Warriors look back at last season of 2002

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 19, 2002

A football team that

roared from obscurity to the top of the Southeastern district, a field hockey team that came within two goals of the district title, and a pair of volleyball teams that made their school proud.

All of these events occurred in the fall months of Nansemond River (NR) High School sports. At the sports banquet Tuesday night, athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators looked back at one of the most memorable years that the Warrior Home has experienced since entering Triple A ball five years ago.

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&uot;Seasons like the one we had make me feel like one of the luckiest athletic directors around,&uot; said NR athletic director Phil Bras-well. &uot;Getting students into the games keeps them out of trouble. The students here show so much school spirit, and our principal (Tom McLemore) works so hard for our school to be so productive.&uot;

The first teams to recall their productivity were the boys and girls volleyball teams. The girls went from 4-14 in 2001 to 8-11 this season, and the boys, after coming in at 2-14 last year, roared to a 10-8 record that gave them fourth place in the district and a trip to the district playoffs – the first group of Warriors to ever make it that far.

&uot;This is the best team that we’ve had since entering Triple A,&uot; said girls’ coach Nancy Richey, in her fourth year of leading the Lady Warriors. &uot;We were in competition for the district tournament until the very end. My ladies never gave up.&uot;

Rachele Hirsch, one of three three-year lettermen on the team, was given the Coach’s Award. &uot;Rachele is the quarterback of this team,&uot; said Richey. &uot;She always gets the girls set up on the court.&uot; Juniors Whitney Eley and Ashley Cox were named co-Most Valuable Players.

&uot;We were winning against teams that we had never beaten before,&uot; said boys’ coach Bryan Maupin, whose teams defeated such district foes as Lakeland, Indian River, and Oscar Smith. Dustin Alexander and Craig Brooks were named the Offensive and Defensive players of the year, and Chris Case received the Coach’s Award.

When she took over the cross country teams in mid-season, Ashley Mitchell didn’t know what to expect. But the intensity that the team showed from then on gave her confidence in both this season and next.

&uot;This is the toughest team in the district,&uot; Mitchell said. &uot;They always did exactly what a team should do, and they always came together like a team should.

&uot;Cross country is a sport that you only do if you really like it. Players on this team really showed each other how to compete. We will be a force next year.&uot; Paul Henderson and Jennifer Jiggetts (one of only six four-year lettermen in the school) were named Most Valuable Players.

In his first year of leading the Nansemond River football team, Darryl Yandle helped them to an 11-4 record that gave them a tie for first in the district with cross-town rival Lakeland, who defeated the Lady Warriors 2-1 in a playoff for the district title on Oct. 22.

&uot;I’d like to thank my team for making this the finest first season a coach could ask for,&uot; said Yandle. Ashley Witt, the team’s only four-year letterman, was named the Most Valuable Player, and fellow senior Tara Williams received the Team Player award.

Each time the Warrior football team scored a touchdown this season, the Lady Warrior cheerleaders would drop to the ground for a set of pushups. Cheering for a team that scored over 250 points for a second-place finish in the district, Nansemond River cheerers got a great deal of extra exercise in 2002.

&uot;We’d like to thank the football team for scoring all those touchdowns, because doing those pushups really got us in shape,&uot; said coach Alice Dozier. &uot;But for the whole year, we always enjoyed making signs and showing school spirit for all the team.&uot; Rachel Short received the Coach’s Award, and Tonya Young was elected Most Spirited.

Also receiving awards were Jonathan Faw (Most Outstanding – golf); Greg Hunt (Most Valuable – golf); Kat Sexton (Most Competitive – tennis); and Santiera Brown (Best All-Around – tennis).