School/Sports Briefs for Oct. 7

RCHS runners take the road in stride

The cannons have long been silent, but the Panther varsity cross country team from Rappahannock County High School took their battle cry to the New Market Civil War battlefield to confront 19 other schools in the Stonewall Jackson Invitational on Saturday (Oct. 2).

Sophomores Seth Wayland and Isaac Berry brought home medals with their 19th- and 20th place finishes.

Coach James Sharpe bragged on his team and had this to say about freshman Rita Cliffton: “She gave an inspiring performance at the finish to pass three girls in the last 50 meters, finishing just out of the medals range . . . all in her freshman year.”

Panthers were also on the road for a meet hosted in Strasburg last Wednesday (Sept. 29). Success was the theme of the day.

Freshman Danny Collins reported: ““I dropped my personal best time by a minute and two seconds — went from 21:43 to a 20:40! Their course was flat course with some woods and a steep hill that challenged, but I had a good kick at the end.”

Freshman Amrit Tamang showed his mettle, too. “I like running,” he said. “You forget about the pressures, and . . . you just feel free. For this race, I just came back from being sick, so I was trying hard to keep up.”

Keep up is exactly what Tamang did. “He pushed himself to stay with our top two runners, Wayland and Berry,” coach Sharpe said. “The three of them finished fifth, sixth and seventh together — beating the next closest runners by half a minute. The boys finished second, beating out Madison County.”

Rapp hosts the next district meet on Oct. 13 at 5 p.m. — Melissa Delcour

RCHS culinary students compete at state fair

Five Rappahannock County High School (RCHS) culinary arts students traveled to Doswell to participate in SkillsUSA culinary competitions at the Virginia State Fair last month. They joined close to 80 other students from schools around the state to participate in both knife skills and cake-decorating competitions.

Sophomore Matt Beck walked away with top honors at the competition, earning first place for Rappahannock County and a $3,000 scholarship to the Culinary Institute of Virginia in Virginia Beach. Beck joins a tradition of RCHS students who have also placed first at the Virginia State Fair competitions over the past 10 years.

Senior Jessica Boutte competed in cake decorating where she was required to torte a cake into three layers, then ice and decorate the cake with a theme of her choice. The remaining four students, seniors Jesse Ramirez, Laurel Rothrock and Brittany Reed and Beck, competed in knife skills. These students had to demonstrate their skills julienning and small-dicing onions, as well as julienne, fine julienne, brunoise and fine brunoise cuts with potatoes.

This was the first SkillsUSA competition of the school year and the only chance students have to compete against students outside their home districts before April’s State SkillsUSA Competition.

Mountain Laurel student Michael Caldwell was well prepared for the 60-mile bike odyssey.

Mountain Laurel students cycle C&O

Mountain Laurel Montessori Farm School students completed a three-day, 60-mile bicycle and camping trip from Georgetown to Harpers Ferry last month. The C&O Canal became a living classroom where students and teachers experienced many history, geology and ecology lessons.

“We marveled at the locks’ engineering” said school director Susan Holmes. “We ate paw-paws; laughed as giant toads hopped onto our feet in the rain at our campsite and admired blue herons and great egrets in the river as the sun rose. The Potomac River was so low its rocks were easily seen.”

The C&O Canal trip is part of the school’s “odyssey” curriculum. “An odyssey,” says Holmes, “is when we experience an outdoor adventure and, by working together, accomplish something we might not have been able to do alone. The C&O trip was a wonderful adventure — mission accomplished.”

The Montessori Farm School serves seventh- through ninth-graders from eight counties at its Flint Hill facility. Its land-based curriculum providing teenagers opportunities for intellectual, social, physical and creative development.

Wakefield student wins National Merit award

Wakefield Country Day School announced last week that senior Zeb Becker was a “commended student” in the 2011 National Merit Scholarship program. Becker placed among the top five percent of the more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2011 competition by taking the 2009 Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), which is also the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, these students represent some of the most academically talented students in our country. Becker was given his certificate of recognition by Wakefield’s head of school Kathleen Grove.

State trooper Phillip Thomas at Wakefield.

Trooper lesson

Before State Trooper Phillip Thomas arrived to speak to Jennifer Deal’s Wakefield Country Day School kindergarten class recently about the importance of being good citizens at school, home and in the community, the students made lists of all the things they thought state troopers did in their jobs.

Each student read an item from his or her list and Thomas discussed whether it was correct or not and how. Among the list items: “State Troopers are super nice and they help kids that are lost.” “They arrest people who steal children.” “They help people in car wrecks.” “They fight criminals who are mean to people and take them to jail.” Deal said the students, who were not far from the truth in most cases, all really enjoyed Thomas’ visit and thought that he did a great job.

About Staff/Contributed 5153 Articles
The Rappahannock News welcomes contributions from any and all members of the community. Email news and photos to or call us at 540-675-3338.