Rapp sports update
Last week Rappahannock County’s fall varsity sports programs continued to shine in the postseason and set new records for success.
Football: Varsity football finished their finest season ever last Saturday at Hundred High School in West Virginia, bringing home a 62-0 victory. Coach Kemp Pullin’s team ended their season with a 6-4 record, winning five of their six last games and outscoring opponents in that span 231-32, including four shutouts.
The victory over Hundred was the highest margin of victory ever for the Panther squad, and many team members had a hand in the scoring. Michael Reid opened the scoring with a 39 yard touchdown run, Jack Massie kicking the extra point. Shortly afterwards quarterback Jack Massie connected with Colby Frye on a 28-yard touchdown reception. Chris Corbin scored next on an eight-yard run and lineman Dalton Hitt ran it in for the two-point conversion, giving Rapp a 21-0 first quarter lead.
The Panthers continued to pour it on in the second quarter, racking up three more touchdowns to take a 41-0 halftime score. Ryan Atkins scored on a three-yard pass from Massie, Elijah Johnson had a 17-yard scoring run and Massie snuck one in from one yard out. While the extra-point kicks were missed, Hitt managed to score another two-point conversion just before the half ended.
In the third quarter Michael Reid sprinted 49 yards for another touchdown and then Rapp scored twice more in the fourth, Chance Graves running for both scores on sprints of three and 33 yards. Highlights of the game included 492 total yards of offense, 412 of that on the ground. Michael Reid led the way with five carries for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns; Chance Graves added 51 yards and 2 touchdowns on seven carries. In all, eight players scored for Rapp in a well-balanced attack.
Coach Scott Stephens’ defensive squad allowed only 104 yards on their way to their fourth shutout of the season. Assistant Principal Jimmy Swindler reported that when the football score was announced at Saturday night’s volleyball conference championship game, he was sure the players on the bus heading home from West Virginia could hear the crowd’s roar of delight.
Cross country: The boys and girls varsity cross country teams competed in the Region 1A East Championship meet last week and when the last runner had cleared the tape, Rapp had a boys regional champion, two male qualifiers for the state meet and a girls’ team that qualified for states as a group. On the boys’ side, standout senior runner Gavin Jenkins added to his trophy collection with a Region 1A East Championship trophy on the basis of his first-place, 16:07 finish, 48 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. Teammate and sophomore Sam Barnes finished 10th with a personal record of 17:35 to also qualify for the state championship tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 11) at Great Meadows in Fauquier County.
The girls’ team finished third in the regional competition which qualifies the team (seven runners) for the state meet. They were led by Skylar Culbertson and Jacklyn Humphries, who finished third and fifth, respectively, separated by only about 20 seconds. Mackenzie Haunold, Savannah Hensley, Brooke Athellis, Danielle Fryant and Caragh Heverly rounded out the scoring for the girls and will all run at Great Meadows.
Best of luck to coaches Kenny Burt and James Sharpe and all our runners.
Volleyball: Last Thursday, the varsity girls’ volleyball team began their conference playoffs, handily defeating the other Rappahannock High School in straight sets. Saturday night, Rapp hosted the Conference 43 championship against new rival Northumberland, a team that stopped Rappahannock the last two years in the conference championship game. Motivated to win, the Panthers charged out to a significant lead early in the first game and never looked back, once again winning the contest in three straight games, all by lopsided scores.
Play was stopped briefly midway through the second game, as senior Julia Estes smashed her 1,000th kill and was honored for her achievement by presentation of the game ball by RCHS Principal Mike Tupper. When play resumed so did Rapp’s dominance, and when the final point was scored, the packed house erupted in cheers for the first-ever Conference 43 Volleyball Championship trophy.
Immediately after the game’s conclusion, Tupper and Swindler presented the Northumberland team with the conference runner-up trophy and then the championship trophy to the Rapp team. Shortly afterwards the Conference 43 coaches met to determine individual all-conference honors.
Four Rapp players earned first team all-conference honors: Julia Estes, Kayla Robey, Brianna Settle and Jessica Thorne, with Amber Smoot also earning second team all-conference honors. Julia Estes was named as Conference 43 Player of the Year and RCHS Coach Courtney Atkins was selected as Conference 43 Volleyball Coach of the Year.
As conference champs, Rapp will host regional playoffs, which began this past Monday against Northampton High School at 4:30 PM. The Yellow Jackets arrived at RCHS after a long bus ride from their home on the Eastern Shore but looked to be the fresher team, jumping out to a 4-0 in the first set. The Panthers soon came alive however, and cruised to another straight-set win, holding the Jackets to under 15 points in each of the three games.
Rapp will take on the winner of the Riverheads/Cumberland quarterfinal game tonight (Thursday, Nov. 10) at 6 p.m. The winner advances to the regional championship game Saturday night and a berth in the state playoffs. Be sure to come out tonight and support this special team as they look to extend their very special season.
Winter Sports: Tryouts for varsity and junior varsity athletic teams began this past Monday (Nov. 7). Tryout and practice schedules can be found on the Rapp Athletic Website at rappahannockcountyhs.rschoolteams.com or bullrundistrictva.org, where all the latest scores and schedules are updated as soon as possible. Go Rapp!
— Brandon Burley