Old Man Winter continued to wreak havoc with the Rapp athletic schedules but between weather closings our teams got some games in, continuing to add to the W column as they roll through the halfway point of the winter season.
Scholastic Bowl leads the way this week, not because of any recent victories (their last match and victory was on Dec. 15 with weather canceling subsequent dates) but because they are the first winter team to begin the trip to the playoffs, traveling to Colonial Beach High School this Saturday (Jan. 17) for the Rapp River Conference tournament. Looking to defend their conference title and advance to the regional tourney (Saturday, Feb. 7, also at Colonial Beach, where they also hope to defend their Region 1A East title), the team has been working hard under the stewardship of head coach Dave Naser and assistant coach Brad Weeks, drilling questions and honing response times.
Coach Naser’s largest team in recent memory, with more than 15 players, is led by senior James MacLeod. He has been supported by a varied (and talented) cast as the coaches have tinkered with the lineup through the season, seeking to find that perfect combination which will ensure superior scores. Good luck to our Quiz Bowlers this Saturday.
Varsity wrestling saw their schedule adversely affected by weather as well, with a weekend tournament at Buffalo Gap unexpectedly canceled and then last week’s midweek match at George Mason canceled by weather. But they finally got back to the mat last Saturday (Jan. 10) at the Strasburg Duals, where the team came home with one victory and were just a few points away from going 3-2 on the day.
With his Panthers wrestling against bigger schools with quality competition, head coach Alex Coffroth was very pleased with the wrestlers’ performances, noting that they are relatively free of injury and looking to peak soon, just in time for the Bull Run District tournament at the end of this month. Midweek matches at Clarke (Jan. 14) and Strasburg (Jan. 21) and the last Duals tourney at Madison (Jan. 24) will serve as the final tune-ups for the postseason performances. And don’t forget that Rapp will host the Rapp River Conference Wrestling Championship on Saturday, Feb. 7. Mark your calendars now and make plans to attend what promises to be a great day of high school grappling.
Our Junior Panther and JV wrestlers have also had their schedules adversely affected by weather, with our JP team losing two matches due to school closures. Our JV squad traveled to William Monroe this Wednesday (results too late for this edition) and our JP squad hopes to wrestle next Wednesday (Jan. 21) at Locust Grove, a makeup for the meet which weather postponed Monday.
JP wrestlers have their final home match at the end of this month, Jan. 28, and the night will also feature a couple of varsity matches, giving athletic department the opportunity to honor our wrestling seniors and their parents. So mark your calendars again for Wednesday, Jan. 28, when we’ll have two mats set up in the gym, with JP wrestling slated to begin around 5 and varsity wrestling an hour later.
On the basketball courts, our Varsity Panthers are still looking for the first wins of the new year but both coaches are confident those wins will be forthcoming soon. Varsity girls basketball lost to an outstanding Clarke girls team just after the new year, and varsity boys basketball fell to a physical Clarke team the following day at home, although the boys were game and gave the Eagles a fight through much of the game. Last week’s games vs. Manassas Park were shut down by bad weather and have been rescheduled for early February.
Our varsity boys traveled to Central last Thursday (Jan. 8) and although they put up 57 points, it was not enough to get the win. The girls hosted Central last Friday and outscored the Falcons in three of the four quarters, but could not make up the deficit they gave up in the third quarter and had to take the loss. This past Monday’s home games with St. John’s were postponed by weather (no reset date yet) and then Tuesday the girls traveled to Strasburg to start the second half of their season while the boys hosted the Rams on Wednesday (both games’ results too late for this article). Both teams travel to William Monroe for games tonight (Thursday, Jan. 15) – and then our girls’ teams will host Warren County next Tuesday (6:15 and 7:45 p.m. tipoff times). The boys will travel to Warren the following day, (Jan. 21) for a 7 p.m. contest.
Our JV girls team is also looking for that first win of 2015 (they notched one just as the old year ended, Dec. 19 v. Madison) as their games thus far have matched the results of varsity (against the same opponents). But Coach Whorton’s young team is making progress, evidenced by a much better performance against the Central Falcon’s last week at home. Our girls didn’t get the W, but made it a much closer affair than the first matchup. JV too will be playing Warren next Tuesday Jan. 20, their tipoff set for 615 PM.
On the Junior Panther side, our boys and girls teams have continued their blistering pace, keeping the temperatures high on the court despite the frosty air outside. Our boys remained undefeated, taking wins over St. Joe’s last Monday, losing two games to weather (Jan. 6-7) and then having to postpone this week’s matchup with VMSC power Randolph-Macon Academy. That RMA game was played Tuesday (again, too late for this article) and will probably be played again in February as these two teams sit atop the VMSC boys standings.
Wednesday the boys hosted Madison, a makeup of a game scheduled last week, and then today they host Riverfront at 4:30 and then travel to United Christian Saturday for a 6 p.m. game. The road calls again next Wednesday as they travel to William Monroe and then they return to the home court next Thursday to face VMSC and in-county rival Wakefield Country Day School.
The girls’ team has continued to rack up wins, taking a victory over St. Joe’s last Monday and then seeing their Madison and RMA games postponed to this week (too late for this column). The girls also had a standalone game last Friday (Jan. 9) against Signal Knob Middle (feeder school for Strasburg High School) and took the court against a team that featured one player who stood 6-foot-2, and another who was only slightly smaller! Our girls went down early and struggled with making shots, but their pressure defense kept them close and then proved to be the difference as they took a lead in the third quarter and never looked back, finishing the game with a well-earned W.
As always, the Rapp Athletic website (rappahannockathletics.org) is the place to get all the latest schedules, scores and souvenirs, so be sure to keep it up on your browser and make plans to come out to a home event and support your Panthers soon!
Wakefield Country Day School students took second out of six teams at the “We the People” regional competition in Purcellville last month. Seven team members, all juniors, gave testimony and answered questions about six topics, ranging from immigration to the adversarial system of justice, to classical republicanism. WCDS history teacher and advisor Jeff Day works with these students during lunch to prepare them for the rigorous competition. Monica Marciano and Max Lilburn of Front Royal, Abe Nolan of Markham, Joe Dowell of Castleton, Shane O’Heir of Flint Hill and Rahmet Rahimi of Gainesville will represent WCDS at the state-wide competition this coming spring.
Bret Heddleston of Sperryville, a student at Illinois’ Wheaton College, was named to the college’s Dean’s List for the fall 2014 semester. Heddleston is majoring in interdisciplinary studies. To earn Dean’s List honors at Wheaton, an undergraduate must carry 12 or more credit hours and achieve a 3.5 grade point average or higher on the 4.0 scale.
Varsity swimming: The Owls traveled to Manassas for a meet hosted by Seton School on Dec. 21. Nine schools were represented at the meet. Lucas DuMez highlighted the meet for the Owls with two first-place finishes, winning the 100-yard backstroke with time of 58.33 and the 200-yard IM in 2:12.38 — both VISAA state qualifying times. The team’s other top-10 finishers were: (F 100-yard backstroke) Josephine Burns, 9th, 1:27.30; (M 100-yard backstroke) Lucas DuMez, 1st, 58:33; (M 200 freestyle, Chris O’Heir, 6th, 2.29:70; (F 200 medley relay, 7th, 2.52:36, Harmony Lindstrom, Elizabeth Burns, Josephine Burns and Kathryn Phillippe; (M 200 IM, Lucas DuMez, 1st, 2:12.38; (M 200 freestyle relay, 9th, 1:58:61, Chris O’Heir, Martin O’Heir, Jackson Romine and Lucas DuMez; (F 200 freestyle relay, 10th, 2:26.00, Kathryn Phillippe, Elizabeth Burns, Harmony Lindstrom and Josephine Burns.