Cedar Ridge Football

Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week: Mason Cates

This week’s Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week is senior quarterback Mason Cates. Mason is known for several sports at Cedar Ridge, namely for baseball. This season, he was the quarterback and linebacker for the Red Wolves under first-year head coach Brent Bailey. He was one of many players who helped keep the Friday night lights on at Cedar Ridge after the Red Wolves didn’t field a football team in 2018 and 2021, helping the students receive the full high school experience with Homecoming, Senior Nights and rivalry games. Last month, Mason signed to play baseball with Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory. Cates was an All-Central Conference selection for the Red Wolves last season. He was a pitcher. 1st baseman and outfielder for a Cedar Ridge team that reached the state playoffs for the second straight year. Among the highlights of Cates season came against Walter Williams on March 7, when he had a two-run single in the second inning to help the Red Wolves beat the Bulldogs 6-2. In February, Cates will start his fourth season on the varsity baseball team under head coach Bryson Massey. He will be one of several experienced pitchers back for Cedar Ridge, who will look to challenge for the Central Conference championship.

Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week: Mason Cates

This week’s Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week is senior quarterback Mason Cates. Mason is known for several sports at Cedar Ridge, namely for baseball. This season, he was the quarterback and linebacker for the Red Wolves under first-year head coach Brent Bailey.

The Magnificent 7, Week 6: Cedar Ridge football is keeping Friday Night Lights on

Since the formation of the Central Carolina Conference in 2021, it’s no secret that the Alamance County schools have formed the nucleus of football power.

It’s only gotten stronger this year with the addition of Southern Alamance, who dropped down from 4A to 3A over the summer. It’s like having Georgia (Eastern Alamance), Ole Miss (Southern Alamance), Tennessee (Walter Williams) and Western Alamance (Missouri) in your league with dozens of players who grew up playing football in Alamance County’s Pop Warner leagues.

That would make it easier for Cedar Ridge High School not to field a football team.

But they haven’t quit. Every weekday morning, head coach Brent Bailey holds practice for the Red Wolves behind the softball field and tennis courts. When they’re done at 8AM, the teams walks uphill to class, which could be a metaphor for Cedar Ridge football.

Each week in conference play, and most games overall, the Red Wolves know their opponent will outnumber them. They will have more skill because they grew up with football, starting to play while they’re in 6th grade, if not earlier.

Cedar Ridge is winless. But that’s not the worst thing that can happen to a program.

The most desolate, dispiriting and emotionless thing is having the lights off at Red Wolves Stadium on Friday nights because there isn’t a varsity team at all. And Red Wolves fans and parents should know. It happened in 2018 and 2021.

So if you see a Cedar Ridge football player around class, around Hillsborough or anyplace else for the rest of this year, be sure to thank them. They’re keeping Friday Night Lights alive at Cedar Ridge, the way it should be. Any future success that the Red Wolves program enjoys will be because of them.

With that said, time for the Magnificent 7. The seven best performances during the week of September 18-22, in no particular order.

  1. Malykhai Justice, Orange, Sr. On September 22, against a Walter Williams team that upset Eastern Alamance last week, Justice had three sacks. Justice finished the game with five tackles overall as the Panthers shut out the Bulldogs in the second half. Williams won 28-0. This season, Justice has eight sacks this season for a formidable Orange defense.
  2. Graylinn Serge, Cedar Ridge, Sr.: Had a career-high 24 kills in Cedar Ridge volleyball’s win over Person on September 21. Serge had a double-double against the Rockets with ten digs. She also led the team with four aces. Serge is tied for the team lead with 194 kills. Cedar Ridge appears set to host a game in the state playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
  3. Salomon Hernandez, Cedar Ridge, Sr.: Responsible for the game-winning goal in the biggest win for Cedar Ridge men’s soccer over the past decade. Hernandez scored on a header off an assist from Iilah Babchenko with just over four minutes remaining as the Red Wolves defeated Western Alamance 1-0 on September 19. The win put Cedar Ridge in first place of the CCC, where they remain.
  4. Ella Wimsatt, Orange, Sr.: The Orange volleyball team won three home matches over the span of three days from September 18-20. Wimsatt, who leads the team in kills, had 16 kills and 13 digs against Western Alamance. A day earlier against Falls Lake, Wimsatt had 21 kills and 19 digs in a 3-1 Lady Panthers win. It was the second time this year that Orange defeated a Falls Lake team that was ranked #1 in the 1A East RPI standings.
  5. Emmanuel Mil Cruz, Orange, Sr.: The Orange men’s soccer team won its first conference game of the season over Person on September 18. Mil Cruz notched a goal against the Rockets. Two days later, Orange defeated Southern Alamance 4-3 in Graham. Mil Cruz earned a goal and also assisted on another goal scored by Daniel Romero.
  6. Erinn Sollars, Orange, Sr.: Sollars won both of her singles matches in the Orange women’s tennis team’s 7-2 victory over Western Alamance on September 21. Sollars defeated Amelia Weaver in the #1 singles match. Sollars teamed with her sister Shannon to win the #1 doubles match. Erinn also won her top singles match in Orange’s 9-0 win over Eastern Alamance on September 18.
  7. Catherine Ballenger, Cedar Ridge, Sr.: Ballenger won both of her matches for the Cedar Ridge women’s tennis team on September 20. Ballenger won her singles match 6-0, 6-0, then teamed with Lily Golden to win at #1 doubles. The Cedar Ridge women are on track to make the 3A State Dual Team Tournament for the first time since 2016.


Alumni Update: Former Cedar Ridge punter Gill starts 2nd season with Chicago Bears

Photo Courtesy of USA Today

Trenton Gill: To start his second season with the Chicago Bears, Gill found himself busy in the season opener against the Green Bay Packers at Solider Field. The Packers defeated the Bears 38-20. Gill averaged 53 yards on four punts. His longest was 54. One punt was downed inside the 20-yard line. The Bears will travel to Raymond James Stadium to face Tampa Bay this Sunday.

Bryse Wilson: The Milwaukee Brewers remain in first place in the National League Central. On Wednesday, Wilson threw two-and-two-thirds innings against the Miami Marlins at Miller Park. Wilson allowed only two hits with one walk and no runs. He struck out two. The Marlins defeated the Brewers 2-0. On Saturday, Wilson threw a shutout inning in a 9-2 win over the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. On Friday, Wilson threw another shutout inning as the Brewers defeated the Yankees 8-2. He allowed only one walk. Currently, Wilson is 6-0 with a 2.72 ERA with three saves and 58 strikeouts over 70 innings. As of Thursday night, the Brewers lead the Chicago Cubs by four-and-a-half games in the National League Central.

Payton Wilson: Once again, Wilson was the leading tackler for N.C. State in its 45-24 loss to #10 Notre Dame at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh on Saturday. Wilson had 14 tackles, including one-half of a tackle for a loss. In a play that went viral, Wilson chased down a Notre Dame ballcarrier. He was measured running 23.7 miles per hour on GPS, the fastest on record for a Wolfpack player in a game. Wilson is 7th in FBS with 12 tackles per game. N.C. State will host VMI on Saturday.

Darius Satterfield: Elizabeth City State defeated St. Augustine’s 13-0 in the 26th annual Down East Viking Football Classic at the Rocky Mount Sports Complex on Saturday. Satterfield averaged 33.3 yards per punt on three punts. One was downed inside the 20-yard line. Satterfield also converted an extra point. The Vikings are 1-1.

Ivy Garner: The Liberty women’s soccer team has opened 8-0. Garner scored the game-winning goal for the Flames in a 2-1 win over Longwood on August 31 in Farmville, VA. Garner scored in the 50th minute off an assist from Allison Hansford. On Thursday night, the Flames defeated Appalachian State 2-0 at Osborne Stadium in Lynchburg, VA. Garner scored a goal in the 60th minute for the Flames. It was her only shot on goal. Liberty defeated Marshall 2-0 on September 10. Garner assisted on the second goal, scored in the 79th minute by Rachel DeRuby. Liberty defeated West Virginia 3-1 on September 3. Garner assisted on the game-winning goal by Saydie Holland in the 86th minute. Garner fired two shots, one on net.

Emerson Talley: The Division II Lenoir-Rhyne women’s soccer team played to a 1-1 tie against Florida Tech at Rick Stottler Field in Melbourne, FL. Talley started and played all ninety minutes, getting off two shots. On September 9, the Bears defeated Tusculum 3-0 at the Moretz Sports Athletic Complex to kick off play in the South Atlantic Conference. Talley had two shots on goal in 71 minutes of action. Lenior-Rhyne is undefeated at 2-0-3 and will travel to Limestone on Saturday.

Grace Young: In a mid-week game, Georgia Southern defeated UNC Asheville 3-0 on scores of 25-12, 25-10 and 25-15. Young played in all three sets and had three digs. UNC Asheville will head to Greensboro this weekend to face Charlotte and UNC Greensboro in a UNC Greensboro tri-match on Saturday starting at noon. The Bulldogs are 5-6.

Anaya Carter: The Division II UNC Pembroke volleyball team dropped a hard-fought five set match against Lenoir-Rhyne at Lumbee Guaranty Bank Court (25-9, 19-25, 19-25, 25-16, 15-9). Carter played in all five sets and had seven digs with one ace. The Braves are 4-5. They will host Chowan and Winston-Salem State during a tri-match in Pembroke on Saturday.

Julie Altieri: Division III Salisbury volleyball swept Washington (MD) on Tuesday. Altieri played in two sets and finished with 12 assists, four kills and one dig. Salisbury is 6-1 and will host a tri-match with Gettysburg and William Smith this weekend.