A big week awaits Gryphon athletics


AVONDALE — The Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy (TJCA) athletics department has a big week ahead. Two of our teams will open up postseason action and one of our teams will compete for a state championship. 

The girls cross-country team will head to Kernersville with hopes of capturing a second state championship in three seasons. After a strong performance at the 1A West Regionals on Saturday, the Lady Gryphons earned their spot in the state championships with a second-place finish. Stella Friedman posted the best finish for the Lady Gryphons, finishing 7th overall with a time of 20:34.72. Sophie Smart placed 10th with a time of 20:50.57. Audrey Friedman placed 11th with a time of 20:54.22. Aby Nechayev finished 21st, posting a time of 21:54.10, while Maggie Beard finished 22nd with a time of 21:58.13. Maylan Maxwell placed 76th with a time of 25:59.07, while Hattie Hamrick finished 77th with a time of 26:13.68.

On the boys side, Michael Ledbetter finished 26th with a time of 18:14.63, to go along with a 44th-place finish by Tanner Richards (18:50.78) and a 46th-place finish by Ian Richards (18:56.71). Parker Marshall followed that up with a 47th-place finish, recording a time of 18:58.84. Owen Pierce placed 62nd with a time of 19:37.87, while Ryan Byrd (64th, 19:40.42) and Dylan Betancur (86th, 20:30.03) rounded out the TJCA competitors. 

The TJCA men’s soccer team will open up playoff action tonight (Monday) against Cornerstone Charter after earning the No. 7 overall seed. The match will begin at 6 p.m. The Gryphons earned the No. 7 seed by winning the 1A side of the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference, finishing the regular season with a 10-5-2 record. 

The TJCA varsity football team will travel to East Wilkes for the first round of the state playoffs after earning the No. 23 seed. The Gryphons finished second on the 1A side of the conference, after picking up two wins in their last three contests. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.