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High School Notebook: Black-Hawks Hilland settles on Tribe


Brooke Point rising senior offensive lineman Connor Hilland orally committed to William & Mary on Wednesday.

Hilland, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound right guard, was a second-team all-Commonwealth District selection last season.

He also had scholarship offers from Liberty and Richmond.

“He moves extremely well for his size,” Brooke Point coach Jeff Berry said. “He’s added a physical aspect to his game. But above all else, he’s a good kid with a great work ethic.”

Hilland, an honor student, is expected to lead the Black–Hawks’ offensive line this upcoming season.

Berry said he also received interest from Football Bowl Subdivision programs, and it “was always an option” for him to hold out for a scholarship offer from one of those schools.

“I just felt William & Mary was the best fit for me academically,” Hilland said. “And I’ll have a chance to play some great football there.”

Berry said Hilland was still in contact with FBS programs, but Hilland said the Tribe’s stability (Jimmye Laycock has been the head coach for 32 years) and recent history of success swayed him.

“When it came down to it he found everything he loved at William & Mary,” Berry said. “They play awesome football, and when you leave with a degree from there fully paid for, that’s a hell of a bargain.”


Paul Heizer hasn’t had much of an opportunity to catch his breath.

He was hired as Caroline’s athletic director two weeks ago.

He’s already helped find a new field hockey coach, and now he’s trying to develop booster clubs, increase morale surrounding the athletic programs and become visible in the community.

“I’m just trying to network as much as I can,” said Heizer, who was the assistant athletic director at Patrick Henry–Ashland the past five years.

Heizer is also revamping the school’s athletic handbook to make rules and expectations a bit clearer.

He’s contacted every coach in the school either by email or face-to-face meetings.

He’s been to at least one practice for every fall sports team.

Heizer said one of his primary goals is to improve facilities at the school so the Cavaliers can have “the look of success.”

He’s also trying to get on the same page with Principal Charles Stevens and football coach Jeremiah Ross, who are also entering their first years on their respective jobs.

“I think it’s advantageous,” Heizer said of all three being newcomers. “We all come from different backgrounds, and we’re trying to piece this thing together.”


Heizer said Caroline softball coach Greg Trainum has been tabbed to lead the school’s field hockey program.

Trainum guided Caroline’s softball team to the Region I tournament this past spring.

Heizer said Trainum will “tag team” the field hockey job with Debbie Travis, a former college player.

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526

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