Fall Sports Review: The Ins and Outs of the Season


Henry Burnett

Friday, November 4th, around 9:30 pm. Edison Duolo, senior star running back, had just run in a second 60+ yard touchdown in route to a 300+ yard game with 3TDs. CHS students filled the student section dressed with their best pajamas, knowing that the football team had just secured themselves their third straight win to wrap up the season. This was just one successful moment for the CHS athletic department during the fall. The field hockey, golf, volleyball, and cross country squads all accomplished great feats throughout the season. CHS teams this fall exceeded many expectations and pushed through adversity and difficulty and all put together seasons to look back proudly on. 

The CHS golf team was led by its five seniors :Ben Ewing, Preston Burton, Griffin Walts, Landon Rybolt, and Graham Morrison. Along with freshman Lorenzo Caferillo who rounded up the 6th spot on the team. After an amazing regular season with many match and tournament top finishes, the team stormed into the playoffs. In the Region 3C tournament they placed 1st overall for the first time in school history. Preston Burton, who recently committed and signed with the William and Mary golf team, led the charge shooting a 66 (-6) and won the individual title by 10 strokes. With confidence and a goal the Knights went to states looking to perform. At the state meet they placed 4th overall, with Burton winning the individual title by shooting a 69 (-3). The team was coached by Joshua O’Grady, who in his last season as the head coach, was very proud of the job the team did saying “all credit goes to them.” The team had a remarkable season, with many great moments that should be remembered.

Over on the turf field, filled by a younger class, the field hockey team also had some great moments. Although starting out not too hot, the team brought it together in the later half of the season. They also won their last three games, before falling in the second round of the Region 3C tournament. The Knights were led by senior goalie Church Mclean, senior defensive center-mid Jaelyn Lynch, and senior center-forward Margot Nichols. To end the regular season they beat Louisa and Fluvanna, and in the first round of the playoffs they secured a 5-0 win over Brentsville District High School. The team put up many tough fights over the year, sending many games into overtime or even shootouts. They have a lot of momentum going into next year and hope to have a big season in 2023.

The CHS football team also had a good year. Throughout the season they gained strength and confidence and finished the season with three straight W’s to finish with a 3-7 record. However, the record does not show how the team came together in the final weeks. Head Coach of the season Eric Sherry, who just announced his retirement from the program after 11 years which produced great talent such as current NFL player Rashard Davis, said that the team experienced success in many ways, “Teamwork. Working with every member of the team having a role in the success.” The team ended their season with a win over John Marshall (49-8) with big performances from Sethaun Nowell (junior QB), Edison Duolo (senior RB), Max Timmins (junior WR), and many more. The next week they got a win over Fluvanna (22-0) with another big game from Duolo and a touchdown from Jamil McCollough(a junior RB). Lastly they finished their season against Monticello High School with a win 27-14. On his senior night, Edison Duolo performed into a Falcon Club Player of the Week position (a weekly award handed out to the best high school athlete performance in the area) with over 300 yards and three touchdowns. Coach Sherry said “Soren Arbelaez, Dante Bernardini, Semaj Dennis,  Nikko Jackson-Hopper, Sethaun Nowell, Max Timmons and Matt Burns all exhibited leadership and a willingness to sacrifice for their teammates.” Overall the football team had a successful season, battling through adversity and finishing strong.

The volleyball team also had a vigorous season, with a huge win over STAB. They also swept Orange, winning both matches against them. The team was led by captains Chelsea Hansen, who is just a sophomore, and Annelise Green, a senior. Along with their wins, the squad had good battles with Fluvanna and Goochland, both of which had strong hitters and competitive defenses. Green said one reason for their success was “having access to supportive, knowledgeable coaches.” Hansen added on to this saying “the drive [they] had as a team.” One big moment during the season was their win over STAB which went to five sets. They fell in the first set, but bounced back to win two in a row taking a 2-1 lead. STAB then won the fourth set sending it to an extra set with the teams tied 2-2. When the Knights won a phenomenal battle the students stormed the court and celebrated with the team. The team is full of young talent, and should experience nothing but success in the years to come. 

Lastly, but certainly not least, is the cross country program coached by Ray Ackenbom. Both the girls and boys team had amazing seasons with plenty of accomplishments. The boys were led by junior captain Nathaniel Mckee and senior captain Luke Frank while the girls were led by their captain junior Lydia Bloor. After both teams had successful regular seasons with many top places in meets such as taking first place in the City/County meet and the boys placing second at the FUMA Invitational with much more. In the district meet, both teams qualified for regionals with the boys placing third overall with Mckee coming in 4th, Frank in 13th, and Nathaniel Orban in 14th. On the girls side, Elaina Pierce placed first overall and lowered her school record of 18:31. Later on in the state meet, the boys placed 6th overall, which was incredible due to three out of their five top runners being out due to injury. Nathaniel Mckee grabbed all-state honors with 13th, Orban set a new personal record, and Luke Frank with a good race finished out the teams top 3. The cross country squad put together an incredible season to look back on, with so much potential for years to come. 

The Charlottesville High School athletic department put together numerous good moments and achievements this past season. With state and regional appearances, excellent performances, and teamwork, CHS athletes/coaches look forward to carrying out this success in the seasons to come and even next year. The field hockey, volleyball, cross country, golf, and football teams all had accomplishments to remember. Every team showed their capabilities, worked hard, and made progress over the year. Next up is the winter sports, where basketball, wrestling, indoor track, and swimming will all work towards following up the successful moments and times that fall sports had.