Best in the state

Published 7:59 pm Monday, November 15, 2010

Most of the school systems in the state must content themselves with dreaming of a state championship.

Suffolk now has two within two years of each other. A 3-0 win on the field hockey pitch against Mountain View on Saturday gave Lakeland’s Lady Cavaliers the distinction of both an undefeated season and the state title. Just a little under two years ago, the King’s Fork Bulldog boys’ basketball team took first place among AAA high school teams in the state.

Lakeland has been flirting with the title for some time. Under the capable tutelage of Coach Tara Worley, the girls have been the power of the Southeastern District since the program’s second year, and they haven’t lost to a district opponent since 2002. After years of being stymied in the Eastern Region Playoffs by traditional powerhouses such as Virginia Beach, the girls last year reached the semifinals before being knocked out of the running.

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This year, there was from the beginning a definite sense of Lakeland’s time having come, both on the team and among the spectators. With eight seniors on the team, all of them playing crucial roles for most of their high school careers, the lone goal left was obvious. The girls spoke freely of the expectation of state title or bust. There was a feeling of expectation amongst fans, as well, perhaps best exemplified by the national ranking one website gave the school.

On Saturday, all of those expectations came together, with senior Kendell Combs’ hat trick capping a perfect season with a perfect ending.

Congratulations to the Lady Cavaliers for their great season, and a hearty acknowledgement of a job well done to Coach Worley. Your city is proud of you, ladies.