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Lady Warrior leader returns as head coach

Andrew Giermak/suffolk news-herald Returning home: Nansemond River’s field hockey team went 11-6 last season and finished third in the Southeastern District. Former Lady Warrior team captain Allison Mowry, standing far right, is the team’s new head coach. Longtime varsity coach Darryl Yandle is coaching the junior varsity Lady Warriors this season.

There’s a new leader in charge of Nansemond River’s varsity field hockey squad this season, but it’s also a very familiar one for the Lady Warriors.

Longtime head coach Darryl Yandle stepped away from coaching the varsity team at the end of last season, letting his players know at the team’s season-end awards ceremony.

He’s certainly not leaving the game or the Lady Warriors, as he’s taken up the junior varsity squad.

The move will allow Yandle more of a chance to see his daughter, Katelyn, during her senior season at Christopher Newport. Katelyn herself set all sorts of school records as a forward and won multiple postseason honors, for the Lady Warriors.

Yandle and Nansemond River were fortunate to find another of his past standouts, Allison Mowry, to take the helm of the varsity team.

Mowry was an All-Southeastern District player from her freshman year on for Nansemond River. She was a three-year captain for Yandle. Mowry went on from Nansemond River to be a four-year letterwinner, from 2004-07, at Radford University.

With Nansemond River alums Tara Worley, Lakeland’s coach for more than a decade now, and Ashley Aston, who is starting her first season at Nansemond-Suffolk this season after playing for and graduating from Virginia Commonwealth, three of the four varsity field hockey coaches in Suffolk are former Warriors.

“I’m definitely taking a lot from Coach Yandle. I played for him for a long time. I’m also taking a lot from what I learned at the college level and mixing it in there,” Mowry said.

Nansemond River went 11-6 and finished third in the Southeastern District last year. The Lady Warriors always expect to reach the four-team district tournament and contend for an Eastern Region Tournament spot.

There’s no drop off at all between Yandle and one of his best pupils when it comes to expectations for the upcoming season.

“Nothing really changes for the team’s goals. We expect to be in the playoffs every year. We don’t really want to have a rebuilding year. We think we can reload. We have a very young team, but we know it’s a very talented team,” Mowry said.