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Student-athletes all through Middle and Upper School, parents, and teacher-coaches packed Burroughs Gym on Tuesday night, August 29, as Athletics Orientation kicked off Norfolk Academy's sports year.

Director of Athletics Chad Byler recapped the Bulldogs' outstanding 2022-23 campaign - 16 TCIS conference championships and three state titles - and said more success is on the way, especially with the addition of a revamped Athletic Performance Center that opened over the summer. However, he emphasized that while winning is great, that is not the main ultimate mission of the program.

“We want to develop men and women to be great people of character," Mr. Byler said.

Head of School Travis Larrabee, expanded on that goal, saying that to him, the most important word in sports is “Team." He acknowledged that he was not a star athlete growing up, though he played multiple sports. He played because he loved the camaraderie and friendships he developed with teammates who shared common goals.

Norfolk Academy offers more than 70 teams in 27 different sports. The several hundred student-athletes in grades 7-12 who play as Bulldogs each year should be committed to those teams and be present to support their teammates and coaches, Mr. Larrabee said. Doing so will lead to success, but more importantly it will help immeasurably even when their playing careers are done.

“In a teacher-coach model you are led by folks who recognize that the experiences and the skills you develop as part of an athletic team are going to be applicable to so many other facets of your life," he said.

Learn more about NA's Athletics Program, including the teacher-coach model and full schedules

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