Snow, ice and dire forecasts continued to challenge our Rapp athletic schedules the past week, but our Panthers continue to make the most of the opportunities they had to bring home more wins.
Varsity boys basketball leads the news this week, playing only one game during the week but making the most of that — by bringing home their first win of the new year and the team’s first Bull Run District win in more than four years. At Warren County last Wednesday (Jan. 21), the team put on a clinic from the opening tip, maintaining steady pressure on defense and delivering accurate passes and shots on offense to prevail over the Wildcats by a score of 62-56. It was a one-possession game for much of the night, but by the midpoint of the fourth quarter, Rapp’s sharpshooters had tickled the twine enough to build a comfortable lead, with smart ball control allowing them to hold off a late Wildcat rally and bring home a long-awaited District win to the Panther faithful.
As has been the case all season, Rapp’s win was the result of a balanced effort. Offensive stats by leading scorer Bradlee Frye and timely threes by Jacob Racer complemented the inside game of A. J. Palmer and Justin Ramey. Skillful ball handling and passing by Gavin Jenkins, Brandon Rutherford and Jackson Strickler kept the turnovers to a minimum and had the offense humming. And skillful coaching by coach Mike Atkins, including liberal substitutions early and often, kept the Panther starters out of foul trouble and in the game. Quality play by those subs gave the starters much-needed rest, including a standout defensive performance by senior Gary Jenkins, who nabbed numerous rebounds and tallied several blocks of Warren shots. Rapp’s varsity had the rest of the week off, enjoying a District bye, traveled to George Mason Wednesday (results next week) and then return to the home court this Friday (Jan. 30), hosting Madison County at 7 p.m.
On the girls side, our JV and varsity teams continue to look for that first win of 2015 but continue to play hard. Both teams fell short of a victories against visiting Warren County when the final seconds had elapsed. Varsity in particular played extremely well against a tall Wildcat team but just could not buy a basket, or so it seemed. Like the boys, our girls return to the court at Madison this today (Jan. 29), where they hope to have a repeat of the double victory that resulted from the last meeting with the Mountaineers. The girls return home this Saturday (Jan. 31) against George Mason in a weather-related makeup.
On the Junior Panther side of the court, both teams have continued with their winning ways, defeating William Monroe on the road last Wednesday and then taking victories over cross-county rival Wakefield Country Day School last Thursday (Jan. 22) on the home hardwood. Both teams lost games Friday, Monday and Tuesday due to weather cancellations and were scheduled to take the court at Luray yesterday (Wednesday, Jan. 28) and then return to the home floor today and tomorrow, facing William Monroe and Peter Muhlenburg, respectively.
Next week our J.P. teams host the Valley Middle School Tournament on Monday (Feb. 2) — as the No. 1 seeds in the tourney. Playoff schedules are still being finalized. Check the Rapp athletics website for details of this developing schedule as both the boys and girls look to repeat as VMSC conference champs.
Wrestling again had their schedule stifled by snow, or the threat of, as their planned Duals tourney in Madison last Saturday was canceled by the weather. On the varsity side, coach Alex Coffroth’s crew took second place in the team standings last Wednesday, defeating Central, Moorefield, East Rockingham and Stonewall Jackson on the night. Coach C. is thrilled with the status of his team, reporting that all are healthy and primed for the coming playoff tourneys. Among the glittering records is David Smoot at 16-1, Ethan Foley at 13-6, Gus Norris at 13-2, Christian McCracken at 9-4 and Hunter Nicodemus at 9-5. Rapp hosted a J.P. and varsity match last night (Wednesday, Jan. 28; results next week).
This Saturday, varsity wrestlers travel to Warren County for the Bull Run District Championship and hosts the Rapp River Conference Championship next Saturday (Feb. 7) starting at 9:30 a.m. Fans will want to take advantage of these opportunities to see the team, knowing that more than a few of them are likely bound for states!
Scholastic Bowl has a couple weeks off to prepare for their Region 1A East Championship Tourney at Colonial Beach on Saturday Feb. 7. Coaches Naser and Weeks are not easing up on their Rapp River Conference Champ team, working them hard to prepare them for the upcoming regionals and, hopefully, the state tournament to follow.
Don’t forget, all the latest Rapp athletic news and schedules (including the numerous weather-related changes) are online at rappahannockathletics.org. Come catch our winter athletes at a home event soon and join us as we say . . . Go Rapp!
— Jimmy Swindler
Sarah Macy Henry of Washington was recently named to the Dean’s List at the College of William & Mary for the fall 2014 semester. Dean’s List status is awarded to a full-time degree-seeking undergraduate taking at least 12 credit hours and earning a 3.6 Quality Point Average for the semester.