Chatham Charter is only undefeated team in county


Entering Tuesday’s game against Gray Stone Day (which occurred after press time), the Chatham Charter baseball is off to the best start in program history at 8-0.

The Knights came into the week averaging over 12 runs per game and outscoring their opponents by an average of 10.9 runs per game. Backed by a potent lineup of bats at the plate, head coach Bill Slaughter’s team looks primed to challenge the school record for wins in a season (18), which was set during the spring of 2018.

“It’s just been a great bunch to work with,” said head coach Bill Slaughter. “They’re young, they’re excited. They’re having fun. And they’ve all played before. It’s the first time I feel like I’ve had all baseball players since I’ve been at Chatham Charter.”

Through the team’s first eight games, Chatham Charter was hitting .466 as a team with 27 extra-base hits and an overall OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 1.211. Four Knights had at least 10 hits in the team’s first eight games, led by sophomore Zach Cartrette (.481 average, 13 hits, 13 RBI). Also contributing in a big way at the plate were junior Jonah Ridgill (.500, 12 hits, seven RBI), sophomore Luke Johnson (.500, 11 hits, 10 RBI) and junior Aidan Allred (.455, 10 hits, 14 RBI). 

On the mound, Cartrette entered the week with a 4-0 record and a 1.56 ERA and 24 strikeouts against four walks through 18 innings pitched. As a group, Chatham Charter’s pitching staff had a team ERA of 1.17 and 62 strikeouts against 12 walks. The Knights have also only allowed one extra-base hit to their opponents, as of publication.

With momentum firmly in their corner, the Knights hope they can make some real noise on the 1A scene this spring. Last year, Chatham Charter finished the regular season 11-4 overall before winning the Central Tar Heel Conference tournament title and making it to the second round of the 1A playoffs before falling to Bear Grass Charter. Chatham Charter has never made it past the second round of the playoffs.

But even if the Knights don’t make a big postseason run, they should still be set up for success for the next several years. Slaughter’s team only has one senior — Cameron Turner (.400, eight hits, nine RBI). All told, each of the team’s top 10 hitters in terms of average and five of their top six pitchers will return to the field in 2024.

“It’s a very exciting time. It really is,” Slaughter said. “I coached for years at a rival school here in Chatham County, but this is the first time in my seven years at Chatham Charter where we’re starting to become a little bit of a baseball school now. Everyone knows about our basketball programs. We’re trying to get to a similar level.”

Sports Editor Jeremy Vernon can be reached at or on Twitter at @jbo_vernon.