The Norfolk City Council honored the Girls’ Tennis Team and the Field Hockey Team on Tuesday with proclamations recognizing their “dominating” performance in athletic competitions at the local and state level.
Both teams and their coaches, as well as Headmaster Dennis Manning and Athletic Director Aubrey Shinofield, were invited to the City Council meeting, where Mayor Ken Alexander read both proclamations aloud and formally presented plaques with the proclamations to the school.
It was a remarkable occasion and extraordinary honor for the school and its athletic program. In brief remarks, Headmaster Manning noted that the school was deeply appreciative of, and honored by, the council’s recognition, and he emphasized that the young women are multifaceted individuals, dedicated students and ethical, thoughtful contributors to the community, as well as competitive athletes.
Both proclamations enumerated the athletic accomplishments of each team.
The Girls’ Varsity Tennis Team won its third consecutive Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) Division 1 state championship this fall and had its third consecutive undefeated season. The team has won 47 straight matches. Head Coach Michael Duquette was Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools (TCIS) Coach of the Year and VISAA Coach of the Year. Catie Sullivan ’18, who plays at #1 for the Bulldogs and will play for Columbia University next fall, was VISAA Player of the Year.
The tennis team’s proclamation noted that its “consistently outstanding and dominating display of athletic skill and team effort is a testament to the talent and hard work on the part of the athletes and the inspirational leadership of the team’s coaches.”
The Field Hockey Team had an equally incredible season. The team was undefeated at 24-0 and won its third VISAA Division 1 state championship in four years. Head Coach Mary Werkheiser, who earned TCIS Coach of the Year for 2016 and 2017, was named U.S. Coach of the Year by Top of the Circle. Greer Gill ’18, a midfielder who will play for University of Virginia next year, was selected as the VISAA Division 1 Player of the Year and the All-Tidewater Field Hockey Player of the Year.
The proclamation noted that “as a result of these impressive and dominating athletic performances, Norfolk Academy’s varsity field hockey team holds the number one ranking in South Hampton Roads and number two ranking in a recent national poll.”
After reading the proclamations, Mayor Alexander spontaneously noted that the Bulldogs also won the VISAA Championship for Boys’ Swimming and Diving, and the Girls’ Team came in second to Madeira by a mere half-point, the closest finish in meet history. Both Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball teams are TCIS tournament champions.
“Keep on winning!” the mayor advised, prompting some laughter in the chambers.