School and Sports News for April 19

A Rapp middle school track team is born

On Thursday, April 12, Rappahannock County took a small team to Central Woodstock for the Panthers’ first middle school track meet in recent history. Boys and girls tied for third out of four larger schools.

“Many runners impressed themselves with personal best times when they went against the competition for the first time,” said coach James Sharpe.

“Julia Wood and Gavin Jenkins both won their 800- and 1600-meter races with mile times of 5:37 and 5:23 respectively,” Sharpe said. “Gavin also got fifth in the long jump with a distance of 14 feet 2 inches. Ethan Foley placed third in shot with a distance of 25 feet 9 inches, and fifth in the discus at 67 feet 7 inches. Jackson Heverly placed in the 75-meter hurdles, narrowly missing third by two-tenths of a second. Bridget Daly got third in the 100 meter and first place in the 200 meter.”

“We had a great first middle school track meet,” coach Heather Scavetti said. “I was very proud of the way they represented Rappahannock County. All of our athletes performed extremely well. Several of them are new to the track meet experience: fifth-grader Nick Hale, sixth-grader Hunter Nicodemus and seventh-grader Jackson Heverly. We look forward to our next meet on April 23 at Skyline.”

– Melissa Delcour

Wakefield junior earns summer leadership term

Wakefield Country Day School junior Marc Cugnon of Flint Hill was accepted into the High School Leaders Program (HSLP) at the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, a two-week program held each summer at the university. Acceptance into the Sorensen Institute is highly competitive, its applicants evaluated on academic performance, written essays and personal interview.

With concentrated study in Virginia politics and government for high school students from across the state, HSLP is based on a firm belief that young people not only can make a positive difference in their communities but should be strongly encouraged to do so. The program gives students the practical skills and political knowledge to become effective advocates in their communities and schools. Participants engage in substantive debate about the public policy challenges facing the commonwealth and interact with Virginia’s political and business leaders.

Wakefield athletics update

Wakefield Country Day School announced its Athletes of the Month for March: Male Athlete is senior Woody Hazel of Sperryville, a varsity lacrosse team captain who led the team in scoring for the month and tallied five goals in the team’s 8-3 victory over Tandem Friends School March 23. He scored in both games in the month.

Hazel helped the team’s offense to score 10 goals in its first two games. Head coach Filippo Parlagreco said, “Woody was a driving force in our 8-3 Delaney Athletic Conference win at Tandem Friends, personally outscoring the Badgers with his five goals.”

The Female Athlete of the Month is eighth-grader Alyssa Hamilton of Flint Hill, who has excelled while doing double duty playing for both the varsity and middle school soccer teams. She contributed to a varsity victory and a middle school tie in the month. She played several positions for both teamsl, and assisted on several goals in middle school play during March. Varsity head coach Gusyavo Tisera said, “Alyssa is a very good player who has demonstrated excellent technique and sportsmanship, helping both teams.”

In athletic competition news at Wakefield, The Lady Owls varsity soccer team traveled to Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy for a non-conference game April 10. Makenzie Magaro scored a goal assisted by Alex Cancio-Bello in the first half to give the visitors a 1-0 halftime lead. The Patriots netted two goals in the second half to win the game 2-1. The team’s record is 1-5 overall and 1-1 in the Conference.

In varsity boys lacrosse, the Owls hosted Shenandoah Valley Lacrosse-North April 10. The hosts wore the Vipers down with their offensive attack. Daniel Chadduck got the scoring started with two goals in the first minute of the first quarter. He totaled three goals in the quarter, and Woody Hazel also scored three. Alo Rodriguez had three assists in the quarter, and Chadduck also had an assist. The Vipers scored with 55 seconds remaining in the first quarter to make the score 6-1.

Chadduck scored three more goals in the second quarter, and Sam Nolan scored as well. Konstantin Langenberg collected two assists. The halftime score was 10-1 for the hosts. Hazel scored in the third quarter and Chadduck added two goals; Shane Glennon also had a goal, making the score 14-1. Chadduck, Langenberg and Hazel each scored in the final quarter. Glennon led the team with eight ground balls. The team’s record is 2-1 on the season.

Junior Panther girls shut out SVCA

Friday the 13th proved to be a lucky day for the Junior Panther girls’ soccer team, shutting out a previously undefeated Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy, 4-0, at home to ascend to first place in the Valley Middle School Conference.

“The first goal of the game was scored five and a half minutes in by Julia Estes, the beginning of her hat trick,” said coach Natalie Hathaway. “There was a constant battle for possession of the ball the entire first half, and hers was the only score.

“The score was not indicative of the competitiveness of the game,” Hathaway said. “The game was not truly decided until six minutes left with Julia Estes’ goal – a gorgeous, unassisted kick that found the corner of the net.

“The ‘Fabulous Four’ – Paige Pilkington, Tymbor Lee, Kayleigh ‘Kentucky 8’ Flanagan and Hannah Bennett as keep – held down the fort defensively,” Hathaway said. “Nothing got by them! They were a force with which to be reckoned.

“Lee nailed an indirect free kick late in the second half for the fourth goal to secure the game,” she said. “Her ball went above the defenders’ wall and into the corner – nothing but net!”

The combination of Julia Estes, Kayla Robey, Jessica Thorne, Sara Thornhill, Virginia Wyatt and Morgan “Kentucky 6” Flanagan “was beauty to behold on the field,” Hathaway said. “The girls are beginning to gel as a team. Three of the starters have never played soccer before, and for four of the starters, this is only their second year of playing.”

The enthusiasm of the JP team is evident, and Hathaway added that the girls “appreciate the great fan support at games and the cow bells that we hear.”

Panthers’ next home game is Friday (April 20) at 4, followed by JV and varsity girls, against Madison. It promises to be Friday Night Lights at its finest.

– M.D.

Panther baseball wins, struggles

Rappahannock’s varsity baseball tallied three games last week in a challenging schedule of two road games and one at home. Last Tuesday (April 10), Rappahannock fell 4-1 in Central Woodstock, and then hosted Shenandoah Christian Academy on Thursday (April 12) for a decisive home mound victory 12-2. The team ended their week on Friday (April 13) with a disappointment at George Mason, 13-3.

Friday’s loss on the Mustangs’ field was a tough one, but it brought some laudable Panther moments. “Dylan Hitt pitched four innings and did very well,” said coach Jake Kazele. “We were tied 3-3 when we made a pitching change. Overall, we hit more than any other game this season. Bradlee Frye and Grayson Love both had a multi-hit game, but we just could not hold back George Mason in the late innings.”  

Wednesday’s Victory was certainly the week’s highlight. “We had a strong pitching performance from Evan Hitt,” Kezele said. “He struck out nine batters.”

“Coach told me I was gonna start,” Hitt said, “so I was hyped up for the game because I knew we could beat this team. The first couple of innings started pretty slow. Neither team was really hitting. They scored first and made it 1-0 in the first inning.  I was pitching pretty well, seeing three batters up and three go down, but it was boring until we started swinging pretty well. Our batters were pretty consistent. Everyone was batting well.” Many Panthers added single hits to their stats sheet, but Garfield Burke and Dylan Hitt each added two hits.

“The nine strikeouts were really fun,” Evan Hitt said, “but my favorite part was when the ball was overthrown past first base, and the guy started running to second. I ran to the fence to get the ball and threw the guy out at second. He was so upset that he threw his helmet!”

With Rappahannock leading 13-2, the game ended in the top of the sixth due to the slaughter rule. “At the end of the night, my arm was hurting pretty badly,” said Hitt, who pitched the entire six-inning game. “It wasn’t hurting in the moments, but when I got home it started to hurt. It’s a good trade-off for the most memorable game for me.”

– M.D.

Lady Panther softball wins at home

Lady Panthers softball pushed hard through last week’s three-game schedule of two away and one home. In the middle of the challenge, Rappahannock delivered a win to its hometown crowd on Wednesday (April 12) against Eastern Mennonite, 9-6. The two road games led to losses: Tuesday (April 10) versus Central Woodstock, 22-3, and Friday (April 13) at George Mason, 15-5.

On Wednesday night, the girls “had all parts of the game working,” coach Andy Hipple said. “We were hitting everything. We scored nine runs on 10 hits and never slowed down. We took advantage of walks to move runners into scoring position and bring them home.

“Caitlin Miller pitched seven strong innings in her second start this season,” Hipple said. “She earned the game ball.”

“The game in itself was exciting,” Miller said. “My favorite moment was when our team pulled through at the end and didn’t give up. As a pitcher, you look for your team to be there for you. That night, they were behind me 100 percent. The team did great. Even though we had our moments of struggle, we fought back and overcame them, which resulted in our first victory.”

 “The team chemistry came to life,” Hipple said. “This is what coaching is all about. The girls played their hearts out. We were positive, encouraging and excited. We proved to ourselves that all of our hard work is worth it.”

The end of the Panther week stifled a bit of the enthusiasm when the girls fell to the Mason Mustangs on the road.

“Statistically, we did everything right,” Hipple said. “No errors on our part. George Mason was able to take advantage of five walks and timely hits to hurt us in the first few innings. We started getting our bats moving, but it was just too late. We had given them too big a lead to overcome.”

Team highlights include Katie Leake and Lisa Leidenheimer who revealed their skills with similar performances. Each girl earned one single, one double and a run. Cassandra Harrison scored a run. Peyton Bailey batted two singles and added two runs to the board.

“The girls played well,” he said. “We were coming off a three-game week performance. It is hard to sustain momentum and energy when you compete three times in four days.”

– M.D.