School and Sports News for March 29

Rapp girls fight to a tie and two wins

JV and varsity girls’ soccer traveled to Skyline High School on March 23 for the second consecutive Friday night match against the Hawks. They returned with a victory and a tie to precede their Tuesday night win on the road against Manassas Park, 3-1.

“The varsity Lady Panthers squared off with the Lady Hawks immediately,” said coach Rich Hogan. “Looking to avenge last week’s loss to us, the Skyline squad got a score early in the game and were ready to play. We came back with a tying goal by Lauren Light, with Keelee Armor following the ball into the net just in case of a bounce back.” The final score was 2-2.

“Every day in practice, we work on finishing, and that goal was a shining example of fundamentals taught daily so they become muscle memory when needed,” coach Regina Johnson (Hogan’s occasional alter ego on the field) said after the match.

Panthers took the lead when “Bryn Sonnett redeemed herself as ‘spot kicker’ due to a goal-scoring opportunity denied by a hand-ball foul committed in the Box,” said Hogan. “Skyline came back and scored late in the match to make it 2-2. A controversial goal with a well-placed header by Keelee Armor, followed up by Haley Hogan, was disallowed to send the game into overtime.”

Sophomore Armor described the moment. “The goalie caught the ball. I did a follow-through and she elbowed me in the chest, but the ref didn’t see it. It knocked the wind out of me, and it took me a moment to catch my breath.

“We tied and went into overtime twice,” said Armor. “No one scored, so we ended with the tie because it wasn’t a regular-season game. At the end, the ref came over and apologized for an offsides call on one of our goals where I did that low header, and Haley Hogan finished it off. He called offsides in that play, so we didn’t get the goal point.”

The two five-minute overtime periods saw Rappahannock nearly scoring several times “with a wide left-wide right over the crossbar and a final high kick by Lilly Endre that the keeper almost misjudged was too much for coach Regina, who needed to nearly be carried to the bus as time expired and Rappahannock came away with a tie,” said Hogan.

“It was physically aggressive game,” said sophomore Michelle White. “I even got a yellow card from the ref.”

“The PK [penalty kick] is what tied the game,” Armor said.” Bryn Sonnett kicked that one. Last season she had a 100 percent on those. She is inspirational when she does the PK. That’s a nerve-wracking moment with it being just the kicker and the goalie.”

“Back in the day,” coach Hogan said, “I would have pulled out all the stops to go for the win at all costs; however, my numerous years of coaching have taught me that, in soccer, a tie is okay.”

Meanwhile, the girls JV Panthers “scored a thrilling 2-0 victory thanks to two goals by rookie player Diana Loya,” said Hogan. “Coach [Cindy] White could not have been prouder of Diana’s effort and finishing techniques to score her first goal ever.”

“It was sheer determination to get the ball in the net on one goal after the Skyline keeper dropped the ball,” White said. “As keeper for the JV, Jane Purnell put together another shutout. The squad and Emma Fisher helped secure the defense, which was light-handed due to numerous injuries. Brittany Adams and Kate Moreno also kept the much older Skyline squad from scoring. The JV girls are working very hard to learn.”

The Lady Panthers host William Monroe this Friday (March 30).

– Melissa Delcour

RCHS’ after-prom plans

Typically, high school juniors and seniors find themselves “hanging out” or attending dangerous parties after their school’s prom: Not this year. A group of concerned parents, led by Rappahannock County High School art teacher and yearbook adviser Joy Sours, are working to host an After-Prom Party starting at midnight on May 12 at RCHS.

The goal of this group, Sours says, is to host an event that will keep students safe and entertained after their prom as opposed to attending other events that are usually unsupervised, and might even offer drug or alcohol use. The After-Prom Party is open to all students and guests that attend the prom as well as volunteer chaperones. Movies, music and games, such as a mechanical bull, moon bounce, Jacob ’s Ladder and a demolition ball, will be available, Sours hopes, as well as copious amounts of various foods. Door prizes will also be available.

The supporters have adapted a motto from the Proud Supporters of Virginia’s Operation Prom/Graduation: “We say “YES!” to an all night after-prom celebration because our students have the guts to say “NO!” to drugs and alcohol.”

Sours and supporters urge all community members to get involved in any way they can through donations, volunteering and any other forms of support. Contributions can be made to RCHS and the After-Prom Fund. Anyone who would like to be involved in this organization is asked to contact Joy Sours or Stacy Devine at 540-227-0745.

– Candace Rutherford

Wakefield students take overseas trip

OWLHENGE: Wakefield Country Day School students pose for a group photo during their visit to Stonehenge, part of a biannual trip to England.
Debbie DuMez
OWLHENGE: Wakefield Country Day School students pose for a group photo during their visit to Stonehenge, part of a biannual trip to England.

Thirty-two students, including all those in the seventh and eighth grades at Wakefield Country Day School, spent 10 days touring England in February. This is a biannual event at the school for the classes that are studying British history.

The trip is not part of the school’s fees, so families must pay for their children to go. A highlight of the trip for these students was that they worked for two years to raise funds to ensure that no child in the two classes was left behind due to finances.

Wakefield teacher and trip organizer Welby Griffin said, “This trip is certainly about seeing and experiencing first hand the things we study in British History, but it is also about so much more. It gives the students a chance to develop responsibility and independence while broadening their worldview. Having the chance to experience a foreign culture (even one that is more similar to our own than some) changes their perspective on the world.”

While in England, the students toured a wide range of places, including Stonehenge, the ancient stone circle of the Beaker people; cathedrals at Salisbury, Wells, York Minster, and Westminster Abbey; the birthplace, school, residence, and burial place of Shakespeare in Stratford-on-Avon; castles at Warwick and Windsor (the latter that holds the Queen’s apartments, which are still used today, and Queen Mary’s colossal Dollhouse); Black Country, the heart of the Industrial Revolution; Hadrian’s wall, the wall that Roman emperor Hadrian built to prevent the Picts and the Scots from invading England; Vindolanda, the fort that was excavated on Hadrian’s Wall; King’s College Chapel at Cambridge University; the Tower of London, the place of imprisonment and death for such historical figures such as Prince Edward V, his brother Richard, Bloody Mary, and St. Thomas More; the British Museum, home of the Rosetta Stone; and Big Ben.

The group also attended two plays and a Mozart concert, rode on a personal vintage double-decker tour bus throughout London, took a boat ride through an 18th-century underground limestone mine, and handled artifacts in an archaeological dig.

“The England trip has taught our class what it’s like in the world and how to handle situations that our parents can’t handle for us” said one student. “It was an experience that by the end of the trip taught us how to deal with different forms of money, remember our personal items, and most importantly, how to have fun.”

“Salisbury Cathedral simply mesmerized me,” said another student. “Not only was it stunningly beautiful, but it was peaceful and quiet. What’s more, it brought shivers to me and made me thoughtful. It was profound.” A third said, “You’ve got to witness these sights to experience what they really are.”

The students who went on the trip were Campbell Baker, Gabriel Cancio-Bello, Jonathan Carrier, Kendall Carroll, Brier Clough, Aaron Corbett, Joseph Dowell, Lucas DuMez, Sydnei Eachus, Shane Glennon, Alyssa Hamilton, Taylor Jones, Megan Kelley, Gage Landis, Carolina Leonard, Nicolaus Leskovec, Monica Marciano, Brendan Martyn, Mollie Miller, Abe Nolan, Shane O’Heir, Chris Parios, Nikolas Patton, Rebecca Paulisch, Tanner Perry, Rahmet Rahimi, Alo Rodriguez, Brianna Rodriguez, Tatumn Vaught, Julia Weir, Harrison Wells and Tad Wojcik.

Teachers who went, besides Griffin, were Debbie DuMez, Ann Landis, Pamela Lynn-Tucker (retired), Julie Vaught and Trisha Wingfield. Parents who made the trip were Kathy Baker, Elaine Carrier, Steve and Marsha Dowell, Michelle Johnson, and Brenda and Greg Patton.

– contributed reports

500 trees planted by WCDS sixth-graders

On March 15, the sixth-grade class at Wakefield Country Day School, led by teachers Margaret DiDomenico and Jeff Perry, planted more than 500 pine seedlings at a farm in Flint Hill.  The trees were small pine seedlings which are native to the region but are being wiped out.  

“We had a wonderful time on this field trip and it amazed us that we could plant such a vast number of trees,” said student Douglas Griffin. “We planted the trees to help replenish their population, renew the forest and environment and ultimately help create habitats for many animal species.”

The trees were given to DiDomenico by Terry Lasher, an assistant regional forester for the state of Virginia. The trip was part of the class’ science curriculum.

Members of Wakefield’s sixth-grade class are Bernie Cieplak, Ben Cotter, Catherine Deane, Grayson Galeone, Connor Glennon, Griffin, Tyler Johnson, Andrew Kwolek, Drake Lynn, Emma McGunigal, Chris O’Heir, Connor Poe, Jackson Romine, Ben Scaring, Emerson Shepard, Alex Smith, Landon Thede, Josie Vernick and Owen Youngquist.

– contributed reports

Quiz Bowl team’s U.Va. eye-opener

At the University of Virginia’s Cavalier Classic on Saturday (March 24), Rappahannock County High School’s Quiz Bowl team faced some elite competitors.

“We were up against very tough competition, but I think the students enjoyed themselves,” said coach Dave Naser.

Senior Adam Carter also acknowledged the top-notch contenders and offered a participant’s insight. “It seemed like our B team started off facing an A-team bracket of all the best schools. Even though we had some nail-biters that could’ve gone either way, our B team got demolished. The A team won four matches; B team didn’t win any. The whole set up was unique because the questions were written in an unusual format and they were all read like a speed round.

“For me, the best part of the match was getting the Power Bonuses,” Carter said. “I got two of them. You have to answer those within the first 15 words of the question, then you get an extra five points.

“Overall, it was a growing experience,” he said, “and it was good preparation for the ‘It’s Academic’ show and later competitions.”

Coach Naser also saw significant value in the U.Va. tournament. “It really opened our eyes to the level of players that are out there and how tough it is to compete against a team from Maggie Walker or Thomas Jefferson Governor’s School. Overall, it was a positive day. A few of the matches were close, and the team received good preparation for ‘It’s Academic,’ while getting to experience the beautiful U.Va. campus.

“It’s Academic” will be shot in Washington, D.C. on April 14. The award-winning Rappahannock Band will also be performing.

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