Happy 2021 to our NVSL teams, families and sponsors. Many of you have reached out to us over the past several weeks to ask about the status of the upcoming season. We are moving forward with plans for a season. The board is meeting regularly, the seeding committee is hard at work, and we will welcome our team reps to the annual seeding meeting on March 14th.
This is a fluid situation and we are closely monitoring the state and local health guidelines that govern youth sports. These guidelines will help us determine the type of season we are able to have. Our newly formed Return to Competition committee, which is made up of team reps, coaches, division coordinators and board members, will meet regularly throughout the spring to determine how we can hold meets safely this summer. We ask for your patience while we work on the details. We will share more information about the season in the weeks ahead and as guidelines change and decisions are made.
Please reach out to us if you have pertinent information about your team, thoughts you want to share, or especially if you are a new team rep with questions and we will connect you with someone who will try to help you.
Thank you for your ongoing support of the NVSL.
-The NVSL Executive Board
This year the NVSL is especially thankful for our community of swimmers, divers, volunteers and sponsors who contribute so much to our success. This is a very challenging time for all of us, but we are looking forward to better days ahead. We wish you and your families a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.
JUSTIN BRADY - Fair Oaks - Excellence in Technique Scholarship
MADI FLINN - Commonwealth/OKM - President's Scholarship
MADELINE ICE - Lee Graham - Sportsmanship Scholarship
RYLIE KIEFABER - Little Rocky Run - Community Service Scholarship
CARRIE MORRISON - Orange Hunt/Hunt Valley - Spirit Scholarship
Each year the NVSL awards scholarships to graduating high school swimmers/divers to be used at the school of their choice to help defray a portion of their continuing education expenses. The league considers team commitment and leadership, school and community involvement, and a submitted essay as criteria for selection. The essay asks these stand out senior members of our community, "What Life Lessons Swimming/Diving in the NVSL has Taught Me".
We are pleased to announce our five scholarship recipients: (link to document)
Community Service Scholarship - Rylie Kiefaber
Rylie is a 13-year member of the Little Rocky Run Stingrays. She has qualified to both Individual All- Stars and All-Star Relays several times and has broken team records in backstroke and relays. In addition to swimming for the Stingrays, Rylie coached the Little Stingers. She also swam for Machine Aquatics and was captain of her Chantilly High School swim team. Rylie’s other high school activities included soccer, field hockey, and student government. She was also a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society, and taught Spanish to elementary and middle school students. When Rylie was in 7th grade, she organized a food drive, starting with her swim team and expanding it a few years later to include all NVSL swim teams. Through this effort, she collected over 1,000 pounds of food donations for the local community. Rylie will attend Miami University in the fall to study kinesiology and sports management, and will participate on their Division I varsity swim team.
“These lessons the NVSL taught me are invaluable and with the cancelation of my senior season came one more lesson. Don’t ever take anything for granted, enjoy every single moment. My senior season might have been taken away but not the lifetime of memories.”
President’s Scholarship - Madi Flinn
Madi Flinn has been an NVSL swimmer for 13 years and an NVSL diver for 12 years. She started off on the Old Keene Mill team, and later swam and dove for Commonwealth Swim Club. She has won many high point awards in diving and has qualified to Diving All-Stars every year since 2010. She has also made it to All-Stars in swimming and has coached her younger teammates at both her pools. At Lake Braddock High School, Madi was captain of the varsity swim and dive team. She also took leadership roles in causes benefiting students with disabilities, including the Special Olympics, the Bruin Buddies club, and the iCanBike club. Madi was active in her church as well, teaching Sunday school to 2-4 year-olds. Madi plans to study criminology at Christopher Newport University as an honors student in their Presidential Leadership program.
“One of the most important aspects of diving is the mental aspect. You can have all the ability in the world, but if your mentality is wrong, your ability is inconsequential. Every coach I had tried to teach me this lesson, but it never really clicked until I became a coach myself.”
Spirit Scholarship - Carrie Morrison
Carrie has swum in the NVSL for 13 years, first for the Hunt Valley Stingrays and later for the Orange Hunt Sharks. She has broken records, won events in both Individual All-Stars and All- Star relays, and has received many high point awards. She was awarded the highest honor on her Orange Hunt team, the Jerry Driscoll Award for dedication, spirit and character. At West Springfield High School, Carrie captained both the varsity swim team and the varsity softball teams. She was also the captain of her travel softball team for two years. Carrie was a member of the National Honor Society and the History Honor Society, as well as being active in student government and many clubs. She completed 45 hours of service at the Fairfax Station Railroad Museum as an intern there. She will attend the University of Virginia in the fall.
“I am forever grateful for the 13 years of memories, friendships, and lessons that the NVSL has given me. I am most grateful for the person it has shaped me to be. With that, I leave these final remarks: ‘Sharks, eat ‘em! Chomp chomp chomp chomp chomp…’”
Sportsmanship Scholarship - Madeline Ice
A 15-year veteran of the Lee Graham swim team, Madeline competed in multiple All-Star meets and was twice awarded Lee Graham’s coveted Coaches’ Award for her overall contribution to the team. She has coached the team’s winter program and performed the national anthem at meets. At George C. Marshall High School, Madeline captained her varsity swim team and was chosen MVP in her senior year. Madeline, also a varsity track athlete, received Marshall’s Tri-Varsity Award. In addition, she is a member of the National Honor Society and the Tri-Music Honor Society. Outside school, she gives back to her community as a religious education assistant catechist at St. James Catholic School. Madeline will attend the University of Mary Washington, majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing, and minoring in linguistics. And of course, she will swim for their varsity team.
“In my almost 18 years, I learned that life is unpredictable. Whether it is a bone tumor or a pandemic, there are so many things that seem to upend life in an instant. But we can, and will, adapt. Be open to change and be flexible. Never quit, and find new ways to do what you love, to spread joy.”
Excellence in Technique Scholarship - Justin Brady
Justin has swum for the Fair Oaks Sharks for 9 years. He is head coach of the junior program there and also coaches their winter program. He has received the Coach’s Award, Most Improved Award, and several Second High Point Awards during his time as a Shark. He has helped break multiple relay records and qualified to All-Star Relays three times. Justin also swam for the USA Swim Mason Makos and was captain of his Chantilly High School varsity swim team. Justin attributes much of his swimming success to his technique work with Coach Lou Sharp, who inspired this scholarship. In addition to swimming, Justin is an Eagle Scout, and designed and planned construction of an outdoor elementary school classroom for his Eagle Scout project. He was also active in the Young Men’s Service League, Ragnar Relay team, Chantilly Writing Center, Chantilly Chamber Orchestra (violin), and freshman mentoring. Justin plans to study computer science at the University of Virginia School of Engineering.
“Every swimmer has a bad race, but we are always taught to keep our heads up and bounce back from our failure. The resilience I learned from swimming reaches beyond the pool, though. The COVID-19 pandemic that cancelled the 2020 season was a big disappointment for me and many other swimmers. I found ways to stay connected with my team despite the challenge of social distancing. The resilience paid off as now teams are back in the water and able to practice again.”
About the NVSL Scholarships: