Peer mentors, PRIDE and . . . no bullying
October is National Bullying Prevention Month and, in addition to the school’s anti-bullying training and surveying program Olweus, Rappahannock County High School also recently launched three more student support programs for the 2016-17 school year.
The school’s PRIDE clubs, the annual eighth-grade trip to Verdun and a new eighth-grade academy peer mentoring program are three opportunities for students and staff to stand together and create a climate where bullying is not tolerated.
This year’s PRIDE clubs — PRIDE is an acronym for Positive Relationships Inspire a Drive for Excellence — ensure that every student is involved in a teacher-sponsored club which meets during the school day throughout the year. At September’s kickoff event, students filled the gym to learned about the clubs being offered in a job fair-type setting before selecting one to join, and then competed in team building exercises in Panther Stadium with their new club friends. PRIDE club offerings include chess, crafts, creative writing, ping pong, theater improv, Lego robotics, lacrosse, photography, philosophy and wood turning.
On Sept. 23, RCHS’ eighth-grade class, along with teachers and staff, made the annual trip to Verdun. Sponsored by the RCPS Parent Teacher Organization, the Verdun trip provides a day where all students participate in guided team-building exercises. With this year’s eighth-grade class trip, all students in grades 8 through 11 at RCHS have now made the trip.
On Sept. 28, the eighth-grade academy peer mentoring program was officially launched, with the younger students meeting their upperclassmen peer mentors for the first time at an ice cream social. Selected through a rigorous application process and then trained at a day-long Peer Mentor Bootcamp, the student mentors provide guidance, friendship and support to their eighth-grade mentees.
At a ceremony Oct. 3, Rappahannock resident and Wakefield Country Day School (WCDS) junior Harmony Lindstrom was inducted into the WCDS Owls Chapter of the National Honor Society, pledging to maintain high standing in both school and community endeavors.
At Randolph-Macon Academy, Ryan Latham of Amissville was among a handful of students appointed to the student leadership organization of cadre as part of the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC). Ryan Latham is the son of Stephen and Dawn Latham of Amissville, and is a junior at R-MA. He received the position of Band Squadron First Sergeant with the rank of Cadet Master Sergeant.
Rapp sports update
October is proving to be a truly special month for Rappahannock County athletics, as teams and athletes continue to rack up victories and set new records. Varsity football leads the sports story this week on the strength of two road wins in one week (by a combined score of 100-0), taking their road record to 3-0 and improving their overall record to 4-3.
On Oct. 3, the team traveled to King and Queen High School to play a game postponed due to weather from the previous Friday. The Panthers scored early and often, posting two touchdowns in the first quarter off a one-yard run by quarterback Jack Massie and a 23-yard run by Christian Burns and then adding three more touchdowns in the second quarter and one each in the third and fourth.
By game’s end, Massie had tallied four touchdowns, one off of an interception, Burns tallied two touchdowns and running back/receiver Michael Reid gave Rapp their final six points with a two-yard touchdown. Massie led the team with 106 yards rushing, two interceptions and a blocked punt; all in addition to his four touchdowns. On the defensive side, Johnny Beard led the squad with seven tackles and Chance Graves added another interception.
Last Friday (Oct. 7), the team traveled to Massanutten Military Academy for an afternoon game and the result, a 52-0 win, was a near mirror image of their victory earlier in the week, with some added names contributing to the scoring.
The team racked up 307 yards rushing (that’s 609 total for the two games). Michael Reid was the rushing leader in the MMA game with 113 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries. Johnny Beard was again the leading tackler, accumulating five plus one assist, and Drake Lynn added an interception to the defensive effort.
The Panthers travel to Quantico tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 14), where they will look to add to their road victory streak against a squad that is 7-0 on the season. Rapp returns to the home field at 7 p.m. next Friday (Oct. 21) against Kenston Forest High School.
The varsity volleyball team moved into the second half of their schedule and after three games last week remained atop the Bull Run District with an undefeated record. Adding wins over Central Woodstock and Strasburg on the road, they completed their week with a win over conference rival Northumberland in a rare Friday night home volleyball game. The team hosted a game this past Tuesday (results too late for this article) travel to Madison County tonight (Thursday, Oct. 13), and then are home again next Tuesday against the Green Dragons of William Monroe in their second “Dig Pink” fundraising game.
JV volleyball has almost matched varsity victory for victory, dropping one of their three games last week for only their second loss of the season, but maintaining their lead in the Bull Run standings. Junior Panther volleyball hosted Valley Middle School Conference playoffs this week, with the quarterfinal game on Tuesday (results too late for this article), semifinal game today (Thursday, Oct. 13) and the championship tomorrow. The Rapp squad, top seed in the tournament, can ensure home court advantage with each win.
Lastly, in varsity cross country, congrats go out to boys runner and senior Gavin Jenkins, who turned in a stellar 16:39 performance last week in his last home race on the Blue Rock course. As of press time records research showed that Gavin’s time was the fourth fastest ever recorded on the Blue Rock course and the fastest ever by a Rapp runner. Congrats to Gavin and to both the boys and girls cross country teams as they prepare for the district, conference, region and state championship meets.
Stay current with the latest Rapp scores and schedules at rappahannockcountyhs.rschoolteams.com, where Athletic Director Brandon Burley has all the relevant news and information. See you at a game soon, where we hope you’ll join us in cheering “Go Rapp!”
— Jimmy Swindler