Kam Johnson drags two Fishburne defenders toward the endzone during the Raider's 48-0 Homecoming victory. Photo by Robert Robillard
Kam Johnson '24 drags a defender toward the end zone on Oct. 15 against St. Michael the Archangel. Johnson rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns in the Raiders' 28-7 victory. Photo by Robert Robillard
By Vedant Muse '22
Zane Ratliff is a junior who plays lacrosse at North Cross School. He is in the class of 2022. Zane has played lacrosse since he was 11 years old back in 4th grade. He said, “Many friends on my hockey team convinced me to play.” Zane also said, “The reason why I love lacrosse so much is because it is a mixture of soccer hockey, and basketball, football.” Zane wears number 4 on the team because his favorite player growing up is Lyle Thompson.
Zane plays two key positions in lacrosse attack and midfield. Zane said, “My favorite position is attack because I love scoring and dishing out assists to my teammate. It has the physicality of football, passing like basketball, scoring like hockey, and field play like soccer.” For the past 7 years Zane has played travel lacrosse for Valley Select and VA RoughRiders. Most of the travel games are up in Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania on the weekends. There are many scouts who are at the lacrosse tournaments trying to recruit players.
Covid has made things a little bit more challenging for Zane for the upcoming spring season because it is hard to find weight rooms that are open. Many fields are closed and if they are open only a certain amount of people can be on there at once. This year we are going to play a lot of teams down in North Carolina because Virginia team rules are much more stricter than North Caroline and we may have to wear masks. Zane said, “I’m happy that we are having a season, but sad because there will be less bonding time with my teammates because of covid. This year the lacrosse team will not be able to travel together on busses, and there will be less time to see each other in the hotels.
By John (Reid) Davis '22
The Raiders faced off against New Covenant earlier this week and left them in the dust. Northcross was coming off a loss going into this week's game and needed a big win to keep on track for a winning season. They were able to pull it off and improve their record to 1-1.
During the entirety of the game, Northcross was in the lead. The Final score was 41-26. Players were thrilled about the win, especially Jackson Holland, who scored a buzzer beater three pointer at the end of the third quarter. “It felt great, it really did,” said Holland. The team all celebrated with him after he sank the shot. “Holland is a first year basketball player so for him to be making plays like that is huge,” said Zach Morgan, one of Holland's teammates.
Other standout players were Zach Morgan who scored 11 points and Henry Robinson who locked down on defense and only allowed two points to be scored on him.
“To beat good teams, you need to play good defense,” said Robinson. He added, “It was a solid team win and i'm looking forward to getting back to work.”
The Raiders face Lynchburg Homeschool next week led by head coach Tyke Campbell, who also assists with coaching varsity. He splits his time between the two ensuring both teams have a successful season. Lynchburg is 2-1 and are coming off an away game victory. These two teams will be competing at Northcross School. The game will be streamed live on North Cross Athletics youtube channel. Only time will tell the result of the game and the result of the Raiders basketball season.
By Chloe Hunt '21 After breaking seven North Cross swimming records and being named Blue Ridge Conference Swimmer of the Year, Asia Minnes ‘21 prepares to take her skills to the next level at the University of Tennessee.
“I chose Tennessee because of the team environment and the training aspect. They are very unconventional and take a different approach to their training. As someone who has been swimming for 13 years, I was looking for a place that would make swimming fun again while at the same time pushes me,” Minnes said. “I think swimming in college has always been a part of my plan but over the past few years it's become my main goal to swim in the NCAAs.”
In addition to being an avid swimmer, Minnes has left an indelible impact on campus life as a compassionate person.
“I am so glad Asia came to North Cross,” Olivia Murchison ‘21 said. “In addition to being a really accomplished swimmer, she is just nice to be around, very funny, and thoughtful.”
What students might not know about Asia is how swimming weaved into her cosmopolitan upbringing. Based in Canada, Minnes had not lived more than a year in one spot until she and her family came to Roanoke.
“I’ve traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Mexico, almost all of Canada, and 42 of the states. Traveling around has given me the opportunity to meet so many people and be a part of many different cultures,” Minnes said. “It has taught me to be adaptable, open minded, and adventurous and has shown me that there are so many opportunities out there you just have to be willing to seize them.”
Even after seeing the world, her favorite place to live is Roanoke.
“My favorite place to visit is Caloundra in Australia but I’d have to say my favorite place to live is Roanoke,” Minnes said. “This is the first place I have stayed long enough to really connect with people, make friends, have a routine, and make it somewhere I can call home.”
In addition to this affinity for travelling, Minnes fostered her passion for swimming before the age of one.
“I've been swimming my entire life. I started lessons at just a few months old and joined my first all year round swim team when I was 4 years old,” Minnes said. “I was always really passionate about swimming and that motivated me to pursue it.”
“My favourite thing about swimming is the team aspect,” Minnes said. “It is a really hard sport but being able to have people around me who share blood, sweat, and tears makes it so much easier because I know I'm not alone and it just makes it a lot easier to push through.”
Minnes also said there is a lot of work put in outside of the pool.
“Swimming is a very mentally and physically challenging sport that requires so much dedication because on top of the 19 plus hours in the water and weight room, I need to eat properly, do extra exercises for my shoulders to prevent and help injuries, and I need to do recovery,” Minnes said. “I personally find it is especially hard in the winter when it is extra cold getting in the water and it is dark going to and leaving practice.”
While Minnes takes her craft seriously, she acknowledges the importance of having fun with swimming. She says that in order to be successful in the sport, you must enjoy it.
“My advice to younger swimmers is to enjoy it. Don't worry about not having the best time every race, don't stress about making finals, just go out, do your best and have fun.”
The north cross basketball team played their first scrimmage of the year and played very well. Mehki, a senior point guard talks about the whole environment with no fans and the start of the new year. “it’s a vastly different environment, no fans make it so much quieter and you are able to hear everything that goes on. You hear every squeak on the floor and all of the coaches when they are yelling the plays into you,” Hines says. The games were live streamed online for anyone that wanted to watch.
The year is just now starting, and they are looking forward to seeing how it will plan out. As of right now they are not certain of how many games will be played and they are just seeing how the whole year goes. “I’m looking forward to this year, I want to play as many games as possible since it is my senior year,” Hines says. They must follow all the COVID-19 protocols, but they still get to play. “I’m just happy that we get to have a season, not many other people around us are able to have a year and I’m grateful that I get to play since it is my senior year,” Hines says. “Corona is making us adapt to all kinds of differences but we have to change and follow all of the rules if we want to play out this season,” Hines says.
“It is a different year for everyone, and we all have some adjusting to do but having a season is awesome and I can’t wait to see how many more games we get to play this year,” Hines says. I agree with this statement and since we do not get to go in person and watch all the games, I encourage everyone to go online and support the team through all the live streams.
Chloe Hunt '21, Margaret Tower '21, and Genny Chandel '21 honored for their commitment to Girls' Varsity Tennis at North Cross School in Roanoke, Virginia.
SWIMMERS SWING FOR THE FENCES: Daniel Byrnes '21 uses a weighted bar to hit balls on the track field at Patrick Henry High School on Saturday, April 4 to do "dry land" training with his fellow Gators Swim teammates. Byrnes gets to swim almost daily, when he is scheduled for training with fewer than 10 people at the Gator Swim Center. Photo by Robert Robillard
Story and photo by Hannah Nguyen
Most people who follow Raider basketball would know this big name who has played almost 100 games since he was an eight-grader: Nelson Etuk ‘20. “Nelson have done an awesome job this year - one of the most talented kids I have coached,” said Head Coach Taylor Shannon. “His sophomore and junior years he continued to grow as a player, but this year, he stepped up defensively: rebounded the ball really well and scored when needed it, which is a plus.” In his last season as a high school player, Etuk scored 9.6 points and rebounded 4.6 per game. “Nelson is a senior on the team so everyone in the team look up to him as a leader,” Grayson Bloomfield said. “He is the most athletic person on the team, so we all love playing with him.”