Signing Day is big in Suffolk

Published 10:53 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wednesday was an important day at high schools around the nation, as athletes and colleges paired up publicly and officially in sports ranging from football to field hockey. It was the first day that student-athletes were allowed to sign papers announcing their acceptance of athletic scholarships and their intentions to play for collegiate teams. Appropriately enough, it’s called Signing Day, and it’s a big deal for the students involved, for their families, for the high schools and for their intended colleges.

In Suffolk this year, Signing Day changed lives at Nansemond River High School, at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy and at Lakeland High School. Nansemond River and the Academy both are sending senior football players on to college teams. The Warriors’ Dewayne Alford is headed to Virginia Tech, and NSA’s Domonique Lennon will play for East Carolina next year. Both schools have plenty of reason to be proud of these two young men, and the eyes of sports fans all around Suffolk will be on them as they head into their collegiate careers.

But the excitement surrounding Signing Day at Lakeland High School couldn’t be matched in Suffolk — or, perhaps, anywhere else in Hampton Roads — on Wednesday. None of Lakeland’s football players have been picked up by colleges in the early recruitment process. But its powerhouse field hockey team, which won the Group AAA State Championship with a perfect record and a national ranking is sending a record six seniors on to collegiate teams.


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Teammates through thick and thin, the six girls will play at five different Virginia schools next year. But they spent much of Wednesday’s signing ceremony enjoying the bond that took them so far this year. Come next year, they will enjoy the benefit of a total of more than $60,000 worth of scholarships a year.

Lakeland has plenty to be proud of in this crop of scholar-athletes. And the girls have plenty of reason to be proud, too. We wish them the best, and we can’t wait to see what they’ll do in their college careers.