As a sit down to write on the night of September 11, the natural reflex is to write about my memories of September 11.
Then it dawned on me that it’s been 22 years now and this is a high school website. None of the students who read were alive that. They can’t relate to a country that wasn’t nearly as divided back then as it is now.
At the risk of sounding old (like that’s new), the fact America could be the subject of a foreign attack was unheard of in 2001. I worked at WDNC/WCHL, two radio stations inside Durham Bulls Athletic Park when the attacks happened. When the second plane went into the World Trade Center, my General Manager informed me I would have to go in the control room, interrupt regular programming, look at the video on a monitor airing CNN and describe them to our audience.
It was surreal and I wish I could remember what I said, but I honestly can’t. But here’s what I do remember.
That night, Republicans and Democrats who served in Congress stood together on the White House steps and sang “God Bless America.” After the attacks, the content of people’s character really did matter more than the color of their skin.
For about three weeks.
As another birthday comes up for me later this month, I regret time goes by so quickly. As much damage as the last few years have done on optimism, I hope at some point in my life, America will be that united again.
So, let’s get to what we’re here for. The Magnificent Seven for week three, ranging from August 27-through September 2. The best performances from Orange and Cedar Ridge athletes in no particular order.
- Gabriel Schmid, Orange, Sr.: The defending 3A State Cross County champion continued a strong start to his final season in Hillsborough. He won the opening meet of the season at Person High on August 30 with a time of 18:39. It was a full 46 second ahead of the nearest competitor. Orange, the two-time defending CCC champions, won the opening meet over Cedar Ridge, Person and Southern Alamance.
- Naomi Dyreng, Cedar Ridge, Jr.: Dyreng, who won three regional championships at the 3A Mideast Outdoor Track and Field Championships last spring, finished first for the Cedar Ridge women’s cross country meet in a quad-meet against Orange, Person and Southern Alamance. Dyreng finished with a time of 22:35. Her teammate, Abigail Klaitman, came in at 22:50 as the Cedar Ridge women captured the meet in Roxboro.
- Claire Hargett, Cedar Ridge, Soph.: The Cedar Ridge volleyball team opened its CCC scheduled with win over Person and Cedar Ridge. Hargett had 14 kills, 15 digs and one ace in the Person win. In Graham, Hargett had a dig when the Patriots were serving on set point that ultimately tied the opening set. Hargett would finish with 13 kills and 19 digs as the Red Wolves swept the Patriots inside of a sultry Patriots Gymnasium.
- Ava Wilkerson, Orange, Soph.: Orange continued its long road swing with wins over Jordan and Western Alamance. Wilkerson had ten kills and five blocks for the Lady Panthers against the Falcons in Durham. She followed with eleven kills, a block and an ace in the sweep of Western Alamance, the Lady Panthers’ CCC opener in Elon.
- Jonam Juarez, Cedar Ridge, Sr.: Juarez scored the game-winning goal with 3:13 remaining as the Red Wolves men’s soccer team battled back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Seaforth 3-2 in Pittbsoro. Juarez finished with two goals, the first of his varsity career as Cedar Ridge remained undefeated. Giovani Yanez also had a goal for Cedar Ridge.
- Shannon Sollars, Orange, Jr.: Sollars won three matches for the Orange women’s tennis team against Western Alamance and Walter Williams. Against the Warriors, Sollars defeated Reagan Williams 6-1, 6-4. Later in the night, Sollars teamed with her sister, Erinn, to defeat Amelia Weaver and Williams 8-3. Against Williams, the Sollars sisters defeated Abigail Brown and Lindley Oler 8-5.
- Catherine Ballenger, Cedar Ridge, Sr. The Cedar Ridge women’s tennis team won its opening CCC match with a 8-1 win at Southern Alamance on August 30. Ballenger won her singles match over Ava Lynch 6-0, 6-1. In doubles action, Ballenger teamed with Ella Caltabiano to defeat Paicey Cameron and Madalyn Corbett 8-1. Ballenger has won seven matches overall this year.