Suffolk teen a finalist for state award

Published 10:44 pm Thursday, December 1, 2011

Suffolk teenager Taylor Hilton Wentzel is one of 16 finalists from around Virginia who will be honored at the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Student Athlete Achievement Awards dinner at the Hall of Fame in Portsmouth Sunday evening.


The hall’s Student Athlete Achievement Awards recognize student-athletes who are the best at being dedicated to their sport, or in most cases, sports, while also being exceptional in the classroom and in the community.

Wentzel plays soccer, basketball, lacrosse and cross country at The Williams School in Norfolk, where he’s been a High Honor Roll student for the last two years running. The Owl soccer squad went 12-1 and won their league championship this fall.

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Wentzel plays club soccer with the Old Dominion Soccer Club Pirates U14. He’s been a part of two undefeated and championship-winning Pirate teams in the last two Tidewater Advance Soccer League seasons.

The Pirates have won a host of other tournament titles, including the 2011 Ralph Downey Memorial Classic and the 2011 Commonwealth Classic.

“Our team’s core values are true sportsmanship, personal development and academic excellence,” said Pirates coach Mike Rose. “Taylor Hilton is a great athlete that exemplifies true sportsmanship with commendable academic achievements and we are proud of him.”

Wentzel does volunteer work for the Suffolk Food Bank and is a camp counselor at soccer camps during the summer with Ebenezer United Methodist Church in northern Suffolk. He’s volunteered at the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach and the Just Do It for Liz Walk, an annual event in Norfolk which raises donations for ovarian cancer awareness in memory of Liz Kolmansberger.

At The Williams School, Wentzel is a straight-A student and was the school’s Continental Math League winner for 2010.

The Hall of Fame will name one boy and one girl winner for two age groups, grades 6-8 and grades 9-12. The four titlists will be part of a display in the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in January and February.