Review: Demiel races to multiple victories

Published 2:00 pm Friday, December 24, 2010

Lakeland junior Jaquan Demiel won the Group AAA State Championship in the 300-meter hurdles in June. Demiel set new personal bests to win at the Eastern Region Championship and two weeks later at states, clocking in at 37.83 seconds there.

The Suffolk News-Herald could’ve used a bureau in Nebraska for a couple weeks’ worth of the summer.

Closer to home, Lakeland’s sports calendar for one school year was capped by a state championship. The Cavaliers suffered a tragic, pointless loss the day before their new sports year kicked off.

Lakeland junior Jaquan Demiel won the district, regional and VHSL Group AAA State Championship in the 300-meter hurdles, winning the state crown with a personal-best time of 37.83 seconds.

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Demiel peaked at exactly the right time in a long recovery from a pulled hamstring dating back to the 2009 outdoor track season.

“Right now, it just feels real good,” Demiel said about the state crown. “My coaches told me right before ‘there was no pressure on me. If I just run my race, I’d be good.’”

Nansemond-Suffolk’s softball team won the Tidewater Conference regular season title, largely thanks to a 3-2 win over Greenbrier Christian in the regular season. Greenbrier beat NSA in the TCIS Tournament final. NSA’s season ended in the state semifinals with a 17-5 overall record.

NSA junior Kelsey Ritter pitched four no-hitters and threw a nine-inning shutout for a 1-0 NSA win over Paul VI in the state quarters. Ritter was the TCIS Player of the Year and made first team All-State VIS (Virginia Independent Schools).

Playing the last four innings with eight players, including a first baseman with a broken thumb, Lakeland beat King’s Fork 8-6 on the baseball diamond.

Lakeland had nine healthy players to start the game before losing another to injury on a play in the fourth inning. KF led 3-1 at that point. Lakeland played the rest of the way and rallied with two outfielders and an automatic out spot in its batting order. Lakeland senior Brandon Snook played first with a cast on his throwing hand and either bunted or slashed one-armed at the plate.

Harris, left, and George Fischer placed fifth overall and with a silver medal in their division by shooting rounds of 49, 48 and 48 in the golf competition at the 2010 Special Olympics National Games in Lincoln, Neb. in July.

George and Harris Fischer teamed as a father-son golf team to place fifth overall and win silver medals in their division at the 2010 Special Olympics National Games in Lincoln, Neb. in July.

The Fischers, of North Suffolk, shot alternating-shot, nine-hole rounds of 49, 48 and 48 at Lincoln’s Mahoney Golf Club. Harris, 17, is a student at Nansemond River where he’s a manager for the baseball team and played on the varsity golf squad this fall.

In Lincoln, the Fischers played with teams from Missouri, Wyoming and Nebraska. The Olympics also included a spur-of-the-moment beach volleyball game for the Fischers, for which George had to be recruited.

“I couldn’t walk the next day. I had to hit a lot balls on the range to warm up,” George said.

Nansemond-Suffolk’s Kelsey Ritter fired four no-hitters for the Lady Saints last spring, the fourth being an 8-0 win over Hampton Roads in the semifinal of the Tidewater Conference Tournament. Ritter was the TCIS Player of the Year as she also hit .615.

The Virginia Skyliners played 11 games in four days against travel softball squads from all over the country during a 16-and-under invitational tournament at the Cat Osterman Experience in Bellevue, Neb. in July.

It was one of the first events at the new complex founded by the former University of Texas and U.S. Olympic Team star pitcher. The complex features lodging for all, in this case, 34 teams in the tournament, Olympic-level fields and is the new home of the U.S. Girls Softball Hall of Fame.

The Skyliners, who draw from Suffolk, Franklin and Southampton finished with six wins, three losses and two draws.

Lakeland alum Predist Walker joined Devon Brown, Reggie Dixon and Aaron Anderson to win the 4×100-meter relay for Hampton at the MEAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships in a conference-record time of 39.71 seconds.

The Pirates set a school-record time of 39.55 at the NCAA East Regional and continued on to finish 10th in the nation at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. in June.

Individually, Walker won the MEAC title in the 110 hurdles in an HU record 13.83 seconds.

A little more than 24 hours before he would’ve started his senior football season with Lakeland, Tyquan Lewis was shot and killed in the early morning of Sunday, Aug. 2 after leaving a party on Manning Rd.

Lakeland senior Michael Lee, also a football player, was shot and killed at a late-night party in Norfolk on Jan. 9.

Lakeland head coach Glenwood Ferebee said about 60 percent of his players didn’t know about Lewis’s death, and he had to tell them about it, before the first Cavalier football practice of the preseason on Monday morning. A pair of practices, as scheduled, went on as normally as possible that day.

“(Lewis) lived and breathed football. He had played since he was 7 years old. I don’t think he would want us sitting inside and not doing anything,” Ferebee said.