ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — North Cross School is proud and excited to announce FIVE MORE Senior student-athletes who have committed to play athletics in college next year, bringing this year’s total up to 13 college athletic signees so far out of the 61 students in the Class of 2021!!
MONDAY North Cross held an official Signing Day Celebration in the GAME GYM of the Carter Athletic Center for five Seniors who all currently play on the perennial powerhouse and currently #1 state ranked North Cross Boys Varsity Lacrosse team: Carter Cole ’21 has committed to play lacrosse at Berry College, David Caldwell ’21 has committed to play lacrosse at Centre College and Brady Cole ’21,Rowland Neel ’21 and Carlton Ward ’21 have all committed to play lacrosse at Sewanee, Univ. of the South.All five of these seniors became students at North Cross in the eighth grade and all five have certainly made the most of their extraordinarily fast, five years as Raiders!
Identical twins, the Cole brothers have won enough State Championship rings combined during their years at North Cross to cover an entire hand!  Both Carter and Brady were on the Raiders’ 2018 Boys Lacrosse State Championship and the 2018 Boys Soccer State Championship teams, and then Carter, who switched from soccer to football his junior year also owns an additional ring from the Raider’s 2019 VISAA Div 2 State Football Championship team as well!  Carter has also already earned both All-State and All-Conference distinctions in both Lacrosse and Football as a Raider.
“The Cole brothers have been great for our team,” said Head Varsity Lacrosse Coach Chris Pollock.  “Carter has been a starter for us here at North Cross ever since his Freshman year.  He’s a quick explosive LSM/Defensemen that usually covers the other team’s best player.  Carter should definitely be vying for some playing time next year when he arrives at Berry College. And Brady,” Pollock continued, “he’s like our energizer bunny. He never stops. He’s a 2 way midfielder that will do whatever we need him to do for us to win games. I imagine him fighting for some good playing time his first year at Sewanee, as well.” 
Aside from being reliable and talented multi-sport student-athletes for North Cross, both Cole brothers are true leaders off their playing fields as well, with Carter serving as Treasurer and Brady as Vice President of the high school’s SCA. 
Rowland Neel is also a two-time State Champion for those same 2018 North Cross Soccer and  Lacrosse teams and will also be headed to Sewanee, Univ. of the South to continue his lacrosse career.  Sidelined by an injury, Rowland missed lacrosse his Sophomore and Junior seasons, but used that time to heal, grow and get in the weight room and then, once medically cleared, began to really concentrate on his lacrosse game.  Fully recovered now, about 5 inches taller and much, much stronger, Rowland is a 6’4″, 200lb Midfielder that is tough to stop once he gets moving. “Rowland has been a great player to coach and has a tremendous future ahead of him at Sewanee.  I couldn’t be happier for him,” said Coach Pollock.
David Caldwell began his days at North Cross originally as a triple sport athlete proving himself as one heck of a basketball player in addition to being a great soccer and lacrosse player too.  Ultimately, David settled into just soccer and lacrosse and, like a few of his fellow signees, is also a two-time State Champion for the aforementioned 2018 North Cross Soccer and Lacrosse State Championship teams!  For his play on the soccer field, David also earned 2nd Team All-Conference in 2019 and was named this year’s 2020 Coaches Award.  But it’s his play on the lacrosse field that has earned him a chance to play in college next year at Centre College in Danville, KY, just outside Lexington, KY. David is currently the leading scorer for the Raiders’ lacrosse team and has been a starter ever since the 9th grade.  “David is very coachable,” said Coach Pollock, ” and has worked very hard at his game this past year.  He plays both attack and midfield and should certainly be in the mix at Centre when he arrives next Fall.”
Lastly, tough as nails, Carlton Ward also already hastwo State Championship rings from his time at North Cross, winning one with the same Raiders’ 2018 Boys State Lacrosse Championship team and his other with the Raiders’ 2019 VISAA Div 2 State Football Championship team.  Carlton spends most of his time literally in the trenches winning a high percentage of the face-offs he takes for the lacrosse team, which has already earned him All-State recognition once and All-Conference honors twice, and then as a Linebacker for the football team where he earned All-State and All-Conference honors in that sport, as well. “Carlton is a scrapper,” said Coach Pollock. “He’s very intense and doesn’t like to lose.  He has taken 90% of the Faceoffs since his arrival and will be hard to replace when he moves onto Sewanee next fall. “
As an interesting side note, it was not the original plan that three teammates (Carlton, Brady and Rowland) would go to the same college (Sewanee) lacrosse program, but also equally interesting, they will also get to see three more teammates in Carter, David and Geist Pollock when they play their conference schedule (Southern Athletic Association) each year against Berry, Centre and Rhodes Colleges!