Six Norfolk Academy seniors signed their commitments to play college athletics during a ceremony on November 10.
Across the nation, student-athletes traditionally are able to begin signing commitments to compete in college in November of their senior year. Schools hold ceremonies highlighting the athletic and academic accomplishments of these students. Academy's signees this fall: Trey Custudio, Olivia Galiotos, Marin McKee, Rachel Thetford, Clayton Whetstine, and Kayla Wilson.
Academy's ceremony in Burroughs Gymnasium highlighted not only the athletic feats of the six, but their academic successes and growth. The student-athletes spoke, thanking their families, teacher-coaches, Academy's College Counseling team, and so many more people who have helped them along the way. Marin, Clayton, and Kayla are all swimmers who learned from head coach Kristen Kirkman. Olivia and Rachel play field hockey for coach Mary Werkheiser. Trey wrestles for coach Chris Runzo.
Headmaster Dennis Manning, a coach earlier in his education career, noted that all six have positively influenced teammates and classmates through their work ethic and leadership. Each student-athlete continued to thrive even amid the Covid-19 pandemic that shut down seasons and forced alterations of regular training.
“I think of what you've accomplished and where you are today, it's remarkable," Mr. Manning said. “Your persistence, your determination, courage, in light of what you faced the past nearly two years, makes me well up with pride."
Director of Athletics Chad Byler agreed with Mr. Manning about their persistence amid the worldwide pandemic.
“You have missed seasons. You had a difficult time visiting colleges and the recruiting process has never been so difficult," Mr. Byler said. “But you overcame all these obstacles and here you are today. We are very excited about what you have accomplished and what you will accomplish in the years to come."
College Counselor Steve Monninger, who also is Director of Fitness, Strength, and Conditioning, and coach of the football team, reminded the student-athletes of the work they'll need to put in at the next level.
“There will certainly be obstacles and adversity," Mr. Monninger said. “Our only advice to you is that you rely on the values of work ethic, grit, and mental toughness that you have already demonstrated at Norfolk Academy."
"We know you will continue to make us proud," Mr. Monninger added.
Norfolk Academy will hold another signing ceremony in the spring to celebrate student-athletes who will make college decisions in the coming months.
Congratulations to all these student-athletes!
Trey Custodio, Wrestling, Washington and Lee University
Olivia Galiotos, Field Hockey, Dartmouth College
Marin McKee, Swimming, University of Kentucky
Rachel Thetford, Field Hockey, Wake Forest University
Clayton Whetstine, Swimming, University of Georgia
Kayla Wilson, Swimming, Stanford University
To learn about Norfolk Academy's athletics program, including our teacher-coach model, please visit the athletics web page.