School news for Nov. 16

Weghorst crowned state champion

Fall sports had their finales last weekend with our Rapp athletes competing at the state level and bringing home yet another state championship, as already seen on the front page of this issue of the Rappahannock News.

Varsity Cross Country has the headline spot this week, with Rapp runner Rachel Weghorst running for a new personal record and a Group 1A State championship last weekend at the Great Meadows course in Warrenton. With her win Rachel was honored as the Group 1A Female Runner of the Year AND becomes the fifth consecutive Rapp runner to bring home a state title.

Rachel took an early lead and then settled into the top group with a few other runners for most of the course but broke away as the miles rolled under her feet and crossed the finish line well ahead of her closest competitor. With the win, Rachel also became the first female freshman to win a Cross Country State Championship in Rapp Athletic history.

The outstanding 2017 RCHS girls’ cross country team consists of (left to right) Caragh Heverly, newly crowned state champion Rachel Weghorst, Coach Kenny Burt, Jacklyn Humphries, Brooke Athelli, Skylar Culbertson, Savannah Hensley, Danielle Fryant (missing Coach James Sharpe). Photo by Laura Burt

Rachel’s teammate Jacklyn Humphries earned all-state honors on the strength of her 8th place finish, and the girls’ team finished fourth overall in the team standings. Congratulations to the entire team and to Coach Kenny Burt and James Sharpe, both of whom were on hand along with many Rapp parents and fans to cheer on their newest state champ and her teammates.

Besides Varsity Cross Country, our defending state champ volleyball team ended their season last Saturday in a first round state playoff loss to Matthews High School. Rapp had qualified for states by virtue of earning a spot in the Region championship at Alta Vista High School, a game that ended with Rapp bringing home the Region Runner-Up Trophy.

Coach Courtney Atkins’ team started off strong in the state playoff game, scoring a first game win against undefeated Matthews. But the home team came out with renewed vigor in the second game, vigor that carried them to victory in four games and a berth in the State Semifinal Playoff game. Despite the loss, the Rapp Team had no reason to hang their heads, proud of their season in what, given the loss of seven seniors from last year’s state champ team, most would call a rebuilding year. Earning a spot in the regional championship and qualifying for the state tournament are heady accomplishments in any year, and the Rapp team and supporters are justly proud of the goals they reached and are already thinking about, and working towards, a return to states next year.

And in one last piece of volleyball good news, for this year at least, four of our varsity players were named to the All Region 1B team. Amber Smoot, Olivia Atkins, Sarah East, and Hannah East were all named to the first team, affirmation of the tremendous season they had. And this was high praise from the coaches of the teams they faced, given that those coaches were the ones who voted our Rapp girls those honors.

Don’t forget, all Rapp Public Schools athletic game and practice schedules can be found at the Rapp Athletic website at Click on Rappahannock once in the site and you can create your own personalized schedule for your specific teams. Be sure to mark your calendars now for the upcoming winter contests.

— Jimmy Swindler

 First place drama

After months of rehearsals, repeating the same lines night after night, and working tirelessly through a 12-hour school day, these talented youth, who shine both on and off the stage, have been recognized once again for the accomplishment of their most recent production, “Oracle at Delphi High School,” written and directed by drama teacher Russell Paulette. Their loving, compassionate coach specifically creates these original productions with each of his students in mind.

Congratulations goes to the RCHS drama ensemble for taking first place in their district for the Virginia High School League (VHSL) timed competition and were awarded “most valuable player” for best actors, Morgan Flanagan and Trusten Murrah. The award, of course, for best director went to Paulette. The ensemble will move onto the state conference on Monday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m., at Monticello High School in Charlottesville.

The Rappahannock Community can look forward to attending a full musical production this Spring. Donations to support the Drama Club as they move forward can be made payable to: RCHS/Drama Dept. 12576 Lee Hwy., Washington, VA 22747.

The high school drama ensemble took first place in their district, with Morgan Flanagan and Trusten Murrah being recognized for acting. Courtesy photo

Veteran’s Day

On Friday, November 10th, a special Veterans Day service was held at Rappahannock County High School to honor the service of veterans and families. The event featured special guest speaker U.S. Army Sgt. Kreighton Long and performances by the RCHS Concert Band.

Veterans Day ceremony at Rappahannock County High School. Courtesy photo

Sergeant Long said afterward that he “was honored to be given the opportunity to speak about my experiences in the Army and the continuing efforts Americans are undertaking to honor our missing heroes. The band sounded amazing and I was truly impressed by their performance. The opportunity to meet and speak with other veterans from the community was a wonderful experience.”

 Mom and vet

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jackie Hamel, pictured here with her son Preston, a second grader at WCDS. Photo by Lisa Ramey

In celebration of Veterans Day, Wakefield Country Day School (WCDS) in Flint Hill welcomed in assembly U.S. military veteran — and school mom — Jackie Hamel, who spoke to the student body about her impressive service in the United States Marine Corps. The theme of her presentation — Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover — was described as full of surprises and truly inspirational.

 WCDS sports

 Last Friday evening WCDS student athletes gathered with coaches and parents to celebrate the end of the cross country, soccer, and volleyball seasons at the annual Fall Athletic Awards Ceremony. Athletic Director Mike Costello recognized the All-DAC winners and handed out awards from the coaches to individual students. Senior athletes also received special recognition.

The following individual awards were presented:

Middle School Cross Country

Most Valuable Runner: Ian Heffron

Most Improved Runner: Timothy Tickal

Coach’s Award: Maeve Ciuba

 Varsity Cross Country

Most Valuable Runner: Brenden Cwalina

Most Improved Runner: Peter McMahon

Coach’s Awards: Tyler Johnson and Bernie Cieplak

Middle School Boys Soccer

Most Valuable Player: John Mullins

Most Improved Player: Alex Diehl

Coach’s Awards: Bobby Reid and Manoa Weber

Varsity Boys Soccer

Most Valuable Player: Connor Glennon

Most Improved Player: Martin O’Heir

Coach’s Award: Porter Gilliam

Middle School Girls Volleyball

Most Valuable Player: Anika Pruntel

Most Improved Player: Lauren Mehl

Coach’s Award: Liza Dareing

Junior Varsity Girls Volleyball

Most Valuable Player: Hannah Burak

Most Improved Player: Lexi Kurtz

Coach’s Award: Bea Youngquist

Varsity Girls Volleyball

Co-Most Valuable Player: Lucy Clark and Anna Schuster

Most Improved Player: Bridgette Larsen

Coach’s Award: Mari Tisera

— Lisa Ramey

About Staff/Contributed 5365 Articles
The Rappahannock News welcomes contributions from any and all members of the community. Email news and photos to or call us at 540-675-3338.