North Cross has three elite student-athletes moving on

The Raiders tradition of shaping collegiate student-athletes continues

ROANOKE, Va. – The Virginia Independent school (VISAA) power has plenty to be proud of with this terrific trio of talent. On the golf links, the defending VISAA Div 2 state champion Uzair Mirza will tee it up for George Mason University. Fresh off a state football championship..highly sought after lineman Moritz Schmoranzer (we call him Schmo) is bound for the University of Pittsburgh. And 1st team all-state baseball player Ashton Shannon is headed to Hampden-Sydney College. North Cross continues to churn out high level student athletes, the product of a Raiders culture that’s about hard work and sacrifice in the classroom, and on the field of play.

The culture really has started from from the varsity programs and the head varsity coaches, and that program level from the varsity level to the junior varsity to the middle school and so forth has really been there. They talk about culture, they talk about what it means to be hard-working, dedication to their craft things of that nature. It has really risen at the middle school level, junior varsity and when they get to the varsity level and we talk a lot about this. Not just with our student athletes but with our coaches and with our teams and our parents -- at the end of the day the only thing you have is your name. Whether it’s your own personal name or your school name your representing yourself and your school-- and these three guys have been a great example of that in their time here,” North Cross Director of Athletics Jeremy Eubank says.

Here are the complete bios, courtesy of North Cross School.


Moritz Schmoranzer came to North Cross School three years ago from Bavaria, Germany through a wonderful partnership with Gridiron Imports, whose goal is to find American football opportunities for their players from around the world. Schmoranzer, arrived to NCS as a 180lb WR, but has evolved into a now 6′4″, 270lb agile lineman and had no problems fitting into the Raiders football program, helping them win back-to-back State Championship titles in 2022 and 2023, as well as capturing the attention of many NCAA D1 college football scouts during his Junior year. After narrowing down his options and offers from many quality programs including UVA, Wake Forest, Univ of Miami (FL), Va Tech, Pitt and West Va, “Schmo” ultimately committed to Pittsburgh back over the summer and then officially signed his NLI with the Panthers in his home country of Germany this past Dec. Schmoranzer wrapped up his football career at North Cross this past Fall not only as a 2x State Champion and 3X Conference Champion (2021, 2022, 2023), but also as a two-time 1st Team All-State and two-time 1st Team All-Conference Offensive Lineman with an overall career record of 31 wins and only 5 losses in three years. While at North Cross, Schmoranzer also contributed mightily to the Raiders Indoor and Outdoor track programs; was named the 2022 Most Outstanding Field Athlete at the 2022 Outdoor Track State Championships after winning both the shot and discus State Championship individual titles that season, and was a big part of the boys track program’s back-to-back Outdoor Conference titles in both 2022 and 2023, as well as the school’s first ever State Championship in boys track last Spring in 2023! And in true North Cross fashion where students often do multiple sports, Schmoranzer even decided to show off his skills in the pool this past winter competing in several meets as a welcomed addition to the Raiders’ Varsity Swim team. Like other D1 football signees before him, “Schmo” has announced he will graduate early from North Cross, forgoing the rest of his Winter and Spring high school sports seasons, in order to enroll at Pittsburg this January and to begin the next chapter in his football career.

Schmoranzer is the 5th player from North Cross to receive a football scholarship to an FBS school in as many years and the third football player to go to an ACC school in the last four years (James Jackson’ 21- UVA & Hannes Hammer ‘23- Va Tech).

Uzair Mirza has been a student at North Cross School for 14 years and has been a talented member of the Raiders’ Varsity Golf team since 8th grade. After coming up painfully close to winning both the individual Conference and State Championship tournaments in each of his 9th and 10th grade years, the three-time team MVP put together a phenomenal season this past spring as an 11th grader and won both the 2023 Blue Ridge Athletic Conference (BRAC) and the VISAA DII Golf State Championships and was named Golfer of the Year for each of those leagues! Riding the momentum into the summer, Mirza went on to win the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) K.J. Choi Foundation Jr. Championships by S.K. Telecom this past August in NJ and is currently the 96th ranked junior golfer in the country, as well as the 47th best in the entire golf Class of 2024, and even ranks 5th among ALL high school golfers in VA! With golf being such a huge time commitment, it is notable to mention that Mirza was able to enjoy one quality season of Varsity Soccer as an 11th grader for North Cross where his speed and athleticism helped the Raiders’ win the 2022 BRAC Conference Boys Soccer Championship and finish as the VISAA DII State Runner-up that season. But now as a graduating Senior and 100% focused on golf, Mirza is looking forward to his final golf season later this Spring with the Raiders, to not only perhaps add to his own individual golf titles, but to most definitely help his teammates complete their goals of winning some important team titles before he ultimately moves on to continue his golf career for the Patriots of George Mason.

Ashton Shannon has also been a student at North Cross School for 14 years and been a valuable member of the Varsity Baseball team since 8th grade. Last season, as an 11th grader, Shannon was team Captain, earned 1st team All-State honors, as well as All-Conference, and was named the team’s 2023 MVP. As a 10th grader, Shannon made 1st team All-Conference, won the team’s Coaches Award and helped the Raiders win a memorable game to claim the 2022 BRAC Conference Baseball Championship title. As a multi-position player for North Cross, Shannon plays mostly infield at either 3rd or 1st base and is also a key ingredient in the pitching rotation. Over the last three seasons, Shannon has played in 66 games and has accumulated 73 hits along with 68 RBIs and last season he bumped his batting average up from .361 to.468 and had 3 HRs!! Aside from playing baseball for the Raiders, Shannon has also played extensive travel baseball the last two summers with the Dirtbags out of Danville, VA , as well as several tournaments with 5-Star out of Va Beach. A gifted athlete, Shannon played on the North Cross JV Basketball team in the 9th and 10th grade and competed for the Raider’s Indoor Track team in 11th grade. Even while enjoying other sports, Shannon’s primary focus has always been baseball and he is no doubt looking forward to having another stellar season with the Raiders this Spring before he transitions to playing baseball at the next level for the Hampden-Sydney Tigers next year!

About the Author

John serves as the Sports Director at WSLS 10. From Virginia Tech, to NASCAR and everything in between, WSLS 10 Sports covers the names making big plays in the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB.

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