and the last two were earned the day after graduation within an hour of each other … you could not have asked for a better ending to a great season of Athletics here at Grace Christian School. In addition to these State Titles, the Crusaders would add 12 All-State Selections, 2 MCC Player of the Year Awards, 2 MCC Coach of the Year Awards, 17 All-Conference Players, 4 MCC Regular Season-Championships, and 2 MCC Tournament Trophies this Spring Season. We also had four new programs join the Crusaders Sports Offerings in V Softball, V Men’s Golf, JV Girls’ Soccer, and JV Boys’ Baseball.
Coach Fields was back at the helm for the Crusaders Men’s Golf team this Spring after a successful Fall Season with our Women’s Golf Program. This time around he had two young ringers leading the way all season long for the Crusaders in Carter Cummings (8th) and Wyatt Dew (8th) who would finish in the top 2 spots nearly every meet for the Crusaders. Wyatt and Carter would both go on to earn MCC All-Conference Honors and a chance to compete in the NCISAA State Tournament. The Crusaders ended the season by competing with some of the GCS Admin team in a Best Ball Tournament the winning team was Coach Chad and Nikki Fields who were paired with Taylor McMahel and Reece Purdue. Great first season guys! We look forward to seeing you continue to get better and compete on the Greens!
Our MS Softball Team was led by Head Coach Cindy Cook this season and the Crusaders were dominant all season long as they finished with an overall record of 10-3 which included some wins over tough JV Teams in their second season. With a young core, as most of our 8th graders ended up playing Varsity this season, the Crusaders were small but mighty. They would score close to 180 runs this season while having a stifling defense that allowed under 30 total runs on the season. With our new field fully renovated we cannot wait to see these ladies back in action next Spring!
The Inaugural Season for our Varsity Girls Softball Team could not have gone any better for our Lady Crusaders who finished ranked #6 in the State. They would finish the season with an overall record of 8 and 9 with tough losses coming to various Public Schools and Strong 2A and 3A teams within the NCISAA. The Crusaders were led all season long by the Strong Pitching of two 8th graders: Hayley Pugh, who became the first Crusader to ever be named to an All-State Roster, and Addison Kirk. From behind the Plate the Crusaders were led again by Pugh with 18 hits and 9 RBIs and Savannah Noller (7th) who had 14 hits and 9 RBIs this season herself. Most of the Young Crusader Core is now working on their craft while playing for various travel ball teams throughout this summer. We wish you all the best of luck this summer and are excited to see you all back in action next Spring.
With an 18-player roster, the MS Boy’s Baseball Team led by Coach Gaster had just one goal this season … to play ball … against any opponent at any time. They would finish the season with an overall record of 8-1-1 (which does not include the numerous forfeits along the way to the intimidating Crusaders Team) and averaged to outscore opponents on the season by over 65 runs across ten games this season. With a young core that stays intact for years to come we are excited about the very bright future of this program.
The JV Baseball Team was also dominant in its first season at GCS. Despite the fact that they had to compete against many Varsity Teams the Crusaders finished with an impressive 9-3 record and let their defense do the talking as they only allowed 39 runs against while their intelligent baserunning and quality at-bats paved the way for over 151 runs scored this season. During the parent meeting Coach Bullard let the parents know his philosophy behind Baseball and that was to teach these boys how to play great defense and stay a step ahead of the opponent and they did just that all season long. With some of the boys ready to take the next step to Varsity next season we know this team will look different but with the young boys in the pipeline here at GCS the future is bright.
The Varsity Baseball Team took on the season with the motto, “Unfinished Business.” Last year the Crusaders fell one win shy away from a State Title and with this being the last year in the 1A Ranks the boys bought into Coach Matson’s saying of “Unfinished Business” and decided to take care of business. The Boys opened up the year in a rematch with last year’s State Champions Kerr-Vance and newcomer JT Taylor took the mound and pitched a no-hitter to take down the defending State Champs 2-0. The Crusader’s Bullpen remained strong all season long and was backed by their strong hitting core of Jarret Crabtree, Griffin Matthews, Jesse Mitchell, and Brandon Crabtree who would combine for 27 Home Runs and 163 RBIs on the season. After 15 straight wins the Crusaders would fall to Lee Senior Twice and 2A Powerhouse Wayne Country Day before going undefeated thru the Conference Tournament and State Playoffs. In addition to their State Title, the Crusaders had four players named to the All-State Team: Brandon Crabtree, Joseph Taylor, Jesse Mitchell, and Griffin Matthews. Coach Matson also walked away with an MCC Coach of the Year Award to cap off this season. Way to take care of Business.
The young ladies Crusaders finished the season undefeated in Conference Play and with an overall record of 10-3-1. The Crusaders were led by the young tandem of Piper Hicks (6th) and Sarah Meggs (7th) who combined for 40 goals on the Season. Defensively the Crusaders were led by Kylie James (7th) in the net who tallied over 75 saves this season and Madi Mibb who was the heart of the Crusaders’ defense when she wasn’t playing for the JV team. The Crusaders cannot wait to be back in action next season as they take on new conference opponents in the RAAC.
With Coach Watters set at the helm the Lady Crusaders were ready for their first-ever JV Soccer Team … who ended up playing more Varsity Teams than they did JV teams and still finished with a winning record of 9-3. The Crusaders were led offensively by Lillian Fuller (9th) who had 10 goals across the ten games she played in and Sydney Damude (8th) and Madi Mibb (8th) who added 7 goals apiece in the games they played as well. Coach Watters started every game with a new lineup as players would rotate up and down from both the Varsity and MS Teams depending on who they were playing. With his core group of 9 girls who only played JV, he kept preaching to them the importance of family, trusting each other, and being a team. The girls bought into his philosophy and finished the season on a five-game win streak including two wins over Varsity Opponents. Well Done Ladies!
The Spotlight was on the Lady Crusaders this year who exited last year’s State Tournament in a disappointing upset in the State Semi-Finals. But all teams in 1A knew how special the Lady Crusaders were going to be as they bosted a young core the year before and have 5 All-State Players returning to make a run back to states. Knowing a State Title run was the goal the ladies started the season with a tough schedule and thru ten games were 5-5 when Southside Christian, Conference Rival, and Current #1 Seed came into town the Crusaders finally looked like a team destined to make a State Title Run as they went up 4-0 on Southside before allowing two goals in garbage time play. From there on out, they never looked back. They would finish the season with a 17-0-1 record while scoring 109 goals and only allowing 11 to find the back of their net. The ladies would overcome a 2-1 deficit in the State Title Game to take down the Queens of 1A Soccer Greenfield HS. The Lady Crusaders had 7 named to the All-State Team: Zahra Fepessi, Emma McNeill, Emma Grace Dubuc, Abby McNeill, Landry Hicks, Aubrey Roy, and Kayden Michael. Coach Rhine would also be named the MCC Coach of the Year to close the season out. Well Done Crusaders!