School and sports news for Dec. 24

Rapp sports update

Winter sports are in full swing at Rapp County Schools with all teams well into their schedules and more than a few of them bringing home some victories.

Our defending State Champ Scholastic Bowl hosted their final home meet of the season this past Monday, defeating both district opponents as they continue to fine tune for the playoffs and, hopefully, successful defenses of their Conference, Regional and State titles.

Rapp wrestlers have been hitting the mat with both JP and Varsity wrestlers scoring pins and wins. Varsity traveled to Washington & Lee High School two weekends ago to participate in the Montrossity Tournament for the sixth year. And for the first time the squad came home with the Team Tournament Championship trophy, defeating all opponents to include many whom they will see again in the Conference tourney.

Varsity has a busy holiday schedule, traveling to Skyline High School on Dec. 18 and 19, James Wood High School on Dec. 22 and 23 and then Eastern View on Jan. 2. Coach Coffroth and his grapplers will be working hard to be in peak condition when playoff tournament time rolls around in February.

The hardwood has been the site of additional Panther wins, with our Junior Panther girls and boys teams along with our Junior Varsity girls’ teams already posting some marks in the W column. JP girls have posted three wins thus far including a win over future district opponent Strasburg while JP boys have also racked up three wins including triumphs over district opponents Madison and Luray and then a tight one point loss to Madison. JV girls have posted two Ws thus far, both over much larger 3A schools.

Our Varsity girls and JV and Varsity boys are still in search of that first win but not for lack of trying, with single digit and even overtime losses recorded in the scorebooks. Our JV boys have lost four games by a TOTAL of only 10 points while Varsity boys and girls have recorded multiple single digit losses. Coaches are confident that the wins will come and Rapp’s hard work will pay off as the basketball programs continue to improve their fortunes.

Fall sports wrapped up with the Fall Sports Awards Celebration early in December. Trophy winners are listed separately in this paper. As always, be sure to check the schedules and scores on the Rapp Athletic Website at – A.D. Burley keeps the schedules updated and hopes to see more Rapp citizens in the gym to cheer on our student athletes.

— Jimmy Swindler

Dani Pond
Some of the Rappahannock County schools’ students who helped collect a record 650-plus pounds of food this season. Dani Pond

RCPS: A School Family Focused on Giving

As the holiday season approaches, Rappahannock County Public School students and staff are demonstrating that the spirit of giving encompasses the qualities of citizenship that we aspire to instill in our students. Students at the high school and the elementary school as well as staff have been active in creating new programs designed to support the community. Supporting those in need while at the same time strongly supporting traditional programs, the school family has been able to help the community both locally and internationally.

For many years students in the high school’s Leo Club have sponsored a holiday food drive. For each of the last several years, students have collected approximately five hundred pounds of non-perishable foods which has been donated to the Rappahannock Food Pantry which serves our community members and families in need.

With encouragement from the Leo Club, this year the PRIDE clubs at the high school competed to see who could bring in the most food, with all clubs competing to see who could show the most generosity. When the final donations had been sorted and weighed, a new RCHS record of over 650 pounds of collected food had been set. Sharing top honors were the Creative Writing Club, bringing in 132 items, and the Queen of Hearts Club, which averaged 17 food items per club member.

As Queen of Hearts club member and RCHS Junior Julia Estes stated, “I feel the reason we raised so much food this year was because we worked together in our PRIDE clubs. Our clubs are very competitive with each other and that made gathering the food donations a lot of fun!” And as PRIDE sponsor Dani Pond also noted, “It goes to show that Positive Relationships do Inspire a Drive for Excellence – 650 pounds worth!”

In a similarly generous tradition, the Rappahannock County Elementary School just completed their 25th annual gift and food drive, a program sponsored by Guidance Counselor Candy Lamma and supported by the Student Council Association (SCA) of RCES. All grade levels participated in the collection of food and gift items which were then wrapped by students and distributed to families. Staple foods, toys, and clothing were included in the donations, with several boxes of food and gifts, often augmented by turkeys donated by the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO), provided to multiple families.

Division employees also actively participated in the RCSO’s annual Shop with a Deputy Program, with this year’s event held on Saturday, Dec. 5. Many school employees, along with the RCSO staff, got up before dawn on Saturday to help with the shopping and then, while the children were being fed breakfast with Santa in the elementary school cafeteria, school staff members and community volunteers busily wrapped all the presents to have them ready for the children when parents came to pick them up. In addition to the presents purchased for the children, each family took home an overflowing box of food items which included a large turkey. This year’s volunteer turnout was the largest in recent memory, with dozens of school employees, the school board office employees and community members which worked together to help make this a very special day for the children and their families.

A new tradition begun this year in the elementary school was the Soldier’s Gift Drive, a program designed with the sole purpose of gathering items for U.S. Soldiers serving in Afghanistan. It was inspired by two third grade students who, in their own words, “wanted to make sure the soldiers weren’t forgotten at Christmas time.” This generous effort quickly expanded to become a third grade project and was then sponsored by the SCA which enlisted the aid of the entire school. Collecting cards, notes, small gifts and supplies, the students gathered enough items to fill the back of a truck. The items were snugly packed and sent off to a U.S. Army Chaplain who will ensure that each item is distributed to soldiers spending their Christmas far from home. As the student’s teacher, Ms. Shelley Shankle commented, “It is truly amazing to me to see this kind of leadership at such a young age and I am so thankful that RCES responded so generously.”

These many programs and beneficial efforts by RCPS students and staff are evidence of the citizenship skills and responsibilities that are instilled in our students and school family on a daily basis. RCPS encourages our school family to demonstrate acts of kindness and our students are encouraged to learn by doing. Working together to improve lives both locally and globally demonstrates the community spirit of Rappahannock Schools which is evident during the holidays as well as throughout the year.

Warmest holiday wishes to all from the students and staff of Rappahannock County Public Schools!

— J.S.

RCPS Fall 2015 Athletic Awards

Varsity Boys Cross Country:

MVP – Gavin Jenkins

Coach’s Award – Sam Barnes

Varsity Girls Cross Country:

MVP – Julia Wood

Coach’s Award – Jacklyn Humphries

JP Boys Cross Country:

MVP – Chase Whorton

Coach’s Award – Luke Ellis

JP Girls Cross Country:

MVP – Skylar Culbertson

Coach’s Award – Lily Jenkins

Varsity Football:

MVP – Jack Massie

Coach’s Award – Drake Lynn

JP Football:

Coach’s Award – Elijah Johnson

Coach’s Award – Zeke Hanberry

JP Boys Soccer:

Coach’s Award – Matthew Paratore

JP Volleyball:

MVP – Erin Norris

Coach’s Award – Kammie Brown

JV Volleyball:

MVP – Sarah East

Coach’s Award – Catherine Deane

Varsity Volleyball:

Offensive MVP – Julia Estes

Defensive MVP – Hannah Bennett

Coach’s Award – Kayla Robey

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