Category Archives: General

320,000 Views Later: The Most Popular

The Norfolk Collegiate athletics page on flickr, with nearly 7,000 photographs, recently passed 320,000 views.

So we thought we’d check which photos in the 64 albums of action shots were the most viewed. Nearly all those at the top are basketball pictures.


First is a shot of Bash Townes making a jumper with a hand in his face taken last February with 380 views.


Second is Paul Mahoney saving a ball from going out of bounds with 275 views.


Third is Jimmy Hurley taking a jump shot from the wing with 272 views, just one ahead of Chandler Gillikin’s jump shot.

Rounding out the top five is Bash wrestling for the ball.

What’s the top non-basketball shot? Cabell Thomas pitching last March.


Not far behind is a shot of the state championship girls soccer team taking a bow. It has 169 views.

Flickr is now offering half off wall art, photos mounted and ready to put on your wall. Just click on a photo and then click on the small landscape button (next to the pen button) on the bottom right of the picture. Prices start at $25 (the blog does not get a cut).



Fall Sports Awards

Here are the awards for the Most Valuable Player, Most Improved Player and the OAK Award winner for the fall teams.

The OAK Award is presented to a student-athlete “who maximizes his or her abilities (Overachiever), exhibits the proper (Attitude) in practice and games, and is a real student of the sport (Knowledge).”

DSC_1421Varsity volleyball – Peyton Fancher (OAK), Bailey Jones (MVP), and Abby Wright (MIP)

JV volleyball – Madison Doyle (OAK) and Bren Coakley (MVP)

Middle School OAKS volleyball – Brooke Rogers (OAK)

Middle School BLUE volleyball – Logan Michelon (OAK)

_DSC0589Varsity field hockey – Frances Boyer (OAK), Demetra Protogyrou (MVP), and Logan White (MIP)

Middle School field hockey – Emma Wentworth (OAK)

Cross Country (boys) – Matthew Unrein (OAK), Chandler Branton (MVP), and Thomas Batzel (MIP)

Cross Country (girls) – Claudia King (OAK), Natalie Batzel (MVP), and Gina Leanzo (MIP)

Varsity girls tennis – Rachel Brodsky (OAK), Gabrielle Toomy (MVP), and Antonia Farny (MIP)

DSC_0240Junior Varsity tennis – Kayl ee Bejarano (OAK) and Ellie Robertson (MVP)

Varsity sailing – Nick Baker (OAK), Dreugh Phillips (MVP), and Ellie Maus (MIP)

Junior Varsity sailing – Hannah Garcia (OAK) and Alex Holt (MVP)

Varsity boys soccer – Chris Bianchi (OAK), Christian Keller (MVP), and Hunter Lee (MIP)

Junior Varsity boys soccer – Amir Horton (OAK) and Jacob Roth (MVP)

Middle School boys soccer – Abe Musselmani (OAK)


Varsity girls tennis –Maren Nordgreen

Varsity boys soccer – Mary Elizabeth Corliss and Virginia Sanford



DSC_1033 - Copy

Winter Sports Awards Winners

DSC_3591Congratulations to these student-athletes for their efforts during the winter sports season.

The awards are most valuable player, most improved player, and the Oak award. The OAK Award is presented to a student-athlete “who maximizes his or her abilities (Overachiever), exhibits the proper (Attitude) in practice and games, and is a real student of the sport (Knowledge).”

Varsity cheerleading: Gabby Leporati (OAK), Marisa Craig (MVP), Keady Rascona (MIP)

Middle School cheerleading: Lexi Hirschfeld (OAK)

DSC_3174Varsity girls’ basketball: Kristin Rempas (OAK), Shahra Madison (MVP), Darden Purrington (MIP)

JV girls’ basketball: Ellie Maus (OAK), Ashby Larkin (MVP)

Middle School OAKS girls’ basketball: Allison Casper (OAK)

Middle School BLUE girls’ basketball: Anna Winn (OAK)

Varsity wrestling: Reid Wilkinson (OAK), Corey Nichols (MVP), Jack Francis (MIP)

Middle School wrestling: Jacob Roth (OAK)

Varsity boys’ basketball: Adam Grant (OAK), Bash Townes (MVP), James Glover (MIP)

DSC_3503JV boys’ basketball: Jobin Chandi (OAK), Jimmy Hurley (MVP)

Middle School OAKS boys’ basketball: Josh Hutson (OAK)

Middle School BLUE boys’ basketball: Jordan Laster (OAK)

Middle School WHITE boys’ basketball: Austin Sisino (OAK)

Middle School RED boys’ basketball: Jake Reaghard (OAK)

Varsity girls’ swimming: Wren Thomas (OAK), Savannah Hoover (MVP), and Brooke Walthall (MIP)

Varsity boys’ swimming: Mitchell Addison (OAK), Jakob DSC_2698Gray (MVP), and Trafton Addison (MIP)


Also, special congratulations to the following managers for all of their extraordinary efforts this season: Lex Selig (Varsity girls’ basketball), Jacob Oliver (Varsity boys’ basketball), and Laura Gayle (JV girls’ basketball)

You Like Pictures: Here’s How to Download Them

DSC_2646I’ve noticed readers of the blog like the pictures, really like the pictures.

On the Flickr Collegiate athletics page, there have been roughly 15,000 views since January 1.

So here’s a reminder how to download those pictures. Go to the NCS Athletics page.

Or go straight to the page of sets from various sports.

Click on the sport you want. A page of pictures will load. Scroll until you find one you want to see full screen.

When it comes up, you will see a bunch of information about the picture on the right side of your screen. About a third of the way from the top you will see a line of symbols including three dots. Click on those three dots for “More Actions.”

You will see a menu that includes “Download All Sizes.” Click on that and you will go to a page where you can choose which size of picture to download.

Presto. The picture is now yours to use on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or in a family album.

You can also “follow” that flickr page so you will be notified every time new pictures are uploaded (Check the menu atop the main page).

There are more than 4,200 pictures there, far more than you’ll find on the blog.


How to Get Top Quality Photos of Oaks Athletes

DSC_9764I’ve had a couple of questions about downloading pictures. Flickr seems to keep changing how you can do it. To get the best quality pictures, go to the NCS Athletics page on flickr.

This is the page of sets from various sports.

Click on the sport you want.


To get pictures from the soccer team, for instance, go to the flickr page for soccer.

Click on a picture. Here is one of Michael Ortiz.

See those three dots in the right bottom corner?

Click on those and a menu will pop up.

Click on the “view all sizes” item.

Then simply click on the Download menu item.

At the prompt, tell it to save to your computer.

You can do that for any photo in any of the sets.

If you want lesser resolution photos, just right click on any photo on the blog and “save image as” to your computer.

Monday Talk: How to Be a Better Soccer Dad/Baseball Mom/Lacrosse Uncle

gdale3   When Greg Dale speaks to groups — whether college athletes, high school coaches, or heavy-hitting executives at places like The World Bank or Pfizer — he talks about becoming a leader and the subtle, but important difference between motivation and inspiration.

    “Do you motivate people or do you inspire people?” he asked at one conference. “Motivation is short-term and requires constant effort.”

    Inspiration, on the other hand, gets people to buy into your vision. “People have to follow willingly,” he says.

    Dale, a professor and the director of Sport Psychology and Leadership Programs for Duke University Athletics, will speak about navigating a positive path through sports for parents and their student-athletes at 7 p.m. Monday in Watt-Baker Gymnasium. Earlier, he will meet with coaches and speak to students during an assembly.

    Dale says he got into sports psychology and mentoring coaches because he didn’t have a lot of positive coaching role models in his life. “I wanted to help coaches do things differently,” he says.  

    Here are a few of his thoughts.

    On coaching:

    “We’re motivated to pursue success or motivated to avoid failure. Which environment do you create? To avoid failure? I know, it’s hard. The thing is, (players) are going to reach more of their potential if they’re pursuing success more than they are avoiding failure. “

    On focus:

    “In athletics we talk a lot about having a purpose every day. In fact, at some of the teams I work with, in the morning when the players are stretching and warming up, the coach asks them what their purpose is for that day. He tells them what he’s working on and wants to know the same, because in athletics there are no half measures. You are either getting better every day or getting worse as there is no such thing as coasting along, because if your competitors are working harder than you are, they are improving more than you. So always focus on improving.”

    On the environment for success:

    “When you have an environment where kids want to play for themselves, want to (play) for each other, but they also love playing for their coach, you have a great thing going.”

    On parents:

   “Find that balance between pushing and supporting.  Show up and encourage your kids and love on them whether they win or lose. That love and support has to be unconditional whether the kid plays great or not. It’s not about (the parents) anymore. It’s about their kid.”

    Dale earned his undergraduate degree from Stephen F. Austin State University, his master’s degree from Columbia University, and his doctorate from the University of Tennessee. His books include “The Seven Secrets of Successful Coaches, “101 Teambuilding Activities,” “The Fulfilling Ride: A Parent’s Guide to Having a Successful Sport Experience,” and “It’s a Mental Thing: Five Keys to Improving Performance and Enjoying Sport.” His DVDs include “Promoting a Positive Athletic Experience: The Parent’s Guide,” “Develop Confident Athletes: A Coach’s Guide,” and “The Coach’s Guide to Dealing Effectively with Parents.”

   If you want to make your child’s sports experience better for you and for them, head to Watt-Baker on Monday night.

A Look Back in Pictures


With the new school season ahead, here’s a look back at the best pictures of the past year.

Go to The Best of 2013 and scroll down through the memories. To see a cool, full-screen, moving slide show of pictures, click on the play button in the upper corner of the set just below the 202 pictures headline. To see a slide show, go to Oaks Slide Show.

Click on the link to go to the NCS Athletics Pictures page on Flickr. If you want to download any favorites, just click on the picture to get it full screen, then right click and download the size you want.





Reminder: Free Summer Training Begins June 17


Free summer training for athletes in grades 6 through 12 by strength and conditioning coach Dan Nichols starts June 17 at the upper school.

Nichols, who has been working with Collegiate athletes over the past six months, will offer sessions from 9 a.m to 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. from Monday through Thursday. An athlete may attend as many sessions as he or she chooses.

Many Collegiate coaches have summer plans for training sessions over the next three months so that our athletes will get sharper and more skilled.

DSC_5033For the sessions with Nichols expect to work hard, sweat hard, and give your all, but they will be designed with fun in mind, knowing that the work will pay dividends in August, or November, or February–whenever the next season starts.

Nichols will offer training in speed, agility, strength, power, and conditioning. Athletes can come twice a day if they wish, every day, every other day, once a week–whatever suits their schedule. Obviously, the more regular the sessions, the more immediate the results. Coaches of individual sports will communicate details about their sessions soon.

For varsity athletes, formal training sessions will begin August 12, and specific details will be posted on the website later in the summer.


Blog Passes 300 Posts, Check Out Pictures Page


A little Oaks in Action housekeeping is in order.

The blog just slipped by the 300 post marker with nearly 22,000 views.

Did you know you can get new posts delivered to your email inbox? Just subscribe using the box on the upper right. There are 99 subscribers. Who will be number 100?

Often, you’ll see links in posts to the NCS Athletics flickr page. There, you’ll find about 2,400 pictures from the past 18 months. Go to NCS Athletics photos. You will find sets from various sports and, by clicking a couple of times on an individual picture, download favorites. DSC_6238

This is a volunteer gig and I can’t be everywhere. There are teams not as well covered for the reason. Some coaches send material. Some do not. 

So if you have pictures or game reports to share, please send them along to

I’ll use them.

Standing-Room-Only Rally Opens Sports Season

The all sports athletic meeting transformed into an old-fashioned pep rally with chants of “Let’s Go Oaks!” echoing through a packed Watt-Baker Gymnasium Monday night.

The rally concluded with Collegiate coaches linking arms and giving one final “Oaks!” before sending the full house home.

New Athletic Director Mary Peccie promised her passionate, professional staff would build a sense of community within the school and better communicate with parents and students. Sports, she said, “is about building character as much as accomplishment. It’s about building the whole child.”

Peccie, who said moving from Norfolk Academy to Collegiate was the best thing she’d done in her professional life, turned cheerleader at the meeting’s end, orchestrating the crowd in chants.

Old Dominion University Athletic Director Wood Selig gave the keynote address, discussing Pat Conroy’s “My Losing Season” and highlighting some of the late UCLA basketball coach John Wooden’s favorite maxims.

Among them:

Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.

If you do not have the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over.

Discipline yourself and others won’t need to.

Be slow to criticize and quick to commend.

Much can be accomplished by teamwork when no one is concerned who gets credit.

Acquire peace of mind by making the effort to become the best of which you are capable.

Earlier in the meeting, Headmaster Scott Kennedy spoke about the school’s renewed focus on athletics and the whole student. Norfolk Collegiate, he noted fields more than 50 teams and 65 percent of students in grades six through 12 play at least one sport.

“We are committed to finding the resources our student athletes need,” Kennedy said, encouraging parents to donate to the Norfolk Collegiate Booster Club.