Spring has sprung at RCHS
Spring has officially sprung and Rapp Athletics is in the full swing of the season, with most teams well into their schedules and chalking up some W’s in the Win column.
Varsity Softball takes the headlines this week on the strength of their four and two record thus far into the season. After a season opening victory over George Mason the team has continued to put forth a winning effort on their way to triumphs over Stonewall Jackson (twice) and Colonial Beach.
Freshman Pitcher Abi McClary has been busy racking up the Ks, with her current pace putting her well on track to notching over a hundred strikeouts by season’s end. Finally anchored by the strong pitching they have needed the past few seasons, the team behind Abi has taken full advantage and cranked up their offense, scoring in double digits on a regular basis.
Our Softball Panthers return to the home diamond on April 10 when they take on the Mountaineers of Madison County. First pitch will be at 7.
Over on the baseball diamond our Varsity Panthers are still in search of that first win. Hard work is evident, as any witness at practice can attest. The team will return to the home diamond on Monday April 10 to take on the Mountaineers.
Varsity Girls Soccer got into the win column with a victory at Conference opponent Northumberland on March 22 but has struggled to find a matching W against their bigger District opponents. The team returns to the home pitch tonight, Thursday April 6, to face Northumberland at home. The story is the same for the Junior Varsity squad, and both Varsity Coach Hogan and J.V. Coach White are looking for fans to fill the seats tonight and help cheer the teams back onto a winning track. First kick begins at 530 with the JV game and Varsity takes the pitch at 7.
Over on the boys’ pitch, our Varsity Boys Soccer team got their first win of the season last Thursday at Madison by a score of 4-1. A pair of goals by Senior Jack Massie and sophomore Jonathan Jenkins helped to seal the win for Rapp and bring some bragging rights to Head Coach Cecil Beeler. Beeler noted that Varsity Keeper Chris McCullough turned in an outstanding performance in the net, allowing only one goal and recording well over a dozen saves. The JV squad got a late start in their season due to some lingering practice injuries but Coach Paul Paratore’s team is looking to make up lost ground in the days and weeks to come.
Both squads traveled to conference opponent Northumberland last night, Wednesday, April 5. Northumberland is the team which prevailed over Rapp’s varsity by just one goal earlier in the season, with Rapp mounting a furious second half comeback that fell just short, and hopes are high that Rapp will begin and end this game just as they ended the last one, attacking the goal with precision and playing stingy team defense.
On the Junior Panther fields both baseball and softball start their seasons tonight, April 6, at Prospect Heights Middle School and their first home games will be against Prospect Height on Thursday, April 20. Coach Coach Seth Wyatt’s Junior Panther girls’ soccer team has recorded two ties and one loss. Goals have been recorded by Jaden Cillo (assisted by Kiersten Mills) and Peyton Luthi in the ties and Jaden again in the loss, with the latter goal an acrobatic masterpiece in which Cillo recovered a loose ball in a crowd of defenders in front of the goal and artfully scooped it in the net.
The JP girls’ soccer squad will take a break from games until the first round of the Valley Middle School Tournament, which will be on Monday, April 24.
Last but not least, the Varsity Track squad had their first significant outing of the year this past Saturday, traveling to Strasburg for the Ram Invitational. Results included two first place finishes by Senior (and 2016 Group 1A Cross Country State Champ!) Gavin Jenkins, in both the 1600 and the 800 meter races with times of 4:27.29 and 2:00.57 respectively. Senior A. J. Palmer had a second place finish in the discus with a throw of 138 feet and 1 inch, a new personal record. Those three scoring finishes propelled the boys’ team to an 8th place finish out of 18 schools, every one of which was 2A or larger in size.
Other notable finishes on the day included A.J. Palmer’s 9th place finish in the shot put with a throw of 40’9”, Julia Estes’ 8th place in the 100 meter hurdles and 9th place in the 300 meter hurdles, Jessica Thorne’s 7th place in the 100 meter hurdles and 10th place in the high jump, Hailey Whorton’s 10th place in the discus throw, and Skylar Culbertson’s 11th place finish in the 1600 meter run and 14th place finish in the 3200 meter run.
Varsity Track travels to Page this Saturday for another Invitational and then hosts a meet next Wednesday, April 12, first events beginning at 5 p.m.
As always, all game and practice schedules can be found on the Rapp Athletic Website at www.rappahannockcountyhs.rschoolteams.com, where all the latest scores and schedules are updated as soon as possible by Athletic Director Brandon Burley and his coaches. Go Rapp!
— Jimmy Swindler