Winter Sports Update: Leaders Shine Through Obstacles

As Collegiate enters the second semester, the Upper School’s varsity sports teams are starting to take full stride in their pursuit of success for their seasons. Each team showed great talent and potential in their competitions leading up to Winter Break.

The varsity indoor soccer team, coached by Lower School physical education teacher Page Chapman and Middle School history teacher David Fuller, has seen fantastic play. Since indoor soccer has become such a popular sport at Collegiate, many student-athletes participate, so much so that the group is split into two varsity teams. The boys and girls of the varsity indoor soccer green team had an exciting 3-0 victory against the Trinity Episcopal School. The varsity indoor soccer gold team currently has a record of 0-5-3, and the varsity indoor soccer green team has a record of 7-1-0.

Both girls and boys varsity basketball have had exciting seasons thus far. The girls varsity basketball team has risen to a record of 3-6. The girls are coached by Middle School humanities teacher Rives Fleming and assisted by Upper School history teacher Kevin Coffey, Michelle Cosel, Upper School Spanish teacher Hannah Curley, and Dominique Meeks (‘09). The boys varsity basketball team’s current record is 9-6, after their most recent victory at St. Christopher’s on January 17. Their new head coach, Del Harris, and assistant coaches Upper School history teacher Brian Justice, Special Events and Projects Supervisor Wilbur Athey, and William Massie, are confident in the team’s ability.

The varsity dive team had success in their most recent meet against Western Albemarle High School and Hampton Roads Academy. Juniors Caroline Hall (‘18) and Andrew Scott (‘18) both placed first. After speaking with captains Kieran Cottrell (‘18) and Caroline Hall (‘18), the team is looking forward to a promising season and is eager to get on the board. The team is coached by Dianne Massie and Stephanie Lapp.

Just like the other teams, boys and girls varsity swimming experiences a great team environment, and their coaches are excited to see what this year’s team can do. They look forward to showcasing their hard work and dedication during their upcoming meets on January 20. Both teams are coached by Michael Stott, Ben Cherry, Mike Peters, Laure Ray, and Upper School English teacher Dr. Leah Sievers. The girls hope to continue their state champion streak leading into this season, and the boys are ready to rise to success this year as well.

The last two varsity teams of the winter sports season are Collegiate’s varsity wrestling and the girls and boys varsity indoor track. Sadly, members of both of these teams have faced some substantial injuries early in their seasons.

Photo credit: Ahrea Jones.

Track star Ahrea Jones (‘17) has had a plica removal, a rare and painful surgery that removes a band in your knee. The procedure affects the tibia and cartilage in the knee, as well as causing severe pain, and the band had been causing an unsettling popping and clicking sound, hindering Jones’ track performance. Right before Christmas, on Wednesday, December 21, Jones had surgery on her knee, and the doctor projected a four-to-six week recovery period. Jones has unfortunately experienced an uncommon healing process, accompanied by significant pain. Her doctors have been shocked at these results and don’t understand why the recovery has not gone as planned.

With confused doctors, a painful knee, and as a devoted track athlete, Jones often asks the question, “What do you do?” She is very passionate about the sport and about her team. When asked about her absence from the track, she replied immediately, “[I] definitely want to be out there. I need to be out there.”

Prior to the devastating injury, Jones finished her last track season as one of the top athletes on the team. She won the 300 meter hurdles, 100 meter hurdles, and 55 meter hurdles in the League of Independent School (LIS) competition and the state competition as well. She also was recognized as All-Metro for the 55 meter hurdles. At the end of the season, her teammates voted her as most valuable player. She now continues her leadership as a captain this year and still takes on the role, despite being separated from the team. She keeps constant contact with Director of Student Life and Head Coach Beth Kondorossy, asking for updates on the team’s performance. When asked about her feelings towards Jones, Coach Kondorossy responded, “having students like Ahrea gives respect to the sport,” and provides inspiration to overcome obstacles as well. 

Photo credit: JoAnn Ruh.

Allen Condyles (‘17) of the varsity wrestling team has experienced a similar obstacle. On the first day of practice of the 2016-2017 wrestling season, Condyles tore his labrum. This injury left Condyles unable to wrestle his last year on the team. His labrum injury also left him with incredible pain through surgery he had over Winter Break, and he says he has had difficulty raising his arm, so even daily tasks such as getting dressed can be a struggle.

Before his injury, Condyles was named All-State after finishing sixth in the state tournament and then fifth in the Liberty Christian Academy Invitational. He now serves the team as a second-year captain, and despite his absence from the mat, he still makes his presence felt. Condyles has taken on various roles as a motivator and coach. He helps coach the junior varsity and cub teams to train the next generation of wrestlers and attends all possible meets and practices he can. Condyles puts a positive spin to this devastating injury, saying “that it has bettered my leadership and teammate role, helping from the sidelines.”

The tremendous character of these two students is truly inspirational. They have taken the best out of their hardships and used it to grow and make their teammates around them better. We wish all Cougars best of luck in their athletic endeavors.

About the author

Grant is SCA co-chair and a senior at Collegiate.