No break for Rapp athletes
Rapp’s public school students are enjoying their spring break this week but our student athletes are taking no breaks, continuing to hone their skills on the practice fields and bring home wins from the playing fields.
Track takes the lead this week, with both our Varsity and Junior Panther tracksters competing and getting some wins in the past week. Coach Scott Stephens’ Varsity squad was at the Wrangler Invitational in Page County this past weekend. Although prom preparations precluded some of our athletes from attending, those who did compete represented the Panthers in fine fashion.
On the girls’ side, Skylar Culbertson led the points scoring with a first place finish in the 1600 and a second place medal in the 800, with respective times of 5:55 and 2:45. Jessica Thorne took 2nd in the high jump, clearing the bar at 4’10”, Hailey Whorton placed 2nd in the discus throw and 12th in the shot put, with respective throws of 88’10” and 26’9”, and Savannah Hensley finished 8th in the 800 with a time of 3:06. The girls team, even absent some participants, finished 5th out of 10 schools, all of which were 2A and above in size compared to Rapp’s 1A classification.
On the boys’ team Gavin Jenkins led the scoring again with a first place finish in the 1600, posting a time of 4:31, and a second place showing in the 400, finishing with a time of 53:14. A.J. Palmer finished first in the shot put with a heave of 43’9” and Walter Burke took 7th in the discus with a throw of 103 feet.
Our Junior Panther track squad traveled to Peter Muhlenburg Middle School in Shenandoah County last week for a quad meet with the hosts along with Massanutten Military Academy and Page County Middle School. Highlights included Nick Paratore’s third place finish in the 800 and matching third place finish in the 1600, with respective times of 2:35 and 5:44, and Zen
Griffith posted an 8th place finish in the 100 meter sprint closely followed by teammate T.J. Keane who finished 10th with a time of 16:50. On the girls’ side Rachel Weghorst took 2nd in the 1600 with a time of 6:09, with Lilly Jenkins finishing 4 th in the same event, thirty seconds behind her teammate. Both girls finished second and third in the 800 meter run with respective times of 2:54 and 3:04.
Over on the soccer pitch our Junior Panther girls’ team takes the top billing this week on the basis of their dramatic last second victory at home last week that propelled them into the top seed spot for the upcoming Valley Middle School Tournament. Having posted three ties and one loss on the season leading into the last game, the JP Panthers were faced with a near must-win situation, knowing that a win would give them the first seed while another loss or tie would drop them to third.
The game was close throughout, with Chelsea Academy matching up well with our Rapp girls. Chelsea struck first but Rapp’s Cheyenne Hill responded with an unassisted goal to tie the game at one apiece. Chelsea struck again but then Peyton Luthi responded with a goal to knot it back.
With the score knotted at two apiece as the final seconds were ticking down, it appeared Rapp was headed for familiar territory, another tie match. And then, with just ten seconds remaining, Jenna Sours was able to send a long ball past the last defenders and Sarah Dodson was able to run it down and kick the winning score with just five seconds left in the game. Coach Seth Wyatt especially noted the efforts of new goal keeper Olivia Dodson who was able to stop many shots on goal, especially late in the game with pressure mounting. As of this time the VMSC tournament pairings are yet to be determined but Rapp will be hosting by virtue of their top seeding. The tournament is slated to begin April 24.
The Girls’ JV and Varsity soccer teams split an outing at home with Central, JV notching the win and Varsity taking a loss. Their next games are on April 18 at Strasburg High School.
On the boys’ pitch, Varsity has struggled to get back in the win column, posting two losses in the past week against Central at home and then on the road at Northumberland, with JV suffering matching losses as well. Both teams host the Rams of Strasburg on Tuesday.
Our Varsity Baseball team is still in search of that first W, although the boys came oh so close in their game at Central on Monday, April 3, losing by the close score of just 0-2. The team travels to face the Rams at Strasburg next Tuesday.
Varsity softball just got in one game last week, dropping a decision at Central on Monday, April 3. The team travels to Strasburg next Tuesday.
On the middle school diamonds, our baseball and softball teams had their first games last Wednesday at Prospect Heights Middle School in Orange. Both teams dropped their season openers but put up very respectable efforts, especially considering that their opponent is a feeder school for 4A Orange County High. The teams have their home openers next Wednesday, April 20, hosting the Prospect Height squads on their home turf.
— Jimmy Swindler
Busy season at Wakefield
Varsity Girls Soccer
The Lady Owls hosted the Warriors from Quantico Middle/High School and the two teams were scoreless until Josephine Burns scored with 16:53 left it in the first half. Just over three minutes later, freshmen Gwynn Major beat her defender for a nice goal to give the girls a 2-0 lead at the half. Keeper Tatumn Vaught had several nice saves, Vaught along with her defenders, Anna Schuster, Cailey Glennon, Emma Cotter, and Mari Tisera, held the Warriors out of the net for a 2-0 DAC shutout. All the girls present contributed to the team win. Our record is 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the DAC on the season.
JV Girls Soccer
The Lady Owls combined their Varsity and Middle school rosters to play a JV game with the Front Royal Flames on April 5. Coach Adkins and Coach Tisera shared the coaching duties and mixed the line ups to get everyone in the game. There were no goals scored in the first half, but in the second half Ainsley Colgan netted a shot to give the Owls the lead. A defensive error allowed a Flames forward to get one-on-one with the keeper, and she pushed her shot by the keeper for a goal to tie the game. The Owls had twice as many shots on goal as the Flames, but they could not net a second goal, so the game ended in a 1-1 tie. Our JV record is 0-0-1.
Middle School Lacrosse
The Owls hosted Epiphany Catholic on April 4. The Stars scored two goals in a two-minute period in the first quarter but Manoa Weber got the Owls on the board with a goal with 3:31 left in the quarter. Keeper Bobby Reid and his defense kept the Stars out of the goal in the second quarter while Alex Diehl and Alex Phillippe each scored a goal to give the team a 3-2 lead at the half. Pierce Kiser scored two goals in the third quarter, and Alex Diehl scored his second goal of the game to give the Owls a controlling 6-2 lead entering the final quarter. Manoa Weber scored his second goal less than a minute into the final quarter then added one in the last three minutes of the game to complete the first hat trick of his career. River Robinson added a goal with just over a minute left, and the Stars scored a goal when one of the Owls was in the penalty box. The Owls won 9-3. All players dressed contributed to the victory. Our record is 2-0 on the season.
Middle School Girls Soccer
The Lady Owls traveled to Fresta Valley Christian for a conference game on April 4. The Pioneers controlled the game scoring six total goals for a 6-1 victory. The Owls’ lone goal was scored by Shayla Nelson and assisted by Arella Nagel. Our record is 0-2-2 overall and 0-1-1 in the VMSC on the season.
— Mike Costello