The weather turned dreary last week, but Rapp’s sports teams turned in some bright performances as they move to the end of their regular seasons and prepare for the playoffs.
Varsity volleyball had a split week, dropping a match at district-leading Madison last Tuesday (Oct. 7) and then taking a five-set thriller at Strasburg last Thursday (Oct. 9). J.V. volleyball was the mirror opposite, taking the match at Madison and then dropping a three-set thriller at Strasburg, but still maintaining their first-place ranking in the standings.
Varsity coach Courtney Atkins is very pleased with how the varsity team is approaching the postseason and with just three more matches before playoff time, hopes are high for an extended season.
Both Rapp teams return to the home court Tuesday (Oct. 21) against Warren County and then have their regular-season home finale, which is also Senior Night for volleyball and cross country, on Thursday (Oct. 23) against Central. J.V. starts at 6 p.m., and coaches Atkins and Seth Wyatt (J.V.) are hoping for full stands to cheer our teams on into the playoffs.
J.P. volleyball continued its undefeated season, taking victories over Buford, Front Royal Christian and St. Joe’s to wrap up their regular season play. Coach Mylene Whorton has been fine-tuning her squad all week to prepare for tonight’s (Thursday, Oct. 16) Valley Middle School Conference semifinal playoff at 5 p.m. in the high school gym.
If our team wins, they host the VMSC Championship at 5 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 17) and look to “three-peat,” a feat that would be a first for any team in the VMSC. Make plans now to see these games for some exciting volleyball and a glimpse at the future of our J.V. and varsity programs.
In cross country, our varsity squads hosted a Bull Run District meet and, in what has become an almost predictable event, Rapp runners Gavin Jenkins and Julia Wood took first place in the boys and girls races respectively. On the girls’ side, the team took first place in the tri-meet as Emily Allen (second), Emma Endre (seventh), Kayla McGhee (ninth), Katelyn Fisher (11th), Kathryn Fisher (15th), and Brooke Athelli (18th) rounded out the scoring to ensure a first-place team finish.
Our squads had one final home meet scheduled (Wednesday, Oct. 15). Many of our runners then travel to Mechanicsville on Saturday (Oct. 18) to compete in the MileStat Invitational as a final tuneup for the Bull Run District Championship on Wednesday (Oct. 22). Rapp hosts the championship at the Blue Rock Course and fans of running will want to be in attendance as the entire Bull Run District (nine schools!) sends its top runners to compete.
On the J.P. side of the course, our middle school runners traveled to Randolph-Macon Academy last Thursday (Oct. 9) to compete in the VMSC Championship, and once again came home with regular season and tournament champion trophies. Coach Mark Ramey’s squads were led by Sam Barnes, who took first in the boys race, and MacKenzie Haunold, who took first for the girls.
Once again, strong support from their teammates ensured not only individual honors but also team honors as Rapp teams brought home the glittering hardware. Congratulations to our J.P. squads and coach Ramey. We all look forward to seeing them compete in years to come on our varsity teams!
Panther Stadium saw some football action last week as both our varsity and Junior Panther squads took to the field. Varsity hosted Hancock High School last Friday night (Oct. 10), but injuries to key players handicapped our squad from the get go and they just could not handle the Panthers of Hancock, dropping the game and failing to get on the scoreboard.
Varsity travels to Quantico High School tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 17) for a 6 p.m. game and looks to rebound from last week’s disappointing performance. Their final home game is next Friday (Oct. 24), as they host Pope John Paul High School. That’s also Senior Night for football and band, and the public is invited to come out and support both for one last time this season; kickoff is at 7 p.m.
On the J.P. gridiron, our young squad hosted two games and got one for the win column last Thursday (Oct. 9) against Harper’s Ferry Middle School. The Tigers had some teeth, putting up 16 points, but the Panthers prevailed with 34 of their own, led by quarterback Michael Reid, who accumulated over 300 yards of total offense in the game.
On Monday (Oct. 13), the team hosted Prospect Heights Middle School and while the end result was not a victory, the final score (24-12) was reflective of the close game. Reid again racked up some impressive numbers, helped by Brandon Wood, who rushed for significant yards up the middle. J.P. returns to Panther Stadium on Monday (Oct. 20) to host Buford Middle School. Kickoff is at 6:30, so be sure to come out and enjoy an evening of middle school football as Coach Dave Whorton’s team goes for victory number two!
Last but certainly not least, our J.P. boys soccer team hosted their final regular season game last Tuesday (Oct. 7), dropping a contest to conference leader Fresta Valley, but playing them considerably better than in their first matchup earlier in the season. Coach Paul Paratore has been working hard with the team to prepare for today’s playoff matchup with Fresta and hopes to have a few surprises for the Pioneers.
As always, keep up with Rapp athletics via the website, where you can find the latest scores, schedules and playoff news.
— Jimmy Swindler
Varsity volleyball: The Wakefield Country Day School Lady Owls hosted Randolph-Macon Academy for a non-conference match on Oct. 7. It was a competitive five-set series, as the Owls took the first two sets, 25-16 and 25-18, respectively.
The girls were seemingly in control of the third set, as two aces from Anna Clark gave them a 14-8 lead. The Yellow Jackets battled back however, as they capitalized on the girls’ mistakes to take a 25-22 third-set win. Carrying all the momentum, RM-A built an early 18-0 lead in the fourth set, and while Maeve Dale’s serve (and from Monica Marciano and Kendall Carroll) got the girls on the scoreboard, they were unable to recover and dropped the set 25-19.
Dale’s serve gave the girls an 11-7 lead in the deciding fifth set, but the Jackets followed it up with a kill. Carroll earned the girls the serve back with a kill and a 12-8 lead. Marciano had a block kill to give the girls match point at 14-9, and a Jackets’ service error helped the Owls survive, 15-10.
The girls then hosted Quantico Middle/High School for a critical Delaney Athletic Conference match on Oct. 9, losing in a three-set sweep to the first-place Warriors. The Owls now sit in fourth place in the DAC, with two important conference match-ups in the coming weeks. Their record is 9-5 overall and 1-2 in the DAC.
Varsity soccer: The Owls traveled to Fresta Valley Christian for a non-conference game on Oct. 7, where, despite a strong defensive effort, they fell to the Pioneers, 5-2. Tim Johns was the Owls’ lone scorer.
The Owls then traveled to Front Royal to face Chelsea Academy in a non-conference game the next day (Oct. 8). The boys surrendered a quick goal to the Knights, but clamped down on defense and, thanks to goals from Gage Landis, Connor Glennon and Abe Nolan, took a 3-1 halftime lead. They eventually won, 5-2 (Johns assisted and scored a goal; Landis also assisted on Glennon’s second goal). Their record is 4-7 overall, and 2-5 in the DAC.
Wakefield hosted its eighth annual 5K Fun Run on Oct. 4, as 25 runners turned out for a beautiful morning run. The top male finisher (and gold medalist in the 13-18 age range) was Lucas DuMez, with a time of 19:53; Ben Cotter finished second (22:00).
The gold medal in the 12 and younger category went to Jefferson Day (11th overall, 31:30), while Andrew Deal took home the silver (15th overall, 36:44). Daniel Deal won gold in the 40-49 age group (17th overall, 37:11); Jon Frost took the silver medal (19th overall, 37:25). James Deal was the gold medalist in the 50 and over group (seventh overall, 26:06); the silver medalist was Phil Rosenbaum (10th overall, 28:26).
There weren’t as many runners on the women’s side, but the top finisher was Gretchen Siegel (third overall, 23:01), who also took gold in the 13-18 age bracket; Tatumn Vaught won the silver (ninth overall, 27:55). Hannah Frost took the gold medal in the 12 and younger group (13th overall, 35:31), while Emma Cooter took the silver (14th overall, 36:29).
WCDS would like to thank the following for all their help with the race: Danita Russell drove the bus to the start and followed the runners to protect them; Robin Costello handled registration and scoring; Gray Galeone manned the water station; DuMez helped with set up; and Joe Dowell set and issued placement cards at the finish line. Athletic director Mike Costello was the starter and official timer.
The WCDS female athlete of the month is Anna Clark, a starting outside hitter and co-captain of the varsity volleyball team, whose consistent serving (96 percent) has helped lead the Lady Owls to a state ranking (12) and a 7-4 record. Clark, of Flint Hill, also leads the team in outside kills.
“In addition to her game statistics, she works very conscientiously with the younger players to help improve their play,” said coach Suzanne Zylonis. “As president of Key Club, head of the Prefect Court, editor of the yearbook and sporting a 9.7 GPA, Anna exemplifies what it means to be a WCDS student-athlete.”
The male athlete is Marshall’s Porter Gilliam, who plays on both the middle school and J.V. soccer teams. Gilliam is the consummate team player and serves as the middle school team’s captain. His technical skills, ball handling and fortitude have helped lead the middle school team to two wins and J.V. to one (its lone game this year).
He plays every position with ease and willingness. Most importantly, Gilliam’s unselfish play has produced nine goals and 12 assists to date. “He’s full of heart, dedicated and committed to improving,” said middle school coach Lavonne Adkins. “He gives his all. Porter demonstrates the soccer traits every coach expects from a player, while his attitude on and off the field is a stellar example for the younger players.”
WCDS recently received a $1,000 grant from Keep Virginia Beautiful, part of the organization’s “30 Grants in 30 Days” program, which is designed to focus greater resources and attention on organizations and how they are addressing the issues of litter prevention, recycling, waste reduction, beautification and education.
The grant money will be put to use by the school’s environmental club, which would like to promote recycling through educational signs and to purchase clearly marked recycle bins for the lunchroom and outdoor fields. In addition, the club wants to reduce the number of plastic water bottles used by the staff and student body by installing a water bottle refill station.
KVB provided the opportunity for government, nonprofit and/or service organizations to apply for one of 30 grants of $500 to $1,000 in three different categories: Litter prevention, recycling and community beautification.
KVB’s mission is to engage and unite Virginians to improve our natural and scenic environment. For more information, visit keepvirginiabeautiful.org.
Sept. 27 was a busy day for the students at Chelsea Academy in Front Royal, as the varsity volleyball team won the fourth annual Quantico High School Invitational Volleyball Tournament.
Joining top-seeded Quantico and second-seeded Chelsea in the round-robin competition were Grace Preparatory School and St. Michael the Archangel High School. Chelsea swept the championship round to beat Quantico. Sophomore Hannah Lee was named the tournament’s most valuable player, and senior Helena Briggs was voted to the all-tournament team.
The same day, Chelsea faculty, students, board members and friends joined hundreds of other walkers to support the Front Royal Pregnancy Center during its annual Walk for Life fundraiser. The Chelsea team finished second, adding more $5,700 to help the Center surpass its $60,000 goal.
The school, one of the event’s sponsors, provided more than financial support: Students blew up and distributed hundreds of colorful balloons, made muffins for walkers and sold bracelets in support of the Center.