Wake Christian Academy is moving from the N.C. Christian Schools Athletic Association to the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association this season. Securing playoff spots will become much more difficult in the larger association.
“We had been a part of the Christian association for 29 years so we are in the transition stage,” said Wake Christian volleyball coach Annette Archer. “Competition will be tough.”
Archer has four starters, including 2012 team most valuable player Noelle Helder, back from a club that finished fourth in the NCCSAA.
Wayne Helder has 10 returning starters in boys’ soccer.
“We’re looking forward to the opportunities while we also recognize the challenges,” Helder said. “I think we will improve as the season goes on playing this level of competition.”
Cary Academy tennis: Cary Academy took an impressive 5-4 girls’ tennis victory Tuesday over traditional power Cardinal Gibbons.
The match lasted almost four hours with Cary Academy winning singles at No. 1 Anastasia Morgus, No. 2 Jessie Liu and No. 3 Alex Udell and winning at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles.
Three of the six singles matches went to tiebreakers and Cary Academy and Gibbons split the first two doubles, 9-7 in each match. Cary Academy won No. 3 doubles 8-4.
Grace runners: Raleigh Grace Christian cross country returns four of its top five boys from the NCISAA 2A champions. Senior Ian Macpherson was seventh in the NCISAA final and sophomore Alex Dolwick was 12th.
Junior Katarina Pibl was runner-up in the girls’ championships.
Hasbrouck on sidelines: East Wake athletics director Jonathan Hasbrouck is returning to the sidelines this fall as the boys’ soccer coach. Hasbrouck coached soccer at Southeast Raleigh before becoming East Wake’s AD.
Hasbrouck is replacing DeLane Hayes, who led the Warriors to two conference titles during his four seasons as coach.
“It’s tough shoes to fill, especially when talking about my first hire and the guy I wanted to lead the program, but hopefully I will be able to do that,” Hasbrouck said.
“When you lose something like (Hayes), it is definitely a change in program philosophy and culture. However you want to describe it, you have to revamp.”
Heritage volleyball: Heritage will be the host school for an eight-team volleyball tournament Friday and Saturday. The field will include Cary Academy, New Bern, Broughton, Pamlico, Erwin Triton, Durham Jordan, Raleigh Charter and the Huskies. Play will begin at 3 p.m. and continue through 8 p.m. Friday. Matches will resume Saturday morning at 9 with the championship match at 3 p.m.
Cross country: Some of the top high school cross country teams in the area will race in the Wake County Kickoff Classic on Saturday at Wake Med Park in Cary. The featured boys’ and girls’ races will begin at 9 and 9:30 a.m.
Preseason stories: All of the N&O’s stories on the N&O preseason top 20 and on area conferences is available on-line at http://blogs.newsobserver.com/prepsnow.
Michael Held and Aaron Moody contributed to this report.