Last week was one for the record books for Rapp Sports, as our fall teams — volleyball, soccer, cross country and football — won 13 of the 14 contests they had!
Our J.V. and varsity volleyball teams were the road warriors, starting the week at home before taking to the road for three more games by week’s end. Both squads won all their matches, including late week straight set wins over county rival Wakefield Country Day — including four kills each from Kaitlyn Jenkins and Maddie Kopjanski, and six aces from Julia Estes — and new River Conference rival Washington & Lee — highlighted by 10 kills by Jenkins, six by Hannah Bennett and two spectacular serving runs by Kopjanski and Shelby Burnett.
Tuesday, both teams traveled to Bull Run District foe William Monroe, where they dropped close matches to the hard hitting Green Dragon teams, with each losing in three close matches. Both teams wrap up their week with a home match tonight (Thursday, Sept. 19) at 6 p.m. against current Bull Run District leader Warren County. J.V. and varsity are back home next Tuesday (Sept. 24), hosting Bull Run opponent Central High School.
Junior Panther volleyball continued its winning ways with a straight set win over Wakefield Country Day last Thursday (Sept. 12) and followed that up with another powerful performance and win Monday (Sept. 16) at home over Randolph-Macon Academy, continuing their undefeated streak and cementing their first place spot in the Valley Middle School Conference. The J.P. squad travels to Winchester Academy later today for another VMSC match and then goes to United Christian in Stanardsville next Monday (Sept. 23) for a non-conference matchup.
Junior Panther soccer notched its first win of the season last Thursday (Sept. 12) with an 8-1 victory over VMSC opponent Mt. View on the road. Five players scored in the well-balanced attack: Mark Hensley recorded a hat trick and Jonathan Jenkins scored twice; fifth grader Bryce Fryant did an outstanding job for his first win as goalie. Our soccer team is off for a two-week stretch, working to build on their recent success as they prepare for their next match on Sept. 30 at Randolph-Macon Academy.
In cross country action, our harriers looked to continue their winning ways this week as they traveled to Madison County yesterday (Wednesday, Sept. 18) for a Bull Run District meet. This Saturday the varsity teams will compete in the prestigious Oatlands Invitational, hoping to continue their success against a much larger field of competition. Next Wednesday (Sept. 25) they travel to William Monroe for a Bull Run District tri-meet against Monroe and George Mason, the latter being the defending state cross country champs.
The Junior Panther teams traveled to St. Joe’s in Martinsburg on Tuesday (Sept. 17) where they ran against their VMSC foes, again dominating the meet with first place finishes for boys and girls teams, led by again by MacKenzie Haunold and Sam Barnes, both of whom took first overall. Our J.P. teams host another VMSC meet next Tuesday (Sept. 24) at the Blue Rock course, with runners toeing the line at 4:30.
In football action, the J.P. team had a rousing Sept. 12 home opener, running and passing their way to a 50-6 victory over Harper’s Ferry Middle. Game highlights included four running touchdowns by Michael Reid, one of which was the result of a fumble recovery by Hunter Nicodemus, and one touchdown by quarterback Drake Lynn. The Panthers racked up over 200 yards of total offense and shut down Harper’s Ferry on the defensive side of the ball. Dalton Hitt had a tipped pass that led to Matthew Pullen’s interception return for six points. The J.P. squad travels to Prospect Heights Middle today, taking their game on the road against a strong Orange County competitor. Their next home game is Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. against Locust Grove Middle.
Varsity had their home opener last Friday (Sept. 13) and while they were on the short end of the score to a very large and quick Cumberland High School team, they continue to show improvement and heart. Highlights included some bruising running yardage by fullback James Grigsby and some nice gains by Gus Norris and Ben Montgomery. Gary Jenkins had two receptions for 30 yards while Jackson Strickler brought in a nice catch for 27 yards. Defensive highlights included a blocked punt by Gary Jenkins and resultant recovery by Will Ubben.
At halftime — after a fantastic performance by the award winning Panther Marching Band — principal Mike Tupper honored track runner Julia Wood for her state championship in the mile and soccer player Michelle White for her selection to the All-State Girls soccer team, both accomplishments from last spring. Varsity football is in the midst of a two-week break, taking time to build on their improvements and prepare for a four game stretch, three of which are at Panther Stadium. Their next home game is a homecoming game Oct. 4 against Chincoteague.
— Jimmy Swindler
Elijah Wheelock, a homeschooled high school senior from Boston, was chosen last month as one of 16,000 semifinalists from across the country in the 59th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
The son of Jennifer and Tobey Wheelock, Elijah was the only Rappahannock County student among the more than 250 semifinalists chosen in Virginia. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win one of about 8,000 National Merit Scholarships, earning the Merit Scholar title.
National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is a nonprofit organization that operates without government assistance and was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by about 440 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.
Varsity soccer: The Wakefield Country Day School Owls opened their season at Middleburg Academy on Sept. 5, ultimately losing the non-conference game 4-1. Senior Sean Brown scored the Owls’ lone goal.
The Owls then hosted Delaney Athletic Conference Division I Seton School on Sept. 10. Seton’s blistering attack led to numerous shots and over two dozen saves by keeper Alex Foster, the retuning DAC DII Player of the Year. The Owls shut Seton out for over 47 minutes before Sam Nolan gave the Owls a 1-0 lead. Seton scored four times, however, including two in the last 2:30, to earn a 4-1 victory. The Owls’ record is 0-2 on the season.
Varsity volleyball: The Lady Owls got their season off to a good start with a 3-1 non-conference win over Tandem Friends School on Sept. 6. The Badgers took an early lead behind strong play from Kate Wolf and won the first game 25-20. The Owls regrouped after their rusty play and easily won the second and third games 22-12 and 25-11, respectively. Kim Pankow served five aces and nine straight points in the third game, while Emily Hennessey served the game winner. The Owls took a 19-8 lead in the fourth game; Anna Clark served two aces and seven straight and Kendall Carroll served out the game with five straight points and one ace. Pankow served nine aces; middle hitter Maeve Dale made three kills and served 100 percent.
The Lady Owls then traveled to two-time Division 1 champion Highland School for a non-conference match on Sept. 9. The Hawks took the match 3-1. The girls won 20 or more points in three of the four games, dropping the first game 25-20. The Owls won the second game 25-23, but lost the third, 25-11, and the fourth, 25-20. Dale again served 100 percent, made eight kills and had two blocks, while Carroll had two aces.
The Lady Owls traveled to Emmanuel Christian School the next day (Sept. 10) for another non-conference match, easily beating the Flames 3-0. Pankow started the first match serving nine aces in a row, paving the way for the 25-13 first set win. (The Owls won the next two sets 25-6 and 25-18, respectively.) Ashlyn Ramey added eight aces of her own; Clark served 100 percent and made two kills. Monica Marciano added three kills, while Dale squelched the Flames’ offense with four blocks and five kills. Sydney Penza also served 100 percent and added an ace and kill.
The Lady Owls played their third game of the week against the Rappahannock County Panthers on Sept. 12. The Panthers dominated the first game 25-7. The Panthers stormed out to an early 11-2 lead in the second game before winning 25-17. The Owls fared much better in the third game, narrowly losing to the Panthers 25-23. Their overall record is 2-2.
Varsity cross country: The Owls, along with 120 other boys and 70 other girls, traveled to Quantico Marine Corps Base on Sept. 10 for the Quantico Invitational Race. Lucas DuMez was the top finisher for the boys in 41st place with a time of 25:20. Michael Chen finished in 42nd, right on Lucas’ heels with a time of 25:20. Jerry Li finished 113th in 37:46. Jessica Leskovec finished 61st in a time of 37:04 and Peyton Wei finished 66th in 37:25.
Sixth grade, ninth grade and international student science classes spent an interesting first full week of school at Wakefield Country Day School. Led by teacher Jeff Perry, students had the opportunity to learn first-hand about black bears and snakeheads. A black bear that was hit by a car was brought to school, with permission from local authorities, and dissected in a science lesson about the biological environment around WCDS and Shenandoah National Park. Students learned about the bear’s eating habits, life expectancy, physical traits and mating habits.
Just a few days later, a predatory snakehead fish was dissected in class. An invasive species from Asia, the fish was caught by a Wakefield family and allowed students to discuss invasive species and the effect on the local habitats of our native wildlife.