NR to embrace rebuild

Published 10:45 pm Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Nansemond River High School field hockey team will have a big turnover on the roster this year and is looking forward to the rebuild.

The Lady Warriors field hockey team returns after a strong last season in the Southeastern District. Nansemond River advanced all the way to the Class 5 Region A semifinals and was on the brink of a region championship appearance last year.

From that team, Nansemond River graduated seven standout senior starters. Coach Allison Dize enters her 10th season as a coach and mentioned that this has been the biggest turnover on the roster that she can remember, but she is excited about what’s to come.

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“We still have a lot of learning and growing to do as a team, but that’s what it’s all about,” Dize said. “This is the biggest turnaround we have gone through on both levels, JV and varsity. We have a ton of new players, which is great for continuing to build our program.”

There are a lot of positions open as competition continues to rise at practices for the Lady Warriors. They do return three starters from last year’s team in Halle Fago, Nyah McNeal and Abby Fischer. Fago led the team in goals last season as a freshman and was a first team All-District selection last season. McNeal will be the only senior on the team this season for the Lady Warriors. Even though the team is young, there is familiarity, with most of the girls having played on JV or on travel teams together.

“We have a bunch of young girls out there working hard and grinding day in and day out,” Dize said. “For us as coaches, it’s about continuing to coach them up and finding the best fits out there on the field. Ultimately, we want to win games and build a state championship program at some point.”

The Class 5A region will look different this year as more powerhouse schools have been moved around. Teams such as First Colonial High School and Cox High School will compete in the region after being dominant in the Class 6A region, while strong teams like Maury High School remain. However, Dize believes playing against these teams will be great experiences for her young team.