After a down year in 2016 Charlotte Christian is back to what it does – winning. The Knights won four N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A state championships in a row before taking a dip last season. Most teams would take a 23-12 record and first round playoff appearance, but that is way below expectations for Charlotte Christian, a program that is synonymous with excellence.
The Knights (27-3, 13-1 CISAA) should be one of the heavy favorites along with Wesleyan Christian Academy (22-1) to contend for the state title.
Charlotte Christian has already secured the CISAA championship and will begin its journey for an opportunity to return to prominence over the next two weeks. The Knights will get a double bye through the first two rounds of the state playoffs. Charlotte Christian will get a top four seed at the very least, but its resume deserves one of the top two spots and home-field advantage up until the championship series if it can survive and advance.
Coach Greg Simmons is getting significant contribution in every phase of the game from a slew of players. Senior catcher Drew Donathan (.457 batting average), senior outfielder/infielder Nick Murrer (.407 batting average), sophomore infielder Trey Donathan (.386 batting average), junior pitcher/outfielder Jonathan Jagielski (.372 batting average), senior Andrew Durden (.359 batting average), junior outfielder Reid Mayers (.356 batting average) and junior infielder Jonah Beamon (.346 batting average) give him a litany of reliable batters.
Senior pitcher Scottie Wallace (1.29 ERA and 7-0 record) and Jagielski (1.71 ERA and 7-1 record) have been superb on the mound as Charlotte Christian’s primary ace hurlers.
Charlotte Country Day coach Mike Hennessey and Providence Day coach Jim Cerbie also have dangerous teams the Knights and other top title contenders can’t afford to overlook. The Chargers (17-6, 9-4 CISAA) failed to win the series, but they are the only ballclub to beat Charlotte Christian during conference play.
The Knights host the Buccaneers (25-5, 11-3 CISAA) for the regular season finale Friday, May 5, at 7 p.m. It will be another big test for both teams before the playoffs begin.