As Ken Tilley sat in the middle of his ideal site for Virginia's spring championships, he explained why it no longer would be the site. Tilley, the executive director of the Virginia High School League, extolled the virtues of Old Dominion and Norfolk State universities even as he acknowledged they no longer would host VHSL title games.

According to Tilley, next year the state's spring championships will move, almost certainly to Richmond, although details are being worked out.

"Norfolk was preferred, but Norfolk indicated that their proposal was two-part, for basketball and the spring," Tilley said. "When we chose to do just the spring, they withdrew their offer. It was a package [offer] . . . all or nothing."

The VHSL chose nothing. So instead, the 1999-2000 basketball champion will be crowned at a new site in Lynchburg and the spring contenders probably will compete in Richmond. Tilley said that Lynchburg's offer was simply too good to pass up, and that he was concerned about the distance between some Group A and AA basketball teams and Norfolk.

"There were four to six schools that were 400 miles away," Tilley said.

The VHSL is discussing specific sites with Richmond officials, but the University of Richmond is a likely candidate to host the events, according to Tilley.


Hylton boys soccer coach Ken Krieger has always kept a large varsity roster in order to foster intense competition for playing time. Since Hylton has had highly talented starting lineups since the school opened in 1992, many players have spent large parts of the season sitting on the bench.

Junior forward Shaun Krothe may have become the best representative for Kreger's method on Saturday when he scored the game-winning goal in sudden-death overtime to lead the top-ranked Vienna school to a 1-0 victory over Oakton in the Virginia AAA state championship game in Norfolk.

Krothe, a reserve who saw limited time in eight games before Saturday and did not play in Hylton's semifinal victory over Kempsville, headed in a cross from senior Keith Williams with 26 seconds left before the game would have gone to penalty kicks.

"It's an example to everyone who plays for this program," Krieger said. "One thing I always tell the kids is that I will never give up on them. You never know when you might get your chance and you have to be ready to make the most of it. [Saturday] Shaun got his chance."

Two-Sport Champions

While most area athletes dream of leading their schools to championship victories, four West Springfield athletes can make the rare claim of winning two state titles in the same year.

The Spartans girls basketball and soccer teams, led by Colleen McIlwrath, Meghan Ogilvie, Kathy Wainwright and Lisa Leininger, captured the the Virginia AAA state titles in both sports this year.

McIlwrath, a senior and captain for the No. 2 Spartans soccer team, who won the state title Saturday with a 2-0 victory over No. 1 Robinson in Norfolk, thought about the possibility of winning two state titles before the school year.

"We had enough talent on the basketball and soccer teams to win both so it was in the back of my head," said McIlwrath.

Wainwright shared the sentiment.

"It is really exciting," Wainwright said. "At the beginning of the year, there was a hope [to win both state titles] but it is amazing."

West Springfield's soccer team finished 20-1-0, leaving the quartet of players with a 50-1 record over six months of athletic competition. The Spartans' loss was to Robinson in the Northern Region championship. West Springfield's basketball team finished 30-0.

"I think [the loss] was a positive for us, we realized that we can't walk on the field and win," McIlwrath said. "It would have been good to have [won] all three [districts, regionals and states], but it's good to have the big one."

Making The Grade

The W.T. Woodson girls lacrosse team has enjoyed success both on and off the field. Saturday, the third-ranked Fairfax school ended its season unbeaten with a 15-10 victory over Western Albemarle of Crozet in the Virginia Invitational.

Along with the Lady Cavaliers' 18-0 record, they have an impressive statistic off the field. W.T. Woodson Coach Darah Bonham said 20 of the team's 23 players boast a 3.3 or better grade-point average.

"That shows what hard workers they have been all season," Bonham said. "They have really been an honor to coach."


Larry Hurd Jr., who led the Northwest girls basketball team to surprising success in the Germantown school's inaugural season last winter, is moving to Poolesville, where he will coach boys basketball. His Northwest team had no seniors but finished the season 12-10. Hurd was offered a teaching position at Poolesville, where he is an assistant football coach.

"I wanted to get into [teaching] the high schools," said Hurd, who taught at Beall Elementary this year.

Hurd said he was not looking to switch to coaching boys.

"Coaching the boys makes no difference at all," he said. "You coach individual players. That never came into the decision at all."

Staff writer Tara Finnegan and special correspondents Will Kuhns and Bryan Tucker contributed to this report.

CAPTION: The Hylton boys soccer team hoists the state championship trophy high after a 1-0 overtime victory over Oakton in Norfolk.