School and sports news for March 26

AD’s report

Spring has sprung, finally, and Rapp athletics finally got out on the playing fields — with some of our teams, after weeks of indoor practices, taking the fields for the first time for their first games.

Varsity girls soccer takes the headline this week, with two dramatic wins in their season district openers. Last Tuesday at home, the girls played Madison to a tie in regulation and then Julia Estes scored a goal in the first overtime to take the win. Keeper Jane Purnell had an outstanding game, keeping our Panthers in it till the crucial point.

Thursday was a near repeat performance as our girls traveled to Strasburg and scored the winning goal in the last few minutes of regulation to finish the week 2-0 — on the season and in the Bull Run District. Varsity hosted William Monroe this Tuesday (results too late for this article) and are traveling to Warren County tomorrow (Friday, March 27). Our Varsity (and JV) girls teams return to Panther Stadium again next Tuesday (March 31) to host the Falcons of Central Woodstock (JV at 5:30, varsity at 7).

Our JV girls struggled in their two season openers, dropping games to Madison and Strasburg. But Coach Rosen is confident that her young team will gel and is sure to get in the win column before long. JV also hosted the Dragons of William Monroe on Tuesday and will travel to the Wildcats of Warren this Friday.

JV and varsity boys soccer had just one game last week, at Madison on Tuesday, and both teams dropped their season openers to the Mountaineers. Friday’s games against Strasburg were snowed out — winter was still wreaking havoc on our schedules! The boys traveled to William Monroe Tuesday and hosted Strasburg in a makeup game Wednesday (results too late for this article). Tomorrow (Friday, March 27) our boys will host the Wildcats of Warren County, with JV starting at 5:30 and varsity at 7.

On the diamonds, our varsity baseball and softball teams got in just one game last week vs. Madison, dropping their openers to the Mountaineers. Both teams saw their Friday games snowed out against Strasburg and both had home games Tuesday (vs. William Monroe) and Wednesday (vs. Strasburg); results next week. Friday our teams travel to Warren County and will be looking for a win against the Wildcats and then they’ll take to the road again next Tuesday traveling to Woodstock to face the Central Falcons.

Varsity track has their season opener today (Thursday, March 26) at Central High School in Woodstock. Events begin at 5 p.m. and coaches are looking forward to beginning that long road to states.

Junior Panther girls soccer had a scrimmage last Thursday vs. SVCA and will have their home opener Monday (March 30) against Fresta Valley (6 p.m.). J.P. baseball and softball open their seasons at 5:30 next Tuesday (March 31) when King George comes to our ballfields.

Check out all the spring schedules at

— Jimmy Swindler

WCDS’ Medieval Faire

From left, Shannon Kelly, Eva Parios and Elizabeth Burns enjoy a brief snack with Ethan Frost at WCDS’ Medieval Faire.
From left, Shannon Kelly, Eva Parios and Elizabeth Burns enjoy a brief snack with Ethan Frost at WCDS’ Medieval Faire.

Wakefield Country Day School was transformed into Castle Wakefield last Thursday (March 19). With middle school teacher Welby Griffin and Pamela Lynn Tucker, co-founder of the school, as the forces behind the scenes, WCDS students participated in jousting matches, sword-fighting duels and quarter staff contests, and attempted to storm the castle with a catapult. Faculty, staff, students and parents dressed in medieval costumes, from ladies, lords and knights to wenches, wizards and peasants, enjoyed faire food, arts and crafts, stone carving and visiting before heading to the much-anticipated banquet. The lords and ladies of Castle Wakefield presented banquet goers with a simple fare of roasted meats, bread, vegetables and sweet desserts. After the wooden plates and serving platters were cleared, WCDS eighth-grade students performed a skit, written by the students themselves. Castle intrigue, murder, humor and a surprise ending kept everyone on the edge of their seats.

The Medieval Faire and Banquet is a tradition that harkens back to the founding of the school in 1972. Part of the middle school curriculum is a study of British history, leading up to the popular England trip every other year. Students in grades seven and eight plan and raise funds for the educational experience. The medieval activities are a precurser to next year’s trip, and allow students to participate in educational fun, frivolity and folly.

Rapp’s rewarding science fair trip

RCES’ science fair contingent included (back row, from left) teacher Layne Vickers, Julian Cordero, Philip Wyatt, Alec Petty, Logan Butler, Ben Kopjanski and teacher Elaine Frank, and (seated, from left) Eve Vandrey, Lauren Petty, Skylar Culbertson, Galen Sanborn, Catherine Daly, Hannah East and Kayla Compton. Karen Ellis
RCES’ science fair contingent included (back row, from left) teacher Layne Vickers, Julian Cordero, Philip Wyatt, Alec Petty, Logan Butler, Ben Kopjanski and teacher Elaine Frank, and (seated, from left) Eve Vandrey, Lauren Petty, Skylar Culbertson, Galen Sanborn, Catherine Daly, Hannah East and Kayla Compton.

On March 17, 12 Rappahannock County middle school students traveled to the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena at in Charlottesville to compete in the Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair. Accompanied to UVA by science teachers Layne Vickers and Elaine Frank, the students were selected for the competition based on the local science fair held at Rappahannock County Elementary School in February.

Regional competition was at a record high this year with more than 400 students competing from surrounding counties. Students were interviewed by judges over a four-hour period and then selected for placement in their categories. When the winning projects were announced, Rappahannock was well represented.

An honorable mention went to seventh-grader Galen Sanborn for her microbiology project about the “five second rule” (she found it to be true, by the way). Sixth-grader Alec Petty was in tough competition in his chemistry category with 54 participants — but earned a third place plaque and certificate.

Alec’s sister, seventh-grader Lauren Petty, took first place for the second year in a row on her continuing project on the negative effect of caffeine and nicotine, in the health and medicine category.

Wrapping the awards ceremony up were team members Logan Butler and Benjamin Kopjanski with their project on the effect of VDOT runoff (the salt and sand mixture used to melt ice and snow on our roadways) on plant germination and growth. Their project took first place in their category, establishing a new record for first-place wins at the regional science fair for Rappahannock middle school students.

First place winners are eligible to apply for the national competition in Washington, D.C. in August. Lauren Petty summed up the successful day, noting: “I was really honored, and not only that, I was really proud of everyone. We’re a great science fair team.”

WCDS’ Clark, Dale win VIAAA scholarships

WCDS student athletes Anna Clark and Maeve Dale were awarded Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (VIAAA) scholarships year, chosen to each receive $1,500 annual awards given out by VIAAA to just six senior student athletes from around the state. Anna Clark was selected as the winner of the prestigious Past Presidents’ Leadership Award, a reflection of Anna’s academic and athletic success and leadership ability, especially in Key Club and as a volleyball captain. Maeve Dale was selected as the John C. Youngblood Scholarship winner for independent schools, recognized for her overall academic and athletic achievements. Anna, Maeve, their families and the other scholarship winners will be recognized at the VIAAA annual awards lunch tomorrow (March 27) in Richmond. Anna and Maeve make the third and fourth WCDS student athletes to win VIAAA scholarships in the recent past. Past WCDS winners are Christine Pankow, Michael O’Heir and Rachel DuMez.

“I have served on the VIAAA Scholarship Committee and know first-hand that the process to select winners is very competitive,” said WCDS athletic director Mike Costello. “I know that there are a strong pool of overqualified applicants each year. It is a great reflection on Anna, Maeve, their families and everyone at WCDS that these two fine young ladies have been chosen to receive these prestigious scholarships. To my knowledge this is the first time that two independent-schools student athletes have been selected in the same year and thus it makes these awards even more special.”

WCDS also announced its 2014-2015 Team Awards last week:

Middle school girls basketball: Most Valuable Player, Shannon Kelley; Most Improved Player, Emma O’Neill; Coaches’ Award, Anna Schuster.

Middle school boys basketball: Most Valuable Players: John Mullins and Porter Gilliam; Most Improved Player, Jefferson Day; Coaches’ Award, Michael Marciano.

Varsity girls basketball: Most Valuable Player, Maeve Dale; Most Improved Player: Merriam Abboud; Coaches’ Award, Lauren Cheetham.

Varsity boys basketball: Most Valuable Player, Tim Johns; Most Improved Player: Chris O’Heir; Coaches’ Award, John Peng and Nile Patel.

Varsity swimming: Most Valuable Swimmer: Lucas DuMez, Most Improved Swimmer: Harmony Lindstrom and Kathryn Phillippe; Coach’s Award: Jackson Romine.

Equestrian: Most Valuable Rider, Emma Cotter; Most Improved Rider, Hannah Burak; Coaches Award, Hannah Thede.

Skiing: Most Valuable Skier, Griffin Landis; Most Improved Skier, Alex Smith; Coaches Award, Porter Gilliam.