School news for Feb. 22

WCDS hones diplomacy skills

WCDS students participating in the Johns Hopkins UN conference include
(front) Mari Tisera, Rachel Cieplak, Kathryn Phillippe, Anna Schuster; (back) Ming-Chun Lin, Jackson Romine, Bernie Cieplak, Owen Youngquist, Rian Dougherty, and Masakazu Nakauchi. By Casey Carter

Several Wakefield Country Day School students honed their diplomacy skills at a Model UN Conference in Maryland in recent days.

Ten WCDS students in all assembled in Baltimore to participate in the Johns Hopkins University Model United Nations Conference.

The talented group competed against 1,800 other students to debate and pass resolutions that benefit the countries they represented.

RCHS post-season impresses

RCHS winter sports athletes continue to garner headlines with post-season successes and accolades.

First up this week is Varsity Boys Basketball, winners of a first round Region 1B playoff game this past Saturday. The victory exemplifies the benefit to Rapp of the VHSL regrouping of a few years back, a regrouping that allowed Rapp to compete against similar sized schools once the playoffs begin.

Squaring off against the team from Appomattox Regional Governor’s School, the Rapp hoopsters went down initially, trailing by as many as ten in the first half. Closing the gap to 3 by halftime, Coach Mike Atkins took his team into the locker room for what turned out to be the best motivational talk of the season, as results from the second half showed. Rapp came out aggressive in the second half, closing the margin and taking a slim lead before moving into a full court pressure defense that led to unanswered baskets and a double digit margin of victory by game’s end.

Leading scorer for the day was senior Ryan Atkins, who turned in a double double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, along with 5 steals. Ethan Sumner was right behind Ryan with 13 points of his own, including a couple of very timely three point baskets, and 5 assists and 3 steals besides.

Chad Ellis matched Ethan’s total with 13 points of his own, including a dramatic put-back late in the game, and added 7 rebounds. Richard Lillard added 11 points, several of them on timely free throws, and 8 rebounds and 4 steals, the latter two stats an indication of the ferocious defense he played all night. Brett Midkiff, returning from an eye injury incurred last week, contributed 6 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals.

Our Varsity Wrestling team traveled to the State tourney last weekend and returned home with yet another State Runner-up, Senior Johnny Beard claiming the No. 2 spot in the state in the 182 pound weight class. Coach Paul Paratore, battling an onset of the flu, and Coach Kreighton Long led their young team to the state competition in Salem, where all gained valuable experience that will pay off in the seasons to come.

Back to our state runner-up, Johnny started his tournament on Friday, wrestling his way to two wins and pinning his opponents in both cases. Those victories put him in the championship bracket on Saturday and although he wrestled his best, in the end his opponent came out with the victory. Despite that one loss, Johnny was able to claim the State Runner Up medal, solidifying his position as one of best wrestlers in the state in group 1A.

Congrats to Johnny and to the entire Rapp Varsity wrestling team, which fought their way through a season of injury and illness and still managed to place over half their members in the State Championship Meet. And congrats to Coaches Paratore and Long who, like Coach Atkins in basketball, kept their young wrestlers positive and motivated through the long season and helped them to earn both victories and lifelong positive memories.

Coach Brandon Burley’s Girl’s Varsity Basketball team played their Region 1B tournament game on Monday night at Stonewall Jackson, and saw their season come to a close with a loss to the Generals. The girls got themselves in an early hole, going down by 11 in the first quarter, but then closed to within 3 points on the strength of an 8-2 run.

As the second half began, Stonewall made some key baskets and opened up a lead from which Rapp could not recover, falling in the end by a score of 37-47. Carrington Wayland, despite being shadowed by a defender all night again, was Rapp’s leading scorer, tallying 14 points on the night. Sarah East added 9, Hannah East 7 and Olivia Atkins added 5.

While the girls’ season has officially come to a close, the athletic department is pleased to announce that Rapp guard Olivia Atkins was named to the second team All Bull Run district, a feat all the more notable given that Rapp is the only 1A school in a district make up of 2A and 3A schools. Congratulations to Olivia and to her teammates, on a season well played.

In other competitive arenas, RCHS Culinary Teacher Kurt Streu took several of his culinary students to two Skills USA contests last week, returning with some top three finishes by the team and the individuals. First up was Triplett Tech last Tuesday, and at the end of the contest Rapp finished second as a team, led by Deanna Abdullah’s 2nd place finishes in multiple categories.

Last Friday Mr. Streu took Deana and Jeffrey Grove to a Skills USA culinary contest hosted by the Blue Ridge Technical School in Front Royal. This time the Rapp team finished first, led by Deana and Jeffrey’s high scores. Deana also snared a first place finish in the baking competition, earning her the right to compete in the Skills USA state competition to be held later this school year in Virginia Beach. Congrats to Deana, Jeffrey and the culinary classes for their accomplishments and their outstanding representation of RCHS.

Spring sports practices have begun and it won’t be long until the crack of the bat and other harbingers of spring sports will be heard on the Rapp Athletic playing fields. All of Rapp’s spring sports events and practices schedules can be found at the Rapp Athletic Website at, and the athletic department and student body look forward to seeing you in the stands soon, cheering on the home team.

— Jimmy Swindler

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