Postseason progress continues to fill the athletic news at Rappahannock schools this week, as three Rapp teams continued their seasons.
The girls varsity cross country team traveled to Chesterfield last Wednesday and, when the last runner had crossed the finish line, our Rapp girls were the Region 1A East Girls XC champions for the second year in a row. Led by the first- and second-place finishes of Julia Wood and Emily Allen, Rapp runners Emma Endre (sixth), Kayla McGhee (10th), Katelyn Fisher (26th), Brooke Athelli (27th) and Kathryn Fisher (31st) also put together outstanding races to help bring home the regional-championship trophy.
In boys varsity cross country, Rapp runner Gavin Jenkins took third-place honors in the regional competition. The girls team, led by Region 1A East Girls Coach of the Year James Sharpe, and Jenkins will contend for state titles this Friday at the Great Meadows course in Warrenton; girls race at 11:45 and boys at 12:30.
The Rapp girls varsity volleyball team traveled to Northumberland Saturday for the semifinal and final matches of the Rappahannock River Conference. Rapp handled a higher-seeded Essex team in four games to advance to the championship match and an automatic berth in the Region 1A East tournament. In the finals, a drained Rapp team was no match for the top-seeded Indians, but Rapp’s girls brought home the conference runner-up trophy for the second year in a row.
This past Monday, the Rapp team traveled back to Northumberland for a first-round regional matchup again against the Indians. Although our girls played hard and gave the Indians a much better contest than last Saturday, the result was the same as Rapp’s season came to a close. Individual honors were forthcoming, though, as Rapp placed four players on the all-conference teams: Julia Estes and Kayla Robey were named to the RRC First Team and Hannah Bennett and Amber Smoot got Second Team honors.
Rappahannock also placed eight players on the RRC All Academic Team. Julia Estes, Kayla Robey, Ellie Young, Brittany Adams, Paige Pilkington, Hannah Bennett, Amber Smoot and Maddie Heneghan all received these coveted honors based on their cumulative grade-point average of 3.4 or above.
Our final postseason participant is Rapp’s varsity theater troupe, which is traveling to (you guessed it!) Northumberland this coming Saturday (Nov. 15) for the Region 1A East theater competition. A top-two finish will get Rapp to the state event, and we all wish our theater competitors a hearty “break a leg!”
In the first winter sports event of the season, Rapp’s defending conference and regional champion Scholastic Bowl team hosted their first match of the season and started off in undefeated fashion, taking down William Monroe, Strasburg and Warren County Monday night (Nov. 10).
All other winter sports started practices this past Monday, and our gyms and mats are full of our student athletes looking to bring more victories to our record books as the winter seasons unfold. Stay in touch with Rapp Athletics through our website at rappahannockathletics.org. and make plans to attend our games as the winter seasons approach!
— Jimmy Swindler
Panther Pride: Local Foods Week celebrated
Rappahannock County Public Schools have been teaching students about local foods for years through hands-on-experiences in the school gardens and field trips to local farms. Students get the experience of growing, harvesting and eating food directly or providing it to the cafeteria to be incorporated into school lunches. The experience of growing food and giving back to their school develops pride and introduces the concepts of community support and service learning to our youth. In addition, the program supports the curriculum of Sarah Moore’s Project Based Learning (PBL) classes offered at Rappahannock County Elementary School. The PBL classes are new this year and reinforce “hands-on” learning, supporting authentic learning for students.
Supporting local foods week, Patti Waddell’s horticulture class and Moore’s fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-grade classes have grown several cool weather favorites — such as lettuce, spinach, radishes, Swiss chard, kale, carrots and Asian greens — to be used in our school lunches. The school cafeteria managers and staff have incorporated student-grown vegetables and locally sourced items into the school menus for this week.
RCPS’s Farm-to-Table program was highlighted in Virginia Living magazine’s October feature on the “Top High Schools” in Virginia for 2014. Moore’s classes support the Farm-to-Table program at RCES and RCHS and work with local agencies, such as the Piedmont Environmental Council and Rappahannock Extension Agent Kenner Love, to promote local foods. With help from these agencies and support from the Rappahannock County Farm Bureau and Headwaters School Foundation, our students continue to experience the rewards of living in rural Virginia. Virginia celebrates celebrates its sixth annual Farm-to-School week this week (Nov. 10-14).
— Donna Matthews, superintendent