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:
Reminder! The NVSL graduating senior scholarship applications are due on 6/26/2020 by 6pm. The essay topic is "What Life Lessons Swimming/Diving in the NVSL has Taught Me"
Here is the link to the application package: https://www.mynvsl.com/file/31527/2020_NVSL_Scholarship_information_and_Application_pdf
Dear NVSL Swimmers, Divers, Families, Volunteers and Sponsors,
Planning for the 2020 season began even as the 2019 season came to a close. We eagerly looked forward to commemorating our 65th anniversary as a league of more than 17,000 incredible swimmers and divers. As we know, the spread of the COVID-19 virus resulted in significant changes in our plans and daily lives. Despite our best efforts to gather as much information about the implications of COVID-19 to confidently hold a potential season, we have reached the difficult decision that the 2020 season must be canceled. We feel profound sadness knowing the disappointment this will cause, but the decision was made to prioritize the safety of our participants, supporters, and communities.
Over the last eight weeks, both the Executive Board and the full League Board met more than a dozen times to monitor the ongoing developments related to COVID-19. We gathered input from public health officials, as well as elected and appointed representatives from all levels of government. Most importantly, we sought input from all 102 teams through the 17 Division Coordinators. The common thread in the feedback, along with the disappointment of missing a special summer tradition, was the commitment to health and safety. The Board greatly appreciates the constructive conversations that advanced the discussion on the status of the 2020 season. We took into account as much information as we could to determine whether the League could operate in a safe and healthy way that did not put overwhelming logistical and organizational pressure on the League’s teams.
We expect that teams will have many questions, and we will work quickly to answer where possible. At this moment, we can assure you of the following:
- Senior swimmers and divers will have the opportunity to apply for 2020 NVSL scholarships.
- Team dues will be fully refunded.
We are looking ahead and already planning how to make the 2021 season the best one yet.
The NVSL Executive Board