School and sports news for Dec. 18

The AD’s report

As our schools prepare for the holidays, our Rappahannock student athletes have been working at a frenetic pace, getting in games and bringing home some wins before taking a well-deserved, albeit short-lived, break.

Basketball leads the news this week, headlined by the varsity boys team, which notched two wins in a row in last week’s action. Despite missing two starters on Thursday and then three on Friday, coach Mike Atkins’ team pulled together to earn convincing wins over St. John’s and Fresta Valley in consecutive nights. Pinpoint passing, balanced scoring and a pressure defense were the keys to victory in both cases, and the team continues to work on those facets of their game as they roll into their district schedule.

Monday night the boys hosted Warren County and hung tough in the first half but fell short as the second half progressed, feeling the absence of one of their starters. On Tuesday night, the boys team hosted district powerhouse George Mason (results not yet available at press time) and then traveled yesterday (Dec. 17) to face Madison. Our boys varsity squad has one more home game before the holiday, next Monday (Dec. 22) against Central, and Coach Atkins and his players hope the Rapp faithful will be out in force to support the team. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. sharp.

On the girls’ side of the hardwood, our varsity girls basketball squad continues to look for that win, coming close in all their games but still in search of the big W. Last week the team traveled to United Christian on Tuesday (Dec. 9), Warren on Wednesday (Dec. 10) and then hosted Fresta on Friday. In each case, the Rapp girls put themselves into an early deficit, which made the difference in the final score, as the team battled back each night but just not quite enough to even the score.

Balanced scoring is a hallmark of the girls varsity team, with Kayla Robey, Brooklyn Phillips and Klaire Gubler leading the scoring this past week, while Julia Estes continues to rip down over 10 rebounds a game. And a pressure defense continues to generate steals that lead to transition baskets.

Monday night the squad traveled to Perennial state power George Mason, where they were game but fell to the defending champs. This Friday our girls host Madison, and Coach Burley promises that the Rapp community will be treated to a great evening of basketball. Junior varsity tipoff is at 6:15, varsity at approximately 7:45. On Monday (Dec. 22) the team will travel to Central Woodstock for their final game before the holiday break.

Our J.V. girls basketball team is still looking for its first win but is clearly showing improvement with each passing game. The J.V. squad just had one game last week, traveling to Warren County and coming short of a victory. This past Monday they traveled to George Mason, where again they fell short but only by 7 baskets. This Friday the J.V. team will host Madison. Rapp fans will not want to miss this one, with our team focusing on bringing all their improvement to a head when they take the court against the Mountaineers.

On the Junior Panther court, our boys and girls teams continue to dominate their opponents, with both teams defeating Luray last Monday. The boys team defeated Warren County and King George last Tuesday and Wednesday, and then traveled to King George this past Monday, where they came back from a 9-point deficit with less than five minutes to go and took a thrilling 6-point victory. Both teams took on Front Royal Christian this past Tuesday (results too late for this article). Coaches Sumner (boys) and Atkins (girls) have been more than pleased with the performances of their respective teams and have had the opportunity to ensure that the entire squads contribute to the victories and gain valuable game experience.

Scoring on the boys’ side has been dominated by Ethan Sumner and Zion Hanberry, while on the girls side Olivia Atkins and Carrington Wayland continue to be the top point-getters. But, as the coaches say, praise has to go to the entire team for the strong defense and execution that has made the scoring possible. As one of the King George players was overheard to say to his teammates after their defeat at the hands of the Rapp team, “Coach was right, guys. We have to learn to play as a team like those guys did.”

Our Junior Panther boys team hosts Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy today (Dec. 18) at 4:30 p.m., and both teams will travel to Madison on Friday (Dec. 19) for 4:30 and 5:45 games. Both squads will wrap up their preholiday schedules with away games on Monday (Dec. 22) at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School in Woodstock; tipoffs at 5:30 and 7 p.m.

Turning to the mats, our varsity wrestlers had their first competition of the season this past Saturday when they traveled to the Montrossity tournament at W&L High School in Montross, Va. When the wrestling had ended, Rapp’s wrestlers had racked up some impressive wins, including David Smoot, who went 5 and 0, Johnny Beard and Christian McCracken, who went 4 and 1, and many other notable achievements. (Gus Norris pinned a state runner-up, Johnny Beard was awarded an MVP medal, and the team beat Rappahannock River Conference rival Essex by a score of 52-18, with the 18 points given up as forfeits, as Rapp had no wrestlers in those weight classes!) The team hosted William Monroe and Madison yesterday (Dec. 17; results not yet available at press time) and travels to Madison this Saturday (Dec. 20) for a dual tournament.

Last Tuesday our J.P. wrestling squad traveled to William Monroe for a middle school meet and had an impressive showing, winning 11 out of 26 matches. Many first-year wrestlers got their first wins, and Brandon Wood improved to 6-0 on the season, while team captains Grant PerDieu and Sam Barnes scored victories in all their matches. Coach Nicodemus was very proud of his young grapplers, and they all look forward to the new year, when they’ll have more matches scheduled and more opportunities for further improvement and achievement.

Last but not least, our Scholastic Bowl team continues to rack up the wins, going 3-0 in district competition last Monday at William Monroe. This past Monday (Dec. 8) our team hosted a district match, facing Strasburg and Central, and, when the last question had been answered, Rapp had once again swept their district competition, going 2-0 on the night. Rapp’s team has one more district match, on Monday, Jan. 12, at George Mason, before beginning the road to states with the Rappahannock River Conference tournament on Saturday, Jan. 17, at Colonial Beach High School. Coaches Naser and Weeks will be drilling their teams assiduously as they prepare to defend last year’s conference and regional championships.

As always, the most current scores and schedule information for Rapp athletics can be found on our website at rappahannockathletics.org. The athletic department hopes to see many of you at one of our upcoming home events as our student athletes continue to strive to bring glory to the blue and gold.

Jimmy Swindler, athletics director

Wakefield Country Day School

Wakefield Country Day School students’ stories were chosen for top honors in the Samuels Library Holiday Writing Contest.

Every year, students in grades K-6 and interested middle school and upper school students participate in the contest. Students may submit a holiday-themed illustration, poem or story. The submitted work is judged by volunteers, who select a winner from each grade level.

WCDS students placed well throughout the grade levels, with Ruthie McMahon earning the top place for fourth grade. Lia Feit won for her entry, “A Holiday Kitten,” for fifth grade. Michael Marciano’s piece, “Riley’s Christmas,” also earned a first place for the seventh grade. Other top writers from WCDS include Elizabeth Burns and Lily Whipple, who won second and third, respectively, for the eighth grade.

Students were honored at a reception at the Samuels Library on Monday (Dec. 15). Several were able to read from their written work. The stories, poems and illustrations will be published and available at the library.

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