School & sports news for Aug. 28

The AD’s report

As Rapp Athletes roll into their fourth week of fall sports, all the skills and techniques our coaches have been teaching are about to take center stage in regular season debuts.

Varsity football kicks off its season tomorrow night at 7 p.m.
Varsity football kicks off its season tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Courtesy photo

Varsity football leads the way this week. Fresh off a strong scrimmage performance last week on the road, our Panther football squad is ready for some football as they start another season with their home opener at 7 p.m. tomorrow night (Friday, Aug. 29) in Panther Stadium against Roanoke Catholic. Coach Mark Heinle and his staff are looking forward to what promises to be a good game. Ticket sales begin by 6 and a large crowd is expected, so be sure to show up early!

Our Junior Panther football squad took the field last Thursday in a scrimmage against the Maryland School for the Deaf. Coach Dave Whorton reports that his young squad still has a lot of work to do, but knows they are willing to do it. The team travels to the Maryland School for the Deaf at 6 p.m. tonight (Thursday, Aug. 28) for their first regular season game. (Directions to the school are available on

Volleyball had one final (last minute) scrimmage last Thursday against United Christian Academy.  Both squads were able to get in some sets against UCA; varsity coach Courtney Atkins and J.V.’s Seth Wyatt were very pleased with their teams’ strong showing. Both teams opened their Bull Run District season Tuesday (Aug. 25) in a game at George Mason and have their home opener tonight (Thursday Aug. 28) versus Clarke County. J.V. serves first at 6, and you won’t want to miss this season opener as varsity takes the first steps down that long road to the playoffs in October.

Cross country saw one scrimmage get rained out last week but got in another one last Tuesday as the Rapp River Conference teams came to the Blue Rock Course for a final preseason warmup. Results were too late for this article, but coaches James Sharpe and Mark Ramey were happy with the opportunity to have a quality preseason warmup event. Both varsity and J.P. harriers take the home course Wednesday (Sept. 3), as J.P. hosts a quad-meet at 4, followed by a varsity tri-meet at 5. Rapp fans are invited to come see our runners on what we hope will be a beautiful September afternoon.

J.P. boys soccer and volleyball open their seasons at home Tuesday (Sept. 2), as they host Shenandoah Valley Christian in their first conference match. Both games start at 4:30 — soccer at Panther Stadium and volleyball in the high school gym. Coaches Paul Paratore (soccer) and Mylene Whorton (volleyball) look forward to seeing the teams put all their practice to the test.

If you’re ready for some football, Panther Stadium is the place to be tomorrow. And don’t forget that all athletic schedules can be found on Go Rapp!

Jimmy Swindler

Superintendent’s Panther Pride report

This year, Rappahannock County High School administration got creative to help meet the needs of its advanced students. Because of the highly requested opportunity for college credit in high school, the need for AP exam data and the expectation for increased rigor, RCHS initiated a year-long AP English course that will give graduating seniors 12 college credits culminating with the literature and composition AP exam.

“This is credited to our block scheduling,” said high school principal Michael Tupper. “It allows us to have the seat time necessary to satisfy the college requirements, graduation requirements and give students the time needed to study for the intense AP exam.”

This hybrid course consists of English 111 and 112, the two required composition courses at most colleges; English 251 and 252; levels one and two of the college sophomore Survey of World Literature classes; and the AP English Literature and Composition course.

The hybrid advanced studies course will be led by author/teacher Sheila Lamb, who recently published her first novel, “Once a Goddess.” In between prepping her novels, Lamb has been diligently aligning and mapping out her curriculum, which is essentially five courses. Each course requires its own syllabus in order to award dual-enrollment credit.

(To teach dual enrollment, teachers must have a master’s degree in the discipline, or a master’s degree plus 18 graduate credits in the discipline.)

Our hope was to offer a similar opportunity to the rest of our students who do not attend Mountain Vista Governor’s School. We have so many advanced students, but only four slots at Governor’s School, so we thought this would provide a way for these students to attain college credit while still satisfying the rigor of the AP requirements.

Meanwhile, during this year’s Back to School night, parents and students were introduced to the high school’s new focus for the eighth-graders, including team building and student success programs such as the new PRIDE clubs (Positive Relationships Inspire a Drive for Excellence).

The evening included the introduction of teaching staff, school expectations, locker combinations and a walkthrough schedule opportunity for each student.

As you can see, things are happening all around our schools as we embrace a new school year. We are excited and look forward to sharing more updates with our parents and our community on the happenings in our schools and most importantly, our Panther Pride!

— Dr. Donna Matthews, superintendent

JMU welcomes Class of 2018

Courtesy photo RCHS grad Daniel Schlosser made the JMU Marching Royal Dukes.
Courtesy photo
RCHS grad Daniel Schlosser made the JMU Marching Royal Dukes. Courtesy photo

James Madison University welcomes the class of 2018 to campus this month. The incoming freshman class represents an accomplished, diverse group of individuals who hail from 36 states, Washington, D.C. and 35 countries around the world — and includes two from Rappahannock.

Keelee Armor of Sperryville plans to major in athletic training, while Daniel Schlosser, of Huntly, plans to major in chemistry. Schlosser also made the JMU Marching Royal Dukes, a significant accomplishment for him and band director Jason Guira.

The Marching Royal Dukes is one of the best known and largest college marching bands in the country. Schlosser was the woodwind captain and drum major during his senior year at RCHS; he also received the John Phillip Sousa Award for his superior musicianship, dependability, loyalty and cooperation.

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