School & sports news for March 21

Lady Panthers outplay Hawks in opener, 2-0

Lady Panther soccer players descended upon the Hawks of Skyline High School in Front Royal last Friday (March 15) to net a solid 2-0 win in the first game of their regular season.

Both goals came courtesy of Rappahannock County High School’s Michelle “Mimi” White. “She is just one of those all-around players you can trust in any position on the field,” said senior Lauren Light. “She took a risk, leaving her place on the defensive line. It paid off, giving her that first goal on a nice cross from the left. Once we had the lead, she was a bit more comfortable and took shots from the outside. Her second goal was a beautiful curve ball from outside the 18. Very exciting!”

Senior and co-captain Emma Fisher also enjoyed the game’s momentum and never left the field of play. “It was my first time playing a full varsity game, and I got to play the whole time. As a defensive player, my shining moment was a perfect kick, straight down the line, over Emily Massie’s head – the most perfect kick I’ve ever had. Hopefully, I get to do that again.”

In contrast, Fisher’s fellow teammate, senior Emily Pearcy, had a challenge getting into her competition zone. Away at Tri-County Band competition all day, she said, “I wasn’t particularly on top of my game. It took me the first half to get into it. We did very well as a team. It’s all a matter of momentum; we got the first goal. It made them falter, and then we had the edge.”

Overall, the definitive win left the Lady Panthers with high hopes. “It was our first time to see how we work as a team this year,” Light said. “So many people worked hard in the off-season to improve, which meant we didn’t have to rebuild this year. Last year when we played Skyline, it was kind of a close match. This year we outplayed them the entire game. We out-hustled them! That made us confident and gave us hope for the rest of the season. We are striving to rise even higher than our fourth-place standing last year.”

Rappahannock hosts its next match tonight (Thursday, March 21) at 6 p.m. against Fresta Valley Christian School.

– Melissa Delcour

Snow delays early spring break

With the snow day on Monday (March 18), Rappahannock County Public Schools cancelled the early release days for both Thursday and Friday this week (March 21-22). “This restores instructional time before spring break,” said the announcement Monday from the school board office, “and reflects the feedback from principals, representative teachers and representative parents. Parent conferences that were scheduled before 3:30 p.m. on Thursday will be rescheduled.  Thank you for your flexibility and understanding.”

Wakefield athletes of the month

Wakefield Country Day School has announced its athletes of the month for February. The male athlete is varsity boy’s basketball player Alex Foster, of Flint Hill. The junior was a big spark for his team in February, scoring in double figures and being the top overall scorer in every game during the month. He had three double-doubles during that stretch, highlighted by a 26-point and 22-rebound effort against Emmanuel Christian on Feb. 8. Foster averaged 19 points per game in the month that culminated with him being named to the All-Conference Division II First Team.

“Alex really came up big in February. He took on more of a scoring burden and led the team,” said Wakefield athletic director Mike Costello. “He used his high basketball IQ to help keep his team in important games and displayed an all-conference worthy effort to finish the season. He especially did a good job at the foul line where he had struggled at times during the season. We are proud of Alex’s strong effort to lead our team during critical games at the end of the season.”

Foster was also recently a part of the school’s “We the People” team which finished fifth in the state championships.

The female athlete is varsity swimmer Rachel DuMez, of Front Royal. The senior was a repeat champion in the 100-yard backstroke and also won the championship in the 100-yard freestyle at the conference championship meet, placing her on the all-conference team for the third year in a row. DuMez competed well at the Virginia Independent School Athletic Association (VISAA) Division II Invitational meet, turning in personal bests with a fifth place finish in the 100-backstroke and seventh in the 100-butterfly.

“Rachel completed her senior season as only an Owl can – defending her conference title in the 100-backstroke at the Delaney Athletic Conference championship meet and winning the 100-freestyle,” said head coach Brad Boelter. “She once again represented WCDS at the state meet as our only scoring swimmer, finishing in the top eight in both of her events, and ending the meet scoring a total of 26 points.”

“Rachel has had a stellar swimming career here at WCDS and she capped that during February with her performance at the DAC championships and the VISAA state championships. She was very close to being named to the all-state team,” Costello added.

DuMez was also recently awarded a prestigious John C. Youngblood Scholarship from the State Athletic Director’s Association for her academic strengths, athletic accomplishments and community service.