The 2015 Nansemond-Suffolk Academy football team helped Lew Johnston become a first-time state champion head coach in the final game of his storied career, and on National Signing Day, it yielded another perfect moment at the end of his tenure.
Saints linebacker/running back Cole Christiansen, running back/defensive back Noah Giles and linebacker/running back Daniel Griffith signed to play football at the NCAA Division I level. Griffith will be a preferred walk-on at Virginia Tech, Christiansen is officially committed to play for the United States Military Academy at West Point and Giles is set to play for the College of William & Mary.
“With a state championship and three guys signing Division I — again, the storybook ending,” Johnston said. “I guess this is the postscript, so it is really exciting. I’m just so happy for the three of them — not just great football players but great young men. That makes it extra special.”
A large group of family, classmates, coaches, teachers and administrators gathered in Nansemond-Suffolk’s upper school gym to watch the trio sign.
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After banner year, Nansemond-Suffolk preps for banner signing day
Lew Johnston has been a part of many national signing day programs during his coaching career. In all, Johnston – who has coached at Nansemond-Suffolk and Western Branch – said he’s seen nearly 40 players sign national letters of intent to major colleges. Today will be his final one when linebacker Cole Christiansen (Army) and running back Noah Giles (William & Mary) sign, while linebacker/fullback Daniel Griffith is headed to Virginia Tech as a recruited walk-on.
Johnston announced before the playoffs that he would retire after the 2015 season. The Saints honored him by winning the VISAA Division III championship – his first state title as a coach.
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Suffolk Art League’s 32nd annual Exhibit of Excellence
First place in the show went to Mitchell Hartman of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy for his reading self-portrait. He said he used a timer on the camera to shoot the photo and took about 60 pictures before he got the right one. He had a different favorite, but that one didn't even make it in the show. "This one's my favorite now," he said.
Maggie More of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy won second place in the show with her Prismacolor pencil drawing of paintbrushes in a jar. “I love art,” More said, adding that the drawing was a class assignment in which they had to do a “direct observation” — depict something just the way it looks. “I tried to come up with an interesting subject,” she said.
Buddy White of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy won third place with his photo of a lightbulb, seen through a prism, with a mirror in the background. He said he was looking through a prism at the television when he came up with the idea to experiment with photography involving prisms. “When I saw it in the camera, I thought, ‘This is amazing,’” he said.
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