Six sign at NSA
Published 7:12 pm Saturday, April 30, 2016
Six student-athletes from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy on Thursday formalized their commitments to play their respective sports at six Division III schools.
“It’s kind of a culmination of all the work they’ve put in as students and as athletes,” said T.W. Johnson, director of boys’ athletics at the school.
Making their commitments were Jack Johnson and Eric Teumer from football; Brooklyne Carr from softball; Caroline Hogg from girls’ basketball; Logan Lokie from boys’ basketball; and Sam Neal from baseball.
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“It’s always been my dream to play at the next level,” said Jack Johnson, who will attend Hampden-Sydney College next year.
His coach, Lew Johnston, noted that Johnson could have been finishing his freshman year of college right now were it not for his dedication to the team. Johnson reclassified when he arrived at NSA to give him an extra year of play — and it earned him a state championship win with the rest of his team.
“It was a great opportunity for me to grow,” Johnson said.
Johnston said Johnson readily accepted the role of tackle, even though tackles “don’t get a whole lot of recognition.”
“That’s the caliber young man we have here,” Johnston said.
Eric Teumer will attend Christopher Newport University.
“I fell in love with it,” Teumer said about his visit to the Newport News campus. “It feels great” to have committed, he added. “It’s a load off my shoulders.”
Johnston said Teumer “can put on a clinic catching a football. I think he can do it with his eyes closed.”
“Christopher Newport’s got themselves a gem, because he’s going to be at the right place at the right time this year,” Johnston said.
Brooklyne Carr will attend Randolph-Macon College. She said she was drawn to how well rounded and close-knit the girls on the softball team are.
“They do everything together,” said Carr, who said she’ll probably play first or third base for the team.
Brittany Wilkins, the softball coach, said she knew Carr would be a good player from the moment she saw her.
“I knew right then she had God-given talent,” Wilkins said. “It’s been really cool getting to know her.”
Wilkins said Carr is always working harder to get better at her sport.
“That’s the kind of kid you want to coach, the one that’s excited to be there day in, day out,” Wilkins said.
She also noted that Carr has played every position on the softball field, including stepping into the catcher’s role at the last minute when needed.
“That’s not the easiest position to step into,” Wilkins said, adding that Carr rounded out her sweep of the nine positions by pitching a few innings recently when the team was far ahead. “Not many kids can come off the field and say they played every position in an NSA softball jersey.”
Caroline Hogg will attend Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania. She has had her mind made up for some time, but “it feels good to get to have a celebration with friends and family,” she said.
Her coach, Kim Aston, illustrated how far Hogg has come. Hogg is a five-year varsity player, but she didn’t even make the junior varsity team in seventh grade.
She has racked up 356 blocks in her career, throughout which the team has had 60 wins and 12 losses. The last game the team lost at home was the first game of Hogg’s sophomore year.
“She came a really long way in these five years,” Aston said. And she spoke to all the players about the quality of Division III athletics: “Don’t ever think that Division III is not as good as Division I,” she said, noting that boys’ basketball coach Lamont Strothers played Division III and then was drafted by the NBA.
Logan Lokie will attend Shenandoah University.
“When I went and visited, it really felt like home,” Lokie said. “I feel really blessed with the opportunity.”
Strothers said Lokie is able to play at any of the guard positions.
“Being diverse at guard will really help him at Shenandoah,” he said. “I’m proud of the player he’s become.”
Sam Neal will attend Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.
“It’s a relief to know where I’m going,” he said, adding that he will most likely play outfield there.
“I’m so proud of Sam,” baseball coach David Mitchell said.