Previously a formidable weapon in the golf team’s arsenal, University of Virginia golfer Connor Messick looks forward while also gazing fondly upon the past.
“My favorite memory as a Chantilly athlete was the junior year state tournament in Virginia Beach where we ended up finishing second but I had an awesome time with the team,” Messick said. “Of course, winning a state title senior year capped off a great four years our team had with an awesome group of guys and gals.”
Despite competing in back-to-back state tournaments and ultimately winning the state ring in the 2013 6A championship, college competition in the ACC is admittedly a whole new level.
“In college, five guys play instead of six, which makes it even more competitive,” Messick said. “College athletics are so much more competitive and serious in the sense that we are now trying to make a career out of the sport we are playing and make it to the next level and win ACC and NCAA titles.”
Looking forward, Messick and his fellow Cavalier golfers have high hopes and expectations.
“My personal goal at UVA is to try to get better everyday and play and win an ACC Championship and compete for a national title,” Messick said. “Our team works very hard and we are a close knit group dedicated to win at the highest level.”}
Messick and the affectionately-dubbed “Wahoos” are set to compete in the ACC tournament in May, and have national aspirations.
“It should be an exciting season,” Messick said.[a]
Once a dominant high school midfielder, transitioning to life as a college student-athlete has brought about change in multiple facets for Liberty University’s Brianne Beard.
“I got recruited as a midfielder so I sometimes play there, but mostly I play forward,” Beard said. Aside from positional and geographical shifts, Beard remarked upon other disparities between high school and collegiate athletics.
“College is like high school on steroids,” Beard said. “In high school, you might feel like you’re pushing yourself to your limits, but college is an entirely new level. Also, no spots are guaranteed in college. It is challenging every day.”
Undergoing a change in scenery, position and intensity, Beard reminisces upon her days as a Charger.
“My favorite memory as a Chantilly athlete has to be pregame activities in the locker room or shabooya on the bus,” Beard said.
Working towards the effort of building an athletic resume that includes a conference championship in 2014, Beard has goals for both herself and her Liberty Flame teammates.
“I want to be the best athlete that I can be socially, spiritually and academically,” Beard said. “As a team, we want to win the Big South, and move to the first round of the NCAA tournament.”
Though the Purple Platoon no longer overlooks football player Mark Aanstoos wreaking havoc on Chantilly’s home turf every Friday night, the defensive lineman continues his tenacity as a Captain at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. Before high school, Aanstoos could be found representing Charger athletics in more than just football pads.
“My favorite memories at Chantilly were winning the Lake Braddock basketball tournament with some of my best friends during my senior year, and beating South County in football at home in a fourth quarter comeback,” Aanstoos said. A versatile athlete, Aanstoos could also be seen suiting up for the varsity lacrosse team come springtime.
Aside from having to wean himself off of three varsity sports in high school to one at the college level, the college transition has yielded more than one difference for Aanstoos.
“Compared to high school, high school was a much more close-knit community than college,” Aanstoos said. “The coach and player bonds were closer, whereas in college it is treated almost as a job.”
An increased air of importance brings about even more serious goals for the CNU Captains, and Aanstoos individually.
“My personal goals are to continue to work hard in the classroom and on the field,” Aanstoos said. “We look forward to winning a second conference ring as a team and I hope to make the most out of my next two and a half years here at CNU.”
After years of swimming against Concorde Conference athletes in high school and nationally ranked competitors for her club team, Logan Haddock continued swimming at the University of Tennessee, but later transferred to James Madison University for her sophomore year. Her thirst for competition, however, results from a competitive fire that was born during her days as an athlete at Chantilly.
“Some of my favorite memories as a Chantilly swimmer were placing third in states, and being able to be a four-time Concorde champ in the 100 backstroke while swimming for my mom, who was an assistant coach for the team,” Haddock said.
After graduating, Haddock spent her freshman year swimming for her mother’s alma mater: the University of Tennessee. Following the conclusion of the swim season, she decided to take her talents to James Madison, where she is currently a highly touted member of Madison’s swim and dive team.
Haddock’s path from the Concorde Conference to the SEC, and later the CAA marked a major transition as a student-athlete. However, remaining goal-oriented and surrounding herself with a family of like-minded teammates has helped her prepare for the coming years of competition.
“My personal goals are to continue to improve throughout the season in order to swim the best I can at the CAA championships, and get an Olympic Trial cut,” Haddock said. “As a team, we want to compete at the level we have trained for, so that we can win the CAA.”
The eldest member of a family whose name is entrenched in Chantilly and northern Virginia track and field, Sean McGorty is one of the most decorated athletes the school has ever seen. Currently a junior track and cross country runner at Stanford, he continues to make strides towards the future while also crediting his high school roots.
Surrounded by a talented Stanford team, he and his fellow Cardinals look to win to improve upon their second place finish in cross country last year and hopefully win a national title.
A natural competitor, McGorty also holds himself to high standards.
“Personally, I want to keep improving and earning All-American honors,” McGorty said. “My goal is to eventually become an NCAA champion.”
With a promising and bright future ahead of him, McGorty praised the opportunities he received during his time as a high school runner}.
“My experience at Chantilly without a doubt prepared me to be ready to handle everything at Stanford,” McGorty said. “I am very grateful for the opportunities I had and will continue to have.”