Thursday, May 20, 2010

Myers Park, Latin, Country Day, Catholic, Prov Day celebrate state titles

When Mike Gambrill came to Myers Park in 2007, he wasn’t even thinking about a state championship. Three years later, Gambrill and his Mustang boys’ lacrosse team are still celebrating their 2010 NCHSAA championship 15-11 win over Apex in Cary.

The Mustangs victory was not a victory for the Myers Park program, but also for Charlotte lacrosse overall, especially for a team that was 20-18 combined in two years coming into this season.

“I am really excited for our guys after all the hard work they have put in,” Gambrill said. “But this is also a win for Charlotte lacrosse, in general. After Providence won it (state title) last year, now us (Myers Park) this year, I think it really says a lot about the quality of the game in Charlotte.”

Myers Park, 19-1 overall this season, was at their best the in the playoffs taking out state powers Lake Norman, Charlotte Catholic and Greensboro Grimsley along the way before beating the two-time 3A defending state champion, Apex, in the final.

“I was really proud of the team effort that we had all year,” Gambrill said, saying three seasons ago he had some individual talent without a team attitude. “We had 85-90 percent of our team working at least three days a week all year round for this. I think that kind of commitment to the team and the program is something you can’t find everywhere.”

While Myers Park won as a team, senior Craig Passenant was also at his best scoring five goals to earn MVP of the state championship. Passenant had 38 goals this season.

Cougar Championship

The Charlotte Catholic girls’ lacrosse team also won their first state championship ever beating as the Cougars outlasted Wilmington Hoggard 12-11 in the finals in Cary.

Catholic (18-2) got the go-ahead goal from all-state attacker Catherine Ellis to take a 9-8 lead, and never looked back.

Cougar goalkeeper Bridget Hogan also had 14 saves to earn MVP honors.

Country Day double

The Charlotte Country Day boys’ and girls’ lacrosse teams also won NCISAA 3A state titles. The Buccaneers boys won their third straight title beating Providence Day 9-4 to finish 18-1 overall on the season.

William Anderson, Connor Dunaway, Dave D’Alessandro and Thomas Passenant were named all-state for Country Day. Providence Day’s Kevin Sherrill was also named to the all-state team.

The Buccaneer girls’ won NCISAA 3A girls title 14-12 over Raleigh Ravenscroft. Bella Lovett led the way with five goals.

Ashley Brady, Kathryn Gach, Lovett, Brittian Lynch, Francie Mangan and Hastings Wilson were all named to the all-state team.

The Perfect Season

The Charlotte Latin girls’ soccer team also won their third consecutive state championship, beating archrival Country Day 1-0 in the final. The Hawks finished a perfect 20-0 on the season, winning their 37th consecutive game along the way.

Head coach, Lee Horton, won his 816th game of his career and sixth state title with the Hawks girls’ team.

“I really couldn’t think of a better way for a high school team, especially the seniors, to go out,” Charlotte Latin senior goalkeeper Kristin Horton said, Lee’s daughter who is also a three-time all-state selection. “We had a flawless season and I don’t think many teams ever get to do that.”

Horton and senior McCallie Jones were named all-state while the Bucs’ Courtney Stutts was also an all-state pick.

Latin Run

The Charlotte Latin boys’ and girls’ track teams won NCISAA state titles. The Hawks’ girl’s team won its fifth straight state title winning five different events (including relays)

The Hawks’ boys’ squad won their second title in three years, winning four events.

Providence Day’s Varonica Johnson became the first athlete in 30 years to win all three sprints in the same year.

Tennis Talk

Providence Day won its first state tennis title in its 40-year history. Senior John Banks, who will play at William & Mary next year, led the way for the Chargers and was also named all-state.

“We’ve felt like we had the talent to win the state title for several years,” Providence Day coach Ryan Harper said. “We just (had) to go out on the court and prove it.”

-- Special Correspondent Jay Edwards