Norfolk Academy excelled during the 2021-22 winter athletics season, as many student-athletes earned state titles and coaches were honored for their exemplary commitment.
Girls swimming and diving finished in second place at the VISAA state meet, while the boys team took third at that meet. Girls indoor track finished fourth at its state meet; wrestling earned fifth place; and boys indoor track earned eighth. These teams all also excelled at the TCIS championships, as did Academy's cheer squad, which took second place in the conference.
Two Academy coaches received state honors. Kristen Kirkman was VISAA Girls Swimming Coach of the Year, and also earned TCIS Coach of the Year honors in both girls and boys swimming. Nick Rahall was named VISAA Wrestling Assistant Coach of the Year.
Among the student-athlete honors, Kayla Wilson '22 was named VISAA Girls Swimmer of the Year and Oliver Jones '22 and Nolan O'Boyle '22 were wrestling state champions who qualified for national championships.
All winter student-athletes were honored during Upper School Chapel on March 2. Director of Athletics Chad Byler also recognized the NA-TV broadcast team, which aired more than 4,700 minutes of winter action for fans who could not make it to campus, and the almost 100 students who participated in the Winter Musical. Mr. Byler noted that NA-TV received the most attention of any Bulldog team, as broadcast footage of a boys basketball player from an opposing team who made a three-point shot while completing a backflip was aired on CNN, ESPN, and other prominent media outlets.
Mr. Byler also shared an email he received from the owner of a Chick-fil-A near campus who applauded the boys basketball team for its politeness during a team meal and taking time to thoroughly clean up after the players ate. That is the type of behavior that should define student-athletes, Mr. Byler said, not wins and losses.
“More important than championships and all these great honors were the relationships that were forged on these teams and the bonds that were created between our student-athletes and their teacher-coaches that will be cherished forever," Mr. Byler said.
For more records, awards, and photos: Winter 2021-22 Athletic Results and Awards