It was another banner year for Northern Region sports. Here is a look at five of the top stories from the 2003-2004 school year.
1 Its doors first opened in 2000, but in four years, Westfield High has become a region and state athletic powerhouse. And its success is not limited to one sport.
The Bulldogs' football team kicked off the year in style by capturing the Virginia AAA championship. Behind senior wide receiver Eddie Royal, the All-Met Offensive Player of the Year, senior All-Met quarterback Sean Glennon, sophomore running back Brandon Royster and a dominant defense, Westfield went 14-0.
During its postseason run, the Bulldogs defeated perennial power Robinson in the Northern Region championship and defending state champion Hylton in the state semifinals.
Also in the fall, Westfield's golf team, boys' and girls' cross country teams and girls' volleyball team all won Concorde District titles.
In the winter, Westfield's boys' and girls' basketball teams combined to go 41-11, and both teams advanced to the Virginia AAA Northern Region semifinals. The boys' and girls' indoor track teams won district titles, and the boys' placed runner-up in the Virginia AAA competition. Westfield's wrestling team also won a district title.
In the spring, Westfield's boys' outdoor track team won the Virginia AAA title, its baseball team reached the Virginia AAA final and its girls' lacrosse team went 11-4.
Woodson Ends Drought
2 W.T. Woodson forward Samantha Howard scored in overtime of the Virginia AAA field hockey final to lift the Cavaliers to a 2-1 victory over Princess Anne of the Eastern Region. The goal gave the Cavaliers (22-1-1) their first field hockey state title and ended the Northern Region's state championship drought that dated back to 1986.
Woodson finished the season on a 23-game unbeaten streak. Howard (20 goals, 19 assists) was named the All-Met Player of the Year, and senior defender Jackie Bryan (five goals, 11 assists) was named first-team All-Met.
Basketball Drought Continued
3 While one dubious streak was ended in the fall, another continued in the winter.
The boys' basketball teams from South Lakes and Hayfield both lost in the Virginia AAA quarterfinals, keeping alive the Northern Region's run of 23 years without a state title. The last Northern Region team to win a state crown was Lee, in 1981.
Northern Region Owns Pool
4 Teams from the Northern Region once again swept away the competition in swimming.
Jefferson's girls' swimming and diving team won its third consecutive Virginia AAA title, while Robinson's boys' team won its second in a row.
All-Met Emily Verdin led the Patriots by breaking two state records, while the Rams dominated behind Drew Finelli and Steve Scheren.
George Mason's Success
5 Few schools could match the spring enjoyed by George Mason. The 611-student Falls Church school won Virginia A titles in boys' soccer, girls' soccer and boys' tennis. It was the first time ever, George Mason Athletic Director Tom Horn believed, that three spring teams had won state championships in the same season.