, 6-0. At #1 doubles, Mayhew teamed with Bowen Wood to win 8-3.

The two teams split the six singles matches. In addition to Mayhew, Bearman prevailed at #2 singles 6-1, 6-1. At #3 singles, Richards-Baker defeated Nathan Lavalonis 6-2, 6-2.

Orange sophomore Cameron Foster defeated Wood at #4 6-2, 6-0. The Panthers’ Brendon Kassler defeated Colin Fulcher 6-4, 6-1. And Panther freshman Quincy Stanley captured the longest singles match of the day, holding off Landon Rogers 6-4, 7-5.

At #3 doubles, Kassler and Stanley won 8-6.

Cedar Ridge 6, Walter Williams 3: Cedar Ridge won four of its six singles matches to complete a season sweep of the Bulldogs in Burlington on Monday.

Mayhew, who is 12-1 in singles this year, defeated Ty Lagana 6-0, 6-1. Mayhew also teamed with Bowen Wood to win at #1 doubles over Lagana and Andrew Brasington 8-3, which clinched the match for Cedar Ridge.

Landon Rogers and.Colin Fulcher each won two matches. Rogers defeated Aydin Shibata 6-4, 6-1 at #6 singles. Fulcer won at #5 over Res Sharpe 6-4, 6-3. At #3 doubles, Rogers and Fulcher teamed to defeat Sharpe and Shibata 8-2.

Lev Bearman defeated Alex Brown 6-2, 7-5 at #2 singles.

Carrboro 8, Cedar Ridge 1: On Wednesday, the Jaguars defeated the Red Wolves. Mayhew won at #1 singles for Cedar Ridge. He defeated Jonathan Baddour 6-4, 6-3. Cedar Ridge is 5-8, 4-5 in the Central Carolina Conference.

Western Alamance 8, Orange 1: In Elon, Orange’s #3 doubles team of Quincy Stanley and Ryan Jouannet defeated Zane Van Fleet and Keith Johnson 8-4. The Panthers are 6-10, 1-7 in the CCC.

Men’s Golf: On Thursday, the Orange golf team finished third in the sixth CCC meet of the year. Orange senior Thomas Loch had the lowest score of the day for the Panthers with 40 strokes through nine holes. Josh Roberts finished with a 43. Cooper Zinn carded a 44 and Orange finished with 178 strokes. Walter Williams finished first with 171 strokes , just one stroke ahead of Western Alamance.

Connor McMurtry had a 51 for Orange. Logan Scarantino and R.J. Roemmich also participated for Orange.

Cedar Ridge finished in fourth place with 181 strokes. Dylan Froehling had the lowest score for the Red Wolves with a 41. Rowan Parker followed with a 46 for the Red Wolves. Brad Monschein, Ward Mann and Drew Langevin each finished with a 47. Eric Swanson had a 51.

Northwood finished with 191 strokes. Person was sixth with 193 while Eastern Alamance collective carded a 198.


Cedar Ridge’s Mayhew wins High School OT Award for Best Men’s Tennis Player

Josh Mayhew is such a constant, daily presence at tennis courts across Hillsborough, he’s on a first name basis with opposing players from rival Orange High School.

Even though he attends Cedar Ridge, a standard workday for Mayhew starts at 6:45 each morning when he drives to Orange High’s tennis courts to hit balls with friends or by himself. After classes, he’ll have a hitting session, followed by cardio training. On match days, if Cedar Ridge’s finishes its business quickly and successfully enough, Mayhew will hang around and hit balls off the fence to himself long after the sun goes down, even if the only people remaining have their backs turned to him as they watch a nearby softball game.

All that effort has led Mayhew to achieve unprecedented accomplishments at Cedar Ridge. This summer, he added one more.

In June, Mayhew was honored as the Best Men’s Tennis Player in the state of North Carolina during the HighSchoolOT Honors. Mayhew was awarded during a ceremony at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh on June 18.

Mayhew, who will start his senior season later this month, was also named the Central Carolina Conference Player of the Year. It comes after he led Cedar Ridge to its first conference championship in men’s tennis as a 3A school. The Red Wolves also reached the 3A State Dual Team Playoffs under head coach Steve Mayhew, a former player at Orange.

Individually, Mayhew reached the 3A State Men’s Tennis Final in May. A week earlier, Mayhew played for the Mideast Regional Final at the Burlington Tennis Center. He became the first Cedar Ridge men’s tennis player to reach the state and regional finals twice.

Last spring, Mayhew went 13-2 in singles play. His only two losses came against Terry Sanford freshman Drew Hedgecoe, who claimed the state championship.

In both of his varsity seasons, Mayhew’s only losses for each respective season have come against the eventual state singles champions. In 2021, Chapel Hill’s Dennis Perumov won the state and regional championships.

Last spring, Mayhew opened the 3A State Tennis Tournament with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over J.J. Woerner of First Flight at the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center in Greensboro. In the quarterfinals, Mayhew defeated Shiv Patel of South Point 6-0, 6-2. Mayhew reached his second straight state final with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Ajay Swisher of St. Stephens.

Mayhew has led Cedar Ridge to its most successful years since moving to 3A in 2013. Between 2016-2020, the Red Wolves had just one winning season. In his first full varsity season in 2021, Mayhew helped Cedar Ridge to a 9-4 season.

In the 2021 state tournament, Mayhew defeated Nicholas Clementi of Charlotte Catholic 6-3, 6-1 in the opening round at the Burlington Tennis Center. In the quarterfinals, Mayhew fought through some cramps in the second set to defeat Ben Jones of Clayton 7-5, 7-5. In the semifinals, Mayhew upended Soham Pradhan of Marvin Ridge 6-2, 6-4. He became just the second singles player in Hillsborough tennis history to reach a state final.

Orange’s Britton Webb reached the 2A State Final in 2005, where he lost to Cardinal Gibbons’ Will Rollinson, who eventually won three state championships.

Immediately after facing Hedgecoe for the state championship, Mayhew was right back at work in various individual tournaments across the region. There was one in Rome, Georgia, and another in Cary.

Mayhew’s younger sister, Cameron, will start her junior season for the Cedar Ridge women’s team when they travel to face Southern Alamance in its season opener next Tuesday. Cameron Mayhew qualified for the Mideast Regionals singles tournament in June 2021, her freshman year.

The Cedar Ridge women’s tennis team will have its home opener against Voyager Academy on August 30.

Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week: Josh Mayhew

This week’s Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week is junior men’s tennis player Josh Mayhew. In just two years at the varsity level, Mayhew has become the first player in school history to reach the 3A State Singles championship match. In fact, he has done it twice. This season carried an extra since of accomplishment for Mayhew. He not only was named the top player in the Central Carolina Conference. Mayhew helped the Cedar Ridge men’s tennis team to the Central Carolina Conference championship. During the regular season, Mayhew was undefeated in singles play. He faced the top singles players in the area and posted wins against competitors from schools like Chapel Hill and Carrboro, which won the 3A State Team Championship. For the second straight year, Mayhew also reached the 3A Mideast Regional Championship singles match. He is the first Cedar Ridge player to accomplish that feat ever. His father, Steve Mayhew, is the head coach of the Red Wolves men’s and women’s tennis programs. Josh’s sister, Cameron, is the top singles player for Cedar Ridge’s women’s tennis team. Josh has lofty plans for his senior season and has already participated in off-season tournaments in Georgia and Greensboro in preparation for 2023. 

Narrow miss; Cedar Ridge’s Mayhew finishes 2nd in 3A State Men’s Tennis Championships

One. There has been only one.

In each of the two seasons where Cedar Ridge men’s tennis junior Josh Mayhew has finished a season, there was one person who has beaten him each year and kept him from winning the 3A State Singles Championship.

In 2021, it was a senior from Chapel Hill. This year, it was a freshman from Terry Sanford High.

On Saturday at the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center in Greensboro, Drew Hedgecoe faced Mayhew for the second straight weekend. With the 3A State Championship on the line, Hedgecoe held off Mayhew 6-3, 7-5. It was the second consecutive year where the state championship boiled down to the top two players from the Mideast Region. Last Saturday at the Burlington Tennis Center, Hedgecoe defeated Mayhew 6-2, 6-3 in the Mideast Regional final.

Mayhew became the first player ever from Cedar Ridge to reach the state singles final in back-to-back years.

“We used to play tournament together when I was about ten,” Mayhew said about Hedgecoe. “We used to be around the same skill level. He just got really good.”

In 2021, Chapel Hill senior Dennis Perumov defeated Mayhew, then a sophomore, in both the state championship and Mideast Regional final. He was the only singles player to beat Mayhew last year.

Facing the best in the state, Mayhew wasn’t seriously challenged leading up to the state championship match on Friday. In the opening round, Mayhew defeated J.J. Woerner of First Flight 6-0, 6-2. In the quarterfinals, Mayhew rolled past Shiv Patel of South Point 6-0, 6-2.

In the semifinals, Mayhew turned back the challenge of Ajay Swisher of St. Stephens 6-0, 6-1.

Hedgecoe was just as dominant throughout the tournament. He lost only two games in the opening three matches. Last week in the Mideast Regionals, Hedgecoe didn’t lose a game in his three matches leading up to the regional championship dual with Mayhew.

Mayhew concludes what has been the most successful season for Cedar Ridge men’s tennis since they joined the 3A ranks in 2012. The Red Wolves won the Central Carolina Conference Championship. Mayhew went 19-2 this season. His only losses came against Hedgecoe.

Any parent who has dropped their child off to Orange Middle School may have already seen Mayhew working out and just didn’t realize it.

On March 14, after Cedar Ridge had finished a 9-0 win over Western Alamance, just about everyone went home. As the Red Wolves’ softball team played its own game against the Warriors, Mayhew remained on Cedar Ridge’s tennis court, where he had just won a singles match over Samuel Durham (6-0, 6-0), then teamed with teammate Seth Upchurch to win at #1 doubles 8-5.

While everyone else’s attention was turned to the softball game, Mayhew stayed behind and worked out by himself until the lights at the softball field were off.

Mayhew’s insatiable work ethic starts with a daily workout at 6:45 inside the Orange High Tennis Courts, where his father Steve (who is also the head coach of the Cedar Ridge men’s and women’s tennis teams) once played as a member of the Orange Panthers. After classes at Cedar Ridge, he has practice along with fitness sessions five days a week.

“There’s foot speed, sprints, a three-mile run, just to see how fast how I can do it,” Mayhew said. “Some matches against teams just aren’t very good hitting sessions, so I have to do more.”

Mayhew’s dominance throughout the course of this season was reflected through a rigorous schedule. This year, Mayhew faced Chapel Hill’s top player, Ayan Patel, 6-2, 6-2. The Tigers won the championship of the DAC-VII Conference. Mayhew also knocked off Carrboro’s Jonathan Baddour 6-2, 4-6, 10-3 on March 21. It was the only time during the regular season that Mayhew dropped a set. Mayhew defeated Baddour again in the 3A State Dual Team Tournament last month. After winning the Northern Lakes Conference championship, the Jaguars have reached the quarterfinals of the State Team Tournament, where they will host West Carteret later today.

In addition to Mayhew, Orange’s doubles team of senior Justin Conover and freshman Porter Pelphrey reached the state quarterfinals. After finishing fourth in the Mideast Regionals, Conover and Pelphrey defeated Wilson Fike’s Snyder Pearson and Hatten Gore 5-7, 6-3, 7-6. Conover and Pelphrey won the tiebreaker 7-2 to advance to the round of eight.

Shelby Crest’s Sam Thomas and Jonathan Peeler defeated Conover and Pelphrey 7-5, 6-3. In another testament to the power of Mideast Regional tennis, Carrboro’s tandem of Aidan Chung and Jonathan Baddour won the 3A State Championship, beating Costen Holtzman and Griffin Lovern 6-2, 6-4. Chung and Baddour, who also won the Mideast Regional championship, lost only nine game in four matches in the state tournament.

Cedar Ridge’s Josh Mayhew discusses qualifying for 3A State Championships

For the second year in a row, Cedar Ridge’s Josh Mayhew has qualified for the 3A State Singles Men’s Tennis Tournament. On Saturday, Mayhew reached the finals of the 3A Mideast Regionals at the Burlington Tennis Center. In the semifinals, Mayhew defeated Jacob Womble of Lee County in the semifinals to reach the regional championship match against Terry Sanford’s Drew Hedgecoe, a freshman who eventually won the championship. This year has brought plenty of success for Mayhew and the entire Cedar Ridge men’s tennis team. The Red Wolves captured the Central Carolina Conference championship. Mayhew went undefeated during the regular season. He became the first Cedar Ridge player in school history to reach a regional final in back-to-back years. On Friday, Mayhew started the regional round by beating Luke O’Donnell of Franklinton 6-1, 6-0. Mayhew qualified for the state championships after beating Jayden Pham of Terry Sanford 6-2, 6-2. Mayhew was the only person in the tournament to win a game against Hedgecoe. Mayhew will start play in the 3A State Championships on Friday in Burlington. 

Cedar Ridge’s Mayhew nominated for High SchoolOT.com Tennis Player of the Year, Cunningham for Female Coach of the Year

The nominations are out for the HighSchooolOT.com Honors for 2022, operated by Capitol Broadcasting, and Cedar Ridge has two finalists.

In the category of Boys Tennis Player of the Year, Cedar Ridge junior Josh Mayhew is one of five nominees. Also nominated are Carrboro’s Aidan Chung, Greensboro Grimsley’s Carl Gedlitchka, Greensboro Day’s Carter McWhorter and Carmel Christian’s Gabe Avram.

For the award of Female Coach of the Year (regardless of sport), Cedar Ridge volleyball coach Fiona Cunningham is one of the five nominees. Joining Cunningham on the finalists list are Alston Godbold, the head coach of the Green Level Volleyball team; Deb Clarke of the Fuquay-Varina volleyball team; Kerri Snipes, the women’s basketball coach at Northwood; and Julie van Olden of the Marvin Ridge women’s tennis team.

Voters are allowed to go to HighSchoolOT.com and vote once per day until May 15. The finalists will be honored during an awards ceremony at the Duke Energy for Performing Arts Center on June 18 in Raleigh.

The High SchoolOT.Com honors are statewide and not limited to one geographic region.

Last May, Mayhew became the first Cedar Ridge men’s tennis player to reach the finals of the 3A State Tennis Singles Tournament. This season, Mayhew helped Cedar Ridge win its conference conference championship in men’s tennis. On Wednesday, the Red Wolves will face Carrboro in the opening round of the 3A State Dual Team Tennis Tournament.

As Cedar Ridge’s #1 singles player, Mayhew was named the Central Carolina Conference Player of the Year. He qualified for the Mideast Regionals, which will start this Friday at the Burlington Tennis Center. If Mayhew advances to the semifinals, he will qualify for the 3A State Championships for the second straight year.

This season, Mayhew went 12-0 as a singles player as the Red Wolves went 9-1 in the Central Carolina Conference. He faced players from Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Northwood en route to an undefeated regular season.

In her second season at Cedar Ridge, Cunningham led the Red Wolves to the 3A State Championship in volleyball last November. It was the first state championship by a women’s team in school history. The only other female team to ever win a state championship in Hillsborough was the 2017 Orange High softball team.

Cunnigham’s first season as Cedar Ridge head coach (in 2020-2021) was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but she hit the ground running. In her second game as a head coach on November 19, 2020, the Red Wolves swept Chapel Hill 3-0 at Smith Middle School. The Tigers were a year removed from winning the 3A Eastern Regional Championship. Cunningham played at Chapel Hill High and served as an assistant coach under current Tigers head coach Ross Fields before starting her head coaching career with the Red Wolves, replacing Anna Seethaler.

In two seasons as a head coach, Cunningham is 23-0 against conference opponents. She has won two conference regular season championships, the 2021 Central Carolina Conference Tournament championship, and the 2021 3A Eastern Regional championship. Last November, the Red Wolves defeated North Iredell 3-1 at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh for the 3A State Championship.

Playing in possibly the toughest 3A conference in the state, Cunningham played a non-conference schedule that was every bit as rigorous. On August 20, 2021, the first Friday night of the academic year, the Red Wolves made it clear this would be a special season when they defeated D.H. Conley, the defending 3A State Champions, 3-0 in Greenville. Cedar Ridge also played Conley in Hillsborough, as well as Chapel Hill, Green Hope, Carrboro and Pinecrest. The Red Wolves faced Northwood, Person and Orange in conference play, all of whom were ranked in the #10 of the 3A East Region.

Cunningham, who formerly played at UNC Asheville, managed to accomplish winning the state championship while expecting her first child. Tony Collichio arrived just in time to see his mother’s favorite basketball team, the UNC Tar Heels, make the most surprising run to the NCAA Championship game in school history.