“We’ve got great kids here, but it is simply a matter of getting them to commit to a sport such as cross country,” said coach Seth Kistner. In a nutshell, that seems to be the story across the board when assessing the fall sports program at L.C. Bird High School.
Kistner, a Thomas Dale graduate, learned his craft under the tutelage of Bob Gulley and Doug Sable. “Those two taught me to always care about the athlete at a deeper level,” he said. “They always provided their runners with positive guidance.” Kistner is blessed to have one of the Dominion District’s outstanding talents in Jake Zimmerman, who, when healthy, is as good as anyone in the area. He is backed by standout freshman David May and talented senior Javar Christian.
Beth Ligotti returns as the girls coach. She is happy with the “family atmosphere” at her pre-season practices. Ligotti is impressed with Rebecca Lee, who “really took care of business this summer,” and Nichelle Scott, a talented freshman who ran at Matoaca Middle last year.
Ben Davis takes over the Bird golf team this fall. He has been extremely impressed with the work ethic of his players.
“They are working hard on their individual games and each has improved in the last month by a minimum of 10 strokes,” he said. “The kids have been incredible to work with.”
Volleyball continues to be a growing sport in the Richmond area. Coach Nick Ligatti welcomes a scrappy unit that includes Vernon Vaughan and defensive specialist Connor Brockett. The Skyhawks will face some growing pains in competing in the brutally tough Dominion.
Jerry Duffy’s girls’ volleyball team includes freshmen and sophomores playing key roles. Katie Hall is an all-district candidate at outside hitter. The team could surprise observers if the younger players, such as Jordan Payne and Courtney Wiseman, can gel around Hall.