At Christ Church, we often use phrases like “Cavalier Mindset” as we talk about aspects of our school that we believe set us apart. The “Cavalier Mindset” falls under Goal 2 of the school’s strategic plan
and its definition includes:
- Cavaliers strive to develop their unique gifts.
- Cavaliers set process goals; outcomes follow.
- Cavaliers understand that their motivation and work propel learning, and falling short can stimulate growth.
- Cavaliers believe that they and their work are always progressing, subject to feedback and diligent practice.
- Cavaliers embrace challenges as learning opportunities.
- Cavaliers seek to help, serve and mentor others, and value the contributions that result from differences.
Junior Paddy-Shea Nary is a student-athlete who truly embodies this Cavalier Mindset and his influence is far-reaching, both on and off the field.
Paddy-Shea transferred to CCES after his freshman year and has been a member of the Varsity Boys Lacrosse team for those two years. He originally started playing lacrosse in first grade in Colorado, before his family moved to Greenville. His older brother was able to play for a few years and when Paddy-Shea was finally old enough, he “begged his parents” to sign him up. He fell in love with the sport because it does not place physical limitations on players. He states: “it doesn’t matter how big or fast you are; you can excel in lacrosse no matter what size you are.” Paddy-Shea was also drawn to the team aspect of the sport, where “a great group of people can become friends instantly just because they all play lacrosse.”
Some might not know that while Paddy-Shea is a goalie now, he did not start out at that position. He played attack for his first few years of lacrosse, but when he would play with his brother and friends for fun, he would always wind up in the goal. After what he calls “a couple of years of casually playing goalie in the backyard,” Paddy-Shea decided to try it out in practice. He liked the position more than playing attack, he saw it as an opportunity to get on the field more, and he never looked back.
Paddy-Shea has dedicated a lot of time, energy and hard work to get to where he is today: the starting goalie on our varsity team. CCES Head Coach Joe Cummings notes that Paddy-Shea is an “extremely hard worker who is constantly trying to find ways to improve at his position.” While Paddy-Shea is extremely driven to push himself individually, he is also dedicated to pushing his teammates to improve as well. He wants the team to be the best they can be and he is willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. Teammate Porter Brown notes: “he brings his skill and knowledge of the game to each practice and game and we are able to learn a lot from him as his teammates every day.” Senior captain Camp Williams adds: “He truly knows how to create plays on the field. He is willing to take risks and sacrifice himself to help us get a better outcome.”
Paddy-Shea’s attitude and influence is felt in all aspects of the game. He is a leader on the defensive side of the field, communicating with his teammates and being vocal in goal. However, Camp Williams states that Paddy-Shea also lends his unique perspective to the offensive players, giving them tips on how to beat other goalies. It is clear that his teammates respect him and how much he cares about the team, but according to Coach Cummings, they are also able to joke and goof off with him. Cummings notes that Paddy-Shea leads by example, always giving a maximum effort and the team often “feeds off of his energy.”
In addition to playing lacrosse here at CCES, Paddy-Shea has also played for a select club team out of Charlotte for a total of 7 season (fall and summer). That experience allowed him to travel to cities like Baltimore and Philadelphia, build friendships with teammates and meet with various college coaches. He was even able to form a relationship with Coach Cummings’ parents who live in Baltimore and have gone to watch him play on occasion.
Before Paddy-Shea transferred to CCES, he attended another private school in Greenville. When he was thinking of switching schools, he came to visit and was “blown away by how inclusive the CCES community was.” He was drawn to the fact that friendships at CCES were not based on grade, activities or sports, but that students develop a wide range of friends despite their differences. While CCES prides itself on being a school that stands out because of its community, this is really a testament to our student body. We have a school full of kids who embody the Cavalier Mindset. Students who are celebrating each other’s gifts while seeking to better their own and pushing each other to be the best they can be.
If you are interested in being part of this welcoming and inclusive community, visit cces.org. Click here for information about admissions, click here for more information about athletics and as always, GO CAVS!!