School and sports news for April 23

It’s . . . Rappahannock!

On the set of NBC-4’s long-running “It’s Academic!” show in Washington last Saturday are Rappahannock County High School Scholastic Bowl teammates (from left) Henry Mason, James MacLeod and Jon Streu — who bested four other teams in two rounds to win the Central Virginia Championship.
On the set of NBC-4’s long-running “It’s Academic!” show in Washington last Saturday are Rappahannock County High School Scholastic Bowl teammates (from left) Henry Mason, James MacLeod and Jon Streu — who bested four other teams in two rounds to win the Central Virginia Championship. Susan Hatley

Last Saturday (April 18), Rappahannock County High School’s Quiz Bowl team spent prom day on a trip to Channel 4 studios in D.C. for the taping of “It’s Academic!” — and won, for the second time in the eight years the team’s been invited to the show, the Central Virginia Championship.

The team, comprised of seniors James MacLeod, Henry Mason and Jon Streu, now advances to the Academic Super Bowl to compete against the best teams from the D.C. and Baltimore areas next month.

In the first round last weekend, the Panthers faced teams from Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton and Fauquier County’s Kettle Run High School. While Rapp was leading most of the time, Lee was still nipping at their heels, especially in the final round, the grab-bag round where tossup questions can count for 20 or 30 points, up or down. At the final buzzer of the game, Lee buzzed in with a wrong answer, changing Rapp’s 10-point lead to a 30-point lead. The final scores were 490 for Rapp, 460 for Lee, and 310 for Kettle Run. In the other two matches that day, Charlottesville was victorious over Louisa and Riverheads, while Stuart’s Draft downed Covenant and Orange County, to set up the championship match against Rappahannock.

In the championship, Rapp came out strong with seven of eight correct tossups in the first round, and they never looked back. After the second, directed round, Rapp led with 250 over Stuart’s Draft at 210, with Charlottesville at 180. The Panthers extended their lead in the Picture Perfect round, where there are visual clues, ending at 330, over 190 for Stuart’s Draft and 180 for C’ville.

After a bonus round, Rapp led with 450 to Stuart’s Draft’s 375, and C’ville’s 300. In the final grab bag round, Charlottesville tried to make a comeback, buzzing in early but missing most of the questions to remain at 300 (and, more important, keeping Stuart’s Draft out of the game). Rapp, however, gained another 90 points to end at 540 points compared to 395 for Stuart’s Draft. While not near the record high score of 800-plus, it was a definitive win.

Said James MacLeod, senior captain of the Panther squad: “I’m excited that we are advancing to the Super Bowl, which we have not done the last two years, and I was very impressed with Henry and John, especially Henry’s speed of the buzzer that day.”

“This event is very different from VHSL competition,” said coach David Naser. “The questions are short and only have one or two clues. I attribute much of the team’s success to buzzing in early and getting the questions right. You also have to be careful about that grab-bag round. If you don’t have enough of a lead at that point, you can get burned at the last minute.”

The team was also cheered on by the RCHS band under the direction of Jason Guira, and the Panther mascot, Tatyana Yates (the great). While last weekend’s matches will only be shown on Charlottesville’s NBC-29, the upcoming Super Bowl will be on Washington’s NBC-4 later this summer. As another bonus, Giant Food, the sponsor of “It’s Academic!”, the longest running show on television, will award the Panthers team a check for $1,000.

Spring football practice

The varsity football team will be conducting their first spring football practice, starting next Monday (April 27) and continuing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:45 to 6 p.m. until May 20. The practices are open to rising sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, who’ll learn proper techniques, offense and defensive systems. These are non-contact practices, other than hitting some pads.

The AD’s report

As our Rapp athletes approach the midpoint of their spring seasons, training intensifies and each contest becomes more meaningful as the teams look to build their seedings for the coming postseason.

Varsity track leads the headlines this week, with two meets to report. Last Wednesday (April 15), the teams traveled to Warren County for a district meet with Warren and Clarke and made the trip to Strasburg last Saturday (April 18) to compete with more than a dozen other schools in the Ram Invitational.

On the girls side, Bridget Daly placed sixth in the 200 meter at Warren, with Emma Endre taking third in the 400. Kayla McGhee took first in the 800, followed by Katelyn Fisher at third, while Julia Wood took first in the 3200 at Warren and first in the 1600 at Strasburg. Julia Estes and Jessica Thorne tied for first in the 100 hurdles followed by Kayleigh Flanagan at fourth at Warren, with Julia taking sixth in the same event at Strasburg.

In the 300 hurdles Julia took first again with Sara Garcia fourth. The girls 4×100 relay team took first at Warren and the 4×400 team of Katelyn Fisher, Sara Garcia, Jessica Thorne and Emma Endre took first at Warren and fifth in Strasburg. The 4×800 team of Kayla McGhee, Emma Endre, Emily Allen and Julia Wood took first at Strasburg.

On the boys side of the lanes, Jacob Devine took fifth in the 100 and third in the 300 at Warren, with Jackson Heverly taking fifth in the 300. Gavin Jenkins placed fifth in the 400 and then took three first-place finishes – in the 800 and 1600 at Warren and in the 1600 at Strasburg.

Gavin also took second in the high jump at Warren (with Dylan Stewart taking sixth) and third mark in the triple jump. AJ Palmer rounded out the scoring for the boys, taking second in the shotput and discus at Warren and sixth in the shot at Strasburg.

The varsity squads traveled to William Monroe yesterday, results next week, and then host their only home meet of the year next Wednesday (April 29) when the Rams and the Cougars come into Panther Stadium, for events starting at 5 p.m.

Our Junior Panther soccer squad is undefeated in VMSC play, with a game this week against Wakefield and Fresta determining their final playoff seedings. Wins will guarantee a No. 1 spot and hopes are high for that to be the case. The girls traveled to Grymes Memorial last Saturday where they went 1-1 on the day, bringing home a third-place finish in the Grizzly Invitational. Make plans now to be at Panther Stadium next Thursday (April 30) when our JP   team hopes to be hosting the VMSC Championship.

Congrats to our Quiz Bowl team (see the item above), and remember to visit for the latest schedules and announcements!

— Jimmy Swindler

Burnett joins scholars society

Virginia Tech honor student Shelby Burnett visits with the HokieBird in Blacksburg.
Virginia Tech honor student Shelby Burnett visits with the HokieBird in Blacksburg. Courtesy photo

Shelby Burnett, a 2014 RCHS graduate now studying at Virginia Tech, has been granted membership in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars  (NSCS), recognizing her “commitment to the ideals of scholarship, leadership, and service.” Burnett, a member of both the SERVE Living-Learning Community and University Honors at Virginia Tech, was also recently named to the university’s Dean’s List.

NSCS is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is the nation’s only interdisciplinary honors organization for first- and second-year students. Membership is by invitation only, based on grade point average and class standing; less than 10 percent of students qualify for membership.

Burnett is pursuing a degree in interior design as well as minors in industrial design and leadership and social change. She is the daughter of Mark and Amy Burnett of Washington, Virginia.

About Staff/Contributed 5635 Articles
The Rappahannock News welcomes contributions from any and all members of the community. Email news and photos to or call us at 540-675-3338.