Tuesday night's girls' soccer game between Loudoun County and host Heritage will be about much more than the game. The match, which has been dubbed "Kicks for Caeden," will honor the memory of former Pride coach Trevor Eback, who died of cancer last fall.
All proceeds from the game, including admission, concessions, donations and merchandise sales, will be put into an education fund for Eback's 1-year-old son, Caeden.
"We wanted to do something for the family," said Heritage Athletic Director Ron Petrella. "Because not only was he our first coach, he also had a real love for the program, for the sport and for the girls. He was excited to teach them and to motivate them, and that's not always easy with a new school and a new program. But he created a real family atmosphere here."
In hopes of drawing more than just the usual crowd, Petrella and Loudoun County Athletic Director Ken Wright, a former Heritage assistant AD, moved the rest of the day's scheduled events so nothing would conflict with the 7:30 p.m. start of the soccer game. The baseball and softball games between the Pride and the Raiders will be moved to 5 p.m. Tuesday, and the boys' soccer game has been postponed until Wednesday night.
"With Ken now being at Loudoun County, we decided to work it as a Leesburg thing," Petrella said. "In just normal attendance and concessions, we're hoping to raise about $2,000. But with reorganizing the rest of our games we're hoping all of our athletes will come out and support it. If they do, this could be a huge fundraiser."
Eback, who guided the Heritage program from its inception in 2002, is survived by his wife, Alethea.
Park View Athletic Director Les Cummings wasn't intending to conduct a national search to find a new football coach. But by posting the job opening, created when Charlie Pierce left Park View after five seasons to head the new Briar Woods program, on Web sites for high school leagues in Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia, the door opened for Andrew Hill.
Hill, an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the Hill-Murray School in Minnesota, often checked the Maryland site in hopes of a finding a job that would bring him closer to his parents in Annapolis. He found Park View.
"I'd been looking for the right situation that would bring me closer to my family," Hill said. "So I threw my name into the ring at Park View, and then the more research I did on the school the more I fell in love with it. I believe in coaching to change lives . . . and part of Park View's mission statement is about building character in its students. It's a perfect fit."
This will be the first head coaching position for Hill, but that doesn't worry Cummings.
"He knows what he wants to do and came in with an existing philosophy that we liked," Cummings said. "And according to his head coach and athletic supervisor, he has a great relationship with the kids and is a tremendous [social studies] teacher, too. When you combine what he's done in the classroom with what he's done on the field, we couldn't ask for more."
Hill will be in Sterling next week and plans to hold a meet-the-coach meeting for players and parents at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the school auditorium.
Athletes Chose Colleges
Four more area athletes signed letters-of-intent this week to continue their athletic careers in college: Stone Bridge's Andrew Ryan and Loudoun Valley's Rachael Hardison, Jessica Nauta and Sarah Neikirk.
Ryan, who is a starting outfielder on the Bulldogs' baseball team, has committed to play football next season at La Salle University in Philadelphia. Ryan (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) was an all-Dulles District selection last season at wide receiver and defensive back but expects to play only offense for the Explorers.
"They run a no-huddle, spread offense kind of like we did last year at Stone Bridge," said Ryan, who had 29 receptions for 380 yards and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs (11-1). "And that's the kind of offensive system I was hoping to find. Plus, I liked the whole atmosphere of the school, the coaches and the city. So it all fit."
Hardison, a four-year starting goalie for the Vikings' soccer team, has signed to play at Division I Coastal Carolina. Last season, Hardison totaled 106 saves and had a 1.7 goals against average.
Nauta, the Vikings' record holder in the 100-meter hurdles, has committed to run track next season for Division I Murray State in Kentucky. Last season, she placed fifth in the 300 hurdles at the Virginia AA championships.
Neikirk, a key member of the Vikings' Virginia AA championship volleyball team, has signed to play for Division II Alderson-Broaddus College in West Virginia. Neikirk finished second in kills (163) and points scored (146) for the 29-0 Vikings.
Special correspondent Charlie Moss contributed to this report.