School news for June 8

Signs of summer

Belle Meade Day Camp for boys and girls ages 6 to 13 opened this week for its 24th summer south of Sperryville. Susan Hoffman and Mike Biniek started their camp the first year that they lived in Rappahannock County.

Courtesy images

For that first summer in 1994, the camp was three small two-week sessions. Since the second summer, the camp has been five two-week sessions. All the counselors are former campers.

Camp facilities include a large pool, a spring-fed pond, an archery range, and a pavilion. During inclement weather, the Belle Meade Schoolhouse is called into action. Otherwise, the camp takes advantage of the mountains and river by taking regular hiking and swimming excursions.

In 2005, Belle Meade Swim Camp — three one-week sessions for 4 to 7 year olds — opened. Lynne McBride, who joined Belle Meade Day Camp as a counselor in 1995, oversees the swim camp.

Most sessions for day camp and swim camp are still open. Applications for both camps are available on the website Please call Susan Hoffman 540-987-9748 for more information.

JMU honors

James Madison University is pleased to announce that two Rappahannock County students made the president’s list for the spring 2017 semester: Zachary Falk of Sperryville, who majored in psychology and just recently graduated, and Megan Elliot of Amissville, who is majoring in interdisciplinary liberal studies and who is scheduled to graduate in 2018.

In addition, two students from Rappahannock graduated with honors during the recent 2017 commencement exercises: Rebecca Blair of Chester Gap, who graduated Cum Laude with a degree in English; and once again Zachary Falk of Sperryville.

Rapp three-peat

For the second time in a span of a few years, the Rappahannock County Athletic Department is proud to announce that their student athletes and/or teams have managed to win at least one state championship in each of the three Virginia High School League seasons, fall, winter and spring, pulling off a “three-peat” of state championships.

The latest accomplishment was finalized by RCHS senior Gavin Jenkins, who took home not one but two state championships at this past weekend’s state track meet, in both the 800 and 1600 meter races. This accompanies the state championship won by wrestler Chris Corbin this past winter and the team state championship won by the varsity volleyball team this past fall as well as Gavin’s additional state title in cross country earned in the fall, technically qualifying this year’s accomplishments as a “four-peat!”

Additionally, Gavin matched and doubled his state championship won in track last spring in the 1600 meter event, ending his RCHS career with a total of four state championships in cross country and track.

Rapp athletics last saw this accomplishment in the 2013-14 seasons, when Dylan Hitt sandwiched his state title in wrestling between Julia Wood’s fall cross country state title and spring track state titles. Gavin will be joining Julia in the ranks of Division I cross country runners, with Julia just having completed her first year of competitive running for William & Mary and Gavin getting ready to compete for Virginia Military Institute this fall. Congratulations to these and all the other RCHS athletes and coaches who have worked hard to bring state recognition to their hometown high school.

In addition to Gavin’s state titles, he also finished 7th in the high jump event, and other Rapp athletes brought home a nice collection of medals from the VHSL Group 1A State Track Championship this past weekend. Skylar Culbertson finished as state runner up in the girls’ 1600 meter race, also placing 8th in the 800 meter event. Jessica Thorne took 3rd place honors in the high jump, with Julia Estes claiming the same position for the 100 meter hurdles and A.J. Palmer also taking third in the boys discus throw. Rounding out the state placing was Jessica Thorne, with a 7th place finish in the 100 meter hurdles. And all of these Rapp track athletes, by virtue of their top 8 finishes in their events, were honored with All State Track laurels.

Small in numbers but superior in stature, this handful of Rapp athletes also managed to earn their teams 7th and 8th place for girls and boys respectively, a commendable finish out of the approximately fifty Group 1A schools eligible to compete. Kudos also go out to Varsity track coaches Scott Stephens, James Sharpe and Kenny Burt who have been working with our Rapp Athletes since the cold days of February to get to this lofty finish. And a special mention is deserved by Varsity Track Head Coach Scott Stephens, who has now taken Rapp Track Athletes to the State Championship Meet in 15 of his 16 years of coaching Varsity Track.

While other spring sports have folded their tents for the season, the postseason accolades continue to roll in for our Spring Sports Student Athletes. In addition to the All Bull Run District honors listed in last week’s article, the Rapp Athletic Department is proud to announce that several of our athletes earned All-Conference 43 honors. Jack Massie was named 1st team all-conference for varsity boys’ soccer, joined by his teammates Michael Reid and Jonathan Jenkins who were named 2nd team. Abi McClary was named to the 1st team all-conference for varsity softball, joined by her teammates Olivia Atkins and Brianna Settle who achieved 2nd team status. And last but not least, Ryan Atkins and Brett Midkiff were both named to 2nd team all-conference for varsity baseball.

Additionally, all of our state track athletes mentioned above earned all-state status by virtue of the top 8 finishes, and all-region and all-conference by virtue of their qualification for the State Track Meet. And just announced this week, Varsity Softball Player Abi McClary was also honored with selection to the All Region Group 1A East 2nd team for softball. Congratulations to Abi and all the players who received post season recognition for their accomplishments. Congratulations also go out to their teammates, coaches, and parents, who helped them earn this recognition in so many ways.

In the final act of the 2016-17 athletic season, Rapp student athletes and coaches were honored this past Tuesday night at the Spring Sports Awards Celebration, which also featured the bestowing of the coveted end of the year sports awards. Individual awards were given by each coach followed by post season honors and then the end of the year athletic awards:

Spring Sports Awards

Junior Panther Baseball:

MVP Grant Lillard, Coaches’ Award Mason Ramey

Junior Panther Softball:

MVP Allie Phillips, Coaches’ Award Jenna Robey

Junior Panther Girls’ Soccer:

MVP Offense Payton Luthi, MVP Defense Cassia Gainer

Junior Panther Boys’ Track:

MVP Nick Paratore

Junior Panther Girls’ Track:

MVP Rachel Weghorst

Varsity Girls’ Track:

MVP Julia Estes, Coaches’ Award Jessica Thorne

Varsity Boys’ Track:

MVP Gavin Jenkins, Coaches’ Award A.J. Palmer

JV Girls’ Soccer:

MVP MacKenzie Haunold, Coaches’ Award Logan Woodward

Varsity Girls’ Soccer:

MVP Mikayla Zook, Coaches’ Award Kelsie Strobel

JV Boys’ Soccer:

MVP Matthew Paratore, Coaches’ Award Taven Murrah

Varsity Boys’ Soccer:

MVP Jack Massie, Coaches’ Award Nick Strosnider

Varsity Baseball:

MVP John Norris, Coaches’ Award Brett Midkiff

Varsity Softball:

MVP Brianna Settle, Coaches’ Award Kayla Brown

End of Year Awards

Male Athlete of the Year:

Gavin Jenkins

Female Athlete of the Year:

Julia Estes

Rapp News Scholar Athlete of the Year:

Jack Massie

Sportsmanship Award:

Justin Ramey

Neil Burke Award:

Jessica Thorne

Unsung Hero Award:

Cameron Wayland

Impact Coach of the Year:

Courtney Atkins

A new honor was unveiled Tuesday night as well; RCHS’ first ever “Retired Jersey” student athletes were recognized, with RCHS alums and athletic standouts Julia Wood and Dylan Hitt presented with certificates noting the retirement and display of their athletic jerseys. As part of a lengthy process that will continue this summer, as the athletic department solicits coaches and community members for suggestions for future inclusion, the initial selectees were agreed upon by school administrators and coaches as exceptional choices that exemplify the standards to be applied to future nominees.

Honored as student athletes, with near equal focus on their student academic achievements as well as their athletic accomplishments, Julia and Dylan’s careers at RCHS epitomized the type of student athlete that merits this lifelong recognition. Currently their framed jerseys along with a brief summation of their accomplishments can be viewed in the trophy case located in the RCHS gym lobby. Future plans call for a permanent display of retired jerseys to be mounted in the school, in a location that will provide room for the additional jerseys that are sure to come.

Although scholastic sports for the 2016-17 school year have officially ended, plans are already underway for the coming 2017-18 season with some notable dates and deadlines as follows:

  • On July 18 the athletic dept. will host a mandatory parent/student meeting for all those student athletes planning to compete in Fall sports. Meeting time is 6 p.m. in the high school auditorium.
  • Varsity Football practice will begin on July 27 with a complete early season practice schedule posted to the athletic website. Equipment issue will take place on July 26 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the high school.
  • All other fall JV and Varsity sports will begin practices on Monday, July 31, with more details to be found on the athletic website.
  • Junior Panther fall sports, including football, will all begin after school has started, with a complete schedule to be found on the athletic website.

The athletic department reminds student athletes and parents that all practices are mandatory, especially important with pre-season practices to minimize injury potential, and all student athletes MUST have a VHSL sports physical turned in or in hand to give to the coach in order to participate in any practice, with no exceptions allowed for both safety and liability reasons.

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