School and sports news for July 30

Your fall sports to-do list

Rappahannock County High School football players who attended a University of Virginia Team Football Camp this month are (from left) freshman Jeffery Grove, junior Walter Burke, sophomores Johnny Beard and Dylan Phillips, senior Andrew Williams and sophomore Drake Lynn.Courtesy photo
Rappahannock County High School football players who attended a University of Virginia Team Football Camp this month are (from left) freshman Jeffery Grove, junior Walter Burke, sophomores Johnny Beard and Dylan Phillips, senior Andrew Williams and sophomore Drake Lynn.

Rappahannock County High School head football coach Mark Heinle wants anyone planning to play varsity football to know that the team will be handing out equipment at 9 a.m. this Saturday (Aug. 1), and that the first practice — required, if you want to play this season — is Monday (Aug. 3) from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Bring water and a bite to eat as there will be a break at 7:30.

JP football players pick up equipment at 9 a.m. Aug. 15; the first practice is 3:45 to 5:30 Aug. 17. “If you plan on playing JP football, you are required to be at the first practice on the 17th,” says coach Heinle. “There will be no ‘late arrivals’ allowed this year!”

Meanwhile, 2015 fall sports tryouts for all Rappahannock County High School begin Monday (Aug. 3), and new athletic director Brandon Burley notes that any students trying out must have a VHSL-approved physical before that. (Physical forms can be downloaded from the rappahannockschools.us website or picked up at the RCHS main office.)

The fall sports include Junior Panther boys soccer, JP football, JP volleyball, cheer, JP and varsity cross country, JV and varsity volleyball and varsity football. More information on the RCHS athletics web page at rappahannockathletics.org for try-out times and locations.

Panther Pride: Food for Thought

From left: Rappahannock schools' Farm-to-Table coordinator Sarah Moore, Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, Rapp food services director Stacey Whitt and Juandiego R. Wade, president of VSBA.Courtesy of VSBA
From left: Rappahannock schools’ Farm-to-Table coordinator Sarah Moore, Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, Rapp food services director Stacey Whitt and Juandiego R. Wade, president of VSBA.

The Virginia School Board Association (VSBA) honored Rappahannock County Public Schools two weeks with the presentation of the Food for Thought Award. Rappahannock was one of six school divisions in the state to earn the award, given by the VSBA to school systems that showcase programs which combat childhood hunger, provide healthy school meals and encourage wellness and physical activity.

The award was presented by First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe at a conference luncheon July 21 in Richmond.

Receiving the award for Rappahannock were director of food services Stacey Whitt and Farm-to-Table coordinator Sarah Moore, both of whom were instrumental in managing the services and programs that led to Rappahannock’s recognition.

Whitt has overseen food services for Rappahannock schools for the past year, finding ways to serve healthier foods while at the same time improve the fiscal performance of the schools’ cafeterias. Moore has worked for the school system for two years as the Farm-to-Table coordinator, managing the project-based program and collaborating support from organizations such as Headwaters Foundation and Rappahannock’s local Farm Bureau. The Farm-to-Table program has been in place in Rappahannock Schools for nearly a decade.

In addition to teaching children the value of healthy meal choices while striving to provide fresh foods, locally grown when possible, at the most affordable price, the Farm-to-Table program also brings a multi-disciplinary emphasis to students. In addition to culinary arts, gardening and nutrition, the Farm-to-Table program has involved participants in the general arts producing murals on the school grounds. In the area of food production, students have incorporated growing of fresh vegetables in raised beds, hoop houses and used rainwater harvested by the cisterns.

“I am pleased that we have such capable individuals running the cafeteria programs at the schools and that we have had such success with our Farm-to-Table program,” said superintendent Donna Matthews, who last year assumed the Farm-to-Table program into the general school budget (it had formerly been a cost shared by Headwaters and RCPS), and hired full-time coordinator Moore. “Having Mrs. Moore, our own environmentalist, in the division is indeed exciting and the students are responding to her instruction most enthusiastically. The program is a valuable asset to the school division and we were pleased to accept this award.”

Matthews also credited Whitt and cafeteria manager Julie Banks with helping revamp the school division’s food services system.

— Jimmy Swindler

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