Autumn sports segue to winter
While winter sports tryouts and practices began this past week, Rapp’s Fall Sports Athletes are still making headlines and winning games, with several of our teams vying for deep runs in the postseason playoffs.
Football leads the headlines this week, on the strength of their season ending home win that left them with a second straight and best ever winning record of six and four. Starting this season as they did last year, in a 1 and 3 hole, the Panthers got it together and roared back to win five of their last six games, ending the season with four straight wins and outscoring those last four opponents by a combined score of 204-55!
Earning that last victory at home this past Friday night, the Panthers jumped out to an early two touchdown lead over the Governors of Nelson County High School and never looked back on their way to a 27-18 victory. On offense Coach Kemp Pullin’s team scored early and often, with Michael Reid running back the opening kickoff almost the length of the field and then punching it in with a 5 yard TD on the next play.
On the next possession Michael returned a punt 40 yards for the second Rapp touchdown, and later in the game he ran in a two point conversion and kicked a PAT, accounting for 21 of Rapp’s 27 total points. Quarterback Richard Lillard tallied the other TD on the strength of a beautiful 44 yard run that left more than a few of the Governor defensive players grabbing at air or tripping over their own ankles as they tried to keep up with Lillard’s darting moves through the backfield.
Coach Scott Stephens’ defensive unit turned in another fine performance, holding the Governors to three touchdowns on the night, the last one coming with little time left and the game’s outcome assured. Johnny Beard recorded 9 tackles and 1 assist, Ryan Grigsby notched 6 tackles (including a stunning takedown of a Nelson County runner while Ryan was falling backwards!) and 2 assists, and Dalton Hitt got 5 tackles and 3 assists in the stats book. Drake Lynn and Michael Reid each had 1 interception, snuffing promising drives by the Nelson County squad and helping to ensure the Rapp victory.
With the strong finish by both the Varsity and the Junior Panther teams, hopes are high that the football program has turned the corner at RCHS and will be a force to be reckoned with in years to come. Congrats to the players and the coaches for another outstanding season and a big THANK YOU to our seniors, honored last Friday night, for their contributions to the program’s success.
Coach Kenny Burt’s Cross Country teams ran in the 1A Regional Championship last Tuesday, returning to the Panorama Farms course outside of Charlottesville. Having gritted through a season of injury and illness, the girls’ team was finally healthy and it showed, as they finished the day as the Region Runner-Up and qualified as a team for the State Championship, to be held this coming Saturday, November 11, at the Great Meadows Course outside of Warrenton. This will be the FIFTH consecutive year our girls’ team has run at states, and given the relative youth of the team odds are that numbers six and seven will be forthcoming.
Rapp’s #1 runner Rachel Weghorst took the lead in the race at the 1 mile mark and never relinquished it, holding her pace for the next 2-plus miles as the competition fell farther and farther behind. Rachel crossed the finish line a full minute and ten seconds ahead of the runner up, claiming first place honors and the Regional Female Runner of the Year trophy that came with them. Teammate Jacklyn Humphries finished in 4th place, earning first team all-region honors while Skylar Culbertson finished 16th, Brooke Athelli 18th, Danielle Fryant 23rd and Savannah Hensley 33rd. The combined scores assured the girls second place status as a team, and ensured that they all will be running at Great Meadows.
The boys’ team for Rapp ran hard but fell short of qualifying as a team or individually for state placement. Coach Burt reports that solid progress has been made on the boys’ side this year however and he is confident it will not be long before a male Rapp Runner will be cruising the course again at Great Meadows.
Varsity Volleyball continued their quest for a return to States, making it to the semi-finals of the District Tourney and then winning a quarterfinal game of the Regional Tourney and setting themselves up for a ticket to Richmond and a shot at a Re-Peat.
Traveling to Madison last Tuesday, Rapp took the eventual District Champs to five games, losing the last set to the 2A Mountaineers by only two points. While the District Tourney is essentially for bragging rights only, Rapp got some bragging opportunities as Sarah East and Amber Smoot were named to the first team All Bull Run District and Hannah East to the second team, awards that were announced during the championship game.
Stat leaders from the game with Madison included Sarah East with 22 kills, Hannah East with 11, Amber Smoot with 10, and Deanna Abdullah and Virginia Wyatt with 3 and 2 respectively. Virginia also added 7 blocks while Olivia Atkins recorded 2 blocks to go with her 47 assists.
This past Saturday the varsity team hosted Central Lunenberg in the quarterfinal round of the Regional Tournament. The Panther disposed of their opponents in three sets, a contest that lasted only 64 minutes total. Sarah East again led the kill tally with 9, followed by Hannah with 8, Amber with 4 and Virginia with 1. Virginia and Olivia recorded 2 blocks each, while Hannah, Sarah, Deana, and Alicia Whorton all recorded 1 block. Olivia had 20 assists with Courtney Dodson contributing 2, and the service game was rocking with a total of 21 aces; 7 by Sarah, 4 each by Deana and Olivia, 3 by Amber, 2 by Hannah and 1 by Virginia.
That win propelled the Panthers into the semifinal playoff game at home this past Monday night, hosting the Dukes of Cumberland High School. With a berth in the regional championship AND a spot in the state tourney on the line, Coach Courtney Atkins’ Panthers took the court at 6 p.m., nervous but ready.
The Panthers jumped out to an early lead in the first set but then a very athletic Dukes team settled down and knotted the score at 10 apiece, even briefly taking a lead. However the Rapp girls stuck to their game plan of solid passing and working to set up the big hitters and it paid off, as Rapp won the first set and never looked back, cruising to another three set playoff victory. Stats leaders included Sarah East with 13 kills (at least three of which brought the crowd to its feet with their ferocity!), Hannah East with 9, Amber Smoot and Deanna Abdullah with 4 each, Virginia Wyatt with 2 and Megan Dodson with 1. Olivia Atkins tallied a kill to go along with her 31 assists and the Panthers serve game was spot on, with Amber, Deana and Virginia recording multiple aces.
Next up for the Panthers is the Regional Championship, played last night, Wednesday Nov. 8, at Alta Vista High School, results too late for this article. But win or lose in the Regional Championship, the Panthers’ Volleyball team is BACK in the State Tournament, with their first round game scheduled for this coming Saturday, time and place TBA. Good luck to Coach Atkins and Wyatt and the entire team as they look to earn new hardware for the Rapp trophy case!
With winter sports underway, the Winter Sports Parent Meeting will be held tonight, Thursday November 9, at 6:30 in the high school auditorium. Parents of winter sports athletes will want to be in attendance. And remember, all Rapp Public Schools athletic game and practice schedules can be found at the Rapp Athletic website at www.bullrundistrictva.org. Click on Rappahannock once in the site and you can create your own personalized schedule for your specific teams.
— Jimmy Swindler
WCDS soccer honors
Once again, Wakefield Country Day School earns Player and Coach of the Year honors in Delaney Athletic Conference (DAC) DII boys soccer: stellar senior Connor Glennon is Player of the Year, and champion coach Gustavo Tisera is Coach of the Year.
This combination of top honors has happened seven times at WCDS since 2009:
2009, 2010, 2011 Brian Shafran Player of the Year and Gustavo Tisera Coach of the Year;
2012 Alex Foster Player of the Year and Gustavo Tisera Coach of the Year;
2013 Tim Johns Player of the Year and Gustavo Tisera Coach of the Year;
2015 Tanner Perry Player of the Year and Gustavo Tisera Coach of the Year;
2017 Connor Glennon Player of the Year and Gustavo Tisera Coach of the Year.
— Lisa Ramey
Hearthstone recently hosted two fun-filled Halloween events, including the annual outdoor Fairy Tale Walk, when fairy tales come alive in the darkness. This year, students, parents and staff performed skits from Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, The Little Red Hen, The Shoemaker and the Elves, and Rapunzel.
Once assembled, the attendees, dressed in Halloween costumes, were led along lighted paths to watch the different scenes. After each skit, healthy treats were given to the audience, and all assembled for snacks and socializing afterwards. It was a fun and magical evening for all.
Hearthstone also hosted a Halloween Tween Mixer for kids aged 10 to 13, including homeschoolers and students from public and private schools. The tweens arrived in their Halloween costumes and enjoyed games, music, dancing and snacks. Several more mixers are planned for later in the school year.