high school football

Friday Night Flights… in Surprising Suffolk!

October 25th, 2012 at 6:52 pm by under Personalities, Sports, Uncategorized

We are halfway into high school football season and that means WAVY TV 10 is hitting the skies and the ground for Friday Night Flights.

Once again, I got to kick off the season on September 7, days after the school year started.  I was constantly posting pictures and updates on Facebook and Twitter.  It was fun to check the messages of folks following me.

This year,  it was “Surprising Suffolk” night for me.

I flew in Chopper 1o to Lakeland and King’s Fork High Schools in Suffolk.  The weather was warm and the skies were clear… and that brought lots of folks out!

So many people came out at once, Lakeland’s box office ran out of change right before the game started!

Lakeland has a great support system backed by “The Blue Crew”, a student led group that tailgates before each game.

Lakeland took on Hickory of  Chesapeake.

The game started with twin sisters riding horseback to lead the football team onto the field. Lot’s of school spirit there and a win for the Lakeland Cavaliers,  27-0!

On to King’s Fork High School where they took on Indian River High School. My mom teaches in Suffolk so I actually met a lot of her former students during both stops.

The band kept the crowd rockin’ and the cheerleaders helped me toss out footballs to fans in the stands.

Back to the KFHS band, they’ve really come a long way in just a few years. Band Director, Jason Taylor,  told me the band nearly tripled in size since his arrival four years ago. Taylor won’t admit his leadership is the reason why- but Drum Major, Jarleel Baker,  told me Mr. Taylor certainly does motivate them to do their best and provides awesome support.

As a former bandie, I know how important it is to have a good leader and peers to make the production the very best. I think The Bulldogs are doing a fine job at that!

Time is moving quickly… just a few more weeks of high school football season. Don’t forget to tune in each Friday night for Friday Night Flights at 11:15pm on WAVY-TV 10.  Follow our progress on our Facebook page and send us your high school football game pictures to reportit@wavy.com

Check out each week of Friday Night Flights- including the bands of the week, here.


2011 Friday Night Flights kicks off without the flights!

September 14th, 2011 at 6:47 pm by under Personalities, Sports, Uncategorized

Friday, September 9, 2011 was the kickoff for WAVY-TV’s  Friday Night Flights.

It was the first week of school so students, teachers and staff were still getting settled in. That made it a little difficult to try to find quirky stories to do when I visited the schools. Another difficulty, Chopper 10 had a technical failure that caused it to stay grounded after Bruce Rader’s 6pm liveshot from Darling Stadium in Hampton with the Phoebus High School marching band. No worries… it took longer to visit our schools, but we were determined to check out the action so photojournalist Chris Omahen and I  hopped in the car and headed to Bayside High School in Virginia Beach.

The Marlins were on my list last year when I did FNF and again, they had a red out. Students showed their school spirit by wearing the team color and I got a hug from their mascot, The Marlin!

Nicole with the Bayside Marlin mascot

They played Green Run.

Second stop, my alma mater, Kempsville. Although it’s been a while since I was a student there, the stadium hasn’t changed much. Felt like yesterday walking into the game.

Although, when I was a student at KHS, I was in a band uniform with the Kempsville Marching Chiefs! I saw one of my classmates at the game with his daughter. Everyone treated me like family. It’s always good to go back.

Kempsville took on Princess Anne. The cheerleaders helped me toss those blue WAVY/FNF footballs into the stands.

They also showed me and gave me a pin the staff was wearing to commemorate the upcoming 10 year anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

It says “Never Forget 9-11-2001″.

From there, we left Virginia Beach and headed to Chesapeake.

Oscar Smith hosted rival Great Bridge.

The band got everyone amped up. I actually ran into my Biology teacher from Kempsville, Mr. Baine,  at the Smith game.

His wife is a longtime teacher there.

It was a beautiful night and even though our “chariot” was grounded, we made it back just in the nick of time to pull our segments together for Friday Night Flights.

If you’re hanging out at high school football games this season, take some pictures and send them to us to Reportit@wavy.com.  We’ll put them together in a slideshow. I was posting pix on Facebook and Twitter during the evening.

It’s always fun- especially when I get to go back to my school and run into old friends and meet new ones!  Keep watching. You’ll see other WAVY personalities head to games all season long and bring you stories from various schools. Check out our schedule here.


Up, up and away to high school football games!

September 14th, 2010 at 12:15 pm by under Chopper 10, Personalities, Sports, Uncategorized

It’s my favorite time of the year! I helped kickoff the 2010 season of Friday Night Flights on September 10. The weather was perfect!

Putting on the safety vest

Chopper 10 pilot John Massey helped me get safely buckled in which included putting on a new vest.

Aerial shot over Norfolk

I snapped some pictures from the sky with my camera and my phone. Photojournalist Tom Marks got gorgeous  video shots from the air and on the ground once we landed.  We tossed out little WAVY footballs to the crowds.

Look at that arm!

Young and old are always trying to catch the souvenirs or simply beg for us to hand them one on the sidelines. Our first stop this year was Bayside High School.

Chillin' with the Bayside kids

They were taking on Cox and the students wore their best red shirts to create a ‘red out’ kinda like the big colleges do on game day with their team color.

Proud Bayside HS Students

Lots of spirit from the cheerleaders, band and student council members who led the rest of the fans in cheering on the Marlins to a win at home.

Sunset over Virginia Beach from Chopper 10

Next stop, the Sportsplex for the Landstown game against Green Run. That place is so big it always looks somewhat empty even when there are a lot of folks there.

The Landstown cheerleaders told me about the great things happening in the school including it was ranked by Newsweek magazine as one of the best high schools in the nation.

Nicole with Landstown cheerleaders at the Sportsplex

They told me about Project Graduation and shared with me the special wristbands every student will receive this school year in honor of Landstown’s 10 year anniversary.

Landstown 10 year anniversary wristbands

Can you believe it’s been 10 years? Really makes me feel old considering that school didn’t even exist when I went to Kempsville.

Our final stop was the Tallwood at Ocean Lakes game.  I was really excited to land here because the school officials set me up with some awesome stories. First, I met Danny Alexander.

Danny Alexander, Ocean Lakes football manager

He’s been a manager for the Dolphins for a few years now and he takes his job very seriously keeping the players hydrated and with that million dollar smile-

Nicole with Danny Alexander, Ocean Lakes football manager

I’m sure he always keeps them in good spirits! One guy Danny helps on the sidelines is #50, Josh Mann.

Ocean Lakes football player Josh Mann with his winning shoe design

Josh just won a nationwide competition with Nike in its shoe design competition.  He’s started every game at Ocean Lakes and he has a 4.2 GPA! And get this- I remember when Josh’s dad, Brian, was a star athlete at Kellam High School back in the day.  His parents and his teachers and classmates sure are proud of him!

Check out all of my photos, WAVY’s photos and viewers photos from Friday Night Flights on our Flickr pages. Don’t forget to send us your pix from the games throughout the season by texting or emailing them to reportit@wavy.com

It was great meeting new friends and seeing old friends on the sidelines at the season kickoff and co-hosting the show with Bruce Rader again!


Recruiting Hampton Roads

February 4th, 2009 at 11:44 pm by under Sports

All the LOIs are signed.  Several Hampton Roads players are headed to colleges across the nation. 

I would call this an average year for Hampton Roads recruits.  And, that’s still very very good.  We had our big recruits like Tajh Boyd going to Clemson.  Three guys going to West Virignia.  Two Oscar Smith players headed to Virginia.  Only 3 local kids are headed to Blacksburg. 

I used to work in Lansing, Michigan.  It’s thought of as a pretty good place for football talent.  But, we never had anything like this when I worked there.  At most we would have 2 kids sign with D-1 schools.

It’s pretty amazing what this area pumps out each year. 

Next year will be just as good.  I have been talking up Oscar Smith quarterback Phillip Sims to anyone who will listen.  This kid is legit.  And, I’m calling it right now.  I think he will be a top 10 national recruit next year.  I think he’ll be the #1 quarterback recruit in the nation and the #1 overall recruit in Virginia.  This kid has the strongest arm I’ve seen from a high school athlete.  He’s not a mobile quarterback, more out of the pro-style mold.  I hear he wants to go to the SEC and play ball there.  He pretty much has his pick of any school in the nation.  He will be the main story next year around this time.