Bugs vs. Ballers: a look into rec basketball

Stink Bug Nation poses after Monday’s game. From left to right: Mason Cox, Lincoln Wurster, Jack Morgan, Daniel Sheyko, Sebastian Phalling, Teddy Johnson, and Braden Hunter.
Photo courtesy Shamael Partridge

At 9 pm on Monday, January 28, a group of students piled into the Chapel Hill Community Center stands to watch the highly anticipated rematch between two CHS rec basketball teams: the Stink Bugs and Big Baller Brand (BBB).

The Stink bugs, featuring sophomore Jack Morgan and junior Teddy Johnson, opened the game with a strong run, jumping out to an early first quarter lead behind sharp shooting by Johnson. Big Baller Brand, led by seniors Serhat Calikoglu and Kevin O’Donnell, fought their way back into the game on the back of Calikoglu, who knocked down three 3-pointers.

From the second quarter on however, it was the Jack Morgan show. Morgan got the basket at will, using an array of dribble moves to get through the BBB 2-3 zone, which many times resulted in Morgan shooting free throws.

“It was a big game, so I had to take it over to win. After getting blown out the first time we played, we couldn’t get embarrassed again,” said Morgan regarding his aggressive tactics in last night’s contest.

He finished the game with 30 of his team’s 43 points. Morgan is a starting shooting guard for the Carrboro junior varsity team, but enjoys rec basketball games more.

“These games are way easier than school. Driving [to the basket] is much easier for me and I can get creative. In school I try to be more of a spot up shooter,” said Morgan.

While Stink Bug nation celebrated their seemingly easy win last night, BBB star Serhat Calikoglu believes the game could’ve gone much differently if he wasn’t ejected early in the 3rd quarter.

“Unfortunately the referees tried to make themselves bigger than the game. Had I been allowed to play the rest of the game it would’ve been a different outcome because everyone knows Jack Morgan can’t guard me,” said Calikoglu.

Calikoglu finished with 11 points in nine minutes of play. Members of both rec teams are looking to add new members to their clubs for the summer season, recruiting across all CHS grades.

CHS wrestles at Conference tournament

Top, from left to right: Brian Buck, sophomore; Israel Medrano, senior; Hank Hultman, senior; Aidan Thorne, sophomore; Matteo Fulghieri, senior Bottom, from left to right: Jacobie Lewis, senior; Alex Malagon, junior. Photo by Louise Monnet

On January 26, the Carrboro wrestling team hosted the 2019 2A MidState Conference tournament. The CHS team wrestled at home against Bartlett Yancey, Reidsville, Cummings and North Carolina School of Science and Math (NCSSM).

Carrboro placed second overall with 111 points out of the five teams. They also finished with three runner ups and three Conference champions out of nine wrestlers competing. Brian Buck, Alex Malagon and Israel Medrano were the runner ups for CHS. Aidan Thorne and Matteo Fulghieri and Hank Hultman were crowned conference champions.

Reidsville finished first with 137 points and five conference champions, Cummings finished third with 104 points and three conference champions, Bartlett Yancey finished forth with 85 points and two conference champions and NCSSM finished fifth with 68 points and one conference champion.

Hultman and Fulghieri claimed their second conference titles of their careers. Carrboro wrestlers Buck, Malagon, Medrano, Thorne, Hultman and Fulghieri were named All-Conference, finishing top two in their weight class. Additionally, Jacobie Lewis was named All-Conference under an at large bid, voted by the coaches. As a final victory of the day, Matteo Fulghieri was voted the MidState Conference Wrestler of the year. This marks the fourth consecutive year a CHS wrestler has claimed this title.

Carrboro Swim Team Makes A Splash

Carrboro swim team participated in their second official swim meet of the season, called “Paws in the Pool,” following their freshman-sophomore meet, November 17, the previous week. On November 11, CHS swam against rivals Chapel Hill and East Chapel Hill High School at Homestead Aquatic Center. With over around 100 kids participating, it was a great opportunity for first time swimmers to get ready for conference, and a fun meet overall.

CHS women came first in the following events: 200 medley relay, 200 IM, 200-yard freestyle, 100 fly, 100 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 400 freestyle relay, and 100 breaststroke, along with many notable second & third places from the men.

Impressive swimmers who participated in the meet were Lindy Bilden, Audrey Costley, Paloma Baca, Annelise Merry, Eliot Hansberger, and Ian Ward all finishing top 3 or above in their races.

Heritage Aquatic Center, photograph taken by junior, Gemma Pekar.

“It was my first meet of high school swimming; I haven’t swam in 5 years and was really nervous, but I pulled through with the help of my teammates and it ended up being really fun,” said freshman Aaron Faircloth.

Overall CHS came in second behind East, with 177 points combined from the men and women’s scores. Chapel Hill followed in third place. Stay current on swimming and other CHS sports through the JagWire’s weekly sports update..

200 Goals for Cox

On April 26, one of the best women’s lacrosse athletes Carrboro High has ever seen reached another milestone; senior Mackenzie Cox scored her 200th goal against Riverside, completing two centuries worth of goals over her four years playing for CHS. The goal came during this year’s senior night game, punctuating a 14-13 win for the Lady Jags.

Cox joined the women’s lacrosse team in 2015, her freshman year at CHS, and has started in each of her four years playing for the team. Over those four years, she’s accumulated 207 total goals, 220 overall points, and averaged 4.8 ground balls recovered per game. Those statistics have earned Cox three consecutive Carrboro Offensive Player of the year awards, with a fourth expected this year. Similarly, Cox’s on-field achievements have earned her a spot on the first All-Conference team for the past three years, with her spot on this year’s team pending confirmation.

“I was motivated by always wanting to play the best I could for my teammates and coach. I would also like to say thank you to all of the players and especially my dad that have helped me along the way because without them I never would have the amazing experience that I did on the Carrboro women’s lax team,” said Cox. Being the leader in all-time goals for Carrboro’s women’s lacrosse team is an enormous achieve- ment, and Cox credits hard work in getting her there.

“I never imagined being able to make a record like that,” Cox said.

In completing her two centuries of goals, Cox reaches a milestone that no other Carrboro student has before — Cox is the first and only Lady Jag to score over 200 career goals. Going forward, Cox looks to maintain involvement in lacrosse; she aims to play club la- crosse at UNC-Wilmington next year, and to coach and help out with youth teams in the area.

Cox credits those youth teams with giving her access to the sport early on, leading to her later success. For young players, she says, it’s vital to always give your full effort.

“Never let anyone tell you are not good enough to do anything,” Cox said, a fitting sentiment for someone who has accomplished so much.

eSports Aren’t Easy

Game day: fans flood arenas wearing team jerseys, searching for events to meet their dream players and gain an autograph. Those who don’t make it to the event itself sit impatiently by their laptops and T.V.s waiting for their streaming service to begin airing. All wait to watch those who’ve spent hours honing their skills. But these ‘athletes’ aren’t who you think they are. They aren’t big football or basketball players — they’re gamers.

Competitive video game playing, known as eSports, is on the rise. If you play video games — especially Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBA) — you are sure to know about eSports and how they work. However if you haven’t, here is some information on the sport that’s grabbing attention from gamers.

Any game can be made into an eSport when there’s a clear winner, but the game type that is most popular is MOBA. In MOBAs, players form teams and compete tournament-style in arenas and large game maps. Examples of such games are League of Legends (LoL), Dota 2 and Overwatch.

Each game has its own fan base and has companies like NHL who hold tournaments that gain more popularity over time. A lot of supporters of ‘real’ sports are supporters of eSports as well, like ESPN, which doesn’t only stream football, but also LoL and Dota 2. Most of these competitive games are also aired on streaming platforms such as Youtube and Twitch. Now, a big question to a new person may be, “what do these gamers gain by professionally competing?” The answer to that is simple. Most players come in to gain the cash prizes and glory like ordinary athletes would.

International competitions have especially big cash prizes that amount to millions of dollars and sponsorships to team involved. Many leagues now offer salaries along with that. Though this may seem like an easy job to handle, most players in eSports leagues don’t last long, and many of these players get looked down upon by those who don’t play video games. Not only that, but to get into these leagues a player must have a high rank or status in their game and must possess certain skills that most other gamers don’t have. They also need strategic minds and reflexes fast enough to outplay an enemy in the heat of the moment while millions of fans watch them.

eEports is steadily growing along with the amount of fans that keep up with it. If it continues at this rate, then people will learn more about competitive video games, and eSports could become closer to gaining mainstream acceptance.

CHS Jaguar Hall of Fame

David Veltri 

Veltri has been a wrestler on the Carrboro Wrestling team since 2014. During his time on the team he has collected numerous awards, He will be inducted for All-State Wrestling.

Quincy Monday

Monday has been a wrestler on the Carrboro Wrestling team since 2016. Of his time on the team he has one two state Championship titles. He will be inducted for All State Wrestling.

Destiny Cox

Cox has been an athlete on the Carrboro Varsity team since her Freshman year. Cox has contributed to the team in many ways, playing a role in their past two state championship titles. She will be inducted for All State Volleyball.

Niya Fearrington

Fearrington was a member of the Carrboro Varsity Cheerleading team for four years. Of her time at Carrboro she has served as captain and most valuable cheerleader. She will be inducted for All-American Cheerleading.

Frae Dae Moo

Moo is an AVID member of the Carrboro Varsity Men’s Soccer Team he has attributed to the teams dynamic, through skill, leadership and determination. He will be inducted into the Jaguar Hall of Fame for All State Soccer.

Paloma Baca, Eliot Hunsberger, Audrey Costley and Anneliese Merry were key swimmers on the 2018 Women’s Relay 400 team. Throughout the year they pushed their team to advance in to state meet. This year they will be inducted for swimming state champions.

Spring Sports in Review

As Spring sports at Carrboro begin to end, the JagWire interviewed some players about their season. Each player below was asked the following questions:

1: How do the goals that your team set before the season compare to the results of the season?

2: What’s been the highlight of the year with your teammates not on the court/field/track?

Here are some interview highlights from Carrboro’s spring athletes.

Elijah Jones, Track and Field

“I feel like we, as a sprint squad, set extremely high goals for ourselves at the beginning of the year because we know that we are all capable of racing with some of the fastest runners in the state. The one thing that impacts our achievement of these ambitious goals is injuries. Track season, being the longest of any sport, wears down your body so much which lead to common injuries. Being able to prepare for these injuries and limit them as possible, allows for our team to maintain our goals and achieve them throughout the year The sprint squad is a small group of runners; kind of like our own little family. With food being a big component for a successful athlete, we sometimes eat together before or after a big meet in order to either clear our minds before a race.”

Carter Macklin, Track and Field

“A lot of the goals that we set at the beginning of the year have been met. We placed top three in conference and we are taking a large team to the regional invitational. Many of us set personal goals like breaking personal records or beating specific teams and for many of us those goals have been met. We also set a goal to be a productive and organized team and for the most part, we have succeeded. Meets we have hosted have gone  well, invitationals have been well organized and practices have gone smoothly.”

Zach Anderson, Tennis

“My goals have been met so far as we have advanced to the state quarterfinals and we have five players still in the individual state tournament. And going to Sonic for dinner and bonding with my teammates was also [a highlight].”

Joseph Kelly, Lacrosse

“We set out to win the conference championship this year because our team hasn’t won a conference championship in its history. After going 4-0 in conference, we secured the conference champion- ship over Voyager Academy and J.F. Webb High School The highlight of the year off the field was celebrating after the big wins against Chapel Hill High and J.H. Rose.”

Shayma Ouazzani, Softball

“Our goal is always to improve on our individual goals that we have for ourselves. We reached that but some- thing we didn’t reach was winning states. However, our team has made great improvement from past years for softball.”

A Spotlight on the Sports: Josh Singleton

When did you start playing ultimate frisbee?

I started throwing the ultimate frisbee when my brother was in sixth grade, so I was in second grade, and I started playing when I was eleven.

What are the Carrboro Clams?

The Carrboro Clams are the Carrboro High School ultimate frisbee team; it’s a club and it’s fun.

Why are you called the Carrboro Clams?

We are the clams because when Carrboro High School was deciding their mascot, the clams were the runner up mascot choice. So we’re the clams. Because we’re a club we can’t use the Jaguars as our mascot because we’re  not a school sponsored team.

Who are the team’s coaches?

Head Coach Skylair … he played Ultimate at UNC and he plays club ultimate. There’s three assistant coaches: Matt Oliveti, who plays club ultimate, and then two UNC players, Mark Rodner and Nathan Dierhuys.

When did you start playing for the Carrboro Clams?

I picked up with them my eighth grade year because they were short on numbers and my brother, Matt, played on the team. I was put in the roster at the end of the season, and now I’m officially on the team

What is your favorite part about ultimate frisbee?

I really like their spirit of the game idea, which is that the most important part of the game is to be respectful and be a good person and do the right thing instead of just being rude to other players and trying to get in their face. So it’s really different from other sports where people are just hostile.

Do you think you are going to continue to play after high school?

I will, I’m trying to continue. A lot of colleges have ultimate teams. So… I mean that’s not a reason I would go to college but it’s definitely a big part of my life.

Would you say that ultimate frisbee is an overlooked sport? If so, why?

I think it is overlooked. I think it’s like frowned upon in the social eye, but I think it’s really enjoyable. I think a lot of people have fun doing it, and people should give it a shot. I think people see it as a nerdy or sort of un-athletic sport. Maybe at beginner levels that’s true, but at advanced levels it’s really competitive and intense and I think people just don’t see that.

Is there anything that you want people who don’t play ultimate to know?

It’s really fun. It’s really competitive and people should give it a shot before they judge people for doing it.

New Team, Big Shoes

Another year for the CHS women’s soccer team’s season has started, and it started on a good note. With a lot of success so far, the team is starting off the season strong.

Like all high school teams, there is a mixture of athletes from all grades. From new freshmen to veteran seniors, there can be pretty different perspectives on the team and its players. Katie Rhodes is a new freshman on the team but not new to soccer. She has been playing for years, including throughout middle school and on club teams.

“At first, I didn’t think we weren’t going to do so well, but starting at our practices, we’ve been doing a lot better,” said Rhodes when asked about the season ahead.

There are other players who would agree that the season will be successful, but realize they are treading on new turf. With seniors from last year graduating, the soccer team is taking on a new wave of freshmen; the team has to, in a sense, start over when it comes to introductions and trust. The team has big shoes to fill, coming from a track record of three consecutive championships in the last three years. Trust and cooperation, between everyone, is a necessary component to continuing that record.

“I think it’s hard to tell. I think we have a lot of potential and we just have to see where it goes,” said Lauren Gilliam, senior team captain.

“I think, right now, the problem is just that we don’t really know each other that well, so I think we just need to develop a mutual trust and once we do that, it’ll be a lot better,” said Ashley Hong, sophomore team member.

Even with all the new freshmen, this year’s leaders will draw from their past three and a half years of experience to guide their team in the right direction.

There is a lot that comes with being a senior on the team, and Gilliam likes that.

“I guess I like having more responsibility,” said Gilliam.

Being a leader means that you are being looked up to by all the people around you. All the players, especially younger players, rely on their captains and older teammates to be pillars of stability and confidence as they go through the season.

“I definitely look up to all the seniors for advice, especially when it comes to soccer. But not just inside soccer, outside of soccer too. I’ll talk to them too if I need help,” said Hong.

There is a general consensus among team members that the season ahead will be a good one. With the whole team dynamic changing, however, there will be some struggles that the team will have to overcome.

Tokyo 2022 (For Real)

Claire McDaniels, sophomore, trains approximately five hours a day and plans to make a splash at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (Though not literally, of course.) Last year, McDaniels won the 1A/2A Diving State Championship for CHS as a freshman, and she plans to take her talent to the next level.

McDaniels is a competitive diver who sacrifices much of her free time for her sport.

“I go to morning practice on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. And then everyday after school,” said McDaniels. “Practice is two hours in the morning, three at night, and an hour after school on Wednesday and Saturday of weights. On the weekends I train two to four hours in one day,” said McDaniels via email.

She misses first and second period to dive, and last year she left school early for the same reason. To her, the time commitment is worth it.

“I dive at Duke, all the way in Durham. I enjoy it a lot… and I’m very passionate about it,” said McDaniels.

Still, it can be difficult to balance diving and academics.

“I just got back from a trip right now, and I’m kind of dealing with the stress of missing all of [school],” said McDaniels. “[I’ve traveled to] Florida, Texas, South Carolina, across the ocean… England.”

McDaniels’ practices consist of serious stretching, a warm up on the trampoline and tumbling. Finally, she practices the dives that she plans on performing in meets.

McDaniels’ interest in diving first piqued when her family introduced the sport to her at a young age; her brother and mom dove in college.

“I started diving because when I was little I saw my brother dive, and I thought it looked really cool and so I tried it out! Everyone in my family has dove a little bit. During the summer they all asked me to come watch them do their own tricks off our summer league diving board,” said McDaniels in an email.

McDaniels explained that getting into the Olympic trials is often the most difficult part of the Olympic experience.

“We start out with going to regionals, [and] this qualifies us to go to zones. At zones we get qualified for nationals. Then at nationals we go through a prelims, semifinals, and finals type of competition. After nationals you have to score and get a certain place in your age group in order to be qualified to go to trials,” said McDaniels via an email.

Still, her journey isn’t over once she reaches trials.

“At trials you do the same thing as national, and if you place first or second then you get put on the Olympic team and go to the Olympics,” said McDaniels via email.

McDaniels has experience with this process before, and she placed well in important competitions.

“Last year I went through this and got myself qualified for junior world nationals, which are equivalent to the Olympics but are in the opposite years of them, ” said McDaniels.

Although not admitted onto the Olympic team yet, McDaniels is confident that she’ll make the cut and represent America in the upcoming years in diving.