Signing ceremonies at RCHS
Last Thursday, April 20, Rappahannock County High School was the sight of not one but two collegiate athletic signing ceremonies, with coaches, teammates and family members on hand to witness our student athletes making the commitment to take their talents to the next level.
First up was RCHS Senior Jack Massie, who affixed his signature to a Celebratory Signing Form with Shenandoah University, intending to participate in Men’s Football at the Division III Collegiate level next fall. Jack has been a two sport varsity athlete for RCHS for several years, most recently leading the varsity football team to its best record ever and currently starting for the varsity boys’ soccer team.
A true student athlete, Jack has already received multiple scholarship awards and has earned acceptance to several prestigious major universities. He chose to become a fighting Hornet so that he could continue his dream of playing football and enjoy the small college atmosphere that Shenandoah University provides. Jack was proud to celebrate his signing in front of his coaches, teammates, and family, including his mother Holly, his father Tom, and his paternal grandparents Tom and Aney.
Next up for Rapp Athletics was senior Gavin Jenkins, who signed a letter of intent and Athletic Grant in Aid form with Virginia Military Institute, committing to run cross country next fall for the Keydets of VMI. Gavin has been a three sport varsity athlete for several years, most recently winning a state championship in cross country this past fall, serving as a starting guard for the varsity boys’ basketball team, and currently competing in multiple events for the boys’ varsity track team, where he hopes to finish out his high school career with another, or perhaps several, state champ medals.
Gavin too has received multiple accolades in his high school athletic career and he too had several choices to consider when it came to performing at the next level. His decision to attend and run for VMI was one that was supported by his coaches and his family, including his parents Holly and Mark and both his maternal and paternal grandparents, all of whom were in attendance and fully outfitted with VMI regalia for this occasion.
With these two signings, RCHS Athletics is proud to boast three student athletes from the Class of 2017 that will be competing at the collegiate level, with several others from recent graduating classes competing at the college level now. The success evident in athletics at RCHS is mirrored in academics, with many of this year’s seniors continuing their post-secondary studies at top tier schools. The administration and athletic department of RCHS wish Jack and Gavin and all our student athletes continued good fortune as they wrap up their high school careers and prepare for their next adventure. And we remind them that no matter where their talents take them, their hearts will always be here, their voices joining Principal Michael Tupper’s in a rousing chorus of We Are Rappahannock!!!
Pesky April showers
While April showers may well bring May flowers, they also bring game cancellations and scheduling nightmares, causing many a coach, parent, and athletic director to malign Mother Nature. But despite the erratic schedules and last minute cancellations, our Rapp athletes have done their best to retain their composure and stay focused on the games, with some of them managing to get in some wins along the way.
Varsity track leads the headlines again this week, with some sterling results from their home meet of April 12. Senior Gavin Jenkins took top honors with first place finishes in the 1600, the 800 and the high jump, scoring a personal record best jump of six feet, two inches in the latter event.
The boys 4×800 relay team of Walter Burke, AJ Palmer, Gavin Jenkins, and Jacob Love took first place, setting a school record in the process, along with the boys 4×100 relay team of Daniel DalleLucca, Caleb Ramey, Christian Burns and Ethan Sumner, which also took first place. Christian also took 2nd in the 200 and 3rd in the 300 and Daniel 3rd in the 400. AJ Palmer took first in both the shot put and the discus throw to go along with a third place finish in the triple jump. Teammate Walter Burke finished 2nd in the discus.
In the ladies’ events, Skylar Culbertson placed first in both the 1600 and 800 meter races, Julia Estes took 1st in the 100 and 300 hurdles along with 2nd in the long and triple jumps, and Hailey Wharton placed 2nd in the discus and third in the shot put throw. Kayla Compton added to the scoring with a second place finish in the high jump and Olivia Atkins placed 3rd in the 200. The track team has their next event on Wednesday, May 3 at William Monroe High School and then the road to states begins on Wednesday, May 10 with the Bull Run District Championship Track Meet at Strasburg High School.
In other sports action, our Varsity Baseball team continues to struggle to get in the W column, dropping recent games to their larger Bull Run District opponents. The team was set to travel to Madison this past Tuesday in a game that was postponed due to wet field conditions and is scheduled to host Central Woodstock High School this Friday, May 28. That game will be senior night for our baseball seniors and hopes are high for a competitive game given that the first matchup against Central ended with a close 0-2 loss. First pitch will be at 7 PM.
Varsity Softball got off to a strong start but has struggled in the midpoint of the season, with some injuries to key players affecting the team’s performance. As with baseball, the team saw their game with Madison this past Tuesday postponed due to weather and then they will be hosting Central this Friday at 7, in a game that is also senior night for our softball seniors.
Our Junior Panther baseball and softball teams have seen their schedules also adversely affected by the weather, with both practice and games cancelled, including games played last Thursday that could not get past the fourth inning due to weather. Their next games will be on Tuesday, May 2, when they travel to Locust Grove Middle School for doubleheader contests, first pitches scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Our Varsity and JV Boys’ Soccer teams have also struggled to get back in the W column, with both squads dropping district contests to their bigger Bull Run opponents. The teams played Madison last night, results too late for this article, with hopes high for a repeat performance of the victory achieved when the teams played at Madison a few weeks back. Tomorrow night the teams travel to Central Woodstock and then return to the home pitch next week in games against William Monroe and Clarke County on May 2 and May 4, JV games beginning at 530 and Varsity at 7.
On the girls’ pitch our Varsity squad sandwiched a win over Strasburg in between losses to Clarke and Warren County and meanwhile JV paired a win over Warren with a close loss to Strasburg. Both teams were scheduled to play at Madison this past Wednesday, results too late for this article, and will host Central tomorrow night, Friday April 28, before taking to the road next week against William Monroe and Clarke.
Our JP girls soccer team has seen their first round playoff game postponed due to weather conditions multiple times, with the latest schedule as of press time being that our Panthers will host a semifinal game today, Thursday April 27, at 4:30 p.m. and, if they are victorious, play in the championship tomorrow, Friday April 28, at a site to be determined. Best of luck to Coach Seth Wyatt’s JP girls’ team as they seek to add another trophy to their collection.
And on the theatrical front, RCHS and Theater Director Russell Paulette are proud to announce that the spring musical, School of Rock, will be performed this Saturday at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium, with a matinee performance on Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door and $7 in advance and, if past crowds are any indication, theater goers will want to get tickets soon as a sellout is anticipated.
As always, all game and practice schedules can be found on the Rapp Athletic Website at www.rappahannockcountyhs.rschoolteams.com, where all the latest scores and schedules are updated as soon as possible by Athletic Director Brandon Burley and his coaches. Go Rapp!
— Jimmy Swindler with Brandon Burley