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scrımmageplay THE CENTRAL VIRGINIA SPORTS AUTHORITY

VOL 7. ISSUE 20 :: AUGUST 22, 2016

College

Decisions

With the Class of 2017 just getting started on their senior years, we look back at how the Class of 2016 made their college choices. PAGE 07


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05 RAYLE FEELING RIGHT AT HOME AS A COACH

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x’s and o’s 21 05

TOUGH SUMER JOB Western alumnus coaching in the JSL

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COLLEGE SELECTION The Class of 2016 helps you decide

College

Decisions

VOL 6 . ISSUE 20 :: AUGUST 22, 2015

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VOL 7. ISSUE 20 :: AUGUST 22, 2016

With the Class of 2017 just getting started on their senior years, we look back at how the Class of 2016 made their college choices. PAGE 07

S TA F F Bart Isley, Creative Director Bob Isley, Infrastructure Director Ryan Yemen, Creative Editor 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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OLYMPIC CHARACTER Frustrating incidents steal show in 2016

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PREGAME

Beep, beep Charlottesville’s Sabias Folley runs over a Brookville defender during his team’s scrimmage against the Bees. The Black Knights’ sophomore measures in at 5’10” and 250 pounds and gave the Bees quite the challenge physically. The scrimmage marked the final tune up for Charlottesville as it gears up for its season opener at home with Dominion on August 26. ✖ (Photo by Bart Isley)

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TEAM SPOTLIGHT WOODBERRY FOREST FOOTBALL AND SOCCER In effort to raise awareness about the alarming rate of American veterans that commit suicide, the Tigers took the 22 pushup challenge. The number signifies the daily average of veterans who take their own lives, a sad statistic. Good job, Woodberry, on doing your part to try and help supporting our troops. Good luck this season on the soccer and football field.

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BEST OF LUCK

to our 2016 student athletes as they embark on their college careers. Pierce Bower Zach Caton Annie Cory Javin DeLaurier Caroline DiGiacomo Jalen Harrison Maddie Hunter Brian Hynes Kareem Johnson George Marshall Matt McHugh Polly McNeely Bobby Nicholson Samuel Piller Kaitlin Reese Josh Reiss Phillip Robertson Mailynn Steppe Ashley Taylor Fitz Woodrow John Woodson

Men’s Lacrosse Men’s Lacrosse Women’s Lacrosse Men’s Basketball Women’s Lacrosse Baseball Women’s Lacrosse and Cross Country Swimming Football Men’s Lacrosse Swimming Track & Field Baseball Men’s Squash Women’s Squash Men’s Lacrosse Men’s Lacrosse Women’s Lacrosse Women’s Basketball Golf Football

Lynchburg College Mary Washington Princeton University Duke University University of Denver University of Virginia Davidson College Davidson College William & Mary Elizabethtown College Denison University Colorado College University of Virginia Connecticut College Haverford College Lehigh University Princeton University Virginia Tech William & Mary College of Charleston Shenandoah University

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First Quarter

Tough summer job Western Albemarle graduate thrives as JSL coach By Bart Isley

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Former Warriors swimmer Alex Rayle is now the coach of the JSL’s Crozet Gators. (Bart Isley)

{ THE TOP FOUR } 2,136 AC KAC AR A EL DER

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2,196 CROZET

FAIRVIEW

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The 2016 JSL team results

here are a lot of summer jobs out there that are taxing but not all-consuming. You can wait tables. You can work retail. You can be a lifeguard. Recent Western Albemarle alum Alex Rayle didn’t do one of those jobs this summer.

Instead Rayle took on a more comprehensive larger challenge as the head coach of the Jefferson Swim League’s Crozet Gators squad, one of the JSL’s largest teams. “No, it is not the easiest of summer jobs,” Rayle said. “I felt really ready for it, I felt pretty confident in my coaching abilities.” Coaching in the JSL is a unique challenge, requiring an incredible amount of logistics. Rayle wasn’t coaching a basketball team with 15 players, he was overseeing hundreds of athletes and the paperwork that goes along with those swimmers. “You would not believe how many things go into running a swim league and running a team of 250 kids,” Rayle said. “Plus their parents, plus the YMCA. It’s a lot.” The coach also has to employ a variety of skill sets too, coaching swimmers from 5 years old on up to 17 or 18. That’s a wide range of development, from swimmers who are just learning to experienced high school athletes. Rayle was an important part of the Western Albemarle program for several years, including a senior year where he earned Jefferson District swimmer of the year honors. He clearly has the background and experience that made him an excellent fit to handle the rigors and make connections with swimmers of all ages. “It has gone really well, I love coaching and I love being on deck,” Rayle said. “I never dread going to practice to coach the kids.” It takes an army to pull that off, with most JSL squads using assistants and junior

coaches, roles that Rayle took on at 16 and 12 respectively in preparation for getting the nod as the head coach. That support group was a critical part of the puzzle for Rayle. And unlike some summer jobs, this one is directly laying the foundation for a potential career after graduation for the UNC-Wilmington swimmer. “It comes easy to me, it’s one thing in my life that I’m really confident that I’m good at,” Rayle said. “I can’t say that about a lot of other things. I was actually telling a friend this, (after this job) ‘I think I’m prepared for anything’. You have to lead, you have to be organized, there’s just so much, I feel really confident in myself after this summer.” Recent Covenant graduate Eli Holstege also served as a head coach in the JSL, leading the Glenmore squad, so Rayle wasn’t alone in handling the rigors of running a JSL team. The Calvin College swimmer’s squad was much smaller than Rayle’s Crozet group, but he got to see two of his younger brothers set a new relay record in the final race of the first day as they won the senior boys 400 free relay. It’s a strong sign for the JSL and the local swim scene in general to have some of the area’s best like Rayle and Holstege helping shape swimming’s future on the decks of local pools. Even though it isn’t the most typical summer job, it’s a major difference-maker for young swimmers. ✖

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For more swimming coverage head to our website at: www.scrimmageplay.com.


College Update

We’ve gone digital But you can have it in print too!

Former Saint enjoying life out west in Denver By Bart Isley St. Anne’s-Belfield alum Audrey Schreck had an absurdly good first year out at Denver. The 2015 Scrimmage Play girls lacrosse player of the year wasted little time in carving out a role for herself with the Pioneers’ ascendant program. But that comes as little surprise after her incredible high school career for the Saints. Schreck was unreal on the draw and was a tremendous two-way player, creating havoc for opposing offenses while helping run the Saints’ attack. As a senior she scored 45 goals and dished out 10 assists while pushing STAB to a state final four berth. Denver had several freshmen playing key roles including Schreck. The STAB product scored nine goals and notched two assists, good for eighth on the squad in scoring, third among the squad’s freshmen. Schreck started five games while appearing in all but one contest. She picked up 17 ground balls and won three draw controls

while forcing 10 turnovers. Shreck was particularly dangerous on defense in an April clash with St. Mary’s where she forced four turnovers and picked up a trio of ground balls in a 15-5 victory. Against San Diego State she scored twice (the second of three multi-goal games on the year) and dished out an assist for a season-high three points. Six of Denver’s top eight scorers are slated to return in 2017 for the Pioneers as they look to improve on a 9-9 record just two years removed from a second round finish in the NCAA tournament back in 2014. It’s not easy by any stretch to find your footing at the next level right away. The game is faster, the players are quicker and there’s the grind of an 18-game season on top of classes. A lot of student athletes need a redshirt year or just a year in general to try and sort things out. Schreck, however, was ready to roll from the jump at Denver, and it has set the stage for a potentially strong career for the Pioneers. ✖

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 » Now at Denver University, STAB alum Audrey Schreck had a breakout freshman season. (DU 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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? college decisions photos by ashley thornton, tom pajewski, brian mellott

Stories by Bart Isley and Ryan Yemen

The college search process can be intimidating. There are a lot of different schools, a lot of campus options, a lot of places to consider. Throw in athletics and suddenly that decision gets quite a bit more complicated. If you want to play sports at the next level or even consider it, a whole new wrinkle enters the picture that can alter the entire landscape. In the following pages, we take a look at a number of recent Central Virginia graduates who made a commitment to college athletics. We explore some of the reasons they picked those schools and some of the ways they made it happen. Welcome to Scrimmage Play’s Second College decisions edition.l edition.

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Sibling Legacy OVER THE YEARS, a number of local siblings have followed in their older brother or sister’s footsteps into the collegiate ranks. It seems pretty obvious that genetics play a role in athletics, but it takes so much to get to the next level that it’s always kind of surprising when two athletes from the same family are able to make it work and find a spot at the next level. Sometimes it’s not even in the same sport like when STAB’s Bobby Nicholson heads to UVa this fall where his sister Allie Nicholson is a rower for the UVa women’s squad. Other times it’s in the same sport but at a different school like when Monticello’s Katie Devine will head to Colby College in Maine, where she’ll play against her sister’s Middlebury squad this season. “I saw how much fun (my sister) had up there and how much a team helps you grow as a person,” Devine said. “It helps you make friends and get settled in college.” Albemarle graduate Hogan Harper is already at West Point where he’s joining the Knights’ swim program a few years after his sister Holly Harper graduated from Albemarle and headed to Virginia Tech to swim for the Hokies. The elder Harper recently finished in the top 50 at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 100 backstroke. Hogan Harper wrapped up his high school career by helping power Albemarle to a third place finish in the state with a pair of third place finishes of his own in the 200-IM and 100-free. Hannah Harper, who graduated from Albemarle in 2013, is set to swim her junior year with Penn State this year. Another swimmer from the class of 2016 that’s following her sister to the next level is Brazil Rule, who is bound for UConn a year after her sister Remedy Rule headed to Texas to swim for the Longhorns. Brazil was a four-time all-state swimmer for the Warriors. Western Albemarle football’s Sam Hearn is heading to Sewanee to join his brother Steven Hearn, a receiver for the Tigers. Hearn had a monster season for the Warriors this fall, earning first team AllScrimmage Play honors for his efforts on both sides of the ball. Covenant’s Sam Holstege is headed to Calvin College, joining his brother Eli on the swim team. Monticello wrestler Logan Zimmerman is headed to Ferrum where he’ll join his older brother Justin on the team. “I’m pretty excited, I go up there a couple of times per year just to practice with my brother a little bit,” Zimmerman said. “I’ll have good coaches up there and all his friends so they’re going to be pushing me really hard.” Athletics play a huge role in sibling relationships. Sometimes that means going to the same school as another member of the family, sometimes that means carrying on at different schools in a sport that brought family together in high school. Either way, a sibling’s experience in both college and on the recruiting trail can have an impact on their younger brother or sister’s choices. ✖

Above, Hogan Harper continues the family swimming legacy as he heads to Army.

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Quick Decision

Above, Western’s Colin Moore found a late match with Lycoming College.

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IT’S GREAT WHEN YOU CAN evaluate a college over a long period of time, consider the pros and cons and weigh them out. But when you want to play a sport in college, sometimes, the right opportunity comes along quickly and you need to make a fast decision. You don’t have to, but you need to. Western Albemarle soccer’s Colin Moore went through that exact scenario late in his senior year. Moore had been struggling to find a landing spot, with a few opportunities falling through for the defensive-minded All-Conference midfielder who was then in the process of leading the Warriors to a state title. But then Lycoming College reached out in April of his senior season. “It was really late in the recruiting process, I was looking at a whole bunch of other D-III schools,” Moore said. “Lycoming was the last one I looked at. (After) the last tournament I played in, they emailed me and liked how I played in the last two games.” That set off a quick series of events as Moore took a look at a program that’s coming into the fall 2016 season ranked No. 10 in the NCAA’s Division III. “I went up for a visit and I really liked the team,” Moore said. “I stayed with a player and really liked it, we got along well.” Soccer recruiting, like tennis or basketball, has a strong influx of international players, limiting the number of spots that are available. It also, particularly for smaller schools, can create some uncertainty late in the recruiting process that can open up slots for players like Moore who are still searching for the right fit. That can be a double-edged sword for players like Moore as schools you haven’t considered or heard of reach out, making the evaluation process a challenge. It become important then to know what you’re looking for in a school, so you don’t get caught up just because something is new. Moore had options and he knew he was looking for a school with a strong psychology program and Lycoming fit the bill. So the Warriors’ senior captain made the call, choosing Lycoming in April before Western celebrated his commitment in early May. That’s a quick decision and a speedy process from start to finish, but for Moore it appears to be a wise one as he joins one of the nation’s top Division III programs that’s a good fit for his course of study. Sometimes the right opportunity comes along at the right time. ✖


ACADEMIC EDGE

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MADISON COUNTY’S CHRIS SMITH

Chris Smith likes to keep busy. An avid hunter and fisherman, he’s also a senior quarterback for the Mountaineers football team. Of course that’s a lot to stack on one plate, but Smith has not let that stop him from standing out in the classroom. He sports a 4.0 GPA and is a member of Beta Club. The key to getting it all done? Jumping on his school work whenever he can. “You’ve got to be quick and get everything done whenever possible, you can’t procrastinate,” Smith said. “You just can’t leave anything until the last minute.” Ever efficient with his time, Smith has found a way to be a model student while also affording himself the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and to play football. “Sports, school, it’s the same — you’ve got to come mentally prepared, you can’t just show up,” Smith said. That’s exactly the kind of statement you want to here from your senior starting quarterback.

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outside the box

Above, Albemarle’s Cameron Green chose to play lacrosse at the University of DC.

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CENTRAL VIRGINIA ISN’T A HOTBED as far as the rowing world is concerned, as states in the northeast crank out many more rowers as it’s more a part of the culture. The fact that local crew squads at Albemarle and Western operate as clubs is another clear indicator that the sport is still just taking root here in some ways. But that doesn’t mean that rowing talent hasn’t made its way out of the area. Covenant graduate Lindsay Shoop won an Olympic gold medal, Western graduate Carolyn Schneller went to Ohio State to row and STAB’s Allie Nicholson is a part of the UVa squad. Now, Emily Barlow has kept that growing tradition alive as the Western grad heads to Bucknell this fall to join the Bison rowing program. Barlow celebrated her commitment in early June. It was particularly rewarding for Barlow, who was blown away by all the talent in the water when she first got started in the sport. “When I started I was like this is a really hard sport and there are a lot of people who are very very talented at it,” Barlow said. “To actually have this success has been a real blessing and it has been fun too.” That success she’s referring to isn’t just the spot at Bucknell. She combined with Emmy Thacker, Maggie Vidal and Carrie Smith to win the championship in the women’s quad at the Scholastic Rowing Association of America’s National Championship Regatta in Nashport, Ohio. That was part of an incredible finish to her high school rowing career and set the table nicely for her collegiate stint. Barlow had some specific aspects she was looking for and she found it at Bucknell. “I wanted a D1 program at a liberal arts school,” Barlow said. “I was looking at Colgate for a period of time and that didn’t work out really well but I found a school that I liked even more.” Unlike sports like lacrosse where a lot of the recruiting process is underway before elite players even suit up for their high school varsity team, rowing happens much later in a high school athlete’s career. It’s more like a normal collegiate search. “It’s a lot different than other sports, it’s really quick,” Barlow said. “I started looking at schools in spring of my junior year and I looked around a lot. I looked at places then, I looked at places in the summer. But my mom looked at Bucknell and she was like ‘oh yeah, they have a good program, you should look at it.” Barlow went and met the coaches, fell in love with Bucknell and found her path. In the process, she proved that with some resilience, you can make things happen even in an area that isn’t know for a particular sport, even when you’re competing with a club and even when you’re already a senior. It wasn’t ever too late or too hard for Barlow to make it happen. ✖


Division I Soccer ALL SPORTS HAVE an international influx on some level, that’s kind of the beauty of collegiate athletics — it allows for great diversity, something that takes a sport to the next level. Of course, when it comes to a sport like soccer on the men’s side, or “futbol” to so much of the rest of the globe, it means playing at the Division I level is tougher than you can imagine. So many programs across the country boast rosters loaded with international players. That’s why this year’s crop of high school soccer graduates stick out. At Albemarle, the trio of Brendan Moyers, Griffin Coffey and Jake Gelnovatch led to a Group 5A state title where the Patriots lost just one game. With Moyers heading to Virginia Tech, Coffey off to William and Mary and Gelnovatch going to Louisville, the Patriots have the biggest class of Division I signings we’ve ever seen in the sport since Scrimmage Play launched in 2009. For Fluvanna County’s Carter Albaugh, the road to college soccer was one where two roads met in the middle. With Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech both also in the recruiting mix for the Flucos’ center-back, James Madison wound up being Albaugh’s final decision. “The decision making process was made a little easier with JMU being one of my top-ranked schools academically,” Albaugh said. “That was before I ever thought about playing soccer in college and then once they reached out to me, it kind of all just came together perfectly.” Like so many who go through the recruiting process starting at the beginning of the high school careers, Albaugh was relieved to have it behind him this past spring. “It’s just a huge relief,” Albaugh said. “I can’t really explain the feeling. It just feels amazing.” It’s not often that this area lands four players on four different Division 1 rosters. At Virginia Tech, Moyers will join former Western Albemarle graduate (2014) Forrest White. Coffey will be reunited with former teammate Marcel Berry who is now a sophomore at William and Mary. And with Gelnovatch at Louisville and Albaugh at JMU, Central Virginia soccer programs can be proud of the collegiate crop they’ve helped to foster in recent years. ✖

Above, Fluvanna’s Carter Albaugh is heading to James Madison to play soccer.

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Going Division III

Above, William Monroe’s Juliet Karnes found exactly what she was looking for at Shenandoah University.

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THERE’S A CERTAIN OBSESSION with the Division I level in collegiate sports that can be counter-productive. Division I athletics is a lot of work and it can dominate your college experience, often in positive ways, sometimes in negative ways. In most cases, it’s going to be difficult to do a lot of other things in college because of the time commitment. Division III athletics is a lot of work too. But in many cases, there’s an opportunity for more balance. A chance to explore other activities and paths that you can take after graduation. That’s an underrated opportunity. The chance to continue competing in your chosen sport at a high level while pursuing an education without that sport taking over your life. A lot of local athletes are taking advantage of Division III opportunities. “It suited me the best when it came to being able to participate in other parts of the school,” said Western Albemarle’s Hannah Curry, who will join Christopher Newport’s women’s lacrosse program this fall. William Monroe’s Juliet Karnes is headed to Shenandoah to play soccer for the Hornets. Karnes was an all-state standout for the Dragons and found a spot at the next level that fit what she was looking for, a school with a physical therapy program that fit what she wanted academically. “Not many schools have the accredited program to go into the doctorate level,” Karnes said. “I didn’t know much about the school at first, but after talking with coach (Liz Pike) I really felt comfortable. I felt like this was where I wanted to play.” Western soccer’s Will Thomas is headed to Sewanne a Division III school in Tennessee, and he knew from the beginning that Division III was the right fit for him. His older brother Jack Thomas plays tennis at Division I Wofford so he had some familiarity already about the recruiting process and the life of a Division I athlete. “I knew D-III was the way I wanted to go from the start,” Will Thomas said. “I want to be able to do other things, I want to be able to travel abroad and just not have my entire life be about soccer.” Other local athletes like Covenant’s Colby Shriver and Jamison Steljes are also competing at the Division III level with Shriver headed to Guilford for boys lacrosse and Steljes to Bridgewater for football. For Steljes, Bridgewater was exactly what he was looking for. “I’m really excited about the competition aspect of it,” Steljes said. “That’s one of the main reasons I picked football, it’s man-on-man and I just love that.” A number of local products have had incredible experiences at the Division III level, playing in NCAA tournaments like STAB’s Chapin Speidel at Denision in lacrosse, leading D-III in scoring like Covenant’s Luke Heinsohn did at Washington and Lee in football or winning a national title like Western Albemarle’s Marina Clark did two years ago at Lynchburg College. Perhaps the next timeless performance will come from this year’s crop of Division III-bound athletes. ✖


Hitting The links THE RECRUITING PROCESS involves a lot of being your own PR representative, but in golf it’s even more intense. Getting on to a Division 1 college roster is particularly difficult. For starters, there are only eight roster spots on a team. Making matters tougher is that a substantial number of teenage golfers are home schooled so that they can take advantage of playing during the day when the weather is friendliest. So to say that St. Anne’s-Belfield’s Fitz Woodrow went through the guantlet to wind up with his college decision, well that would be putting it lightly. He put in a lot of miles and put in a lot of effort to land at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. “I knew I wanted to play in the south, mainly because of the warmer weather,” Woodrow said. “So it was tough because I had to do a lot of travelling to schools in North Carolina, South Carolina.” To make it on the collegiate circuit, you have to showcase your abilities and it’s not easy for schools to catch athletes playing in high school tournaments. So Woodrow played in a slew of tournaments to get in front of the schools he was most interested in. “Basically you’re sending out emails to coaches say ‘Hey, I’m going to be at these tournaments’ and they’ll come watch you play 18 holes, sometimes only four or five.” With golf being such a grueling game mentally, a lot of the showcase is more than just the yardage out of the teebox, the ability to read a green. So much of the sport is about poise and disposition. “They look at the potential in your swing and how you carry yourself on the course,” Woodrow said. “They want someone who can play but also someone that’s going to bring a positive attitude to their team. You don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself, so you’re really trying to ignore that they are there and just play your game. In the end, if you work hard, it all works out.” Woodrow started the recruit process with emails going out his freshman year. And after the summer of his junior year, he picked up his first offer, one from College of Charleston, and never looked back. “Once I got that offer, I knew that that was where I wanted to go play,” Woodrow said. In Woodrow, the Cougars got the third ranked golfer in Virginia according to Junior Golf Scoreboard. A VISAA D1 state champion this spring, Woodrow also excelled playing on the College Prep Golf Tour and the American Junior Golf Association. Now with the hard stuff out of the way, Woodrow can truly focus on his game and worry about shaving strokes off his game and not anything else. That sounds like a nice play to be. ✖

Above, STAB’s Fitz Woodrow is heading to College of Charleston to continue his golf career.

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Picking The sport

Above, St. Anne’s-Belfield’s Maddie Hunter will play lacrosse and run cross country at Davidson.

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IT TAKES SUCH A PARTICULAR SET of skills and overall athletic talent to be able to play two different sports in college. It’s not unheard of for talented runners to run cross country in the fall and the track and field in the spring, so we’ll gloss over that. What we’re referring two are two different sets of sports and St. Anne’s-Belfield graduate Maddie Hunter fits the mold for the class of 2016. When Hunter was an eighth grader in 2011, she finished third overall in the VISAA D1 cross country championship. So it’s no surprise she’s going to run in college given the career she put together in high school. Hunter’s 5-year run with the Saints was absurd and her first place finish in the VISAA D1 state championship in 2015 was a fitting end for her fall sport. However, when you’re that fast, there isn’t a sport that doesn’t want you. As it turns out, Hunter is also a gifted lacrosse player. She was a key member of a Saints team that made it to the VISAA D1 final four in back-to-back seasons as a junior and senior. With the ability to outsprint anyone on the field and the endurance to do it all game long, she proved to be the perfect midfielder, one that STAB counted on regularly to be the transitional piece between defense and offense. With a passion for both, Hunter set out to try and play both in college. However, the recruiting in lacrosse starts much earlier in college so as it happens, Hunter’s collegiate pursuit began with lacrosse as Davidson met the academic standard she cared most about. As a junior, she committed to the school to play lacrosse. Going into her senior year, she was able to get the coaches on the Davidson cross country team to talk with the lacrosse coaches. The two programs agreed that it would be okay for Hunter to participate in both, and just like that, Hunter’s first and second athletics passions will continue. “It was a pretty big discussion and it’s the first time at the school that they’ve allowed someone to play lacrosse and run cross country,” Hunter said. “It’s going to be a little stressful but I’m really excited. It’s strange and I’m just glad it’s going to work out. As a midfielder, the cross country keeps me in shape, so they work well together.” Of course, over at William Monroe, Nic Hayes fits a similar mold. A decorated track and field athlete, Hayes also wanted to pursue opportunities on the football field. With his size and speed, he was a natural fit at receiver. Who wouldn’t want a Group 3A state champion in the high jump playing receiver. Well, it’s complicated at the collegiate level. “I had a couple of schools to consider that were pursuing me for track,” Hayes said. “Ultimately I chose VMI, to stay close to home. It feels like a family over there. It’s a small school and I really liked that.” Sure finding the right fit in one sport isn’t too complicated, but finding a way to get to play two sports is. “Most Division 1 schools won’t let you do that and no other school offered to let me play both,” Hayes said. That’s the dillemma that the Hayeses and Hunters of the world face. But in both cases, it’s one that they were able to resolve and continue pursuing their passions. ✖


Walking on staying home CHARLOTTESVILLE’S DEANDRE BRYANT wanted to play college football and he wanted a degree from a great school. It turns out he isn’t going to have to venture far to get both. With the big February signing day leaving him with some decisions to make, the last school he made contact with was the University of Virginia. February and March are ripe with opportunity for football players as schools scrammble to put together walkon offers for those still trying to find the right place. So when Bryant’s cell phone blew up with an unrecognized number, one with a 434 area code, well, it was a particularly good day. “I was grocery shopping one day and a random phone number came up and it was UVa asking me about being a preferred walk on,” Bryant said. “I talked to my mom and then got back in touch with them and made it official.” There are not many Central Virginia athletes that have been able to suit up for the Cavaliers. While Western Albemarle’s Osiris Crutchfield signed with UVa in February, the locals on the local university roster have been fairly few and far between. St. Anne’s-Belfield graduate (2003) Chris Long had a storied career for the Cavs, but other locals like Western Albemarle’s Bryan Lescanec (2003) and Orange County’s Quitin Hunter (2009) both wound up finishing up at James Madison after starting out with Virginia. With Bryant getting a “preferred walk on” tag, it means that he could potentially earn scholarship money in the future if he emerges as a contributor in some way. Think of it as a delayed signing. Regardless, Bryant can play as a freshman should incoming coach Bronco Mendenhall decide he needs the physically gifted two-way talent who can play at receiver and defensive back. But more than anything, what makes walking on at UVa special is an athlete who grew up as a fan getting a chance to play for that program. Bryant is moving on but yet staying at home and there’s something special about that. “It’s huge, the past five years we had season tickets,” Bryant said. “I remember telling my mom, ‘I want to be on that field one day.’ I don’t know if she thought I was serious, I don’t even know how serious I was when I said it. I did not expect this to happen.” We’ve seen others pull this off, Covenant’s Malik Frazier (2012) and STAB’s Jeff Jones walked on to the UVa basketball team. Now it’s Bryant’s turn to create a buzz, a feel good story for the Wahoos and the Black Knights. The walk on story in college football is as timeless and classic as a tale gets. Throw in the local connection and it only gets better. ✖

Above, Charlottesville’s DeAndre Bryant will try and turn his walkon deal into a scholarship at Virginia.

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Overtime

Almost heroes Character lapses steal show in 2016 Olympics

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or two weeks the commentators for NBC have beaten into our skulls that this summer Olympiad, like all the others, is about the spirit of competition. Over and over we’re told the games in Rio De Janeiro are a model of sportsmanship. These athletes, win or lose, they’re supposed to be our “heroes.” I think we need to tone down the rhetoric a little bit. What we’re seeing in the headlines is just the opposite and as this first wave of millennial Olympic athletes near the end of their careers, the glory of the Katie Ledecky, Simone Biles, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt was all overshadowed, at least as far as I’m concerned, by a number of athletes who are graceless losers. And NBC is obviously free to — and got its chance in the closing ceremonies to — spin a positive angle and leave us with only the images of the good things that happened during these games, but I don’t think those are going to stick. Let’s recap the poor behavior of the 2016 games, shall we? Before the opening ceremony even began, veteran goalkeeper Hope Solo found a way to tap into what I’d categorize as third-world racism by tweeting out her “Zika-proof” attire she planned to wear while in Brazil. Of course, if she believed she was in trouble she wouldn’t have gone, much less, would she have taken the field in Team USA’s first match without her mosquito proof outfit. No, instead she wore her normal uniform and was lambasted with boos and jeers every time she touched the ball. Okay, a rough start to the games, but Solo, who’s no stranger to controversy given her outspoken nature and her run-ins with the law, found a way to go out stronger than when she came in by trashing Team Sweden’s in Team USA’s loss in the quarterfinals, a massive upset. She called them cowards for their style. She then defended her comments saying that she’s a bad loser, as if to be a graceful loser means that you’re used to defeat. What a solid message that sends. Then you then have the Judo competition where the historically sad anti-semitism of the summer game was given a fresh reminder of the state of world politics. The 1936 Berlin games set the bar for anti-semitism in the Olympics until 1972 where the Munich games were marred by a massacre that left eight Israeli athletes dead. So in the 100 kilogram Judo tournament, when Egyptian Islam El Shehaby refused to shake hands after losing to Israel’s Or Sasson, we were given a stark reminder of just how many racist sentiments truly get checked at the door. Or Sasson went on to win a bronze medal, and while this story was reported on when it happened, I don’t think it got nearly the play from NBC that it should have, especially given the more than century long anti-semitism seen in far too many editions of the summer games. But as bad as that story is, Ryan Lochte decided to show what a spoiled brat he truly is. A veteran Olympian, a 6-time gold medal winner that also has three silver and bronze medals to his name found a way to out-do all the controversy coming into the games, the zika virus, the IOC’s clearly corrupt culture of milking money out of Brazil, everything. And how? Because he partied too hard with the French swimming team. So after getting inebriated and vandalizing a gas station, he quickly lied to police, Olympic and USOC officials before high tailing it back home, leaving his fellow teammates in the dust to face the music. His

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“She’s a bad loser, as if to be a graceful loser means that you’re used to defeat.”

apology? Half-hearted and he refused to say that he actually lied about what happened in multiple interviews. Lochte is a 32-year old, he’s the second most decorated swimmer in Olympic history. He’s supposed to be one of this country’s swimming role models. That’s hardly the case now. He’s lost all four of his endorsments. The memories of Rio are going to be weird. Yes, both Phelps and Bolt cemented their status as legends. Biles and Ledecky look like legends too. But I think Lochte and company wound up stealing the show. And what I think that means at the end of the day is that we have to be careful about elevating so many athletes into “hero” and “role model” status. We need a stronger and better vetting process before we throw around those words so candidly. ✖

Ryan Yemen,

CRE ATIVE EDITOR

back talk »

What will you remember about the 2016 Olympics? Email Ryan: ryan@scrimmageplay.com


Success stories begin here.

Success Story: Dale Solomon It has often been said that sports can show you the world. For Fork Union alum Dale Solomon that turned out to be quite literal. Solomon, who graduated from Fork Union in 1978 after leading the postgraduate squad to a 19-1 record, went on to Virginia Tech where he was an All-Metro Conference selection from 1979 to 1982. From there, he played professionally for 12 seasons in Italy and Spain, becoming one of the most recognizable players in Italian professional basketball. This summer when he was inducted into the Fork Union Military Academy Sports Hall of Fame, he responded to a question at one of the induction events in a bit of flawless Italian, showing just how much of an impact that stint overseas had on the legend. Solomon still holds the record for most points in a season by a freshman at Virginia Tech as well as top 10 all-time spots in points, points per game, field-goal makes, field-goal percentage, free-throw makes and rebounds for the Hokies. In 1979 he was the Metro Conference Tournament MVP. “Fork Union paved the way for me just like it has for so many others,” Solomon said at his FUMA sports hall of fame induction. It paved the way for him all the way to Italy and back.

Fork Union Military Academy is the leading Christian military boarding school for boys in grades 6 - 12 and PG. www.forkunion.com — 1-800-GO-2-FUMA

Volume 7, Issue 20