One last week of winter sports here at Rappahannock County schools saw some of our varsity teams continue their advance deep into the postseason. Wrestlers excelled at regionals last weekend, positioning themselves for state recognition this weekend in Salem. And Scholastic Bowl prepared for their state tournament this weekend in Williamsburg, to be reported on in next week’s article.
Varsity basketball takes the spotlight this week, as they wrapped up their home season and then took to the road for the first round of the Rapp River Conference playoffs. In the last varsity home game Monday night, Rapp hosted county rival Wakefield Country Day School. The girls led off first, looking to extend their late-season win streak to three. The Owls, led by leading scorer Maeve Dale, kept it close, the lead seesawing between both teams through all four quarters. Rapp’s leading scorer (and All Bull Run District player) Kayla Robey led the attack for Rapp, and her efforts were complemented by teammates Julia Estes’ and Hannah Bennett’s timely baskets. At game’s end, Rapp’s determination brought a four-point victory and a three-game winning streak to take them into the playoffs the next night.
The boys’ contest was equally thrilling, though not as close, with Rapp taking an early lead and maintaining it throughout the game. Leading scorer Bradlee Frye led the charge with 19 points, helped out by nine more from Jackson Strickler and 8 each from Evan Hitt and Gavin Jenkins. Earning that late-season victory was a welcome boost for our boys varsity as they too were headed to the RRC playoffs the next night.
Tuesday night, the varsity basketball seasons came to a close, as our teams fell in the quarterfinal round of the conference tourney. The boys were game but no match for the second-seeded Eagles of Washington and Lee. The girls were in the game with the Raiders of Rappahannock, down by just one at the half, but unable to come back from a string of turnovers early in the second half. Despite the losses, both teams, and their coaches, are to be congratulated for the tremendous improvement shown this year over recent seasons. Hopes are high for seasons to come.
Spring sports start Monday (Feb. 24). Visit rappahannockathletics.org for tryout times and locations.
— Jimmy Swindler
Varsity girls basketball: The Wakefield Country Day School Lady Owls traveled to Fredericksburg Academy for a non-conference game on Feb. 11, losing a tight contest to the Falcons, 33-18. Maeve Dale recorded a double-double, but individual stats were not available for the game. Their record is 8-5 overall (3-2 in the Delaney Athletic Conference). The Lady Owls were also ranked 11th in the most recent VISAA Division III State Poll.
Varsity boys basketball: The Owls hosted a DAC rematch against Saint Michael the Archangel High School for senior night on Feb. 10, honoring all six seniors — Alex Foster, Michael Stone Sean Brown, Jerry Li, Fred Wang and bookkeeper Kitty Long — for their contributions. After getting off to a slow start in the upset loss against Warriors last week, the Owls built a 31-17 halftime lead. They hit their stride in the third quarter, scoring 20 points en route to a 60-38 win. Foster had 27 points, Wang scored six and Brown pulled down 10 rebounds. Tim Johns scored 15, had seven assists and held the Warriors’ top scorer to just two points.
The Owls then traveled to Fredericksburg Academy on Feb 11. The Falcons’ pressed the boys right from the start, creating steals and scoring 16 in the first quarter. The boys stuck with them for a while, but the Falcons eventually blew the game open in the third quarter, winning 49-32. Foster had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Johns added eight points, while Brown contributed six rebounds. Wang had three blocked shots. Their record is 8-7 overall (5-5 in the DAC).
Varsity swimming: The Owls’ swim team traveled to a DAC Championship meet at Saint Michael’s on Feb. 8. Lucas DuMez finished second the 100 Butterfly and the 100 Backstroke to make the all-DAC team. Every swimmer — DuMez, Chris O’Heir, Josephine Burns, Nile Patel, Gary Galeone, Kathryn Phillippe, Harmony Lindstrom and Dante Parker — achieved personal best times in their events. DuMez has met several state qualifying times and will represent WCDS in the VISAA State Swim Meet at the Freedom Center on Feb. 14-15.
WCDS’ ninth grade biology class braved the cold and found some mud to play in on Feb. 6, as they spent the day constructing nest boxes for wood ducks. The class has been involved in a wood duck “mini unit” throughout the year, learning about the animal’s history when it was once a threatened species.
They also discussed the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the origins of waterfowl conservation and regulation in the United States, as well as habitat requirements and recent issues facing waterfowl in general. As a culminating project, the 18 students measured lumber, constructed nest boxes and placed them near ponds and in the marshland of two local farms.
Four Rappahannock County Elementary School students were selected to the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association’s District 14 Honor Band this year: Lauren Petty (sixth grade) and Alicia Whorton (seventh grade) were selected on the clarinet; Sophia Hernandez (sixth grade) and Heather Smith (sixth grade) were selected on the flute. Seventh-grader Bryce Jones was also selected as an alternate.
Selection to the District Honor Band is very prestigious. Students have to complete a rigorous audition which includes scales, a prepared piece and sight-reading. The students attended after-school help sessions with their band director, practiced many hours and some took private lessons.
“I spent hours playing scales and playing the piece over and over,” said Hernandez. They were competing with the best sixth, seventh and eighth graders from the 14 middle schools in District 14 to win a spot in the band. Smith noted that “the auditions were extremely nerve-wracking, but it was worth it.”
The band rehearsed on Jan. 31-Feb. 1. Students in the honor band received their rehearsal the first day, so they only had two days to prepare the concert. “The rehearsals were long,” admitted Petty, “and the music was very difficult.” Their 12 hours of rehearsal culminated in an afternoon concert at Sherando High School in Stephens City — and received a long standing ovation. All four students reported enjoying the experience. Bravo!
— Rachel Siegfried
Lord Fairfax Community College is offering a study abroad program to Salamanca, Spain in June, open to both current students and other residents.
Students will earn four academic credits in Spanish 101 (Beginning Spanish) or 195 (Spanish for Health Professionals), selected because of the high demand for basic language skills in the medical field. LFCC professor Paula Bowen will accompany the study group. Bowen, of Warrenton, has taught Spanish at LFCC for five years, and previously taught at Wakefield School and Northern Virginia Community College.
In addition to completing a semester’s worth of introductory Spanish in a month, students will participate in many excursions and local activities, including living with a host family and classes in Spanish life and culture.
“The Mester Language School in Salamanca was selected for instruction because it gives international students the opportunity to feel, enjoy and play an active part in the unique Spanish way of life that is significantly different from their own,” Bowen said. “Salamanca is a vibrant small city that is easy to explore and perhaps less intimidating for first-time travelers. The Mester Language School has an excellent reputation.”
The month-long trip costs $4,500 (which includes airfare, room and board, academic credit and travel insurance). The trip runs from June 2-27; enrollment must be completed by Feb. 28. For more information, contact Bowen at 540-868-7166 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit lfcc.edu/?promoid=10297.