Campus Life

Honoring Our Seniors

We've missed our seniors on campus this spring. As we move toward when we would have traditionally celebrated their graduation, we wanted to honor the many ways they've contributed to our community in the past few years and allow them to share some of their favorite memories from Woodberry Forest School. 

Congratulations to the Woodberry Class of 2020!

San Antonio, Texas

"One of the most memorable times in athletics was the rock climbing training we did as a team in the Barbee and on the football field. The workouts were tough, but when we completed them as a team in the cold, we all grew closer as a team and were able to rely on each other in more difficult times. In addition to rock climbing, the tennis team has pushed me to work harder and always strive to get the extra 1% out of every practice and compete hard."

- Spencer Doerr 

Middleburg, Virginia

"Mr. Born, Baron Becker, and Myles Malone made me jump higher. Baron had the largest impact on me. It was practicing with him that got me better. He was always better than me, but he and Mr. Born made me practice at higher heights so I would gain the confidence and the will to jump higher. Because of these three, I was able to go to outdoor states my sophomore year at Woodberry."

- Roman Gravely 

Chicago, Illinois 

"A top moment of mine was when the Varsity Squash team travelled up to the Loomis Chaffee School in Connecticut to play for a national championship. After a grueling eight hour drive, not including stops, we hunkered down in our hotel and prepared for our match the next day. We faced a tough opponent but came back from a 3–1 deficit to win 4–3 and moved to the next round. We carried our momentum through the finals and brought back a national championship. While we piled in the bus with clouded minds when we started our journey, we created many memories and brought back serious hardware."

- Eli Drake 

Pinehurst, North Carolina

"Saturday afternoons in Johnson Stadium were always my favorite. As an aspiring sports broadcaster, that was when I could practice my craft. I'll always remember finishing my game board with all my notes and stats for the broadcast and walking down the hill three hours before kickoff on Hanes Field. First thing I would do was set up the camera and box for the live stream. After that, I would walk down and greet the parents at the tailgate and maybe grab a barbecue sandwich. Once the team walked down the hill arm-in-arm, I would go down to the turf to get a few last minute quotes from the coaches, players, and athletic trainers. Then, I would head back up to the booth, watch the team run through the gauntlet of students, and start the broadcast with the traditional, "YOU ARE LISTENING LIVE!"

- Taft Gantt

Spotsylvania, Virginia

"My favorite moment in swimming from the last four years is hard to pick, because every moment that I spent with the team was special. From grinding in practice on a cold, winter morning to hanging out on the beach in Fort Lauderdale between training trip practices, I have had so many unforgettable moments with the swim team. It isn't possible for me to have a favorite, but the best decision that I ever made was to choose to swim the fall of my freshman year. That led to 11 (would be 12) great seasons with the best team and coaches. I would do anything for one more practice with everyone."

- Kyle Floyd

Orange, Virginia

My favorite moment of the winter musical came minutes before the curtain came up for the beginning of Act II. Mr. Blain had warned us before the show not to do anything off-script that would incite the audience, as he'd had issues with that before, but this was in the middle of the broom-balancing fad, and I had a scene coming up where I danced with a broom. I knew what I had to do. I ran up to him and said, "Mr. Blain, I'm going to make an off-script pop culture reference on stage, and you might not get it, but it's going to be really funny, so please don't get mad at me." And just like that I was behind the curtain desperately trying to get the broom to balance. Just as the lights came up, I got it standing and threw my hands up in triumph. The audience loved it, and Mr. Blain wasn't even mad.

- Rhew Deigl

The Plains, Virginia

"One of my most favorite moments was when I had a mechanical issue on my bike during a race, so I had to carry it over my shoulder for the last half mile. The crowd along the sides of the finish loop cheered me on as I crossed the finish line. Even though it was not an optimal experience during the time, it was quite the accomplishment now that I look back at it."

- Claiborne Van Voorhis

Crozet, Virginia

"One of my favorite moments was the last practice of this lacrosse season. I remember walking up the hill happy because I felt that the season was headed in a very good direction, and our practice was a reflection of that. I want the juniors, sophomores, and freshmen to remember that and carry the momentum into next year." 

- Luke Blundin

Leesburg, Virginia

After-hour workouts on and off the field with football teammates made for some of the greatest memories by themselves and in the games. I know I will cherish them for the rest of my life.

- Ethan Weber

Yarmouth, Maine

"One of my favorite moments at Woodberry was having 100 guys show up to our away soccer game at EHS. Of course we put on a show and won 2-1."

- Zack Woods

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

"I was ecstatic and without words when Coach Holmes and my boys celebrated my first ever hit and RBI during the baseball spring break trip."

- Hieu Pham

Kingwood, Texas

"My favorite memory of this past year was beating EHS in soccer in front of all the Woodberry students who made the trip to watch. I appreciated the work that the team put in over the summer, and I am proud of how we turned our season around." 

- Trevor Daniel

Charlotte, North Carolina

"Definitely the highlight of my track career was winning the Prep League in triple jump on my final jump. I won by half an inch, and that was after being seeded third going into finals. It was fantastic to finally win an event, after all of those seasons of practice and effort. I remember that I was frustrated before my final jump, because the guy before me had bumped me from third place, and I was determined to at least have a podium finish. Thankfully, I was able to preserve my podium finish."

- Freddie Woltz

Pinehurst, North Carolina

"I never really saw myself as a performer before coming to Woodberry, but when I stepped onstage, whether it be to play music, act, or speak, I realized that I love it. Woodberry is a place that is only fully experienced if you take chances and push yourself into activities you may never have even considered. Thanks, Mr. Stakem, for letting me play slap bass in jazz songs."

- Reed Taws

Woodberry Forest, Virginia

"2020 States with the swim team was amazing. I felt honored to be associated with our team on the pool deck, lucky to be included in this moment, and proud of & happy for my teammates. I'd had so many "favorite" moments across the previous 7 seasons, but States was such an incredible combination of my favorite things about the team. I missed it as soon as it was over." 

- Blythe Brewster

Hangzhou, China

"A few classmates from the Seminar in Advanced Computing course got together and signed up for the 2019 NASA Space Apps Challenge. Participants were given two days to work on a program surrounding a topic the participants choose from a pool. Our topic was building a virtual planet, and we decided to build a game in Unity where the player manipulates the orbit position and atmosphere composition of planets to make life viable. Since I was experienced with Unity, I built the mechanics, physics, and user interface for the game while my teammates worked on graphics and ran a five-hour discussion on obscure chemistry formulas. We worked from early in the morning on a Saturday till past midnight. This collaborative experience of bringing computer science, astronomy, physics, and chemistry together is one of my favorite and most unique experiences at Woodberry."

- Benny Cao

Richmond, Virginia

"Early ball has a special place in my heart. The days were long and gruelling, the practices were hot and demanding, and the dorms were half-empty and double-sweaty. But the conversations with my teammates on dorm as the NFL preseason played in the background were some of the most meaningful of my time at Woodberry. Play sports. It's worth it."

- Emmett Aydin

Rye, New York

"One of my favorite times of the year is the football season. Midway through our year I started to become a defensive player with better technique with the help of Mr. Tisch and Coach Bras. I really wanted to embody alumni John Harris, who inspired me to play defense. I went down to practice super fired up because it was one of the very first weeks of pads. As we were warming up, I stared my daily trash talk to the offense.
All of them hated it because I always picked on the line and the quarterback. Two of the most important factors in a football game. During team takeoff, I would pretend to foam from the mouth and scream at Ben. I would say things like "put the better one in," or "how did this guy make the team?" During those takeoff periods, I would always play my best. My first step was always great, and my hands were good with reaction time. This was something I will never forget from my senior year because it extended my competitive edge to a level I had never taken it. I loved every second of my time at Woodberry, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything." 

- Colin Kovaks

York, England

"Loved the soccer season and pulling off the Alex Morgan drinking tea celebration when I scored."

- Owen Pudsey

Charlotte, North Carolina

"One of the many memories I will take away from Woodberry for the rest of my life is my time on the varsity golf team. From hitting on the range, Mr. Hogan's drills, away matches in Richmond, and all our winning seasons, I loved every minute of it and getting do do it with such a great group of guys every year."

- Jack Malone

Mountain Brook, Alabama

"Coaching Bengal football the past two years was nothing short of awesome. Getting to know the new boys each year in a different setting was great. Go Tigers!"

- Mac Holman

Woodside, New York

"My favorite moments were always during track and field."

- Sandeep Thapa

New Orleans, Louisiana

"My favorite moment on the soccer team was scoring against EHS at home and celebrating with the crowd."

- Hugh Monsted

Dallas, Texas

"The skeet trip my sophomore year and our extensive run in with an electric fence that night."

- Tripp Hood

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

"I'll never forget the times during football practice when Scout D was on the field and I could talk to Brad and Coach Tisch about recent Woodberry football. Tisch and Brad told stories about phenomenal performances, and oftentimes Coach Johnson would chime in with some sarcastic remark, so we all had a good time. I learned a lot and felt more like a coach than player, which was nice considering I'm going to be a student coach at UNC, and I'll never forget those brief but magical moments this past fall."

- J Banzet

Savannah, Georgia

"My favorite moments was when the whole student body got together and went around campus together."

- Gus Bell

Midlothian, Virginia

"I remember when I tried JV tennis for my freshman Spring. It was quite the team for sure — Currin, Jassiem, Sibisi, and the rest of the boys including the essentials: Benny, Dirty Mike, and my boy Colin Manning. Each day, we went into practice with absolutely no tennis on our mind and planned to only do one thing that afternoon — have fun. On the court, you could feel the warm spring sun and just relax and enjoy the afternoon with the boys — unless Benny was losing. Then, you either had to avoid getting beaten by a racket or getting "chewed out" by Mr. Manning (both were equally funny.)"

- Daniel Oukolov

Corona, New York

"One of my favorite moments at Woodberry was during a home football game versus Collegiate my junior year. In the middle of the game I remember finding a true love and purpose in playing football and it led me to in the position I am currently in. I couldn't have found that love without my supportive coaches, teammates, and classmates in the stands."

- Aussie Joseph

New York, New York

"My last squash season was really special. Everyone on the team played hard and pushed each other at every practice and match. During the culmination of our season at Nationals, I loved watching the team compete with grit and fight for every point. I am sincerely proud of everyone and believe our success was deserved. Go Tigers!"

- Henry Rich

Orange, Virginia

"I think for me, my favorite moments typically revolved around being with my teammates. All of our meets were really fun, and completive. However, I am going to miss all of the bus rides, and the team meals at away meets, and driving to Florida in a minivan more than anything."

- Jack Stelter

Lexington, Kentucky

"Definitely beating Episcopal and St. Chris in baseball my junior year was my favorite extra curricular memory. It had been around four years since we had beaten EHS, and to do it at home during Reunion wWeekend was fun. Our victory over St. Chris was also at home. We hadn't beaten them in 16 years, so we were pretty pumped about breaking that losing streak. I have many memories from Bengal Football and Bengal Basketball, and the play with Mr. Blain as well that will always be with me."

- Walker Owens

West Palm Beach, Florida

"Going down the hill every day are memories I will always cherish. These past two years I have been a baseball player. I have played baseball 5 out of the last 6 seasons at Woodberry. I love the culture of the baseball team. I have made many close friendships with coaches and teammates I will never forget."

- Carter Nicoletti

Charleston, South Carolina

"One moment doesn’t do this place justice. As much as you think I can highlight one moment in my extracurriculars, I just simply can’t. Every day was filled with something memorable. The teams I have been a part of here have changed me. I loved every second on the field, the court, the track, and the course. Whether it be Coach Phillips literally changing me into a better athlete or Coach Leahy/Robbins amazing speeches, I will never forget this place and what it has offered me with extracurriculars."

- Jack Hastings 

Juno Beach, Florida

"Working with WFSPN these past two years was one of the most fulfilling experiences I had in my time at Woodberry. Even though varsity sports weren't in the cards for me personally, Coach Mills and the Varsity Soccer Team and Coach Guldin and the Swim Team really made me feel like I was part of their family. My favorite moment broadcasting came at this winter's VISAA Swimming & Diving Championship when Gavin Newcamp, Ben Lundy, Kyle Floyd, and Jack Stelter set a state record in the 200 Yard Medley Relay. Seeing how happy they were, and more significantly, how happy their teammates and coaches were for them, made it clear just how tight of a team they were."

- Luke Stone

Ashville, North Carolina

"Curating one memory from my time at Woodberry is an immense challenge, but that being said theres one the stands out like no other. My old school did not have a as rich of a football tradition as Woodberry does, and so I never knew what it was like to be part of that sort of community. However The Game my freshman year showed me what that was like. Not only did it introduce me to being a true fan, but standing amongst my brothers I realized that the brotherhood is not artificial, but rather concrete."

- Adam Hehegan

Leesburg, Virginia

One of my favorite moments at Woodberry had to be sophomore year when I scored my first varsity touchdown on our home field against Trinity Episcopal. Hearing all the fans cheer for me as I scored the opening score of the game was something I’ll always remember. Another one would have to be this past fall when I scored the final touchdown of my Woodberry career on a pass from Ethan Weber on senior day against FUMA at home. I also enjoyed the amazing Saturday nights hanging out on dorm with my friends and playing pickup basketball in the gym with everyone.

- Peter Hutchinson

Fredericksburg, Virginia

"My favorite part of every Saturday in the fall was after classes ended, when the whole school would gather on the Dick Gym steps and walk down the hill to cheer on the football team."

- Rainey O'Malley

Atlanta, Georgia

"From my two years on varsity basketball, I learned a lot about grit, perseverance, and toughness from my coaches Dawson, Johnson, and Frankie. I will miss having practice and getting better with them every day."

- Jassiem Konrad

Fredericksburg, Virginia

"Swimming was undoubtedly the hardest thing I did at Woodberry but I'll always remember it fondly — especially the 2020 state championship meet. The team's performance was exceptional, and I'm proud to have been a part of the journey."

- Liam Desmond

Ashburn, Virginia

"One part of my Woodberry experience I will never forget is definitely my role in the school's production of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.", my fifth-form year. I played Mr. Biggley, which unbeknownst to me, at the time, was a pretty big role.

I thought it would be difficult to learn all those lines, but it became easier as I practiced. On opening night, I paced back and forth backstage running through worst-case scenarios in my head. Scenarios that fellow castmates swore wouldn't happen.

Ironically enough, in my first scene, my mic fell out of my back pocket. I decided to go along with it and play it off as part of the scene. After opening night, I received many questions about my little "stunt". They all thought it was a part of the show. I guess I played it off well."

- Kenny Ambiso 

Rockingham, Virginia

"I have loved the friendships that I made on the soccer field."

- Alex Forward

Lexington, Kentucky

"One of my favorite moments was when Coach Leahy took the job as head coach of the varsity lacrosse team. Coach Leahy has not only coached me to be a better lacrosse player, but a better person. I'm excited see him change the lacrosse program and entire athletic department at Woodberry. He will always be a mentor, but also a great friend in the years to come."

- Hawkins Schnabel

Durham, North Carolina

"We went on a skeet trip our junior year that I will never forget. Mr. Firman brought steaks and oysters and crab legs. We were in heaven with the food and were having one of the best times with the entire skeet team." 

- Liam King

Charleston, South Carolina

"Playing golf on the weekends with buddies was a great time for us to relax and forget about school or whatever else was going on and just enjoy each other’s company...having 9 holes on campus was such a nice part of Woodberry to me. Being able to have a competitive round with a handshake at the end and then walking back to dorm together despite whatever outcome we had was always special to me."

- Beau Watts 

Fredericksburg, Virginia

"I could go on and on about memories that stood out to me at Woodberry, but one of my favorites was playing football. It was the game we traveled down to Richmond to play Benedictine. I remember we were undersized and a little nervous heading into that game, but we came out guns blazing. We ended up winning on a goal line stop thanks to Carter Nicoletti. That was a “proud to be a tiger” moment."

- Miller King

Chapel Hill

"Planting flowers behind Dowd-Finch with the Woodberry Florists Society"

- Benton Copeland
Woodberry Forest admits students of any race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, and national or ethnic origin to all of the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs. The school is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students.