School and sports news for Feb. 19

The AD’s report

The promise of postseason honors and accomplishments have inspired Rapp’s varsity athletes to make deeper runs into the winter-season playoffs than have been seen in some time!

Members and coaches of RCHS’s varsity wrestling team gather for the traditional grapplers’ version of a group hug, celebrating their runner-up trophy at last week’s regionals tournament. More important: All six medalists are headed to the state wrestling tournament this Friday and Saturday in Salem. Jimmy Swindler | Rappahannock News
Members and coaches of RCHS’s varsity wrestling team gather for the traditional grapplers’ version of a group hug, celebrating their runner-up trophy at last week’s regionals tournament. More important: All six medalists are headed to the state wrestling tournament this Friday and Saturday in Salem.

Varsity wrestling leads the news this week, fresh off their second-place finish at the Region 1A East Wrestling Championship last Friday and Saturday in Buena Vista. On the strength of outstanding individual performances, the team posted enough points to finish ahead of 11 of their region counterparts and bring home the runner-up trophy.

Individual performances included first-place finishes and Region 1A East Champion honors by Quentin Woodward in the 113-pound weight class, Christian Poffenbarger in the 126 class and David Smoot in the 195 class. Ethan Foley took a second-place medal in the 170 class, Gus Norris a third-place medal in the 138 class, and Christian McCracken took fourth in the 132 class. (See the photo on page 1.)

All six of our medaling wrestlers qualified for the state tournament — this Friday and Saturday (Feb. 20-21) in Salem. With the largest Rapp contingent in recent memory traveling to States, we wish our wrestlers and their coaches good luck as they seek state accolades for Rapp Athletics!

In varsity basketball, our girls and boys teams hosted their last regular-season games last Friday (Feb. 13). The girls dropped a close one to a talented St. John’s team, losing by only a handful of baskets, but the boys took the win in convincing fashion in the nightcap, posting not only the win but also 90 points — 90 points! — by game’s end. Senior Bradlee Frye had a season-high 37 points in the contest, putting him at 1,230 points for his career — just eight behind the all-time Rapp scoring record held by Mike Leake.

After Friday’s games, both our varsity basketball teams were given the outstanding news that they will both be hosting a Rapp River Conference Basketball Quarterfinal Playoff game. Both teams finished as the No. 4 seed in the seven-team conference, with the girls scheduled to host Essex and the boys hosting Rappahannock/Warsaw – the “other” Rappahannock. Those games were originally scheduled for Monday (Feb. 16) but were delayed by weather. No reschedule date had been set as of press time for this article, but hopes are high that those games will be played either tonight (Feb. 19) or tomorrow (Feb. 20), with girls’ tipoff at 6 and boys’ at 8. The Rapp faithful will not want to miss this opportunity to see our basketball teams hosting playoff games and to see Bradlee Frye make a run at the scoring record.

Rapp has one more varsity team still in the playoff mix — our varsity Scholastic Bowl team has been hard at work under the direction of head coach Dave Naser and assistant coach Brad Weeks, preparing for the State Championship Tourney on Saturday, Feb. 28 in Williamsburg. Hopes are high for an historic day in an historic city, as our Rapp Scholastic Bowlers look to match the accomplishments of the 2009 squad and bring home a state title.

While Winter Sports are still in playoff mode, spring sports are just around the corner, with tryouts set to begin Monday (Feb. 23). The spring sports parent/athlete meeting is scheduled for tonight (Thursday, Feb. 19), but might be postponed if the basketball playoffs conflict. As always, please monitor the Rapp athletic website at rappahannockathletics.org for the latest news. Go Rapp!

— Jimmy Swindler

Wakefield’s Dale’s record-breaking career

Wakefield Country Day School senior Maeve Dale passed Brian Shafran (1,298 points) on the career basketball scoring list at a girls’ varsity home game against Fredericksburg Academy Feb. 10, moving into third place in the WCDS record books with a basket in the second quarter of the game. The next basket she scored in the quarter pushed her over the 1,300-point mark. Dale is the only female player to  surpass the 1,000-point mark at WCDS.  That night, she went on to score 24 points in the game, and added another 11 points to her career total in a home game on Feb. 12, to finish her storied career with 1,324 points, a WCDS varsity girls’ basketball record.

Students do WCDS proud at ‘We the People’

Like the weather this January, the outcome of the Virginia ‘We The People’ State Championship was the subject of much debate and conjecture. WCDS came out of the regional competitions in December ranked sixth among the 12 teams that earned a slot at states. Teammates Rahmet Rahimi, Monica Marciano, Max Lilburn, Joe Dowell, Abe Nolan, Shane O’Heir and Aaron Corbett, all juniors in teacher Jeff Day’s AP U.S. government class, had staked a claim on the championship with a score of 851 of 1060 available at regionals, just a few points behind regional winner Loudoun County High School.

The team made a valuable pickup in January, adding Rebecca Paulisch (who had to miss regionals for an ACT test). Rebecca brought a quiet confidence to the team, memorizing much of her testimony and drawing on both historic facts and modern case law and presidential actions to support her arguments. Actually, all of Wakefield’s team members impressed the judges with their deep research and use of current events, whether that was Aaron’s discussion of the new Brazilian internet rights law, Joe’s discussion of Wickard v. Fillburn, or Max’s analysis of the Affordable Care Act.

And there was lots of research to be done. At regionals, they answered one question (in three parts) for each of six units; at states they had to do twice as much, with one set in the morning and one in the afternoon. The team heard several positive comments about the innovation of their arguments and evidence. One judge remarked how she had not heard any other team make or back up the arguments Wakefield made. Another judge on that panel said our team was the only one to stake a clear argument in testimony, back it up with solid evidence and then come full circle back to that argument during the six-minute question time.

Unfortunately, that ingenuity and research was not enough to carry the day. Perennial favorites Thomas Jefferson Governor’s School in Fairfax won again, beating out two strong teams from Douglass Freeman High School in Henrico County. TJ will advance to nationals. WCDS beat out Loudoun and T.C. Williams to reach fourth place. Wakefield earned 1698 points out of 2120, with TJ getting an impressive 2019, and Douglass Freeman getting 1941 and 1900.

It is worth noting that our eight happy warriors were facing off against much larger teams, ranging from 18 to 35 students. While most participants wrote one or two testimonies, our students wrote four or five, with all of the accompanying research. But, as coach and teacher Jeff Day explained, “That just makes us better rounded in our understanding. I saw them pull in concepts and evidence from one unit to answer a judge’s question in another. That is the kind of synthesis we love to see as teachers.” He added with a smile, “Also, my students are not strangers to hard work. I knew they could do the heavy lifting. I am very proud of them.”

RCHS community service

RCHS National Honor Society contingent collected 59 coats, which they delivered to the Washington Thrift Shop.Courtesy photo
RCHS National Honor Society contingent collected 59 coats, which they delivered to the Washington Thrift Shop.

Community service was a recurring theme at Rappahannock County High School this past fall. Many of the students worked to benefit many in need.

The National Honor Society conducted a coat drive. Students set out boxes for gently worn coats, hats and gloves. They collected 59 coats, 12 hats and 11 pairs of gloves and donated them to the Washington Volunteer Fire Department Thrift Store.

The Leo Club, the student extension of the Lions, conducted a food drive to benefit the Rappahannock Food Pantry. The Leos collected 194 pounds of canned and dry goods.

The school’s service learning class organized a drive to benefit troops stationed overseas. Items collected were sent to a center managed by Operation Stars and Stripes, from which OSS distributed the care packages. Students collected items OSS considered most in need, in addition to money for postage to the distribution center and for overseas shipping. The Rappahannock community generously donated spare change at many locations, including Quicke Mart, the Sperryville Corner Store, Hackley’s, Settle’s Grocery and Chester Gap Baptist Church and patrons of Salon Emage. Eight large boxes of goods were sent.

RCHS service-learning students get ready to deliver care packages to Operation Stars and Stripes. Courtesy photo
RCHS service-learning students get ready to deliver care packages to Operation Stars and Stripes.

During the fall semester, service learning students donated community-service time. Caitlin Campbell and Katelyn Kestner volunteered at Rappahannock Elementary, Logan Welch and Christian Grimsley at the Food Pantry, Logan Aumock at the RappCats shelter and Stephanie Nicholson at Child Care & Learning Center. “We are so appreciative of those who mentored these students,” said teacher Beth Gall, who leads the service learning class.

These students also helped make the Back Pack Program at RCES run smoothly for another semester. This semester, students from the Leo Club and NHS are facilitating the program. Service learning students also treated seniors at the Rappahannock Senior Center to a brunch and a morning of board games.

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