With record-breaking participation, the Crusader Fall Athletic Season brought home a State Championship and multiple Conference and Tournament Trophies, showcasing more than 120 GCS athletes and put the opening year of GCS Golf in the books. A season that was intended to be focused on building fundamentals for these young teams, in many ways exploded with a perseverance for growth and success, all with an uncompromising commitment to Christ-like behavior. The GCS Athletic staff could not be more proud of the character displayed this season on our courts, fields and courses.
The Crusaders came off of the starting line fast and furious this Cross Country Season. Middle School (MS) teams dominated early with the MS Boys dynamic duo Grant Jacques (8th) and Kolton Decker (6th) leading the way most of the season. The team ended up not only taking the Conference Title in the Regular Season, but the Tournament Championship as well. The MS Girls had five runners near the top all season. They often found themselves competing amidst themselves as they blew thru the competition. The girls also added some hardware to the cabinet, coming away with a Conference and Tournament Championship Trophy.
Varsity found themselves infused with new talent and an expanded coaching staff. All season Gavin Lenz (12th) and Abby McNeill (11th) set the pace for the rest of the team. Both teams capped off the year with a Runner-Up State Championship Trophy. Gavin Lenz and Abby McNeil were also awarded the MCC Runner of the Year Awards. Coach Dawn Lenz was named the MCC Women’s XC Coach of the Year.
With a complete revamp of our coaching staff, GCS Volleyball teams took the court by storm and dominated the competition for most of the season. Led by Coach Cindy Cook, the Crusaders only dropped their first game of the season to Neuse Christian. From there on out, the girls never looked back and ended up running the remainder of the table as they cruised to a 14-1 record, taking home a Conference Title and Tournament Championship. MVP’s for the season were McKenzy (8th) and McKayla McDougald (7th).
Led by Coach Shackleford, the JV Girls team came out of the gates hot with upsets over North Moore and Neuse Christian. The girls would finish with an 11-4 record as they split the regular-season trophy and were Co-Conference Champs alongside Southside Christian School. The Conference Tournament was a different story as the girls defended their Home Court and ended up knocking out Southside Christian in the Championship. MVP for the season was Katie Beth Hare (9th).
The Varsity Crusaders, led by MCC Coach of the Year, Megan James, finished with a 14-5 record (the best record since 2007), and a Conference Championship for the first time since 2004. Grace had two All-State Selections: Emma-Grace Dubuc (MCC Player of the Year) (11th) and McKensie Boyte (10th). Grace finished the post-season in the State Quarter-Finals as they lost to Cape Fear Christian. We are excited about the future of this Volleyball Program! MVP for the season was Emma-Grace Dubuc (11th).
With Coach Jon Watters as the new face on the sideline, the Middle School Crusader Soccer Team started off slow with five losses and only one win against a Varsity Opponent. Then the turning point happened. Grace traveled to Henderson to begin Conference play and took the Colts down, dominating the pitch in the process. From this game on, the Crusaders would go undefeated to finish with an 8-5 record and clinch a Conference Title and a Tournament Championship. MVP for the season was Carter Cummings (8th).
Two Words: STATE CHAMPS! Coach Rhine returned to the sideline for his fourth year as the Head Boys Varsity Soccer Coach, this year with newly added Assistant Coach, Brian Smith. During the preseason, the coaches knew this would be a rebuilding year and decided to focus on fundamentals and building culture within the program. This thought process was confirmed as the young Varsity Crusader Team started the season 1-4, including a loss to Defending State Champs, Greenfield HS. The second half of the year was a different story, with the exception of a 1-0 loss to Neuse Christian, the Crusaders would rattle off 12 straight wins along the way taking an undefeated MCC Conference Title and Tournament Trophy. As the State Tournament lingered, Grace knew that waiting at the end for them would be Rival Greenfield HS who had beaten Grace in the State Tournament three years running. This time Grace had their number as Sr. Captain John Sebastian netted the game-winner! Grace had five players named to the All-State Team: Layne Voss (12th), John Sebastian (12th), Griffin Matthews (11th), Luke Garris (9th), and Guilio Cian (12th). MVP’s for the season were: Layne Voss, John Sebastian, and Guilio Cian (12th).
The inaugural year for the Women’s Varsity Golf Team was a huge success! Led by Head Coach Chad Fields, the girls fielded all non-conference matches as they were the sole MCC Women’s Golf team. They traveled all over North and South Carolina and improved their scores each and every match. They were led all season long by Cidney Revelle (12th).