It was a great year for Tandem Friends varsity athletics! In this first FULL year (due to COVID) of playing in the new Greater Piedmont Athletic Conference (GPAC), you might say we knocked it out of the park. Tandem fielded 26 All-Conference athletes, one Conference Runner of the Year, and two Coach of the Year wins, three school records were broken, and there were three regular season championship teams (and one runner up) and three conference tournament championship teams.
At the state VISAA level, our varsity girls soccer team made it to the state semifinals, three track team members qualified for the state meet and scored in two events, and our varsity girls soccer team included two All-VISSA players. Six of our 18 senior athletes (more than half of the senior class played one or more sports this year) received VISAA Awards of Merit for three-season play during their senior year.
Fall sports brought us winning cross country teams. Both the girls’ and boys’ cross country teams finished the season as GPAC “tournament” champions and the boys team captured the regular season championship as well. Sophomore Charlie K was the GPAC Cross Country Runner of the Year and cross country coach Jason Farr was Coach of the Year twice - as boys coach and as girls coach. First Team All-Conference honors went to runners Theo A, Charlotte C, Charlie K, Erin O, Michael O, Mia P and Murray S. First team honors went to boys soccer players Parker L and Kieran N-W, with Second Team honors going to Jacob C and Patrick J-F. Volleyball player Anna W earned First Team honors while teammates Lilly C and Talia S earned Second Team honors.
Winter sports held some COVID complications that forced our girls team out of competition and pushed the boys team into two crazily busy weeks of games to finish the season. The boys rallied and wound up as regular season runners-up in the conference. First team honors went to DJ W and Tvo G, with Second Team honors going to Jay M, Zephan D and Alden S.
Spring sports brought lots of excitement as our varsity girls soccer team finished the season as tri-regular season champions, then went on to capture the tournament championship. Ranked 5th in the state, they hosted and won a preliminary VISAA state-level game, then lost a tough match in the state quarterfinals. Players Anya B and Mia P earned First Team All-Conference honors, while teammates Tessa D and Emma P earned Second Team honors. Mia (First Team) and Anya (Second Team) also earned All-VISAA state team honors. The excitement continued on the track, where three Tandem runners qualified for the state meet. Lilly B finished 5th and 6th in the state in her 400 and 200-meter runs while Erin O finished 15th in the state in the 3200m. On the LAX field, our team played some amazing matchups as Jacob C received First Team honors and teammates Kieran N-W and Dylan P received Second Team honors.
Tandem varsity athletes and their great seasons were celebrated in an end-of-year gathering organized by Athletic Director Sarana Hyatt. All-Conference and All-State honors were handed out, as well as team conference championship banners that will hang in the gym. PE teacher and volleyball coach Avis Fields was celebrated for her recognition by local sports organization HER Sports as local Coach of the Year. Senior athletes were acknowledged, and six of them, Caroline B, Patrick J-F, Kieran N-W, Erin O, Dylan P, and DJ W, received VISAA Awards of Merit for being three-season athletes this year.
Check out some of the accompanying photos - and join us in cheering on our Badgers!!
On our last day of school, the community gathered on the front lawn to honor senior athletes and the sports successes of the year. Athletic Director Sarana Hyatt called up individual teams that finished the season as regular season or GPAC tourney champions, including varsity girls soccer, varsity cross country, and varsity basketball. Then all of the GPAC All-Conference and VISAA state honored athletes for 2021-2022 were called up and presented their certificates - what a large and talented group. It was amazing to see so many athletes honored, some for multiple seasons of play. All senior athletes were called up and presented with an individual photo collage of their time at Tandem. Some had been multi-sport players for their entire time here. Finally, coach/PE teacher Avis Fields was honored for her recent community recognition as Coach of the Year by local organization HER Sports. It was a great day for Tandem Friends sports - go Badgers!
In Richmond today two of our Tandem runners competed in the VISAA State Championship Track Meet to amazing results. Junior Lilly B came in 5th in the state in the 400m, setting a personal record with a time of 1:04.84, and came in 6th in the state in the 200m with a time of 28.46. These times earned her All-VISAA Track Team honors in both events. Senior Erin O came in 15th in the state in the 3200m (five spots above where she was seeded!) with a time of 14:22.58. Tandem runners were accompanied by coaches Melissa Winder and Mary Lyman Bias, and Athletic Director Sarana Hyatt. What an amazing day on the track in Richmond! Go Badgers!!
Senior soccer player Anya B, who helped lead the Tandem girls team to a 5th in state ranking and a conference championship, was featured as the Daily Progress Spotlighted Athlete. Check out a great article about Anya and the team here.