School and Sports News for March 1

MALE ATHLETE of the month Brian Shafran, left, is congratulated by athletic director Mike Costello, while Wakefield Country Day School head of school Kathy Grove looks on.
Nikki Lewis
MALE ATHLETE of the month Brian Shafran, left, is congratulated by athletic director Mike Costello, while Wakefield Country Day School head of school Kathy Grove looks on.

Wakefield names January athletes

Wakefield Country Day School announced its athletes of the month for January at an assembly Feb. 22, when each recognized student received a certificate of award and the accolades of her or his schoolmates.

The male Athlete of the Month was senior Brian Shafran of Amissville, captain of the varsity boys basketball team and returning all-conference player. He scored 108 points in the month, averaging 12 points per game, while leading his team to six victories in the toughest part of their schedule. He scored in double figures in eight of the nine games he appeared in during the month, and collected more that 10 rebounds in two games during that stretch.  

The female Athlete of the Month was freshman Maeve Dale of Luray. Dale, a returning all-conference player on the varsity girls basketball team, led the team in scoring in every game in the month. She amassed 225 points in the10 games for a 22.5 points-per-game average. She led her team to a 7-3 record as the Owls battled for first place in the Delaney Athletic Conference (Division 2), and scored in double figures in nine of the games with seven games at over 20 points a game. She scored more than 30 points in two games with a season-high 36 points at the beginning of the month. She had three double-doubles with points and rebounds during the month.  

O’Heir wins Youngblood Scholarship

Wakefield senior Michael O’Heir was selected in a statewide competition as a winner of a John C. Youngblood Scholarship by the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (VIAAA, the state athletic directors organization). He is one of four such scholarship winners this year.

O’Heir was a candidate in a pool of highly qualified seniors of public and private schools from all over Virginia. In addition to his many school activities, like heading the Prefect Court, O’Heir competes for Wakefield in cross country, swimming, basketball and lacrosse.  He is the oldest of five brothers, all of whom attend Wakefield.

This is the second straight year that a Wakefield student has earned this award in competition with all other nominated independent school candidates. Last year’s winner was Christine Pankow, who graduated as the school’s valedictorian and attends Virginia Tech in the honors program.

For a student athlete to be eligible for consideration for the scholarship, his or her athletic director must be a member of the VIAAA. The one-year scholarship award is for $1,500. The VIAAA awards four scholarships to qualified seniors in the name of their founder and athletic administration pioneer, John C. Youngblood.  

O’Heir and his parents, who live in Boston, Va., will be recognized at the VIAAA annual conference and awards banquet later this month in Norfolk.  “Everyone at Wakefield Country Day School is proud of Michael for this accomplishment,” said Mike Costello, Wakefield’s athletic director.

RCPS winter athletics awards

Rappahannock County Public Schools held its winter athletic awards Monday evening. The winners, reported by athletic director Jimmy Swindler, were:

Scholastic Bowl: Co-MVPs, Nicholas Hipple and Trevor Achilles.

Varsity Winter Cheer: MVP, Laikyn Farmer; Coach’s Award, Courtney King.

Junior Panther Winter Cheer: Co-MVPs, Amber Smoot and Cydney Chambers.

Junior Panther Wrestling: MVP, David Smoot; Coach’s Award, Ethan Foley.

Varsity Wrestling: MVP, Dylan Hitt; Coach’s Award, Patrick Foley.

Junior Panther Boys’ Basketball: Coach’s Awards, Evan Marcus and Michael Cooke.

Varsity Boys’ Basketball: MVP, Bradlee Frye; Coach’s Award, Evan Hitt.

Junior Panther Girls’ Basketball: Co-MVPs, Kathleen Forrest and Julia Estes.

Varsity Girls’ Basketball: Co -MVPs, Maddie Kopjanski and Lauren Light.

Get ready for some . . . Donkeyball

Fun, friends, food, philanthropy and…donkeys? That’s right, donkeys. On March 12 at 6:30 p.m. begins an evening of donkey-based festivities at Rappahannock County High School.

The Class of 2014, with the help of the Buckeye Donkey Ball Co., presents a “Donkey Basketball” fundraising tournament in which students and faculty – including high school and elementary school principals – will be playing basketball while riding donkeys. In the high school gym!

Four teams include the sophomore class team, and teams of juniors, seniors and faculty. Each team has 10 players (though only a few will be riding at a time).  There will be two playoff matches with a final ride out for the ultimate bragging rights and coveted bobble-butt donkey trophy.

Teacher Darlene Mathieson said she grew up watching and playing Donkey Basketball in Pennsylvania. “When I was in high school, the Harlem Globetrotters visited my school and played a Donkey Basketball game against the teachers,” she said. Asked if she is going to be riding March 12, she said, “I am leaving it to the young ’uns.”

Another RCHS teacher also grew up a Donkey Basketball fan, and while she never played, Melissa Delcour said was on her high school’s sidelines, dressed in overalls and cheering on her teachers as they played against local businessmen. She said she, on the other hand, is very excited about riding a donkey at Rappahannock County High School.  

Tickets, available at Sperryville Corner Store, RCHS or from any Donkey Basketball Sophomore Committee member, are $6 in advance ($8 at the door). Ages 5 and younger get in free. Concessions will be open at 5:30 for a full range of dinner options, and RCSSA will be splitting food sales receipts with the sophomore class. Raffles, donkey rides for ages 10 and younger (for $1) and more. Mark this one on your calendars, and bring the whole family.

Questions? Contact Class of 2014 representatives Sarah Burke at or teacher Karen Sanborn at]

– Shelby Burnett (Class of 2014)

Regional education conference announced |

Educators from four states will attend Mountain Laurel Montessori School’s third annual regional conference, “Work of the Hand: Through the Curriculum & Across the Planes of Development.” The conference for educators and parents is Saturday (March 3) at the school’s main campus in Front Royal, with a visit to Mountain Laurel’s farm school campus in Flint Hill.

Keynote speaker Pat Ludick has been a leader for more than 25 years in adolescent curriculum design and instruction. She founded the Montessori adolescent land school at the Montessori School of Raleigh and the middle school of Hudson Montessori in Ohio, where she currently works. Ludick is a regular contributor to the NAMTA educational journal.

Sessions will be facilitated by Mountain Laurel teachers who will share their experiences and techniques for integrating the work of the hand in all curriculum areas and at various stages of development. Hands-on workshops include calligraphy and drawing, print making and quilting with children.

To register, visit or call 540-636-4257.

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