As our summer like fall weather continues to astound us with an unbroken string of warm days, so too do our Rapp Athletic teams continue to astound fans with their own hot streaks, racking up the Ws across the board and delighting fans in the process.
Varsity Football leads the news this week on the strength of their dominating win last Friday night over Massanutten Military Academy. Cruising to their third win of the season, our Panthers thrashed the Colonels of Massanutten by a score of 65-0.
Rapp’s standout lineman Dalton Hitt opened the scoring with a 9 yard lumber into the end zone, followed by Michael Reid’s 31 yard field goal which ended the first quarter and gave Rapp a 10-0 lead. The Panthers racked up three more TDs in the second quarter; Elijah Johnson, returning from an injury, scored on a three yard run followed by a successful two point conversion, J.B. Leidenheimer punched in another TD with a seven yard run, and Randy Hitt ended the first half scoring with a nine yard run to the goal line that ended with a fumble recovered by teammate Jake Sisk for the TD.
As the third quarter began and with Rapp staked to a 31-0 lead, Coach Kemp Pullin kept it on the ground but the Panthers kept grinding it into the end zone. Ryan Grigsby scored on a 3 yard rush and then both Dalton Hitt and Michael Reid recovered MMA fumbles in their own end zone that led to Rapp scores.
In the fourth quarter MMA fumbled a snap out of the end zone for a Rapp safety, adding two points to the score, and then Richard Lillard broke free for a 35 yard TD scamper followed by Randy Hitt’s 17 yard run for the game’s final score and a 65-0 Rapp victory.
Randy Hitt was leading rusher on the night with 90 yards and Johnny Beard led Defensive Coach Scott Stephens’ defensive shutout with six tackles and three assist, one of those tackles for a loss and two of them being quarterback sacks. JB Leidenheimer also contributed five tackles and two assists, including one fumble recovery. The Panthers finished the game with 405 total yards on offense, all but one of them on the ground.
The football team has a bye this weekend and then takes to the road for a long stretch before returning to Panther Stadium for their final home game of the season on Friday, November 3rd. Panther fans will not want to miss this season finale as, hopefully, the team plays for its second straight winning season.
Junior Panther Football traveled to the Maryland School for the Deaf this past Wednesday, results too late for this article. The team returns to Panther Stadium next Wednesday, playing host to the team from MSD, kickoff at 6, and then again the following week on Monday, Oct. 23, when they host Locust Grove Middle School. Coach Rich Hogan is looking forward to seeing fans fill the bleachers to cheer on our future varsity football competitors.
Our harriers hosted the Rams of Strasburg last week in a Bull Run District Cross Country meet. The boys’ team prevailed by a score of 23-36 (low score wins in XC) in a race that featured some excellent running on the guys’ part. Dalton Renner led the team, placing 2nd overall, followed in scoring finishes by Chase Whorton, Daniel Dale Lucca, Matthew Paratore (all of whom set new personal records in the race!) and Jordan Rector.
In the girls’ race our female harriers lost a close one, 31-24, but Rachel Weghorst did take first place with a new PR of 20:43. This week both teams traveled to Madison County as they wind down the regular season and prepare for the coming championship races that will, hopefully, lead to the state championship at Great Meadows in just a few weeks.
Varsity Volleyball had a split record last week, taking a win over Central but then dropping a game at home to George Mason in a five set nailbiter. Stats leaders included Sarah East with 26 kills, her sibling Hannah close behind with 21, Amber Smoot with 11, Deanna Abdullah with 6 and Virginia Wyatt with 5. Hannah, Virginia, Sarah and Deanna also added blocks, tallying 4, 3, 2, and 1 block each respectively.
Coach Seth Wyatt’s Junior Varsity volleyball team continued their winning ways last week, defeating both Central and Mason. On the Junior Panther side of the court, this past Saturday, Oct. 7th, the JP Girls’ Volleyball Team traveled to play in the Goochland Invitational Middle School Volleyball Tournament. They faced five other much older and experienced teams and played some of their best volleyball of the season.
The Junior Panthers won both of their matches against Nottaway Middle School and picked up a very exciting match win against William Monroe. The young players came up just shy of a fourth match win against the eventual tournament champion, Powhatan, by a score of 24-26. The team’s wins were punctuated with great serving, good hustle and numerous three-hit volleys. Both JV and Varsity teams return to the home court tonight, Thursday Oct. 12, taking on the Rams of Strasburg with the first serve going over the net at 6.
Last but certainly not least, Rapp’s newest entry into the competitive sports has begun competition this fall and this past weekend at Colgan High School and brought home their first trophy. Cheer Coach Gwen Burley has restarted Rapp’s Competitive Cheer squad, after a decade plus absence from the Rapp rosters. Competing in the Game Day competition, the squad performed a three minute routine consisting of a school fight song, and additional band dance, and a crowd cheer.
Incorporating members of both the Junior Panther and Varsity cheer squads, the competitive cheer team has gotten off to a solid start and hopes are high for a return to the postseason cheer accolades of the past. Coach Burley is assisted by coaches Lacee Trollinger, Janie Jenkins, and Terry Richardson, all of whom have played an integral role in the revival of this competitive program.
— Jimmy Swindler