A large crowd of parents, family, faculty, coaches and students gathered in the Estes Athletic Center on the morning of Wednesday, November 14 to celebrate seven Trinity seniors as they officially commit to competing in intercollegiate athletics next year. Early November is a traditional time for seniors to sign their national letters of intent, and Trinity seniors joined student-athletes nationwide for this “National Signing Day” ceremony.
Three coaches shared words of praise, appreciation and anticipation of more great things to come for the group of Trinity student leaders and their extended families who have committed so much time toward the pursuit of excellence both on and off the playing field.
Head Field Hockey Coach Margie Vaughan Snead ’85 fought back tears to acknowledge the work of three of her players who have been instrumental in the Titans’ historic undefeated fall 2018 season: Erika Latta ’19, Abby English ’19 and Sally Snead ’19.
“For all three of these girls, I have had an opportunity to coach and be around them long before they came to Trinity," Snead said. "I have watched them grow into the young women and formidable athletes they have become. I feel blessed and honored to be a part of their celebrations today.”
Snead noted that Latta has appeared in five LIS championships and five VISAA state final games, since beginning her career as Trinity’s goalie as an 8th grader. In this, her final year, she allowed only four shots to get past her and reach the goal, earning her All-State Player of the Year honors. Snead recalled the most challenging game of this season, where Latta shutout Norfolk Academy on the road on hard turf. “It was so fun to see her rise to the occasion and enjoy that win.”
Coach Snead then praised English’s development from being a solid defender to becoming “a threat at both ends of the field during her junior year” as well as her leadership both on and off the field that elevated the entire team. “She defines the word teammate, and this is what will impact our program in future years,” said Snead.
Finally, Coach Snead had the dual honor of thanking her daughter Sally for giving her a front-row seat to a tremendous athletic career. “As a student-athlete, she excels in the classroom, earning NFHCA Scholar of Distinction honors,” said Snead, “but it was with her determined style of play and nose for the cage that she would find herself in the top three in scoring and assists during her last three seasons.” Finishing as the team’s points leader, (22 goals, 15 assists) the younger Snead will follow in the footsteps of both her mother Margie and older sister Annie ’16 to play field hockey at William & Mary.
Girls Basketball Head Coach Adam Lonon thanked all of the parents, family and club coaches in attendance for all of the behind-the-scenes work they have put in over the years to help both Angel Burgos ’19 and Elaina Chapman ’19 achieve success. “When you have such transcendent players like Angel and Elaina, it's going to be tough to continue their development,” he confessed. “To see two players of such high skill and ability and character, you really just don’t want to mess that up.”
Averaging over 12 points and 4 assists per game over her Trinity career, Burgos has established herself as a college-ready player in high school. “She will make an immediate impact at Richmond,” said Lonon, “and will come in with a great guard presence as someone who can both handle the ball and score.” Lonon also praised her “it-factor” level of determination and toughness that he says can never be taught, but can determine success not only in athletics but for the rest of your life.
Rated by ESPN as one of the top 100 players in the country, Chapman has also racked up eye-popping statistics in only a few short years. “With 19.4 points and 10.3 rebounds, Elaina has averaged a double-double her entire career at Trinity,” Lonon said, noting also that she holds the school record for points, rebounds, steals and blocks. “When she graduates from college, Elaina already know she wants to be an ER physician. To know at this age that you want to help people that way, is something to appreciate,” he said. “I think Elaina is going to be successful in everything that she does.”
When it was Head Baseball Coach Tim Merry’s turn to speak, he stood behind the Ty Barker ’19 and Brennan Tyznar ’19 with a hand placed firmly on each of their shoulders. “I want you to know I’ll always be looking over your shoulder,” he said, as they head off to college.
Noting that Barker is best known for his pitching prowess, Merry reminded the attendees that he was also responsible for 8 of the team’s 12 home runs last season and thanked him for nearly “single-handedly” fending off local rival Benedictine in one of the season’s most memorable victories.
Merry praised Tyznar’s development since starting in 8th grade as a young left-handed pitcher 10-strikeout performance against local stalwart Steward School. “These guys are both still getting better, and that’s good news for both of the programs that you’ll be attending.”
Fall 2018 National Letter of Intent Signees
Ty Barker ’19 (baseball) — Virginia Military Institute
Angel Burgos ’19 (basketball) — University of Richmond
Elaina Chapman ’19 (basketball) — University of Richmond
Abby English ’19 (field hockey) — Georgetown University
Erika Latta ’19 (field hockey) — University of Richmond
Sally Snead ’19 (field hockey) — College of William & Mary
Brennan Tyznar ’19 (baseball) — Randolph-Macon College