The 757 is well-known for producing great athletes. Many are high school stars who excel at the college level and if lucky, go on to play professionally.
Making the leap from high school sports to big time college athletics can be daunting. “I can only imagine myself at 19 years of age going from playing in front of 1500 to 70 thousand people on national TV,” said Virginia Athletic Council founder Seth Fitch. “There is nothing in my opinion that prepares a kid for that and that’s why I developed this organization,” added Fitch.
Fitch is talking about the Virginia Athletic Council which he founded to mentor, provide guidance and assist athletes prior to, during and after their athletic careers. “We want to support them physically as well as mentally when that ball stops bouncing. I developed this organization which is in place to make sure young athletes enjoy the opportunity that they have whether it be sitting in front of the classroom and not the back of the classroom. We don’t want the coach to go to the teacher saying you have a ballgame and you will need to miss class. We want the athlete to go to his or her teacher and say they have to miss class, but what can I do to make up the work,” said Fitch.
The Virginia Athletic Council held their second annual Benefit and Gala Tuesday at Traditions in Chesapeake. They honored local high school athletes, celebrated the community involvement by Chesapeake Sheriff Jim O’Sullivan and heard inspiring words from keynote speaker Flora Allen-Hopson, the mother of NBA star and two-time champion Ray Allen. “Tonight was special because we get to celebrate the athletes who are doing amazing things and its important to bring all the positive things to light happening in our community. My father had the vision to get this off the ground and to see it all come together is pretty special,” said Marcus Fitch.
According to the Virginia Athletic Council mission statement, the VAC will continue to provide training, technical assistance and solutions to student athletes regarding adhering to rules, regulations and legal policies that address student athletes involved in middle school, high school, collegiate and professional athletics.
Seth Fitch hopes the VAC will one day be able to reach athletes outside of the Hampton Roads area. “We want to be the organization in the state of Virginia that nurtures student athletes. We want players to understand to form a bond with teammates at all levels, keep in touch and to help give back. Many kids who play sports will not go on to play professionally, but instead will become doctors, lawyers and accountants. We want all athletes to form those bonds and networks that continue them moving forward before the ball stops bouncing.”