Ali Gordon joined the Cape Henry Community in the Fifth Grade. A former member of Norfolk Collegiate, the Gordon family wanted to be closer to the beach and Ali vividly remembers her shadow day. “I thought the school was so cool and I loved everything about the place, especially the awesome lunch - I could not wait to get to Cape.” Her first day of Fifth Grade was not her favorite – she recalls being very shy and barely speaking to anyone. “I thought everyone would love me and on that first day I realized I didn’t have any friends. I broke down crying in my mom's car and did not want to come back.” Her seconnd day, she made her first Cape friend – Anne Porter Hudgins and she’s never looked back.
As Ali reflects on her eight years in our hallways and classrooms, she smiles fondly. Ali has always been a kind and thoughtful young woman on this campus, but she recognizes how much she has personally grown and points to her self confidence as the biggest change. “I know myself so much better now and am comfortable and confident in who I am.”
Ali has shared her Cape Henry experience with her older and younger siblings. She has never been “alone” here at CHC having her older brothers Josh '14 and Jared one year ahead, and her younger sister, Alex, three years behind her. While she jokes about intentionally bothering and annoying her older brother and occasionally giving her sister Alex a hard time, it is obvious Ali has enjoyed having her siblings share in her CHC experience.
Ms. Gordon has worked hard in the classroom throughout her CHC career. When asked about the toughest class she took at Cape Henry - she is quick to reply, “every math class!” While not her favorite subject, I often see Ali working hard in those math classes and pushing herself to be her best. She does not hesitate when asked who her favorite teacher at CHC is, “Mr. Cofer - he is so invested in all of his students and he cares about us all so much. It’s obvious how passionate he is about the environment and he is a genuine person.” (We all agree Ali!)
On the hockey field, Ali has been a dominant force and is widely recognized as one of the best to ever play for Cape Henry and one of the top players in the 757 and the state of Virginia. She has helped the Dolphins win consecutive TCIS Tournament titles and three straight Division II state titles. She is recognized as a true leader on the field, motivating her teammates and leading by example. When asked, Athletic Director Mrs. Jeanne Short had the following to say, “No one plays as controlled and powerful as Ali does, her defensive tackle is relentless, her skill set will be missed tremendously and her confidence and presence on the pitch is irreplaceable.” While she will be sad to leave the CHC field hockey “family,” she is confident she has found the right field hockey family to join next year and will take her exceptional talents to The Ohio State University.
Ali is a little fearful to leave behind the CHC community but she also feels it is time for a new challenge. She laughs when asked how her good friends, Morgan Jones, Cam Dodzik, Reiley Beers, Carson Shade, and Olivia Zettervall, would describe her. “I think they’d tell you I’m genuine and clumsy.” Those words were mentioned – as were unique, kind, thoughtful, and beautiful. It’s rare to see someone with such an incredible competitive drive also be so incredibly thoughtful and kind and I personally will miss Ali’s inclusive nature and kind soul.
I asked Ali to relive a day or moment in her CHC career. She quickly discussed the 2018 TCIS playoff run culminating in a semifinal overtime win over Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School in which she scored the game winner and then the incredible comeback win over rival Norfolk Academy where she was an integral part of a three-goal turnaround in the final four minutes bringing the TCIS Tourney title back to where it belongs - Cape Henry.
She is undecided on what she will major in once arriving at Ohio State. I’m certain about one thing - the Columbus campus will be a happier place with this amazing young woman in their midst. Go do great things Ali – we will miss you dearly but can’t wait to see all you accomplish!