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Mary Werkheiser, who has served as varsity field hockey coach for 23 years, was inducted this month into the prestigious Regional Training Center Ring of Honor.

The Ring of Honor recognizes the contributions of exemplary individuals who have promoted, expanded, and enhanced field hockey in the Hampton Roads area. It pays tribute to outstanding pioneers, coaches, players, officials, and philanthropists who engender the tradition of excellence in field hockey for which this community is known.

Coach Werkheiser joined Norfolk Academy's field hockey program 30 years ago, becoming head coach in 1996. She has led with integrity and passion and has served as an outstanding role model not only for her players, but also for all of our student-athletes, coaches, and colleagues. Her teams have won 22 Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools (TCIS) regular season championships, 19 TCIS tournament championships, reached the VISAA state Final Four 20 times, and won three state titles. She has been honored as the TCIS Coach of the Year 14 times and was named the 2017 National Coach of the Year by Top of the Circle.

Thirty of her players have gone on to compete in college. 

Nancy Fowlkes, a longtime coach at Virginia Beach's Cox High School who was part of the inaugural Ring of Honor in 2017, introduced Coach Werkheiser. She read salutes from several of her former players. Among them were five graduates from the Class of 2018 - Greer Gill, Halle Gill, Elizabeth Heckard, Riley Fulmer, and Lily Clarkson, who are now playing in college.

“Ever since we were in first grade, the five of us have seen 'Werkie' as one of our greatest role models," that group said. “She introduced us to a game that would become such a large part of each of our lives. She taught us important values, how to lead and be a great teammate. She celebrated our accomplishments and disciplined us when we needed it. She continues to be one of our biggest fans.”

Another contributor was Holley Cromwell '19, who is playing at Dartmouth. She called Coach Werkheiser “one of the most supportive, caring and loving people I have ever met. It was a blessing to have her as my coach for 12 years.”

The Ring of Honor is at the Regional Training Center, which is part of the Sportsplex that is off Landstown Road in Virginia Beach. The ceremony was there on November 4.

Congratulations to Coach Werkheiser for such a distinguished accomplishment!

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