Celebrating the Titans of yesteryear

Celebrating the Titans of yesteryear

By Karen Graf (File photo)

Much of the Alexandria School Board’s time is spent talking about academics. However, athletics has a place in the conversation as well.

Movement helps our cognitive abilities. It teaches our young people about teamwork, how to manage conflict and overcome adversity.

With obesity rates rising, it helps kids develop an active lifestyle. Hopefully, a few years spent on the track, ice rink or football field will lead to a lifelong respect of athleticism and physical activity.

Physical activity also translates into success and fosters pride. When that success is on a large stage, it reflects back on us here in the City of Alexandria. Last spring, the school board voted to create a new advisory group known as the athletic hall of fame nominating committee. The group is made up of seven members that are alumni and community members.

Members of the committee include T.C. Williams’ alums Willie Bailey, Jim Clark, Mark Eisenhour and Wayne Sanders as well as Hal Doran, a graduate of Francis Hammond High School, Michael Johnson, who watched his children and then his grandchildren attend Alexandria City Public Schools, and T.C. football coach Dennis Randolph. Bill Campbell acts as the non-voting school board liaison.

T.C. does not have a system for recognizing athletes. There is a trophy case, but not every athlete was on a winning team or broke a record that earned a trophy. In fact, a few of the most inspiring athletes spent their high school years working only to later become Olympic or world-class athletes. T.C.’s crew team produced several Olympic athletes, men and women alike.

Whether boxers, basketball players, taekwondo aficionados, football stars or track standouts, they all share the ability to tell a story of how the combination of athletics and academics exposed them to a wealth of global experiences.

This winter, the members of the selection committee are inducting the first class at the annual Parker-Gray basketball game December 12. The annual match that celebrates the legacy of Parker-Gray’s rivalry with Hoffman-Boston will include a reception and ceremony.

If you know an athlete that has been an alumnus for five years or more, please go to the athletic hall of fame page on the homepage of the district’s website (acps.k12.va.us) and nominate them by filling out a short form. It is time to capture and celebrate our Titan Pride.

The writer is the chair of the Alexandria School Board.