Fall Sports Briefs

Cross Country

Despite losing some of their top senior athletes, the Riverside cross-country team has high hopes for the upcoming season. 

The team broke two school records on Sept. 8. Junior Philip Blum placed sixth overall with a 15:50 in the 5k. Elizabeth Healy came in twelfth, breaking her own record with a time of 18:41.

“[Last year’s seniors] were incredible leaders and motivators, but we are still a strong team,” said senior Eli Pope. “For example, on the boys’ side we have 9-10 guys ready to fill out 7 spots and the girls’ side is very similar, so we are very prepared for a great and productive season.” 

The runners worked hard all summer to prepare for the season. In addition to summer workouts, the team also took its annual training trip to Black Mountain. 

“We meet six days a week,” said Pope, “at 6:45 in the morning [during the week], and Saturday mornings at 7am downtown for a long run. And all the practices are mandatory.”

The Pirates’ have upcoming meets on September 16 and 20.

By Emmett Flynn

Men’s Soccer

The pirates pose after a 5-2 victory against CB Aycock High School. Photo by Yadira Martinez-Reyes.

Although the men’s soccer team started off with a similar record to last year, the dynamic is vastly different.

“I think that the varsity team this year looks like they are more engaged, more excited, and more prepared for the endurance that it takes to make it through an entire season compared to last year,” Assistant Coach Sarah Cade states.

Head Coach Alex Ramirez decided to focus on unifying the team this season. He organized a team bonding trip to North Myrtle Beach, SC during the summer, something that the team has never done before.

“It was obvious on the team that there was clear groups, Ramirez said. “There was kind of the group of Hispanic boys that would kind of be together always in social situations. And then the group of, you know, mostly white guys who would be together.”

Ramirez said that the social dynamics aren’t a huge deal, but sometimes affect the team’s play.

“When things go wrong in the game, then the two camps, they separate,” he said. “The Hispanic boys go with themselves and the white guys go with themselves and we have lack of communication between the groups.”

Many of the players believe the trip did help the team come together.

“We got a lot of team bonding going and we really improved ourselves,” junior captain John Feller said.
Playing in a scrimmage versus New Hanover High School in Wilmington helped, but Ramirez’s favorite memory happened off the field.

‘We were kicking the ball around just to get our legs loose before we got back in the bus,” he said. “One of the boys was looking straight up at the ball in the air. He stepped and didn’t realize that he had stepped on like a plastic cover. He reached for the ball, slipped backwards, and he fell flat on his back. The Hispanic boys, all the white guys, everybody was laughing and carrying on and I said ‘Okay, this is a good sign.’”

On the field, with an addition of 10 new varsity players, and 10 returning players Ramirez thinks the team has a lot of potential this season, especially offensively.

“We have a lot of talent as far as trying to score goals. The four boys who are rotating [at forward] in there are really hard workers,” he said. “They’re talented. They like playing with each other.”

Currently 3-3, the Pirates have three more non-conference matches before taking on Hillside on Sept. 21.

By Yadira Martinez-Reyes

Women’s Tennis

Tinsley Johnson pictured in play. Tinsey is a freshman at Riverside. Photo by Saul Janiak-Stein.

Despite weather disrupting three of the women’s tennis team’s first five matches, the Pirates are excited for the season.

Currently 1-2 overall, the team lost to Chapel Hill on Monday with one match unfinished due to  low light.

“This is the best I’ve seen the team working together than I have in the last four years, so I’m really excited for the rest of this season,” said senior Rachael Ades.

A promising group of freshmen, two of whom are already in the top six, has head coach Steve Rochkind looking to surpass last year’s 6-11 record.

“[This] may be the best incoming freshman class in my experience,” said Head Coach Steve Rochkind.
Rochkind also praised all the players for their academic strength in addition to their athleticism. Many of the players are straight-A students, and senior Emma Wilcox is even in the running for valedictorian.

“They have the ability to solve problems on the court, which is a real talent for a tennis player,” he said.
The Pirates continue conference play on Sept 13. against Jordan and host East Chapel Hill on Sept. 18.

By Austin Wymore


Michael Allen (19) runs the ball down the field. Allen has a total of 144 receiving yards this season. Photo by Saul Janiak-Stein

The Riverside football team hopes a rough start helps them finish the season strong. 

After defeating Cedar Ridge in their first game, the Pirates were blown out by Sanderson and South View, then lost in overtime to South Granville on Friday, Sept. 8. 

Despite starting 1-3, the team is still confident they will make the playoffs. Teams qualify for the playoffs based on how they perform in conference games. Riverside’s first conference game is Sept. 29 against Hillside. 

The team placed fourth in the conference last year, but head coach Cory Lea is optimistic they can improve.

“We are set up to finish third this year, no worse than that,” Lea said. “[The goal is] to finish the season just being a lot better football team than we were in the beginning.” 

Players remain optimistic, too. 

“If we work as a real team, we might place higher than we did last year, but we got to work together,” said sophomore defensive back Jashawn Wiley. 

Wiley is one of several young players on this year’s team. The team’s seniors hope that the non-conference games give them the experience they need heading into the most important part of their schedule. 

 “This is a growing season,” said senior defensive tackle Damari Bunch. “We got enough people to go places, but at the same time the young guys haven’t been in a situation like this.” 

There are only two more home games this season for the student body to bring energy and show out, unless the team hosts a playoff game. 

“We just gotta take it one game at a time,” said defensive line coach Markus Crutchfield. “If we do what we are supposed to, we can definitely come out on top and then make a deep run in the playoffs like we plan to.”

By Elodie Page

Women’s Field Hockey

The team travels across the field in a game against Saint Mary’s High School. Photo by Callum Horgan

The women’s field hockey team is on the rise. 

Last year, the Pirates had no wins and scored zero goals, but the team got its first win in two years on Sept. 11 in a 1-0 thriller against Cape Fear Academy.

Sophomore Nehir Volkan scored the game’s only goal two minutes into the third quarter on a reverse.

The win improved the Pirates to 1-2. 

“I think it’s only the first one of many and we’re gonna have a fun time this season,” said senior Eva Monson. 

After going all season without scoring a goal last year, they already have 3. Junior Quinne Rizzuto and sophomore Isabelle Abadie scored the team’s first two goals of the season in a game that went into overtime against Cape Fear Academy earlier this fall. 

Not only has field hockey won their first game but the team has grown in size. Last season the team had sixteen players and this season they have 22. 

The Pirates next play Carrboro on Sept. 20.

“I think we’re getting more confident in ourselves and we’ve learned a lot from last year,” Rizzuto said.

By Delia Aguilar


The team faces off against Saint Mary’s High School. Photo by Lana Mcllvaine.

The varsity volleyball team had a rough season last fall, but the players are optimistic that this season will be different.

According to senior Lauren Powrie and sophomore Kensey Craft, players have already shown improvement.

“I feel like we are becoming more of a team rather than playing individually,” said Craft.
By establishing teamwork early on, they hope the team will be able to beat opponents whom they lost to last season. And so far, the players’ predictions are true.

The team is currently 3-3. Last year the team began with a 4-2 record but Powrie believes this year’s opponents have been stronger. Craft is also hopeful about the talent new freshmen bring to the team.

Freshman Nureen Khan is on course to fill the position of libero (a back row player who specializes in defense and is allowed to go on and off the court behind the ten foot line) after Rachel Kirsch graduates.

“Our libero is a senior, so she’ll be moving up next year and won’t be here anymore,” Craft says. “Having [Khan] for the next four years will be helpful,” said Craft.

Riverside opened conference play at Hillside on Sept. 14 and will host Chapel Hill on Tuesday.

By Saul Janiak Stein

Leave a Reply