Note: This report appears online only and was not in the print edition.
Winter sports are in full swing, and several Rappahannock sports teams have already begun to rack up the wins.
First up this week, though, is news from the stage about Rapp’s varsity theater team. After winning the Rappahannock River Conference and Region 1A East theater festivals, Rapp’s troupe traveled to Monticello High School last Tuesday (Dec. 2) for the state theater festival. Although the team put on yet another inspired performance, a state championship was just not in the wings for our Rapp thespians. They didn’t come home empty-handed however, as Rapp actor Jane Purnell received all-state distinction in theater. It was a good run, as any who watched “The Blue and the Grey” production would attest, and plans are already in the works for the annual spring school play. Two thumbs up for Rapp’s theater team and director Russell Paulette!
Coach Coffroth’s varsity wrestling squad has been hard at work on the mats and will be participating in their first tourney this Saturday (Dec. 13), at the Montrossity down at W&L High School in Montross. Many of the underclassmen have gotten in some mat time at junior-varsity meets, one last week at William Monroe and one yesterday at Eastern View. Next Wednesday (Dec. 17) is varsity wrestling’s home opener, as they host William Monroe, Madison and Eastern View beginning at 6 p.m. With returning state placers and multiple state-champ hopefuls on the squad, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to see our wrestlers in their home court, so make plans now to be at Rappahannock County High School next Wednesday.
Our Junior Panther wrestlers took to the mats last Saturday (Dec. 6) at Warren County, and coach Nicodemus was pleased with both the effort and the results. Of the nine wrestlers who competed in the individual tournament, six of them qualified for the semifinal round and eighth grader Brandon Wood won the 195-pound weight-class championship. The team traveled this past Tuesday to William Monroe for a middle school match; results will be featured in next week’s article.
On to the hardwood, our J.V. and varsity basketball teams have their first few games under their belts, and, while they haven’t yet notched a win, improvement over last year is obvious to all who have seen them play. Our varsity boys had two games last week, traveling to Strasburg this Tuesday (Dec. 9) and hosting district powerhouse William Monroe last Thursday (Dec. 4). In both cases our boys were game in the first half but could not keep up as the second half progressed. Coach Mike Atkins reports that both he and the team are encouraged by their performances, however, and are looking forward to getting in the win column soon. Our boys host Fresta Valley in a varsity doubleheader (with the girls’ team) tomorrow (Dec. 12), with the girls’ tipoff at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30, and then host Warren County on Monday (Dec. 15) night in a game that was postponed from this past Tuesday due to weather.
On the girls’ J.V. basketball side, coach Mylene Whorton is working with a very young team — 10 eighth graders and one ninth grader — that has shown significant improvement since the start of practice. The girls hosted two district opponents last week, and, although they were on the short end of the score in both cases, they put up some points and showed that they are working hard to get to that next level. Eighth grader Sarah East leads the team in scoring, with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 6steals so far, helped out by Alicia Whorton, who posted 6 points, 2 blocked shots and 1 steal, and Faith Pullen, who contributed multiple rebounds and three steals. As Coach Whorton says, the entire team is jelling together and working hard to support one another, becoming more competitive with each passing week. The J.V. squad had just one game this week — Wednesday night at Warren County — and returns to the home gym next Friday (Dec. 19), when they tip off against Madison at 6:15 p.m.
The girls varsity basketball team, coached by Brandon Burley, hosted three games last week — one nondistrict and two district — after winning the season-opening scrimmage against United Christian Academy. While still in search of that first regular-season victory, this year’s varsity squad will surprise many of our opponents, as it is led by a balanced attack of scorers and rebounders. The team’s three defeats thus far have been by an average of only 6 points. Kayla Robey has racked up an impressive 43 points in her first three outings, while Julia Estes has snared about as many rebounds while contributing to the scoring as well. And the contributions don’t end there, as Sara Frye, Kathryn Fisher, Klaire Gubler and Hannah Bennett have all contributed to the growing compilation of stats.
Rapp’s girls traveled to district powerhouse Warren County yesterday (Dec. 10; results were not available at press time) and will be in their home gym again this Friday, tipping off against Fresta Valley at 6 p.m. Their next home district game will be next Friday, when they host Madison County at approximately 7:45 p.m., a game that Rapp b-ball fans won’t want to miss.
On the Junior Panther side of the court, our J.P. boys basketball team started off their season in winning fashion as they go for their third straight Valley Middle School Conference championship trophy. The team has gone 3-0 in their early season, taking lopsided victories over Warren County, St. John’s and Fresta Valley. Eighth graders Ethan Sumner and Zion Hanberry have led the team in scoring, with averages of 11.6 and 10.6 points per game, respectively. This is actually a misleading figure, as the starters thus far have typically only played about half of the game, if that, because the coaches have been able to find ample playing time for all 15 players on the team.
On Monday (Dec. 8) the team got their first true test this season when the Luray Bulldogs came to town. The Rapp J.P. boys passed that test with flying colors, leashing the “Dogs” by a 21-point margin. On Tuesday (Dec. 16) the boys team hosted King George and then, on Wednesday, Warren County (results were not available at press time). Next week the J.P. boys visit King George on Monday and then return to the home court on Tuesday, where they host Front Royal Christian. On Thursday (Dec. 19), Shenandoah Valley Christian comes to our gym.
Our J.P. girls basketball team have started off in similar fashion, going two and oh in wins over St. John’s and Fresta last week as they too seek another Valley Middle School Conference Championship. Scoring has been consistently high with Carrington Wayland and Olivia Atkins leading the way, putting in many points off of steals as the girls play a pressure defense that produces many transition opportunities. Monday the girls also hosted the Luray team and dominated the Dogs on their way to a 37-21 victory. Our JP girls play next on Tuesday when they host Front Royal Christian at 430 in the High School Gym.
Last, but certainly not least, our conference and regional defending champ Scholastic Bowl team has begun their season and is racking up the victories as they work towards those season-ending conference and regional tourneys. The team opened their season at home, sweeping three district opponents in resounding fashion, and has since competed in tournaments at Cave Springs and at the University of Virginia, acquitting themselves well and racking up more wins. On Nov. 17 they again swept a district match, defeating Central and Clarke County, but then fell a little short last Monday (Dec. 1), dropping matches to district powerhouses George Mason and Manassas Park — the latter by only 10 points! Monday night they traveled to William Monroe, where once again they swept all three Bull Run District opponents. Our team returns to home next Monday, where they host another district event. The questions start at 5 p.m., and the public is invited.
As always, check out all the latest scores and schedules at our Rapp athletic website (rappahannockathletics.org). Go Rapp!
— Jimmy Swindler, athletics director