School and sports news for April 2

AD’s report

You know it’s tough when hot chocolate is the top seller at the spring sports concessions stands. But the promise of spring, if not the reality, continues to bring out the best in our Rapp athletes, who took advantage of opportunities to compete and bring home some victories this past week.

Varsity track led the way, as the boys and girls had their first meet last Thursday at Central Woodstock in what promises to be an annual invitational. After weeks of practicing in hallways, classrooms, parking lots, and occasionally the snow-cleared track, coaches Stephens (Scott and Heather), Maffei, and Burt had to be pleased with the performances turned in by our Rapp track athletes.

On the girls’ side, the team finished third overall on the strength of many outstanding individual and relay performances. Jessica Thorne and Julia Estes finished first and second in the 100-meter hurdles while in the 300-meter hurdles Julia took third and Sara Garcia fifth. In the 400-meter run Emma Endres placed second, while in the 800 run Kayla McGhee took fourth. In the 3200-meter (two-mile), the dynamic duo of Julia Wood and Emily Allen took first and second, with Julia setting a new personal (and school) record time of 10:58. In the 4×100 relays, the team of Emma Endre, Kayleigh Flanagan, Sara Garcia and Jessica Thorne placed fifth overall while Emma Endre, Katelyn Fisher, Kayla McGhee and Emily Allen took first place in the 4×800 relay.

The boys’ team didn’t finish as well as the girls but still posted some amazing performances. A.J. Palmer took third in the discus throw while Gavin Jenkins took first in the high jump. Gavin also took first in the 1600 (one-mile) and 3200 (two-mile) with times of 4:49 and 10:30, both of which were new personal records for Gavin. A.J. Palmer rounded out the scoring with a sixth-place finish in the triple jump.

The varsity teams compete again on Saturday, April 11 at the Wrangler Invitational in Luray. And our Junior Panther track athletes have been working hard under trying conditions as well, with their first home meet coming at 5 p.m. next Tuesday (April 7), hosting the middle school teams of Luray and Page County.

On the pitch, J.P. girls soccer leads the headlines this week with two positive season openers. On the road last week in a scrimmage against Shenandoah Valley Christian, our young (there is one eighth-grader) team played SVCA’s JV team of bigger girls to a hard-fought 2-2 tie. Coach Wyatt’s optimism about the season turned out to be justified this past Monday as the J.P. team took a 3-1 victory over visiting Fresta Valley in the first VMSC game. Pinpoint passing and a balanced attack are the hallmark of this team, with Wyatt bringing in fresh legs seemingly every few minutes, taking advantage of a roster that may be small in age and stature but huge in heart and hustle.

On the JV and varsity side of the girls’ pitch, our teams had a tough go of it in the past week. JV continues to improve but also continues to look for that first win, Coach Rosen’s team dropping contests last week to William Monroe and Warren County, with this past Tuesday’s game against Central finishing too late for this article. Coach Hogan’s varsity squad started the season with two wins but saw that streak come to a halt with losses to the Dragons and the Wildcats in last week’s action. Like JV, our varsity squad hosted Central this past Tuesday, results too late for this report. Both teams take to the road for the next few weeks, traveling to Clarke tonight (Thursday, April 2) and then to George Mason next Friday, April 10, with a District bye in the early part of next week.

Our boys’ soccer teams continue to look for that first W, dropping district contests last week against William Monroe, Strasburg and Warren County. Coach Ramey is encouraged however by the improving level of play and reminds fans that last year’s regular season was rough too, and then a different story emerged once conference playoffs began. On the JV side, our squad did earn a tie last Tuesday vs. Strasburg, sandwiching that contest between losses to William Monroe and Warren County. The boys’ teams traveled to Central this past Tuesday, results too late for this article, and host Clarke County tonight (Thursday, April 2). Sharing a bye next Tuesday with the girls’ team, the boys will host again on Friday, April 10, when perennial power George Mason comes to Panther Stadium.

Varsity baseball and softball suffered the most from the weather, dropping games to William Monroe and Strasburg last Tuesday and Wednesday in near-arctic weather and then seeing their games last Friday (vs. Warren County) and this past Tuesday (vs. Central) postponed. Weather (and injuries, in the case of softball) permitting, the teams will travel to Clarke County tonight (Thursday, April 2), enjoy a much-needed bye next Tuesday and then travel to George Mason next Friday, April 10. Both teams return to their home fields on April 14 when the Cougars of Manassas Park come to town and coaches Atkins (baseball) and Burley (softball) and their teams are working hard to get healthy and prepare for the upcoming games, hoping to soon achieve that long-awaited district win.

Remember to get all the latest Rapp athletics news at, and our coaches and players hope to see you in the stands soon, cheering on your hometown sports teams!

— Jimmy Swindler

RCHS band: Superior

RCHS’ concert band, shown here on last week’s spring trip to the Kennedy Center in Washington, brought back a “Superior” rating from March’s VBODA competition.
RCHS’ concert band, shown here on last week’s spring trip to the Kennedy Center in Washington, brought back a “Superior” rating from March’s VBODA competition. Courtesy photo

The Rappahannock County High School concert band traveled to Sherando High School in Stephens City to perform for the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association (VBODA) Concert Band Assessment. The band performed “Barnstormers March” by Len Orcino, “A House Divided” by Brian Balmages and “Ventures” by Roland Barrett. For their on-stage performance, the band received a “Superior” rating from all three judges. They also received a rating of “Excellent” in the sight reading room. This is the first superior rating RCHS has earned since 2012, a testament to the hard work and dedication of its students.

UVA honors for Sonnett

Washington resident and Rappahannock County High School graduate Bryn Sonnett was named to the University of Virginia’s dean’s list for the fall 2014 semester, an honor reserved for students who maintain a GPA of 3.5 or better. She is the daughter of George and Wendy Sonnett of Washington.

Dean’s List for Eastham

Among the 713 students named to the Dean’s List for the 2014-2015 fall semester at the University of Mary Washington was senior Isabelle Eastham of Flint Hill. Mary Washington’s Dean’s List recognizes academic achievement by full-time students who attain a minimum grade-point average of at least 3.5.

R-MA’s Rapp honor students

A Rappahannock County student, freshman Ryan Latham of Amissville, was named to the President’s List at Randolph-Macon Academy for the second quarter of the 2014-15 school year. And named to the Dean’s List at R-MA for the same quarter was Brendan Martyn, a junior from Huntly. Dean’s List students earn a GPA of 3.3 to 3.99; to make the President’s List, a GPA of 4.0 or higher is required.