HUNTERSVILLE – A bounty of top-10 finishes, including a state championship in boys golf, led to Community School of Davidson being crowned the top overall athletic program in the state’s 1A classification.
The Spartans finished first in the 40th annual Wells Fargo Cup, edging out nearby rival Pine Lake Prep, 447.5-400. It’s the second time CSD has claimed the crown, also winning for the 2015-16 school year.
“Winning the Wells Fargo Cup is a tremendous achievement that shows the dedication of all CSD athletes and coaches,” athletic director Jill Cashion said.
In addition to the golf team’s second consecutive state title last month, there were several deep playoff runs: The boys soccer team fell in the state title game, volleyball and boys basketball each reached the fourth round of the state playoffs, and both the girls soccer and boys lacrosse teams made it to the third round.
In the non-playoff sports, both cross country teams had strong showings, with the boys finishing fourth and the girls sixth. Then in February, the girls swimming team was eighth and the boys ninth.
Despite falling two rounds short of a state championship, the lacrosse team gained the highest amount of points for 1A since it was the last remaining team from its classification in a playoff bracket that also included 2A and 3A schools.
Shaping the future
The all-around success on the field, court, pool and course comes while only a small fraction of the CSD teams can actually practice or compete on the Armour Street campus. This will change next year, when the school’s 42-acre athletic complex is scheduled to open on the west side of Huntersville, at the corner of Beatties Ford and Bud Henderson roads.
Jay Martin, director for athletic leadership, believes the recent success of the volleyball and basketball teams is partly due to having those games played on campus at Griffin Gym. Coached by Molly Gwaltney, the volleyball team won state titles in 2016 and ’17.
Mike Yascur’s soccer teams play most of their “home” games at Bradford Park, more than 6 miles away, with the boys team traveling up to 30 minutes south for playoff games on the turf field at Mallard Creek High School.
The football team last fall used facilities at Hopewell and Mallard Creek, and Martin said the latter “has been fantastic to work with.” For the home games played on other campuses, CSD has to pay to use them and gets the ticket revenue, but any concession monies are kept by the host school.
The new complex will have a stadium with a synthetic field lined for football, soccer and lacrosse. Surrounding it will be an 8-lane track having a rubberized polyurethane coating and wide enough to accommodate wheelchair events, making it only the high school in Mecklenburg County with the adaptive lanes.
The track team didn’t travel long distances to train, but instead has practiced in the CSD parking lot.
Martin hoped Phase I of the site would be ready for the upcoming fall season when it broke ground last June, but instead should be ready by the time spring sports start in February 2020. In addition to the stadium centerpiece, eight tennis courts and 340 parking spaces are part of the first phase, which has been made possible by fundraising and securing tax-exempt bonds for charter schools.
Addressing the distance the complex is from campus – 11 miles – Martin said “there was not an option of being in Davidson.”
More than sports
In addition to being home to CSD’s 21 high school and 17 middle school teams, the athletic complex is being designed to welcome educational opportunities as well.
There will be a grove of large white oak trees near the Beatties Ford Road entrance preserved, and among them a log cabin. Martin said the “authentic” cabin, along with the proximity to the Battle of Cowans Ford, will allow students to learn about the Revolutionary War. And science teachers can use the trees and adjacent community garden in related lessons.
“We’re proud of how the design turned out,” Martin said.
Phase II would include a baseball field, multipurpose field and additional parking.