Big things often come in small packages. One of the big things in the Dominion District right now is Nick Connor, senior shortstop and pitcher for the L.C. Bird Skyhawks. Listed at 5’10” and 170 pounds, he’s not the “ideal size” for a pitcher but possesses both a heavy bat and a strong arm, and is accomplishing some things on the diamond this season in the face of adversity.
When it comes to determination in sports, you can remember Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger who made the team at Notre Dame, or Vince Papale, who seemingly came out of nowhere to play for the Philadelphia Eagles; with these victorious stories in sports, there also comes the one of despair.
In 2005, when Howard Spencer was cut from the Thomas Dale baseball team as a sophomore, a coach gave him a bit of advice that would remain with him.
Under head coach Mark Fowler, the boys’ varsity soccer team at Thomas Dale High School has won two state titles (2005 and 2006) in four appearances in the state tournament, three regional championships and a number of district titles in between.
When there is talk of the more predominant teams of the Central Region, usually there is talk of Thomas Dale soccer, L.C. Bird football and Highland Springs basketball, but perhaps Matoaca’s baseball team could now be considered a part of that list.
I’m pleased to announce fifteen high school student-athletes as “Athletes of the Year” and “Scholar-Athletes of the Year” for the five winter sports.