Lakeland wraps up first sports season of school year

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 4, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

When discussing Southeastern District field hockey, the question isn’t, &uot;Who’s going to finish first this season?&uot; Instead, it’s, &uot;Who’s going to finish second – behind Lakeland?&uot;

Just as they have since the millennium began, the Lady Cavaliers dominated their district counterparts in 2003-4, finishing their second undefeated season in three years, winning their third consecutive district tournament title and snaring their fourth straight district title. Proving true their motto of &uot;Discipline, dedication and determination,&uot; Lakeland placed 11 players on the All-District team, including seven on the First All-District team. Six Lady Cavaliers made it to the All-Region squad, and junior Katelyn Smither was voted the top player in the district (the third Lady Cavalier in four seasons to attain such a ranking) and the Co-Player of the region. Early in the season, they won the Suffolk Invitational Tournament, and came within a game of making it to state competition.

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&uot;You guys are who you are because of what you do,&uot; coach Tara Worley told her team at the Lakeland Fall Sports Banquet Thursday night. &uot;Every year, these girls take the team farther.&uot;

Over Thanksgiving, several of the girls traveled to the National Field Hockey festival in California, one of the top events in the world for the sport. Worley went with them for the first time.

&uot;It was incredible for me to see these girls walking up to coaches from around the country and saying ‘Hi, my name is so-and-so, and I’m from Lakeland High School in Suffolk, Virginia,’ and hearing the coach say to them, ‘I know who you are. I’ve heard of your school.’&uot;

Nicole Debien, who ended her high school career with a 40-goal, 28-assist season, was named the top offensive player, and Alice Carnegie, whom Worley referred to as, &uot;a coach’s dream,&uot; got the Coach’s Award. Nicole Klee was named the Most Improved Player, and Jennifer Brinkley received the Best All-Around honor.

&uot;This season was a dream come true for me,&uot; said Greg Rountree, who waited 13 years to become the school football coach. &uot;The dream continues, and I look forward to Lakeland ball in the future. I got to see a lot of my guys turn into young men.&uot; The team defeated Maury, Norview and Norcom.

Alvin Morris was given the Rookie of the Year Award, and Chase Nelson the Most Valuable Player honor. Mike Camp got the top offensive player award, and Charles Manley the defensive honor (Nelson and Manley were named to the All-District team, as were Reggie Banks and Vernon Cassell).

The Lakeland cheerleading squad was much more than just a team, said coach Latoya Floyd. &uot;This was the most caring, athletic and academic group of girls I’ve ever had,&uot; said Floyd, in her sixth year of leading the Lady Cavalier cheerers. &uot;They ate, slept, shopped, cheered and showered together. They had more heart and spirit than a lot of other teams in the area. They really bonded, and it showed when they went to competitions.&uot; The girls took third place in a regional competition early in the season.

Laura Walters was named the team’s Most Dedicated cheerer. &uot;She had never flown (been thrown high into in the air by her teammates) before, but she always worked really hard, and she ended up being one of the best fliers in the district,&uot; Floyd said. Brandi Tyeryar, who helped choreograph several of the team’s dance routines, was voted the Most Valuable Cheerer (she was also the only Lady Cavalier to make the All-District team).

Also receiving awards were:

Cross country: Steve Morean, Most Outstanding Male

Allison Jones, Most Outstanding Female

Golf: Aaron Stacy, Top Medallist

Bryan Ashburn, Most Outstanding Golfer

Girls volleyball: Ashley Brinkley, Top Defender

Andrea Owen, Most Improved

Ashley Christopher, Coach’s award

Boys volleyball: Buddy Wirt, Top Defender

Corey Davis: Top Offensive player

Jake Conrad: Coach’s award

Girls tennis: Whitney Holland, Most Outstanding

Julie Kaye: Most Improved