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05 SUKOVICH SPARKS 07 THE ALL-SP WESTERN BASEBALL WINTER SQUADS

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VOL 8 . ISSUE 12 :: MAY 22, 2017


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05 Blue Ridge BaseBall staRts a new

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x’s and o’s 05

07 the all-sP winteR squads

STEADYING FORCE Western’s Sukovich guides pitching staff

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vol 8 . issue 12 :: May 17, 2016

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ALL-SP WINTER EDITION Our seasonal awards

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GAME TIME Albemarle softball wins Conference 16 opener

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GLOVES? FOR WHAT? STAB baseball’s Allen stays old school

vol 8 . issue 12 :: May 17, 2016

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VOL 7 . ISSUE 11 :: MAY 22, 2017

05 Blue Ridge BaseBall staRts a new

07 the all-sP winteR squads

S TA F F Bart Isley, Creative Director Bob Isley, Infrastructure Director Ryan Yemen, Creative Editor O N T H E COV E R Blue Ridge’s Aamir Simms and Josh Colon M I S S I O N S TAT E M E N T Local sports are the lifeblood of every community in America, and we’re here to reach beyond the basics and give compelling accounts about Central Virginia athletes to our readers. CO N TAC T U S [ e ] info@scrimmageplay.com [ p ] 434-249-2032

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PREGAME

Home sweet home Nobody on the Albemarle softball roster has been a part of a home playoff game. Facing Patrick Henry-Roanoke in the first round of Conference 16 tournament, these Patriots came through in their first attempt with an 8-2 win. Pitcher Ellie Cain picked up the victory in the circle and struck out six batters. Albemarle went on to snag a region tournament berth in the conference semifinals. ✖ (Photo by Bart Isley)

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ALTER EGOS zanequa thomas Culinary arts

College Track students taking an early step in their career

Zanequa Thomas is determined. So determined that she battled back from a torn ACL that robbed her of her junior season and so determined that when her team needed her most, she wasn’t concerned about that old injury -- she was concerned about being everything the Black Knights needed. In a win-or-gohome region playoff game against Freedom High where a win would put CHS in the state tournament, it was Thomas who stepped up. “Zanequa was fearless down the stretch, driving for several key baskets and drawing contact to get to the foul line in the 4th quarter and overtime,” said CHS coach Jim Daly. She’s also proven a fearless and determined hand in the Culinary Arts program at CATEC where she has learned how to cook an array of dishes. Much like with the CHS basketball team, Thomas brings her passion and energy to the culinary program. “I like cooking at home, working with other people and learning how to cook things I’ve never cooked before,” Thomas said. Thomas helped lead the Black Knights’ basketball team to the state quarterfinals, and a big reason they got there was communication, a skill that she’s also refined in the Culinary Arts program. “We need teamwork in order to win games and (in the kitchen too) it’s basically talking things out and helping one another,” Thomas said. Determined, fearless and a communicator. Thomas has honed a skill set that no matter what her next step is will serve her well.

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First Quarter Steadying hand

Sukovich helps Western pitching staff find its form By Bart Isley

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Western Albemarle’s Ryan Sukovich has been strong both behind and at the plate in 2017. (Bart Isley)

{ ADDING UP THE W’S } Win totals for the Warriors the last four seasons. * - through May 15

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K201 AR4A EL DER K AR A EL DER

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estern Albemarle junior pitcher Derek Domecq doesn’t mince words when he’s talking about the Warriors’ catcher Ryan Sukovich and what he’s meant to his baseball career.

“Ryan has probably been the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me,” Domecq said. “I can trust anything I throw he’s going to catch it every single time and he’s going to come through for us at the plate.” Sukovich has been catching Domecq since early in their middle school days and in that time he has emerged as one of the area’s steadiest hands behind the plate, an incredibly reliable presence who gives Western a backstop the Warriors can count on. That’s just the first of several roles the senior plays for Western. “He’s done a terrific job for us, he’s one of our better hitters, he’s certainly one of our leaders,” said Western coach Skip Hudgins. “He’s as nice of a young man as I’ve ever had in our program. There’s a lot of intangibles that he brings to the program for us.” Sukovich is the main constant in what has been a strong year of pitching for the Warriors as Domecq has made the leap from strong starter to full-blown staff ace while Luke Tenuta has taken on a bigger role. Meanwhile sophomore Jack Masloff has thrown well in spots and freshman Garrett Payne has stepped into the spotlight early in his career. Helping Payne acclimate quickly has been a critical part of Sukovich’s job as the Warriors will almost surely need him in some big spots if they’re going to make some noise in the postseason. “Garrett is pretty new and he’s doing a really good job he’s hitting his spots and his curveball is looking good,” Sukovich said. “We just have to work on his confidence, when he gets down he throws more balls than he usually does.”

Having a senior leader behind the plate is a major luxury for the Warriors and while they’re still developing their pitching depth, whoever they put on the mound can come out confident that Sukovich is going to do his job. “If you’re on the mound and you have someone you trust and feel comfortable with, it makes a big difference,” Hudgins said. “He’s been here and done that. We’ve been very fortunate to have him in our program.” The Warriors started fast this year, leaning on that brilliant pitching aided by Sukovich’s steadying presence behind the plate. Their bats started coming around though against Fort Defiance and then in a decisive 9-0 win over Monticello. While they suffered a setback against Powhatan in a road game, multiple losses (the Warriors’ others came against Louisa and Orange) is par for the course in one of the most challenging Jefferson District fields in years. Most recently they managed seven runs in a win over a young but talented Fluvanna squad with Sukovich knocking in a pair of runs in the win. “We’ve been really focused on our hitting,” Sukovich said. “Defensively we’re pretty solid we just can’t put up runs for our pitchers when they’re throwing these great games, so that’s what we’ve been working on.” If that hitting comes around -- and Sukovich is a big part of that -- Western will be dangerous. They’ve certainly got the confidence-building rock they need behind the plate already in place. ✖

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College Update

We’ve gone digital

Local lacrosse alums carry Hampden Sydney to NCAA tourney

But you can have it in print too!

By Ryan Yemen Hampden Sydney had quite the season on the NCAA men’s lacrosse circuit. With a 23-8 win over Transylvania in the second round of the Division III tournament, the Tigers earned a spot in the elite eight. While a 25-12 loss to Salisbury, ended the 2017 season, a handful of locals played pivotal roles in helping the Tigers to an exceptional 16-6 campaign. For starters, former Albemarle star Hunter Brown broke the school record for points in a season by a midfielder. The previous mark was set back in 1982 by Rob Bonaventura when he had 78. Brown broke the record first, but was eventually passed by teammate Ian Levin who finished with 91. Brown’s 87 now sit in second all-time in school history. The junior midfielder finished with 43 goals and 44 assists. Along with 43 ground balls, the Albemarle alumnus earned a first team spot on the All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference team. Joining him on that first team was Western Albemarle graduate Kent Henry. The junior defenseman started in 16 of 22 game and finished with 35 ground balls. Henry

was tasked most of the year with taking on the top offensive threat out of the equation and finished the year redgarded as an elite defender in the ODAC. A pair of locals also finished second team All-ODAC with Crozet native Duncan Morris and Blue Ridge alumnus Jared Arntzen. Morris, a senior attackman wrapped up his collegiate career with the 11th most points in school history at 62 points split between 55 goals and seven assists. Arntzen, a senior midfielder, had a team high 157 ground balls and was 235-for-362 on faceoffs. He also tallied with five goals and two assists. The Tigers boast former Central Virginia athletes on their roster with Western Albemarle graduate Dylan Curry rounding out the group. Curry, a junior midfielder, played in 21 games and scored a pair of goals while scooping up 16 ground balls. With Brown, Henry and Curry set to return for their senior seasons, local lacrosse fans would do well to keep an eye on Hampden Sydney in 2018. ✖

HOW TO GET A PHYSICAL COPY OF SCRIMMAGE PLAY Step 1 :: Click here and head to the MagCloud version of the magazine. It’s going to look like this below:

BELOW » Albemarle alum Hunter Brown had a record-setting season for Hampden Sydney lacrosse in 2017. (HSC sports information)

Step 2 :: Click the Buy Print button next to the magazine and follow instructions to order Step 3 :: Wait patiently by your mailbox Step 4 :: When it arrives, take it out and read or stash away to your heart’s delight!

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ER 2016-2017 T N I W

What a run. Between the Albemarle and Madison County boys and the Charlottesville girls, the public basketball scene was brimming with great postseason stories. On the other side in the private sector, the Blue Ridge boys, Miller and St. Anne’s-Belfield girls put together amazing runs. With a celebrated senior class leaving huge voids to fill, the handful of freshmen and sophomores that broke out this year provide new storylines for next season. On the mat, William Monore got its first ever individual state title. And in the pool, the usual suspects delivered once again. Here are our Winter honors.

Stories by Ryan Yemen and Bart Isley /// Photos by Ashley Thornton, Brian Mellott, Bart Isley and Ryan Yemen

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- B OYS B A SK E T B A L L -

Simms

Katstra

Ingram

Hyatt

Hahn

McGhee

Terry

Hudson

Smith

McCain

Nixon

Colon

Twombly

Anderson

Brooks

Chambers

FIRST TEAM

SECOND TEAM

Aamir Simms /// Blue Ridge, Sr. VISAA D2 POTY, first team All-VIC, 13.0 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.4 bpg

Jake Hahn /// Albemarle, Sr. Second team All-Group 5A, 13.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 45 blocks

Austin Katstra /// Albemarle, Sr. Group 5A POTY, C16 POTY, JD D5 POTY, 20.9 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 80 blocks

Dairus McGhee /// Blue Ridge, Jr. First team All-VIC, 14 ppg, 2.4 apg, 2.2 spg

Ryan Ingram /// Western Albemarle, Sr. First team All-Group 3A, JD D3 POTY, 19 ppg, 4.7 apg, 4.5 rpg, 2.7 spg Aundre Hyatt /// Miller, So. First team All-VISAA D2, All-VIC, 16.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 2.1 apg Isiah Smith /// Madison County, Sr. First team All-Group 2A, Region 2A East POTY, 14.3 ppg, 8.0 apg Kam’ron McCain /// William Monroe, Sr. First team All-Group 3A, C28 POTY, 10.2 ppg, 9.1 apg, 3.0 spg Jayden Nixon /// St. Anne’s-Belfiled, Sr. All-Prep League, 18.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2 bpg Josh Colon /// Charlottesville, Sr. First team All-VISAA D2, VIC POTY, 12.2 ppg, 4.3 apg, 1.1 spg

HONORABLE MENTION DaeDae Heard /// Miller, Jr. Detwon Shelton /// Fork Union, Sr. Calder Clay /// Woodberry Forest, Sr. Josh Coffman /// Western Albemarle, Sr. Matt Palumbo /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, Sr. Malachi Poindexter /// Louisa County, So. Sardaar Calhoun /// Blue Ridge, Jr. Latrell Winkey /// Tandem Friends, Jr. Gaines Swink /// Madison County, So. Dre Twyman /// Madison County, Sr. Jordan Shook /// Orange County, Sr. Chris Steppe /// Louisa County, Jr. Sam Walkup /// Covenant, Sr. Austin Cress /// Western Albemarle, Sr.

Anthony Terry /// William Monroe, Sr. First team All-Region 3A East, All-Bull Run, 14.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg Jaylen Hudson /// Charlottesville, Sr. First team All-Conference 23, JD D4 POTY, 15.8 ppg, 4.1 apg Jack Twombly /// Goochland, Sr. Second team All-Region 2A East, first team All-C34, 16 ppg, 11 rpg J’Quan Anderson /// Albemarle, Jr. Second team All-Region 5A North, 11.1 ppg, 132 assists, 66 steals Ukari Brooks /// Monticello,Sr. First team All-C29, All-Jefferson District, 18.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.4 spg Antonio Chambers /// Buckingham County, Sr. Second team All-Group 2A, first team All-Region 2A West, 23.2 ppg

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM Josh Coffman /// Western Albemarle, Sr. Drew top defensive assignment for Western, 2.4 spg, 28 blocks Brycen Newby /// Buckingham County Sr. Top post defender for Knights, 8.9 rpg, 2.2 bpg Kobi Alexander /// Madison County, So. Key defender, guarded four different positions 7.9 rpg, 2 spg Nic Kent /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, Jr. 10.3 rebounds per game, averaged double-double John Kirven /// Woodberry Forest, Sr. Top defender, 1.3 spg, 1.0 bpg, team high seven drawn charges

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- P L AY ER OF T HE Y E A R BOYS BASKETBALL

AAMIR SIMMS, BLUE RIDGE The bulk of the season for Blue Ridge was about building the necessary chemistry. With a roster simply stacked with talent, the Barons looked to put together a better version of last year’s squad, one that constantly subbed in players to allow for a high octane pressure defense. In that sense, Aamir Simms, the program’s marquee talent that’s headed to Clemson, wasn’t the focal point. Simms senior season was fascinating in his unselfishness up front. On any given night he could have easily led the Barons in points. But with the desire to pick up a ring before graduation, Simms showed veteran leadership in his play and the way he helped Darius McGhee, Josh Colon and Sadaar Calhoun to become massive contributors offensively. It opened up the floor for all of them, allowed each player to capitalize on open looks and it turned Blue Ridge almost instantaneously into the favorite to win the VISAA Division 2 championship in just December. In 33 games, Simms averaged 13 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.4 blocks. His game was diverse offensively as he hit 32 percent of his 3-pointers while shooting 57 percent from the field thanks to a post game that he spent the last three years developing. As a rebound-

er, nearly half of them were offensive, a true showcase of just how much of an interior threat he was. But when the playoffs came, Simms stepped his game up to a different level. Against Virginia Episcopal in the state final four, Simms poured in 18 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks, with the bulk of those numbers coming in the second half to lead a come-from-behind win when many of Blue Ridge’s shooters were struggling. Both Bishops coach Curtis Staples and Lemcke pointed to the difference in the contest being Simms physically asserting himself. The next day in the championship game with Miller, the Barons’ shooters found their stroke and Simms still found a way to throw in 16 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in what was a runaway win over the Mavericks. With a 30-3 record, Blue Ridge won its second state championship in three years. The Barons finished ranked first in the state among all schools in Virginia according to Maxpreps’ rankings, and 44th in the country. Simms came into the season focused on one goal — winning this championship. When leadership and talent collide, things like Simms’ senior season happen.✖

- COACH OF THE YEAR BOYS BASKETBALL

MITCH MINOR, CHARLOTTESVILLE In a year where Albemarle and Western’s boys basketball teams were closing out eras led by Ryan Ingram for the Warriors and Austin Katstra and Jake Hahn for the Patriots, Charlottesville and coach Mitch Minor were putting something different together. While Jaylen Hudson is a top-end talent capable of scoring from all over the floor, Minor was guiding essentially a collection of guards against a Jefferson District slate packed with teams that had a pretty good understanding of who they were, who their roles were. Charlottesville? The Black Knights had to figure it out on the fly. Minor installed Hudson as the centerpiece. The first team AllJefferson District guard averaged Khalil Vest emerged as a reliable rebounder, with the senior checking in with 10.1 points per game and six boards per game.

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Patrick Ronayne, a previously lightly-used senior, came out of nowhere as a 3-point shooter and a key defender. Sam Neale took a step forward, plugging a variety of holes on both ends of the floor, knocking down shots from the perimeter and facilitating the offense to take some of the pressure off Hudson. That was all a process though. The Black Knights were one of the area’s biggest enigmas coming into the year, even Hudson wasn’t the player he was at the end of the year at the start. For a three-game stretch at the end of the Jefferson District slate, he averaged more than 25 points per contest. Somehow, in a year where it wasn’t clear who the Black Knights were, they beat Western twice, including in the Jefferson District semifinals to earn a shot at the JD title, where they lost to Albemarle. Then

despite a tough break in seeding in the Conference 23 Tournament that forced the Black Knights into the first round despite already having 20 wins under their belt, Charlottesville beat E.C. Glass and Amherst handedly to earn a spot in the Region 4A West tournament. They lost to G.W. Danville in the conference final but bounced back to beat Sherando in the first round of the region tournament before losing to Loudoun Valley by just eight points. That Loudoun Valley squad that eliminated Charlottesville? Went on to win a state title in Group 4A. More than 20 wins, a region tournament berth and getting eliminated by an eventual state champion despite coming into the season as a relative unknown? That’s a pretty strong year for Charlottesville boys basketball and a pretty strong year for Mitch Minor. ✖

- NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR BOYS BASKETBALL

JARRETT HUNTER, LOUISA COUNTY Jarrett Hunter entered the Jefferson District backcourt fray this season and faced a muderer’s row of talented guards. From Western’s Ryan Ingram to Albemarle’s J’Quan Anderson to Charlottesville’s Jaylen Hudson and Monticello’s Ukari Brooks, running the point for the Lions wasn’t going to be any easy task as a freshman. Hunter clearly isn’t one to shy away from a challenge though. He helped lead the Lions into the Jefferson District tournament, where they then knocked off Western Albemarle and earned a berth in the district title game, succumbing to eventual Group 5A state semifinalist Albemarle. But along the way, Hunter proved he was worthy of a lot of respect, filling a variety of roles for the Lions. He was a big-time distributor with a squad-leading 4.0 assists per game and also provided some scoring punch, chipping in 9.0 points per contest as the squad’s third leading scorer behind Malachi Poindexter and Chris Steppe. He also proved he could attack the rim, drawing a teamhigh 91 free throw attempts while going 75 percent from the line and wasn’t afraid to mix it up underneath with 3.0 rebounds per game from the point guard spot. It was on defense though where Hunter distinguished himself most, often marking some of those proven, veteran guards and giving them trouble as the Lions’ top on-ball defender. He was an energetic, sometimes frenetic presence on that end of the court, and an instant fastbreak if the cat-quick guard was able to force a turnover. With the Lions’ entire core back, from Poindexter to Steppe and junior Carlton Williams, the 2016-2017 season may have just been a prelude to the program’s true emergence as a force in the Jefferson District and perhaps beyond. They’ve clearly got some unfinished business after falling in the Conference 19 tournament to King George and missing out on a region tournament berth. If they get there, odds are good that it’ll be because Hunter was one of the missing pieces, a do-it-all point guard who can get everyone involved and make his talented teammates better in the process. ✖

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- GIRLS BASKETBALL -

Tinsley

Brunelle

Skinner

Maupin

Tyler-Cooper

Bryant

Coffman

Smith

McDonald

Ragland

Davis

Hayden

Harrington

Brown

Agee

Ivory

FIRST TEAM Bri Tinsely /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, Sr. First team All-VISAA D!, All-LIS, 17.8 ppg, 3.7 apg, 4.1 spg, 3.9 rpg Sam Brunelle /// William Monroe, So. First team All-Group 2A, Bull Run POTY, 25 ppg, 12.6 rpg, 3.4 apg, 3.5 bpg

SECOND TEAM Aiyanah Tyler-Cooper /// Albemarle, Sr. First team All-C16, JD D5 POTY, 12.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.5 spg Secret Bryant /// Miller, Sr. VISAA D2 POTY, BRC POTY, 21 ppg, 5.5 apg, 3 rpg

Tyi Skinner /// Louisa County, So. Second team All-Region 4A East, C19 & JD D4 POTY, 19.7 ppg, 5.1 apg

Elisabeth Coffman /// Western Albemarle, So. Second team All-C29, All-JD, 11 ppg, 3.7 apg, 3.2 rpg, 3.5 spg

Emily Maupin /// Covenant, Sr. First team All-VISAA D2, 29.7 ppg, 20.8 rpg, 2.7 apg, 3.4 bpg, 3.3 spg

Sierra Smith /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, Jr. 8.1 ppg, 13.9 rpg, 1.5 spg, 1.4 bpg

Destinee McDonald /// Charlottesville, Sr. First team All-Region 4A East, 15.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.1 spg Alaijah Ragland /// Charlottesville, Sr. Second team All-Region 4A East, First team All-JD, 12.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg, Jayla Davis /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, Sr. First team All-VISAA D1, 14.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.9 spg Eleri Hayden /// Western Albemarle, Sr. First team All-C29, JD D3 POTY, ,14.3 ppg, 7 rpg, 3.6 spg

HONORABLE MENTION Dajour Strother /// William Monroe, Sr. Hannah Woodard /// Miller So. DaNikqua Marshall /// Louisa County, Sr. Zanequa Thomas /// Charlottesville, Sr. Daeja Wade /// Charlottesville, Sr. Kirstena Lilley /// Monticello, Sr. Anne Ridenhour /// Albemarle, Sr. Sara Meakem /// Covenant, Sr. Lanaysla Gonzalez /// Goochland, Sr. Jovia Winkey /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, So. Yasmine Tyler /// Miller, Sr.

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Laine Harrington /// Orange County, Sr. First team All-C16, All-JD, 9.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.7 apg, 4 spg Chaniyah Brown /// Fluvanna County, Sr. First team All-JD, HM All-C29, 10.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.2 spg Anna Agee /// Louisa County, Sr. First team All-C19, All-JD, 13.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.5 spg Nevaeh Ivory /// Fluvanna County, Jr. First team All-C29, second team All-JD, 13.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.4 spg

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM Shannon Moore /// Western Albemarle, Jr. Versatile defender in the post and on the wing with 2.2 spg, 1.0 bpg Anne Ridenhour /// Albemarle, Sr. Tenacious guard handled top nightly assignment for Patriots Sierra Smith /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, Jr. Relentless post defender with 13.9 rpg and 1.4 bpg Zanequa Thomas /// Charlottesville, Sr. Talented on-ball defender with 2.7 spg for Black Knights Chaniyah Brown /// Fluvanna County, Sr. Lead defender for Flucos, 4.3 rpg, 4.2 spg


- P L AY ER OF T HE Y E A R GIRLS BASKETBALL

BRI TINSLEY, ST. ANNE’S-BELFIELD St. Anne’s-Belfield’s Bri Tinsley’s game is built on speed and quickness, relentlessly attacking opposing squads from start to finish. Ideally she plays in an uptempo attack with players who can run with her, who can bring that same level of relentlessness and wear down the opposition. When the Saints lost Jayla Davis to an injury late in the 2016-2017 season, Tinsley, after 3.5 years of essentially always playing her preferred style as STAB’s backcourt centerpiece at the point, had to adjust. She had to drastically alter the way she played if STAB wanted to return to the state final four. If they wanted to claw their way into the state title game. The Saints had to slow it down, look to play more inside-out with Sierra Smith and generally become a different squad and they had to do it on the fly. More crucially, if Tinsley didn’t adjust, none of the rest of it would even matter. Not surprisingly, Tinsley met the challenge. The point guard who scored 1,596 points and dished out 411 assists while snagging 408 steals in her career while averaging less than two turnovers per game for her entire career was ready. The UVa-

bound senior became exactly what STAB needed in that moment, showing how evolved and flexible her game has become. That effort vaulted the Saints back in the state title game where they ran into national power Paul VI. That run followed a title in the loaded LIS tournament, beating St. Catherine’s 53-52 in the championship game. Tinsley finished the year averaging 17.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 4.1 steals per game, another in a string of seasons where she did a little bit of everything for the Saints. Whatever STAB needed, their star was there. That’s a big reason for the Saints’ run of success with Tinsley at the point -- they went 94-14 in her career -- that when the chips were down, their star was willing to do what was best for the Saints. To reach outside her comfort zone and find what would work for the squad’s success. Tinsley has been an absolute matchup nightmare for years. But her adjustment as a senior stands out among all those accomplishments because it showed what type of person, what type of character she possesses beyond her incredible basketball talent. ✖

- COACH OF T HE Y E A R GIRLS BASKETBALL

NICK SCHRECK, LOUISA COUNTY The 2015-2016 season flashed the potential. Louisa County girls basketball was a true wild card. But with a 10-13 record in that campaign, and one that was driven by young talent and a brand new coach, it was clear that the 2016-2017 season had real opportunity for the Lions. It was nice to get a foot on the door last year, but this year Louisa coach Nick Schreck wanted to kick down the door. Schreck was concerned about the Lions after a 2-2 start, and even after some close wins that put the 2016 part of the season at 5-2. For many, it would have been easy to say that December is just not that big of a deal. But with a 14-3 run from January to February, Schreck’s message about working hard, coming out ready and taking the next steps as a program was clearly received and executed by all of his players. Shreck was able to get senior Anna Grace Agee to become exactly what you’d want in a senior leader. Then, and this is particu-

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larly important for the future, he was able to convince sophomore Tyi Skinner to embrace all the variables that make up a great point guard instead of simply trying to outscore the opposition. Throw in senior DaNikqua Marshall’s emerging presence as a double-double threat in the post and freshman Carmella Jackson becoming a key contributor and suddenly the Lions had true depth. Louisa went from wild card a year ago to Jefferson District champions this year. The first ever title for this program carries a lot of weight. There were a number of signature wins for the Lions, the first of which came with a win at home over Charlottesville in December, the defending JD champions. Then wins over Charlottesville and Western Albemarle in the JD tournament gave Louisa that elusive first district championship. The next week, the Lions took down Courtland by 21

points in the Conference 19 semifinals, and then King George in the tourney title game. Making the Region 4A West tournament this year wasn’t just a sign of progress, it was a bar being set. It’s one that that Schreck will likely use as the measuring stick going forward. Winning a Region 4A Wast game is the next notch on the belt. Central Virginia is no stranger to seeing teams from the bottom of the standings enjoying a quick rise to the top. Monticello did so in ‘10-’11. Albemarle had a breakout season in ‘13-’14. The Lions rise to the top this season with Schreck changing the mentality around the program and Skinner becoming one of the area’s best guards has given Louisa an opportunity to string something truly impressive together over these next few years.✖

- NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR GIRLS BASKETBALL

NEVAEH IVORY, FLUVANNA COUNTY Look at most of the major rebuilds that have been successful over the years in the Jefferson District. The bulk of them stem from finding one thing. A strong point guard changes everything. And so whether it was Orange County’s Kiani Hudgins, Louisa County’s Tyi Skinner or Fluvanna County’s Kiana Childress, they all have one thing in common. They were freshmen. You can add the Flucos’ newest point guard to that list. Nevaeh Ivory is building a following in Palmyra. A quick look at February shows just what kind of a special player the freshman has the potential to become on a nightly basis going forward. Whether it was her 20-point effort against Powhatan in double overtime or her 16 points in a narrow loss to Charlottesville, Ivory emerged as a fearless threat, particularly offensively. But maybe her biggest game was her effort against Fort Defiance in the Conference 29 quarterfinals, one that paved the way to a 40-36 win. With 14 points, nine rebounds and three steals, Ivory’s first playoff game was a sign of what to expect going forward as she hit shots from outside, slashed her way into the paint and was aggressive defensively. That she didn’t shy away from the pressure in the playoffs should also bode quite well in the future. With a roster filled with freshman this year, between Ivory, Kyia Scott, Mya Wright and Rosa Lee Hill, the Flucos are up to something. Ivory’s development appears to be on par with the aforementioned point guards that have led serious playoff runs, both past and present. With the graduation of Chaniyah Brown, Ivory’s role only increases going forward. The first chapter was a great one for both Ivory and Fluvanna as a program. What comes next is going to be fascinating, especially if the success history of freshman point guards in the Jefferson continues. If you saw her play this year, you’d agree, Ivory is going to an instrumental part of how JD standings shake out for a long time and that should make Flucos coach Chad White pretty happy for quite a while. ✖

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- S W IMMING WA H S G I R L S AND BOYS SWIM TE AMS

GIRLS Alexa Owens /// Louisa County, Sr. Group 4A fourth in 200-IM, fourth in 500-free

Caleb Smith /// Albemarle, Jr. Group 5A 500-free champion

Megan Jones /// Albemarle, Sr. Group 5A fifth in 100-breast, 11th in 50-free

Nick Ashby /// Albemarle, Jr. Group 5A seventh in 100-breast, 11th in 200-IM

Grace Farmar /// Albemarle, Sr. Group 5A 13th in 200-free, 13th in 500-free

Cole McMahon-Gioeli /// Charlottesville, Sr. Group 4A sixth in 50-free, 13th in 100-fly

FeFe Nardone /// Fluvanna County, Sr Group 3A fifth in 100-fly, fifth in 100-back

Noah Holstege /// Covenant, Sr. VISAA runnerup in 50-free, ninth in 100-free

Caylyn McNaul /// Fluvanna County, Sr. Group 3A ninth in 200-free, ninth in 100-breat Megan Walin /// Monticello, So. Group 3A 12th in 50-free Morgan James /// Western Albemarle, Sr. Group 3A third and 50-free, seventh in 100-free Claudia James /// Western Albemarle, So. Group 3A seventh in 50-free, 11th in 100-free

Anthony Gemma /// Fork Union, Sr. VISAA 50-free champion, runnerup in 100-free Samer Khalil /// Fork Union, Sr. VISAA 100-free champion, fourth place in 500-free Chas Sigloh /// Woodberry Forest, Sr. VISAA fourth in 100-back, fifth in 200-free Bracken Eddy /// Monticello, So. Group 3A fourth in 100-back, fourth in 200-IM

Ashley Huang /// Albemarle, Sr. Group 5A 13th in 100-fly, 17th in 100-back

August Lamb /// Western Albemarle, So. Group 3A second in 200-IM, third in 100-free

Claudia Gohn /// Madison County, Sr. Group 2A 200-free champion

Noah Hargrove /// Western Albemarle, Fr. Group 3A fourth in 500-free, fifth in 200-free

SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR COACH OF THE YEAR

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BOYS

Caleb Smith /// Albemarle, Jr. Alexa Owens /// Louisa County, So. Smith won a boys state title while Owens placed fourth in two events Ryan Campbell /// Fork Union Guided Blue Devils to fourth place finish at VISAA meet


TEAM SPOTLIGHT BLUE RIDGE SCHOOL Embracing #teacherappreciationweek, the Barons spent the first week of may making sure that their educators got some love. Each day involved something different. Blue Ridge students wrote “BaronGrams” to the faculty, provided Duck Donuts one day, personalized cakes for another just to name a few. With so many graduations happening now and in the coming weeks, kudos to the Barons for recognizing their staff!

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- W R E S T L ING -

AU S T I N R AT H

Austin Rath /// William Monroe, Sr. Group 3A champion at 285 pounds Nate Riley /// Western Albemarle, Sr. VHSL Group 3A runnerup at 182 pounds

Mason Morris /// Louisa County, So. Group 4A fourth place at 285 pounds

Rick Weaver /// Covenant, So. VISAA champion at 285 pounds

Jacob Jackson /// Western Albemarle, Jr. Group 3A fifth place at 285 pounds

Joseph Payne /// Covenant, Sr. VISAA runnerup at 215 pounds

Zion Phifer /// Fork Union, Jr. VISAA sixth place at 152 pounds

Dustin Shifflett /// Orange County, Sr. Group 5A runnerup at 195 pounds Nicholas Brenner /// Orange County, Sr. VISAA heavyweight state champion Brian Herrara /// Goochland, Jr. Group 2A fourth place at 182 pounds Ian Dillon /// Fluvanna County, Sr. Group 3A fifth place at 160 pounds

WRESTLER OF THE YEAR COACH OF THE YEAR

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Tony Thurston /// Louisa County, Jr. Group 4A fourth place at 285 pounds

Davis Smith /// Woodberry Forest, So. VISAA fifth place at 160 pounds Will Medick /// Woodberry Forest, Sr. VISAA sixth place at 138 pounds James Forbes /// Blue Ridge, Sr. VISAA eighth place at 220 pounds Austin Mills /// Louisa County, So. Region 4A East champion Austin Rath /// William Monroe, Sr. First state champion for Dragons in school history Adam Mulchay /// Western Albemarle Warriors advanced eight wrestlers to the state tournament


THE SP PODCAST NOW AVAILABLE ON ITUNES LISTEN ON YOUR MOBILE DEVICE OR YOUR COMPUTER


Game Time Albemarle 12, Monticello 11, F/OT By Bart Isley

Albemarle’s Anna Murray had a pair of goals including the game winner against Monticello. (Bart Isley)

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Even getting a fortuitous break with a penalty for too many players on the field called on Monticello to start overtime, Albemarle’s girls lacrosse team had its work cut out for it. The Patriots were still playing down a player, and they were going to have to be patient and hunt for a good opportunity. The Patriots’ Anna Murray found it and capitalized, lifting Albemarle to a 12-11 overtime win over Monticello. “I think it was definitely a mental adjustment,” Murray said. “We knew we were going to be man-down the entire time and right before the overtime coach talked about how we needed to dig deeper and find our core really and work together as a unit.” Murray eventually got the ball in the heart of the Monticello defense and while driving right, spun back to her left and buried it. Murray has a history of coming up with game-winners. Twice last year in the Region 5A North playoffs, Murray connected in overtime to keep Albemarle moving forward including in the region title game. “She’s our overtime girl,” said Albemarle coach Lauren Thraves. “She keeps her cool in that situation.” The win was another and perhaps the most strenuous step left in the Patriots’ Jefferson District campaign. Albemarle is now within striking distance of going unbeaten through its district slate for the first time in recent memory. Locking in against the Mustangs was no easy task, especially once the Patriots were forced to play shorthanded. “I think we were definitely on a high after the game against Western (last week) but we knew this was going to be a tough game physically,” Murray said. “I didn’t think any of us thought we were going to be man-down that much of the game but I think we definitely came out less focused and we realized we needed to focus more throughout the game.”

It didn’t help matters that Monticello star Paige McGlothlin got into a groove after halftime. She scored the equalizer with 29 seconds to play to help send the game to overtime, her seventh goal of the night to go with one assist. Marking the Mustangs’ electric scorer is no easy task. “Paige is amazing,” Murray said. “We have great defenders on our team, it wasn’t really this person cover her, I think we were all up to the challenge.” While Monticello (9-4) came out on the short end of sudden victory overtime, it was a tremendous step forward for the Mustangs, who fell 19-12 to Albemarle in the squads’ first meeting. The Patriots’ Jenn Wendelken dominated the draw in the second half of that one to help spark Albemarle, but Monticello didn’t allow a similar surge this time around. “We’re getting there and it’s great to see this improvement right before the playoffs,” said Monticello coach Trent Holden. “We had a Saturday practice last week and I told them ‘you need to go into every game thinking you can win.’” Albemarle led 5-4 at the half but Monticello scored quickly in the second half to take a 6-5 lead. From there the game seesawed back and forth before Albemarle took an 11-9 lead and then McGlothlin scored at 4:06 and then again with under a minute to tie it up. Albemarle’s Kelsey Myers and Cam Edson’s hat tricks led a balanced offensive effort for the Patriots and they each had an assist as well. Wendelken and Murray finished with two goals each. Morgan Rose had two assists for the Patriots. Caroline Sheppard finished with six saves for Albemarle. Meghan Walin scored three goals and had an assist while Caleigh Smith finished with a goal and Kendall Smith notching an assist. ✖


The Trainer’s table IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

Staying preventative Trying to prevent knee injuries among adolescent athletes By Erin Brooks

{ ALL TOO COMMON }

Some startling average ACL stats from heathcareresearchfunding.gov.

500k AVERAGE ANNUAL MEDICAL COSTS

NUMBER OF ACL TEARS ANNUALLY

200-150k

An intact ligament provides much of the stability and dynamic function in an athlete’s knee. An ACL injury can be either categorized as a contact or non-contact injury. A noncontact mechanism can include anything from landing from a jump or a forceful deceleration to cutting or pivoting on a stationary foot. As many would assume a contact ACL injury is one that results from a blow or collision with another athlete. Approximately 70% of all ACL injuries result from non-contact mechanisms. Many factors come in to play when determining if an athlete is more susceptible than another to sustaining an ACL injury. One of which is gender. Female athletes, statistically, are more susceptible than their male counterparts to suffer an ACL rupture. Anatomically females generally have wider pelvises, which ultimately increases the angle of stress on the knee. Females also have a smaller femoral notch between the femoral condyles in which the ACL attaches. In general, the smaller the femur, the smaller the notch, which has been shown to correlate with an increased risk for an ACL tear. Poor hip strength and stability also directly relates to an increased risk of rupture. Athletes who participate in high velocity or multidirectional sports like basketball, football, or soccer are susceptible to sustaining an ACL injury. As with many injuries, an ACL tear can potentially be prevented. Research is mixed on whether or not prevention programs have

a significant effect on reducing an athlete’s risk of sustaining injury. In theory prevention programs are designed to target the proprioceptive function and neuromuscular strengthening surrounding the knee joint. Many prevention programs have been designed by various researchers, most are comprised of a three-part system, including stretching, plyometrics, and strength training drills. ACL injuries can be detrimental in any athlete’s career, however, with proper training and education risk of injury can be greatly reduced.

NEXT UP: OVERUSE INJURIES Erin Brooks is a Certified Athletic Trainer employed by ACAC. She graduated from Longwood University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and a concentration in Athletic Training. She earned her Master of Science in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from California University of Pennsylvania in 2011.

Erin Brooks

CERTIFIED ATC @AC AC

for more info » 20 :: www.scrimmageplay.com

K AR A

T

he anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most commonly ruptured ligament in the knee complex. Functionally, the ACL prevents forward movement of the tibia on the femur as well as hyperextension of the knee joint.

Checkout more ACL injury facts at: http://healthresearchfunding.org/ acl-injury-statistics/


#forkunionstrong

Student Profiles: Brennan Garrison Brennon Garrison wasn’t a ready made college prospects when he arrived at Fork Union as a freshman from Orange.But he was willing to put in the work during their time at FUMA and in February he made announced he was heading to Virginia Tech as an invited walk-on. “The academics are rigorous here, it’s a college prep school,” Garrison said. “You’re already away from home so there’s that aspect of it. I feel prepared for college.” Garrison was a key leader for the Blue Devils, a rock in transition years under two head coaches including Mike Hooper’s first season last fall. He served as a captain this year, part of a unique all-lineman group of captains that helped Hooper steady the ship and get Fork Union moving forward again. Garrison earned first team All-Scrimmage Play and All-VISAA Division I in addition to All-Prep League honors during the 2016 season. Garrison learned a lot in those four years. “Without teamwork you don’t have anything, whether you’re the greatest team or the worst team,” Garrison said. “Throughout the whole rebuilding stage, we came together and just worked as a team.” The fact that Virginia Tech also has a strong animal science program, Garrison’s planned course of study, made his decision essentially a nobrainer. It also helped that playing in Blacksburg has been a dream for the Orange native since he was young. Really young. “It has been a dream probably since elementary school,” Garrison said. Thanks to Garrison’s hard work in the Fork Union environment, that dream is now reality.

Fork Union Military Academy is the leading Christian military boarding school for boys in grades 7 - 12 and PG. www.forkunion.com — 1-800-GO-2-FUMA


Overtime

Gloves? For what? STAB’s Cooper Allen brings retro vibe to the diamond

I

f you squint a little bit and don’t pay attention to the iPhones in the crowd, you could be watching a game in the 1920s or 1940s when St. Anne’s-Belfield baseball’s Cooper Allen is in the batter’s box or on the mound. It starts with the uniform. Allen’s socks are always high, with the pants never low. In the batter’s box, he’s one of just a handful of players who aren’t wearing batting gloves. Like free-swinging slugger Vladimir Guerrero in the past and San Diego Padres star Wil Myers now, Allen passes on batting gloves, opting for the feel of bat on skin. It’s all part of keeping things simple, a key part of an approach to the game he adopted early in his career. “Two years ago I didn’t even have tape on the bat, but a lot of people made fun of me for that so I had to tape that,” Allen said. “There are a lot of trends in baseball and I’m just not a trendy guy. I like to keep things simple.” It isn’t just Allen’s equipment choices that are old school. His game is too. There’s nothing fancy or compact or scientific about his swing. It’s got a wild, unorthodox quality to it that’s actually refreshing. His windup and pitching motion is similarly free and open, with a sort of jerky quality that would put him at home on a field with Shoeless Joe Jackson and Babe Ruth. Allen isn’t a robot, he’s a baseball player and from mentors like former STAB coach Allen Swanson, current coach Brian Yeagle and his father, he’s learned to respect the game. “This program has a lot of good history — I enjoy the way that I was brought up specifically as a baseball player, that you wear your socks up, not wearing batting gloves,” Allen said. “I like to appreciate those things. Swanson always preached the little things and Yeagle always preaches the little things — equipment is just another little thing.” The approach is noticeable. With Myers in the majors, people always seem to point out that he looks like he’s having fun, playing this freewheeling, enjoyable style with a degree of joy that’s sometimes absent in sports today, sacrificed at the altar of selfseriousness. Or, rather trying to appear serious. Allen plays the same way, wide open, clearly excited and enjoying his time with the Saints. The school’s athletic department is part of who he is at this point, having been around since his brother Erik won a state title with the football program and his other brother Jake starred for the Saints before heading to Harvard. While the Saints have spent some of 2017 rebuilding in Yeagle’s first season at the helm, they’ve shown flashes of being a much better team than their sub-.500 record would suggest. They nearly knocked off the state’s top-ranked squad in VISAA’s Division I St. Christopher’s in a 5-2 loss that came in part because of a couple of tough calls that didn’t go STAB’s way. Along the way, Allen has given them a spark. He isn’t the squad’s flashiest or most productive player — that title likely falls to UVa-commit Nic Kent who’s hitting .440 or Jack Pausic who is hitting .425. But he’s knocked in 13 runs and drawn nine walks and hit four doubles. He isn’t the ace either, that’s young emerging star Alex Markopoulos, but

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“I enjoy the way that I was brought up specifically as a baseball player, that you wear your socks up, not wearing batting gloves.” Allen is holding opposing batters to a .230 average and has a 3.10 ERA. Allen also gives the Saints healthy dose of senior leadership. “He’s pretty vintage, he loves to grind, play any position and have a great at bat every time,” Yeagle said. “We’re going to miss him next year.” While this may be the end of the senior’s baseball career barring him walking on at Southern Cal where he’s headed as a student in the fall, Allen has helped lay the foundation for a renaissance for a proud STAB program in the coming years. He’s also given the Saints an appreciation for old school, timeless baseball principles and maybe planted the idea that not everyone needs to wear batting gloves. Sometimes it’s best to keep it simple. ✖

Bart Isley,

CRE ATIVE DIRECTOR

back talk »

What’s old school in the other sports across the board?: bart@scrimmageplay.com


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Volume 8, Issue 11