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Rampant athletes transition to NCSSM

FRI| 5-19-23 | SPORTS

Sports Staff Writer Elliott Flinchbaugh

     Every year, many Rose students apply to join the North Carolina School of Science and Math (NCSSM). While many of these students' primary or only focus is their schooling, some balance their education with athletics. Even with this added challenge, some student-athletes including sophomores Mac McCall and Samuel Jiang were accepted into NCSSM.

     McCall is a three sport athlete, juggling soccer, swimming and tennis along with academics and orchestra throughout the year.

     McCall also swims and plays tennis outside of school, swimming for East Carolina Aquatics (ECA) and eddw for tennis at Baywood Racquet Club.

     “I’ve been playing soccer for two years, I’ve been swimming for nine years, and I’ve been playing tennis for nine years on and off,” McCall said.

     Jiang is a varsity soccer player who has played since he was five years old. He also plays for Pitt-Greenville Soccer Association (PGSA).



Photo by Casey Foeller

     When it came time to apply during winter break, the applicants were met with a variety of assignments, including essays and tests. 

     “The essays were really hard, I spent a lot of time on those,” Jiang said.

     After a tedious and strenuous process, McCall and Jiang received the results of their application on April 5.

     “I was really nervous,” Jiang said. “I went to Mr. Garner's class after school to check my results, and [when] I got in, I called my mom.”

     Despite the excitement of their acceptance, leaving behind Greenville and Rose athletics will not be easy for the two. Throughout their years in Greenville, McCall and Jiang built many relationships in the classroom and on the field that they won’t forget about.

     “It will be sad leaving all my friends and great teachers here,” Jiang said. “Leaving my PGSA team will be really hard, I’ve been playing with those boys since I was eight.”

     Jiang plans on continuing his athletics while in Durham. He plans to play soccer for NCSSM and Triangle United Soccer Association.

     “I want to get better at NCSSM, make the team better there, and get to know everybody,” Jiang said. “I’m looking forward to [meeting] all the people there.”

     McCall has yet to decide if he will attend NCSSM next school year, but if he is to attend, he will continue his athletics through cross-country, tennis, and swim.

     “It would definitely be different, music is not as strong, sports are not as strong even though they do have good athletic programs,” McCall said. “The academic rigor will be higher, and there’ll be more opportunities through local universities like Duke and UNC.”

     While McCall weighs his options, Jiang is certain he is ready for the new environment.

     “I’m looking forward to learning more there and the challenging classes,” Jiang said.

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