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Norfolk Academy did plenty of winning on the athletics fields this school year, with both individuals and teams earning numerous conference and state championships.

But as the school honored student-athletes and teacher-coaches at its end-of-year Athletics Celebration on May 15, one constant theme was that winning is not the core of being a Bulldog. More important are the lifelong friendships that are built through teams, and the moral values developed through years of hard work and thinking as part of a group.

“The bonds we've made playing sports will last a lifetime," said Gavin Goss '22, who played three different sports for six straight years at Academy.

Gavin, who played soccer, basketball, track, and lacrosse over the course of those six years, told the story of an injury he suffered one lacrosse season. His teammates rallied around him, making clear to him he was part of a family on the field.

The ability to feel that kinship is what makes sports so special, Gavin said. He challenged younger student-athletes to continue to welcome in their teammates, and also grow their teams by reaching out to others.

“It's the little things that have the ability to make someone's day," Gavin said.

Olivia Galiotos '22, another three-sport athlete for six straight years, said she can't remember a day in her life without sports. What makes Academy unique from other programs is that it encourages anyone and everyone to join. She noted that one of the swimmers on NA's 2019 state championship team had not competed before that season.

“Everyone is given an opportunity at Norfolk Academy," Olivia said. “I believe this will be the legacy of Academy athletics, the inclusivity."

Olivia went on to thank the parents who support their sons and daughters, teacher-coaches who give their time after school, and her teammates. In this Year of Togetherness, the bonds forged on the fields and courts were a perfect example of students coming together.

“Thank you Norfolk Academy athletics for giving me some of my best friends," Olivia said.

Athletics at Academy are an extension of the classroom, Headmaster Dennis Manning said. The school's abundance of teacher-coaches - several dozen per season - allows students to see the same instructor in a different vein, and allows the teacher-coach to reach students and help them grow in different venues. 

Mr. Manning noted how teams have bonded together in this Year of Togetherness, notably the boys tennis team, which is wearing shirts in support of Sam Shumadine '24, a teammate who is battling cancer. 

That team bonding often extends beyond campus. Director of Athletics Chad Byler shared an email he had recently received from the owner of a restaurant near Academy. The owner raved about how well-behaved the team was, and how the players helped clean the restaurant before leaving. 

“That's what we want to be about," Mr. Byler said.

Academy also enjoyed a number of highlights on the fields this year, which were applauded at the celebration. Varsity field hockey won a VISAA state championship in the fall and varsity sailing also earned a state title. More than a dozen student-athletes won track or swimming titles in the winter, with more capturing titles in the spring.

Here are honorees from the Athletics Celebration:

VISAA Merit Award (three sports senior year): Julianne Hood, Stinson Moss, Sophie Ott, Paul Trudell

Tunstall Athletic Award (three sports for three years): Luke Boran, Virginia Gill, Rachel Thetford, Veronica Verdi

Three sports for six years: James Coleman, Nate DeLorenzo, Abby Fernandez, Olivia Galiotos, Gavin Goss, Ross Hope, Oliver Jones, Logan Lyle, Helene Schulwolf, David Smythe, Canby Traywick, Cate Ware, Lauren Weinstein

Spirit Award (new award, given to a student for bringing spirit to the school and its athletic program): Ben Lagow

TCIS scholar-athlete awards (given to student-athletes who played multiple sports and held the highest grade point averages): Abby Fernandez, David Smythe

Excellence in Coaching Award (given to an individual who, through love of athletic competition and commitment to the overall development of Norfolk Academy student-athletes, serves as a role model for both athletes and coaches alike and advances the mission of the school through strength of character and integrity): Mr. Ryan Tucker, boys lacrosse and boys soccer coach 

Seasonal Awards:

Fall 2021

  • Field Hockey MVP: Rachel Thetford
  • Field Hockey Coaches' Award: Olivia Galiotos
  • Sailing MVP: Audrey Permenter
  • Sailing Coaches' Award: Henry Allgeier
  • Girls Tennis MVP: Emma Hugo
  • Girls Tennis Most Improved Player: Andersen Legum
  • Volleyball MVP: Reagan McGee
  • Volleyball Commitment Award: Alden Roberts
  • Cheerleading MVP: Lucy Baughman
  • Cheerleading Most Improved Player: Isabel Sterzing
  • Football MVP: Oliver Jones
  • Football Coaches' Award: Stinson Moss
  • Boys Cross Country Most Valuable Runner: Connor Rhodes
  • Boys Cross Country Coaches' Award: Clement Lee
  • Girls Cross Country Coaches' Award: Mariana Duarte
  • Girls Cross Country Most Improved Runner: Libby Pierce
  • Boys Soccer MVP: Ross Hope
  • Boys Soccer Coaches' Award: Reed Ramirez

Winter 2021-22

  • Cheerleading MVP: Lucy Baughman
  • Cheerleading Most Improved Player: Emilie Beasley
  • Wrestling James H. Flippen III Most Valuable Player: Nolan O’Boyle
  • Wrestling Most Improved Player: Kaleb Gibson
  • Wrestling Coaches' Award: Trey Custodio
  • Boys Basketball MVP: Harry Alexander
  • Boys Basketball Most Improved Player: Canby Traywick
  • Boys Basketball David E. Trickler Award: David Smythe
  • Girls Basketball MVP: Gabby Harvey
  • Girls Basketball Coaches' Award: Sophie Ott
  • Boys Track and Field Most Valuable Running Athlete: Connor Rhoades
  • Boys Track and Field Most Valuable Field Athlete: Stinson Moss
  • Boys Track and Field Coaches' Award: Davis Ottinger
  • Girls Track and Field Most Valuable Running Athlete: Caitlyn Lloyd
  • Girls Track and Field Most Valuable Field Athlete: Madison Galler
  • Girls Track and Field Coaches' Award: Abby Fernandez
  • Girls Swimming and Diving Most Valuable Diver: Ryann Szakaly
  • Girls Swimming and Diving Most Valuable Swimmer: Kayla Wilson
  • Girls Swimming and Diving Swimming Coaches' Award: Virginia Gill
  • Boys Swimming and Diving Most Valuable Swimmer: Clayton Whetstine
  • Boys Swimming and Diving Swimming Coaches' Award: James Coleman
  • Boys Swimming and Diving Diving Coaches' Award: Joe Bakkar

Spring 2022

  • Baseball MVP: Jacob Bakkar
  • Baseball Coaches' Award: Foster Kimple
  • Softball MVP: Sarah Jacobs
  • Softball Most Improved Player: Maddie Camlet
  • Golf MVP: Miller Carr
  • Golf Coaches' Award: Ian Burton
  • Boys Rowing Most Valuable Rower: Logan Lyle
  • Boys Rowing Coaches' Award: Carter Lucas
  • Girls Rowing Most Valuable Rower: Veronica Verdi
  • Girls Rowing Coaches' Award: Lee McElligott
  • Boys Tennis MVP: Vignesh Akkina
  • Boys Tennis Most Improved Player: John Paschold
  • Girls Soccer MVP: Sophie Ott
  • Girls Soccer Most Improved Player: Gretchen Scott
  • Boys Lacrosse MVP: David Smythe
  • Boys Lacrosse Most Improved Player: Kaleb Doyle
  • Girls Lacrosse MVP: Gabby Harvey
  • Girls Lacrosse Coaches' Award: Lilly Savin
  • Boys Track and Field Most Valuable Field Athlete: Stinson Moss
  • Boys Track and Field Most Valuable Running Athlete: Liam Sullivan
  • Boys Track and Field Coaches' Award: Canby Traywick
  • Girls Track and Field Most Valuable Field Athlete: Sydney Vest
  • Girls Track and Field Most Valuable Running Athlete: Angelina Lancey
  • Girls Track and Field Coaches' Award: Caitlyn Lloyd

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