School news for Feb. 15

RCHS winter playoffs

Winter Sports regular seasons are in the books, with only the playoffs remaining, and our Rapp Athletes are doing their utmost to make the most of those postseason opportunities.

Our Varsity Wrestlers were the first to find postseason success, finally competing only against schools in their own size bracket with a resultant stunning performance at the Region 1B Championship. Led by Region 1 B champ Johnny Beard, who took first place honors in the 182 weight class, the Rapp team will be sending a total of five grapplers to the State Championship Tournament this weekend in Salem.

RCHS Varsity Wrestlers were congratulated on their outstanding regional performance by athletic director Brandon Burley, principal Karen Ellis, and superintendent Shannon Grimsley. From the left, wrestler Christian Poffenberger, state qualifier Dalton Renner, Burley, state qualifier Ethan Leake, wrestler Matthew Sisk, manager Sophia Hernandez, Region 1B Champ and state qualifier Johnny Beard, Grimsley, Karen Ellis, and coach Kreighton Long. (Not pictured —coach Paul Paratore, and state qualifiers Christian Burns and Billy Taplin). Courtesy photo

In addition to Johnny’s championship finish, other qualifiers for States included Christian Burns in the 126 weight class, Dalton Renner in the 132 weight class, Ethan Leake in the 138 weight class, and Billy Taplin in the heavyweight class. With only six wrestlers competing for a squad that has been wracked by injury and illness, five of the six placed in sixth place or better at the Region Tournament, punching their ticket for the State Meet.

As Coach Paul Paratore noted, “We have a young, inexperienced team that is working hard and doing their best to set an example to help rebuild the program. Johnny Beard will lead us to the State Tourney with pride and Rapp spirit. I am very proud of our team.” Coach Paratore and Coach Kreighton Long will be working hard with their State qualifiers this week as they prepare for their departure on Thursday afternoon for the State Wrestling Championship. Best of luck to our Rapp Wrestlers as they extend their seasons at the next level!

Over on the basketball courts, our Varsity Boys’ and Girls’ teams had a last tune-up for the Region 1B Tournament, facing and dropping games to George Mason and Strasburg respectively in the Bull Run District Tournament. However the REAL post-season begins this week, as the teams enter the Region 1B Tournament, facing ONLY teams from schools in Rapp’s 1A size bracket.

Coach Mike Atkins’ boys’ team will take the floor first, squaring off against Appomattox Regional Governor’s School this Saturday, Feb. 17, on the home Rapp court, tipoff at 1 p.m. A win will secure a spot the following week in the semifinal round of the tourney. Fans are encouraged to attend the game and cheer on the home team and then stick around and participate in the Rapp Band’s Mini-Golf fundraiser going on the same day in the hallways of RCHS.

Coach Brandon Burley’s girls’ team will travel to Stonewall Jackson High School next Monday, February 19, for their first round Regional playoff game. As with the boys, a win Monday will keep their season alive. Best of luck to all our Varsity Athletes as they strive to extend their seasons and bring some more wins home for the Rapp record books!

Parents are reminded that spring sports are almost upon us! First day of spring sports practices is next Tuesday, Feb. 20. Please remember that ALL student athletes MUST have a current sports physical on file before being allowed to participate in tryouts or practices. Liability law and common sense dictate this requirement and we can make no exceptions. And don’t forget that all Rapp sports events and practices schedules, including spring sports schedules, can be found at the Rapp Athletic Website at

— Jimmy Swindler

Cockburn to WCDS

The Wakefield Country Day School Unity Club recently welcomed guest speaker Leslie Cockburn. A resident of Rappahannock County, Cockburn spoke to students, teachers, and parents about her experiences as a journalist, author, producer, and current candidate for Congress.

Leslie Cockburn speaks at a forum hosted by the Wakefield Country Day School Unity Club. Courtesy photo

A common theme in several of her stories, Cockburn spoke about her experiences dealing with diversity under adverse and often dangerous conditions. She opened her talk by telling the story of her first job with ABC when she was sent to Libya to obtain an interview with Muammar Gaddafi.

After speaking, she fielded questions from the audience. When asked by students how to deal with “fake news,” she advised to act more like a journalist and seek primary sources for the views of the people directly impacted by the event or circumstances rather than relying on a single, secondary news source.

— Lucy Clark, WCDS Junior

No kid hungry

Rappahannock County Elementary School recently received a $3,000 grant from No Kid Hungry Virginia.

“The money supports Breakfast After the Bell, a program that increases access to school breakfast by bringing breakfast out of the cafeteria and making it a part of the school day,” says spokesperson Cameron McPherson. “No Kid Hungry Virginia and its partners focus on Breakfast After the Bell as a critical way to end childhood hunger in Virginia.”

More than 300,000 children in Virginia live in families that struggle with hunger. Research shows that hunger has long-term ramifications on children, including lower test scores, weaker attendance rates, and a higher risk of hospitalizations and chronic diseases.

Tech Deans

Several Rappahannock County High School graduates have been named to Virginia Tech’s Dean’s List.

Amissville’s Dylan F. Hitt, a senior majoring in BIT in the Pamplin College of Business, has been on the Dean’s list all 7 semesters at Tech; while Washington’s Shelby E. Burnett, a senior majoring in ITDS in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, has been on the Dean’s list for 5 semesters.

Also named to the list are Washington’s Emily B. Massie, a junior majoring in HD in the College of Liberal Arts; Amissville’s Stephany L. Baldwin, a sophomore majoring in MKTG in the Pamplin College of Business; and Washington’s Julia K. Estes, a sophomore majoring in HNFE in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

To qualify for the Dean’s List 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. Through experiential learning, future-focused research, and an inclusive, spirited culture, Virginia Tech strives to accomplish the charge of its motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

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