School News: RCHS’ Burnett wins student athlete honor

Austin Burnett, left, accepts award from VHSL guest speaker Gene Corrigan. Photo by Shelby Burnett.

Rappahannock County High School (RCHS) senior Austin Burnett was named Group A Male Athlete of the Year and was presented with the Allstate Foundation/Virginia High School League (VHSL) Achievement Award in Charlottesville Monday (May 10).

A committee of high school principals, media members and Allstate representatives selected 10 state winners of $1,000 scholarships from a pool of nearly 200 students representing nearly 100 high schools.

Burnett was introduced to attendees of the award lunch at the Charlottesville Omni by Rappahannock School Superintendent Robert Chappell. In his own remarks, Burnett spoke about the opportunity that VHSL provides students to excel in areas besides academics and he commended the organization for “promoting competition while maintaining fair play.”

He thanked school administrators, his family, and his numerous coaches over the years who have helped him to “mature and progress as an athlete.” In addition to a $1,000 scholarship, Burnett received two silver engraved Paul Revere bowls, one of which he will present to RCHS administrators this Friday evening prior to the boys varsity soccer game against George Mason High School. The senior soccer players will also be recognized then.

Described by the selection committee as a true student-athlete, Burnett has earned five varsity letters in soccer and cross country, while serving as captain on the soccer team the past two seasons. He was named to the 2009 Bull Run 2nd All-District Team in soccer at Goalkeeper. A member of the National Honor Society (NHS), Burnett also shines off the field academically, maintaining a 4.04 GPA. He is an honor roll student at the Mountain Vista Governor’s School (MVGS) of Math, Science and Technology and is enrolled in Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) dual credit classes. Burnett also earned two varsity letters in Scholastic Bowl and was a starting player on the 2009 Group A State Championship team.
Over the years, Burnett’s community service interests have included coordinating and working on NHS and RCHS events and a variety of community services benefiting other charitable organizations in Rappahannock County.

Students must have earned a minimum 3.00 grade point average (GPA) and have made significant contributions to VHSL activities in order to qualify for consideration for an award. Winners are also heavily involved in other activities and volunteer work in their school and their community. Applicants had to submit a 500-word student essay, letters of recommendation from two people who know their work well, and an endorsement by their principal.

Burnett has also received recognition from the Washington Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA).

At a luncheon at the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City, Burnett, unable to attend due to AP testing, was honored by AFCEA DC, a non-profit association focused on promoting higher education in the hard sciences, mathematics, computer technology, and engineering. The chapter selected 17 students from 13 high schools throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area for their outstanding performance and has committed $136,000 to its 2010 scholarship program, bringing the chapter’s total commitment to $1,940,500 since 1989. The winning selection was based on academic achievement, school activities, community/civic activities, part-time work, and letters of recommendation.

Keynote speaker Vinton G. Cerf, commonly referred to as the “Father of the Internet” and the current “Chief Internet Evangelist” at Google, told the award winners that learning is a life-long process and they must be willing to take risks in order to do great things. He added that the AFCEA DC organization, by way of selecting them for a scholarship, has every confidence in them that they will do great things.

Burnett will attend Virginia Tech in the fall to study Engineering. He is the son of Mark and Amy Burnett of Washington and grandson of Mike and Mary Burnett of Amissville, and Bruce and the late Jeannette Shisler of Woodstock, Ill. — from contributed reports

Wakefield athletics

Varsity Soccer: The Owls traveled to Foxcroft on May 6 for a semifinal Delaney Athletic Conference match. It was a quality contest with both teams keeping each other in check defensively. Coach Gus Tisera described the match as “some of the best soccer we have played all season.” The match remained tight and was scoreless through both halves. Foxcroft scored a goal in the last two minutes of the second overtime, and that score held up as the horn sounded at the end of overtime. Congratulations to Coach Tisera and the girls on a good season. Our final record was 4-5-3.

Varsity Lacrosse: The Owls hosted Randolph-Macon Academy in the Delaney Athletic Conference Division 2 lacrosse championship match on May 6. Andrew Smith scored the Owls’ first goal early in the second period to cut the Jackets lead to 2-1. The Jackets held a 4-1 lead at the half but went on to score nine goals in the second half to seal the match and a 13-3 victory. Woody Hazel scored a goal in both the third and fourth periods to round out the scoring for the boys. Our record is 6-3.

The Owls finished ranked second in the Virginia Independent School Athletic Association Division 3 lacrosse poll. A state tournament semifinal match against Wakefield School was scheduled for Tuesday (May 11).

Varsity Tennis: The Owls traveled to Fredericksburg Academy on April 29 for a JV match and came away with at 5-2 victory. Harper Van Ness (8-4), Cooper Weir (8-2), and Michael Pearson (8-4) were all winners in their singles matches. Jonathan Leskovec played a good match at number four singles, but lost 8-6. Van Ness and Weir won 8-0 at number one doubles. Leskovec and Pearson won 8-5 at number two doubles.

The Owls traveled to Chimney Fields in Front Royal on May 4 to play Bethel Christian. The result was a 6-1 victory. Harper Van Ness and Cooper Weir sat out of the team match in order to allow other players to gain more experience. Michael Pearson won at number one singles 6-2. Jonathan Leskovec won in the number two singles 6-4. Will Scaring won at number three singles 7-5. Lauren Castle won at number four singles 7-5. Pearson and Leskovec won the number one doubles 6-2. The team showed much improvement over the season, finishing on a three match win streak. Our final record for the season was 3-6.

Middle School Soccer: The Owls traveled to Fresta Valley Christian School for their final Valley Middle School Conference regular season match on April 29. The match was for first place in the VMSC and unfortunately the girls were shut out 3-0. Fresta secured the first seed in the tournament, and our girls are the second seed.

The Owls hosted Rappahannock County in the VMSC semifinals on May 4. The Panthers struck first, scoring on a long goal in less than a minute. Maeve Dale netted a long shot about five minutes later that was mishandled by the keeper. The score remained tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation. Two five -minute overtime periods were played, but no goals were scored. The teams went into a five-on-five penalty kick shoot out. Ixel Ochoa and Emily Hennessy netted their penalty kicks. The Panthers netted three penalty kicks in the shootout to win the match and advance to the VMSC finals. Our record stands at 4-4-2.

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