Winter Sports Recap

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article failed to include sophomore Connor Tyrrell qualifying for the state track meet.

Winter Track & Field:

Several winter track and field athletes qualified for states.

Junior Rafaela Drake placed first overall in the state for girls triple jump, she jumped 38 feet, a foot farther than any other girl. 

“I could not stop smiling for so long,” Drake said. “It was just a really happy moment”.

Elizabeth Healy participated in two events at states, placing seventh place in the 1600 meter and fifteenth place in the 3200 meter. Healy set a personal record for the 1600 meter event with a time of 5:12.

Coach Shaun Thompson said that Drake and Healy collectively helped the team to earn seventeenth place overall.

On the men’s side, sophomore Connor Tyrrell competed in the 3200 and the men’s 4x800M team of Owen Transue, Philip Blum, Beau Brebner and Justin Lawrence finished seventeenth. The group is new, young, and excited to return next year. 


Riverside wrestlers pose at the Turkey Day 5k on Duke Campus. Photo courtesy of: riverside_wrestling/Instagram

In their first season under Coach Matthew Hall, the Riverside wrestling team was looking to have a very successful season.

“There was a lot of growth with a new coach,” said senior Valerio Luftig. 

With a strong freshman class and experienced senior leaders, they were one of the best teams in the conference, only losing to Chapel Hill and East Chapel Hill. The team sent many individual members to the regional tournament, including some of the new freshmen. Daniel Dickerson and Wesley Shephard made it far enough in regionals where they qualified for the state tournament.

“It was more successful than other seasons, for me personally but also our team,” said Luftig. 

At the state championship, Dickerson won one of his three matches, while Shepard lost both of his matches. 

Next season, even with the departure of some seniors, the talented younger members will gain experience, and the Riverside wrestling team will still be a strong team with potential to send people to regionals and states. 


Pirate swimmers pose at the Greensboro Aquatic Center after multiple qualified for states. Photo courtesy of: rhs_pirateswim/Instagram

Despite a slow start and a few losses, Riverside swimming finished strong and improved on last year’s success. 

After losing record-setting senior Ryan Weaver, who now swims for NC State, the beginning of the swim season looked grim. But wins over Hillside, Jordan and Chapel Hill were the highlights of the regular season.  

“We did much better than we did last year, that’s for sure,” said junior Elodie Mitchell. 

This year’s top men’s swimmers, who won the most points during meets, included sophomore David Ritchey, sophomore Cole Newman, and junior Otto Schonwalder. 

The women’s team  experienced more success than last year and set multiple school records in 2022-23. 

“Compared to last year, at least for the girls, our relays were better,” said Mitchell. “We split it up so that in our individual events we kind of covered all of them, so we were able to win more of them as well.” 

Both the 200 and 400 women’s freestyle relay posted new records this year with sophomore Katherine Bakelaar, junior Elodie Mitchell, freshman Aubrey Mitchell, sophomore Aubree Spreitzer, and sophomore Chloe Mihaly. Elodie Mitchell also set a school record in the 200 free. 

The women’s team sent multiple athletes to states this year, and placed twenty-seventh overall as a team. Elodie Mitchell and sophomore Chloe Mihaly both participated in individual events and relays, and Bakelaar, Mitchell, and Spreitzer joined them in the relays.

 Riverside’s only diver, sophomore Vivian Brennan, had an outstanding season too, finishing second in regionals and fourth at the state meet. Brennan describes her season, “It was exciting since I improved a lot since last year. And there is still room to grow.”

Women’s Basketball:

Jasmine Chapman poses on the team bus after making the All Tournament Team at the John Jacobs Christmas Tournament in January. Photo courtesy of riversidepirateswbb/Instagram

It was a tough season for the women’s basketball team. 

The Pirates finished 3-22 and low turnout at tryouts put the team at risk of canceling the season altogether, but head coach D’Earnest McLemore recruited additional players to fill out the varsity roster. 

“The season was very wishy washy,” said junior Jasmine Chapman.

Chapman said the team had intense and focused practices, and it improved stamina and overall skill.

“The coaches would have us play against each other, have some days of straight conditioning with all running, some days with only shooting with the automatic shooter, and then some days with just defensive drills,” Chapman said. 

Riverside enjoyed thrilling wins over South Granville and Wake Christian Academy and powered past Northern in a 39-27 victory at home. 

All of the team’s key players will return next year.

Juleah Somers, who was one of five freshmen on the varsity roster, said the team stuck together throughout the season.

“My favorite part of the season was my teammates,” she said.

Men’s Basketball:

Riverside Men’s basketball players pose after their senior night win over Southern Alamance. Photo courtesy of Collin Phillips

The 2022-23 men’s basketball season came to an end at Millbrook in the first round of the state playoffs. 

The Pirates cut a third-quarter deficit from 22 to 6 points in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t quite finish the comeback.

The team finished the season 12-14 and 4th in the conference. 

Despite this less than ideal end to the season, the pirates were still happy with their results.

“We had a good group and a good season,” said captain Flash Hairston. “It was better than last season, we were all together all the time, we went out bowling and had lots of fun”. 

Corey Hairston Jr, the team’s top scorer, agreed. “We stood together, and would crack jokes, to help us stay motivated. This season was definitely better than last years, we won more and it was just much more fun and entertaining”. 

Hariston who averaged 16.8 points per game helped lead the team to their victories. He had a season-high 35 points in a road win at Southern Alamance and his best overall game in a comeback victory against Durham Academy, posting 16 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds. 

Junior Xavier McQueen contributed in every facet for the Pirates, averaging 5.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Many of his best performances came when he scored very few points, but would fill the stat sheet with rebounds, assists, and steals.

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