Warriors head to Golden State

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 24, 2002

Ashley Witt is used to spending her Thanksgivings away from home. &uot;This will be my third time playing in the National Field Hockey (NFH) festival,&uot; said the Nansemond River High School senior. &uot;But I’m excited about going there, because coaches from almost ever major college in the country will be there to watch the players.&uot;

The festival, one of the largest in the world, will take place in Palm Spring, Calif. on Thursday and Friday of next week. After two years in Florida, it now heads to the Golden State.

&uot;I miss my family at Thanksgiving,&uot; said Witt, who will be a member of the HERicane team. &uot;My first year there, we ate Thanks-giving dinner at The Cracker Barrel. But I’m celebrating it on Sunday this year.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

Witt, who achieved All-Southeastern District honors all four of her years as a Lady Warrior, was named Most Valuable Player of the team that tied cross-town rival Lakeland for first in the district during the regular season. At the NFH, she’ll have some familiar company: senior Tara Williams and junior Ali Mowry, who were also part of the 2002 Lady Warrior team. Meredith Powell, who played field hockey for Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, will also be heading to the festival.

&uot;The girls who have played at the festival before are allowed to recommend other players,&uot; said Witt. &uot;I knew how good Tara and Ali were, so I told my coaches about them.&uot;

Williams, who made All-District three times, isn’t too upset about spending Turkey Day away from home. &uot;I’ll probably celebrate Thanksgiving when I get back,&uot; she said, &uot;and I’ll get to see my relatives at Christmas.&uot;

Mowry, who also received three All-District honors, hopes that the skills she picks up at the NFH help her lead the Lady Warriors back to the top of the district next season. &uot;I’m glad I get to go to California, because I’ve never left the East Coast before,&uot; she said.

Williams will be a member of the Stingers, and Mowry will take the field for the Tidewater Crabbers. Because of the schedule makeup, the Lady Warriors will never play against each other.

&uot;That would be difficult, because we’d be rooting for one another!&uot; Williams said.

All the players at the NFH will receive equal playing time. Every seven minutes, all the players on the field are switched, and no player can start two games in a row.

At the tournament’s end, all the high school seniors will be able to pass out 10 resumes to the coaches of their choice, and talk to as many as they wish.

&uot;Playing there is easier than playing in high school, because you don’t have to pick up the slack for anyone,&uot; said Witt. &uot;You think, ‘Wow, these players are really good,’ but they’ll be thinking the same thing about you.&uot;