School news for Feb. 8

Scholar Patel

Caption: WCDS senior and Key Club President Nile Patel receives a prestigious scholarship recognizing his school and community service. Courtesy photo

The Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (VIAAA) Scholarship Committee selected Wakefield Country Day School senior Nile Patel to receive the Claudia Dodson Scholarship in the amount of $1,500.

The VIAAA awards only one Dodson Scholarship annually to a deserving high school senior in the state. Patel was selected out of a competitive pool of independent school and public school applicants evaluated on their athletic participation, character, leadership, and service inside and outside of the school. He will be recognized at the annual VIAAA conference in Roanoke on March 23.

“Nile is very deserving of this scholarship,” said WCDS athletic director Mike Costello. “The selection committee was impressed not only by his academic and athletic accomplishments but also by his commitment to community service and strong interest in the medical field, especially nursing.”

Patel joins eight past VIAAA scholarship winners from WCDS: former Rappahannock News intern Monica Marciano, Christine Pankow, Rachel DuMez, Michael O’Heir, Anna Clark, Maeve Dale, Shane O’Heir and Tanner Perry.

Dean Estes

Recent Rappahannock County academic and athletic standout Julia K. Estes, a sophomore at Virginia Tech and member of the Virginia Tech Women’s Club Volleyball Team, has been named to the Dean’s List for the Fall 2017 semester.

Julia hails from Washington. To qualify for the Dean’s List at Tech, students must complete at least 12 credit hours graded on the A-F option and earn a 3.4 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) during the semester.

Deep River

Black History Month at RCHS kicked off with a special performance by the Virginia Opera Company honoring classical singer Marian Anderson, who accomplished many “firsts” as an African American. By Shannon Grimsley

Rappahannock County High School kicked off Black History Month with a special performance of “Deep River: The Marian Anderson Story,” by the Virginia Opera Company.

The educational work by Dr. Glenn Winters tells the story of Marian Anderson, one of the foremost classical singers of the 20th century, with an international career that spanned more than four decades, including an unprecedented debut as the first African-American to appear at the Metropolitan Opera.

When the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow Anderson to perform at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt arranged to bring the performance to the Lincoln Memorial.

On Easter Sunday 1939, Anderson sang to an audience of more than 75,000 and was broadcast on the radio to millions of listeners nationwide. Nearly a quarter century before Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech in that same spot, Anderson’s voice transcended the racial barriers that she and many others faced, making her a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement.

Winter sports

Winter sports seasons are nearing their end and our Rapp athletes are making the most of their last few opportunities to create some excitement and bring home the wins.

Junior Panther Boys Basketball rates headline status this week on the basis of their just completed undefeated season. Coach Colton Ball’s young team finished their season the way they started it — with exciting wins and crowd pleasing contests.

Going back to the end of January, the team closed the month with wins over North Fork Middle School at home on Jan. 23 and then at Madison on Jan. 29. The season finale was last Friday at Strasburg, and prevailing in the end by the narrowest of margins, the Panthers claimed a 41-40 win and sealed their undefeated season.

The undefeated Junior Panther Boys Basketball team (from left), assistant coach Matt Hummill, Sam Vandrey, Mathew Pullen, Grant Lillard, Tyler Stringfellow, Nick Paratore, Mason Ramey, Josh Jones, Luke Ellis, Jacob Kidwell, Chris Shanks, Nick Barnes, manager Luke Ubben, coach Colton Ball. Not pictured: Tyson Davis Courtesy photo

Coach Mylene Whorton’s Junior Panther Girls’ Basketball team also ended the season on a winning note, with a road win over Randolph Macon Academy last week putting an exclamation point on their season. Improvement was the name of the game for this year’s squad.

Rising up through the ranks, Coach Jeff Atkins’ Junior Varsity Girls’ team had another split week with two more amazing games adding to what has been an exciting season. Late last week the JV ladies returned to the home court and pulled out a thrilling win over the Rams of Strasburg.

At the Varsity level our girls’ team dropped two close contests last week, at Clarke and on the home court against Strasburg.

Coach Mike Atkins’ Varsity boys’ team hosted the Eagles of Clarke last week and played what may well have been their best game so far this season, putting up 65 points by night’s end in a 65-81 loss. The team will travel to George Mason this Friday for a first round Bull Run District Tournament playoff game.

Last but certainly not least, our Varsity Wrestlers competed in the Bull Run District Wrestling Championship last weekend and, despite a squad depleted by injury and illness, managed to come home with double digit wins and one Tournament Runner Up!

Christian Burns went 4-1 in his 126 pound weight class and brought home the runner up medal for his outstanding efforts. Dalton Renner added three wins in the 132 pound division, and Ethan Leake and Matthew Sisk each racked up two victories in their respective 138 and 145 pound brackets. Coaches Paul Paratore and Kreighton Long are hoping to have their full squad back and healthy this week as the team prepares for the Region Tournament this weekend at Riverheads High School.

— Jimmy Swindler

Toxic avalanche

Rappahannock County Elementary School students in grades K-5 are experiencing Team-Building Day.

Planned by the RCPS OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Committee, the activities are designed to cultivate and nurture skills necessary for effective teams as well as foster high self-esteem and confidence. Skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking are emphasized in fun and exciting ways, teaching all students how to interact with and encourage one another.

The schedule includes activities like “Rescue Island” and “Treasure Hunt,” where students depend on one another to make it to safety over “shark infested” waters and rely on the team’s communication skills to find the hidden treasure while blindfolded. Other activities included the “Balloon Sandwich Walk,” “Hula Hoop Hut,” and “Toxic Avalanche.”


RoboPeeps’ teen coach is Thomas Gallagher, a freshman at Belle Meade School in Sperryville, pictured here with the team of 8-12 year olds and other volunteers. Courtesy photo

The RoboPeeps are a team of 8 to 12 year-olds, a mix of boys and girls from home schools, public schools and Mountainside Montessori. The team competed in the VEX-IQ robotics challenge in McLean on Jan. 27 and captured the Overall Excellence award. They are now qualified to compete in the Virginia state championships in Doswell on Feb. 16.

Their coach, Thomas Gallagher, is a freshman at Belle Meade School in Sperryville.

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