It’s kind of incredible when you think about it.
Six Tabb High field hockey players signed Division I scholarships a year ago, and with Kara Enoch’s commitment this week to Boston University, this year’s team has another five. That’s an entire 11-player team getting scholarship money to play D-I field hockey in the course of two seasons.
Of course we’re not talking just any team. Tabb won four consecutive Group A/AA state titles before losing the state final in overtime a year ago.
This year’s Tabb team is off to an 8-0 start, having outscored the opposition 43-2 even with three tough games en route to the title of the Westfield tournament. The five players headed to D-I talked recently about their choices.
Lorissa Morton (Longwood): “I went up for a clinic and bonded with the players and coaches. It’s that perfect location — so close but far enough away, because my dad comes to everything.”
Kara Enoch (Boston University): “When I was in the locker room, talking to the players and coaches, I felt like I was at home.”
Taylor Omweg (Iowa): “It was really nice. When I went there, all of the players introduced themselves and shook my hand, and I could tell they had background information on me. I knew after that I didn’t want to go on to any other visits.”
Melissa Progar (Iowa): “I love the campus, and the girls and the coaches are awesome. Iowa is different and I think I can get used to it. I love the cold weather.”
Lauren Mitcham (American): “It felt like a family when I visited. I really connected with the girls, and it wasn’t really like picking another school, it was like picking another family for me. I don’t really like cities, but I like D.C. There’s a lot to do there and a lot of people my age.”
With a big win over Warhill on Thursday and a three-set sweep of Bruton on Tuesday, Grafton’s girls volleyball team ran its Bay Rivers District record to 6-1 and its winning streak to six matches. The only defeat came against defending district champ Jamestown, a match in which the Clippers won the first set and lost three competitive ones.
“Some of my underclassmen kind of tightened up, and you can’t do that against a team like Jamestown,” Clippers coach Karissa Cumberbatch said. “Ever since, we’ve been working on mental strength in practice.”
Put the emphasis on “work.”
“I think (the players) have related very well to me,” said Cumberbatch, who is in her first season as the Clippers’ coach. “I think they respect me and want to work hard for me.
“That’s something you need, especially in a conference like this. They have to want to work for you.”
Cumberbatch feels the Clippers are as “athletic” as any team in the district. In setter Christa Hall and libero/hitter Hannah Olson, she possesses two of the best all-around athletes in the Bay Rivers. Hall and Olson are cornerstones of Grafton’s perennially successful girls basketball and softball teams.
“Christa is an unbelievable athlete,” Cumberbatch said. “She does things college players can’t do.
“Hannah loves the game and works hard. Hannah Williams (a transfer from Hampton Christian) is a great addition and has given us ball control we wouldn’t have without her.
“Kendall Mahony is finally in a rhythm. She’s a kid I can put anywhere and she probably hits the ball better than anyone in the conference.”
Beyond that, Cumberbatch has a lot of girls playing significant varsity roles for the first time, such as Sophia Beaudoin. She hopes their work in practice has them ready when they play again at Jamestown on Oct. 3.
“If we attack them like we did in that first game (set) the last time, we can beat them,” Cumberbatch said. “They’re a beatable team.
“Do they have a good program? Yes. Can we beat them? Yes.
“We just have to stay mentally focused, and my underclassmen have to do what they do every day in practice.”
It’s ridiculously early to think football playoffs, but that doesn’t mean folks don’t. And since the Virginia Preps website is posting unofficial points ratings for each region, why not look at whom Bay Rivers teams would be paired against in each 16-team bracket were the season to end today?
4A South. Phoebus comes in at No. 1 in the ratings here, with Grafton No. 16, so those two would be paired in the first round. No. 8 Tabb and No. 9 Jamestown would face off in a first-round game, with the winner bracketed to play the Phoebus-Grafton survivor.
3A East. Lafayette is No. 1 and would be paired with No. 16 Culpeper County in the first round. No. 7 Poquoson would host No. 10 Spotsylvania.
2A East. At No. 13, Bruton would be paired today with a former Region I rival, No. 4 Nottoway.
O'Brien can be reached by phone at 757-247-4963.
Bay Rivers notes: Tabb sends five more field hockey players to NCAA Division I
Grafton has lost only once, to Jamestown, and plays the Eagles again.
It’s kind of incredible when you think about it.