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More than football Louisa County’s seniors and their coach share an unbreakable bond. PAGE 07

VOL 9. ISSUE 3 :: NOVEMBER 16, 2017


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x’s and o’s

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THE LOUISA FAMILY TREE Lions seniors rally around their football coach

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BRICK BY BRICK Monticello volleyball makes serious progress

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GAME TIME Goochland football tops Brunswick

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THE HISTORIAN Monticello’s Heuchert piles up the stats

More than football VOL 9 . ISSUE 3 :: OCTOBER 16, 2017

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PUTTING IN THE WORK Covenant’s Shim wraps up field hockey career

VOL 9. ISSUE 3 :: NOVEMBER 16, 2017

Louisa County’s seniors and their coach share an unbreakable bond. PAGE 07

S TA F F Bart Isley, Creative Director Bob Isley, Infrastructure Director Ryan Yemen, Creative Editor O N T H E COV E R Louisa County’s Malik Bell and Mark Fischer 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

SPORTS MEDICINE & ORTHOPEDICS • • • •

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Knee & Ankle Injuries Shoulder Injuries Hip Injuries Back & Neck Injuries

CONVENIENT LOCATIONS: acac Albemarle Square | 29N | 434.817.7848 acac Downtown | 111 Monticello Ave., Ste. B | 434.817.4276 acac Crozet | 375 Four Leaf Lane | 434.817.4283

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PREGAME 03

Balancing act Monticello’s Jerrick Ayers picked a convenient time to have a career best rushing total. The Monticello senior running back finished with 206 on just 19 carries against Waynesboro in a 56-14 win in the Region 3C playoffs. The win over the Little Giants was the Mustangs’ second in three years. Monticello now faces second-seeded Brookeville. ✖ (Photo by Ashley Thornton)

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ALTER EGOS trenton mullins Auto Service technician Trenton Mullins is one reason Monticello football’s defense in 2017 is one the area’s most improved units through the early stages of the season. In the Mustangs’ season opener the senior defensive lineman pounced on a fumble and set up a Monticello touchdown. He’s also building a career track for himself at CATEC, where he’s part of the Auto Service Technician program, a natural outgrowth of a fascination he’s had with cars for years. “Pretty much anything with a motor I’ve been working on it,” Mullins said. Playing defensive line and working in the auto tech program at CATEC requires at least one similar skill too. “Keep your head on the swivel, know what’s around you and pay attention,” Mullins said. The Auto Service Technician program, where Mullins and his classmates can earn several different ASE certifications, is an excellent fit for someone who wants to get outside the traditional classroom, and in Mullins’ case, formalize some experience he’s already picked up. “I like being hands on,” Mullins said. “I’ve been messing with cars for a long time and I wanted to get a degree in it and maybe get a career working on cars.” He’s in the right place, both for the Mustangs on the field and at CATEC.

College Track students taking an early step in their career

To learn more about the Auto Service program at CATEC and what students in the program learn, click this page.

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First Quarter Rapid improvement

Covenant’s Shim thrived yet again in a different role By Bart Isley

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Covenant senior Lizzy Shim helped lead the Eagles to two straight VISAA Division 2 championship games. (Ashley Thornton)

{ WINNING FORMULA } Win totals for the Eagles since 2014

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2014 K AR A EL DER K AR A EL DER

2015

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ovenant’s field hockey team didn’t repeat as the VISAA Division II state champion this year. But to be honest, it’s kind of a miracle they were even in position to defend their title

On November 11 in a 1-0 loss at the hands of Cape Henry in the championship game at Longwood, the title defense came to an end. The Eagles, who played all year with a limited roster had some holdovers, but they lost a group of seniors plus Maddy Fagan and Santia McLaughlin headed to other programs. There’s no doubt what Wynston Archer, Ivy Allen, Abby McCartney and others bring to the table. But the reason that Covenant got another title shot, the reason the Eagles had a chance? That might be because of an underrated, unique and critical athletic attribute that their star, UVa-bound Lizzy Shim possesses. Her ability to rapidly, drastically improve over a short period of time. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before,” said Covenant coach Annie Gumbs. “She has a work ethic that outshines most individuals, but I have seen other individuals with a strong work ethic as well but what you don’t always see is that the work ethic translates into rapid improvement in skill over short periods of time. People can work really hard and improve in small increments. She can work extremely hard but she improves drastically in short periods of time.” Shim has been a standout since she first hit the field at Covenant as an eighth grader, but kind of unlikely one in some ways. She doesn’t come from a family that’s got some tremendous athletic background. That actually seemed to work to her advantage in a way as her parents, accomplished in their own fields of medicine and music, knew how to instill an incredible work ethic and what that could do, but they didn’t have some preconceived notion of what kind of player Shim

would be or how high her ceiling was. “They have no idea what the limit is because they’re not sports parents but they know what hard work is,” Gumbs said. “They don’t know what the limit looks like for field hockey.” So since she picked up a stick, Shim has been going to work on transforming every aspect of her game. Unlike some players who arrive as freshmen and are what they are on day one until they graduate, Shim has gone through several incarnations as a player like this year where things changed with Fagan’s departure. “Lizzy was a little bit more defensive and Madison was the more offensive mid and now Ivy Allen is that more defensive midfielder,” Gumbs said. “Ivy, to her credit, has made the transition smooth and is a phenomenal player with great vision. That allows Lizzy to handle the tactical, complex offensive-minded, attacking moments for our team.” This year Shim became more of an offensive force, scoring 14 goals and dishing out nine assists through the team’s first 10 games. By comparison, that was just one point off her tally her entire junior and sophomore campaigns where she accounted for 25 points in each season. “It’s definitely been a journey,” Shim said. “I’m super excited and pumped to go play for UVa because it has been my dream.” She’ll bring that high capacity for improvement on a short timetable to the next level. It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of player Shim will become for UVa, and based on her high school career, the sky could be the limit. ✖

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For more field hockey coverage head over to our website at: www.scrimmageplaycva.com


College Update

We’ve gone digital

Former Warrior graduates to major role as General

But you can have it in print too!

By Bart Isley Courtney Berry didn’t waste any time making an impact at Washington and Lee. And it isn’t just some small impact. Berry made her presence felt across the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Berry led the conference in total blocks with 135, blocks per set with 1.18 and hitting percentage with a .337 mark in an incredible rookie campaign that earned her ODAC rookie of the year honors as well as a spot on the All-ODAC first team. She also rang up 196 kills, good for fourth on the Generals’ roster. She also helped spark Washington and Lee to a run to the ODAC title game where they lost 3-2 to Randolph Macon and finished 24-10 on the season. Those 135 blocks are a school record for a freshman and the third-highest total in school history as well as ranking her fifth in all of NCAA’s Division III. This season she had some explosive performances, including a 15-kill performance in a 3-1 win over Maryville in September, just six games into her college career. She also posted 10 kills in a 3-0 sweep of Guilford in the ODAC tournament quarterfinals and was

a part of six blocks in a semifinal win over Virginia Wesleyan and factored into another five blocks in the championship game loss to Randolph Macon. Berry was a force at Western, registering 286 kills and 46 solo blocks as a senior while earning Scrimmage Play player of the year honors. She’s the all-time blocks leader for the Warriors and third all-time in kills for the Warriors with 711 career kills, just behind Kelsey Grove and Sarah Harper. As a senior, Berry powered Western to a Conference 29 championship and with help from Olivia Nichols, Adriana Bland and a host of others, pushed Western to the brink of a state tournament berth before they fell 3-2 in a thriller against Blacksburg in the Region 3A West semifinals. This start at Washington and Lee might be just that too -- a start. Fellow All-ODAC picks Meg Guignon and Brynne Gould are slated to be back next season, with Gould also just a first-year for the Generals. That could mean big things for the team and Berry going forward. She’s certainly off and rolling already. ✖

BELOW » Western alum Courtney Berry freshman won the ODAC rookie of the year in a record breaking season at Washington and Lee University. (W&L sports information)

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07 story by ryan Yemen

Photos by Bob Kenward & Brian Mellott

The Louisa Family tree

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ob Whalen remembers first meeting Mark Fischer back in 2014. Whalen was a freshman back then and Fischer was just embarking on his comeback tour with Louisa County. The Lions were in the midst of a rebuild after losing campaigns in 2012 and 2013. A trio of freshman were called up that season to

play varsity. Whalen was one of them. “You know the first time I met coach Fischer I thought, ‘man, he doesn’t really like me,” Whalen said. Two others in that group were Raquan Jones and Malik Bell. They were bumped up before Whalen that year, but only ever so slightly. “Ray and Malik got pulled up before I did but after my first JV game I got pulled up too,” Whalen said. “Western Albemarle was my first game playing for him and ever since then, we’ve just connected.” The circumstances that surround Fischer and Whalen have been unquestionably tough but stand as a pristine example of a coach and player establishing a connection off the field. While almost every single one of his players refers to Fischer as a father figure in their lives, he sees it a little differently. Still family, but something perhaps even more intense, more unique for a coach-player relationship than a father-son dynamic. “Watching them develop as players and then building this relationship with them personally, it’s just different than anything I’ve been through in all my years,” Fischer said. “I’ve relied on them and they’ve relied on them and they’ve relied on me. I don’t see it as a father-son relationship. It’s more like they’re my brothers.”

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It’s easy to understand how that happens just going down the timeline of adversity this program has faced just in these last four years alone. After beating multiple myeloma cancer once in 2012 when he was coaching at St. James High in South Carolina, Fischer returned for a second stint with the Lions in 2014. Unfortunately that season, Fischer had to deal with a second round with cancer, and he did so successfully once again. Last year Whalen’s mother, Joanne, was diagnosed with colon cancer and passed away in the fall. This summer, Fischer announced that this 2017 season would be his last as dealing with the complications from his cancer treatments has become a full time job in and of itself. Call it one last tour with his brothers. “They’ve all been through a lot with my situation these last few years and then together we all went through Job’s situation last year when he lost his mother,” Fischer said. “If it was just a player-coach type of relationship, none of that would’ve been what it was. It’s just the kind of a relationship that’s truly unique.” When you start breaking down Louisa County as a team, you can see why Fischer feels so connected to this group. For starters, the rebuild in 2014 centered around Jones, Bell and Whalen. “We saw a lot of potential in them back then and it was early in the season,” Fischer said. “They all had just gotten their feet wet playing JV and we knew right there we were going to call them up early in the season.” For the last four years, three guys that would be featured running backs on most squads have found a way to not only coexist on the same team, but do so with just one ball to go around. There’s an unselfish nature to this group, a team-first mentality that Fischer can’t get enough of. He’s seen a crowded backfield like this before. “It reminds me a lot of 2010 when we had Anthony Hunter and Rayshawn Jackson,” Fischer said. “These are the same type of kids. They all probably care about getting the ball but they don’t outwardly care. They care about what the score is and how we perform.” That 2010 team went 10-0 during the regular season. The Lions replicated that this year and you can see why quickly by just breaking down the rushing totals. Whalen led the way with 120 carries for 926 and 13 touchdowns. Bell finished with 109 rushes for 919 yards and 16 touchdowns. Jarrett Hunter, Bell’s backup at quarterback, had 72 runs for 532 yards and four touchdowns. Jones toted the ball 66 times for 494 yards and 10 touchdowns. Of course there are some others that are also floating around that crowded backfield, but at the end of the day in the first 10 games this year, the Lions racked up 3,662 rushing yards and 51 touchdowns on the ground alone. “If we were like most teams with just one featured back one of these guys would easily have 1,500 yards,” Fischer said. “These guys all share the carries and you never hear one of them complain.” Most of what you hear after Louisa wins from the back that had the biggest night on Friday is praise for the line up front. As gifted as these runners are, in Louisa’s single wing hybrid with Will Patrick calling the offense, this crew isn’t putting up the average of 7.5 yards per rushing attempt without the celebrated linemen. Tony Thurston, Dustin Matney, Collin Carpenter and Robert Guinn made up the bulk of a unit that nobody had an answer for this year in the Jefferson District. “They love us, block for us and we just love them back,” Jones said. “They do all the hard work.” That’s just one part of the equation though. This year Bell, Jones and Whalen are all integral parts of a defense that’s really become the calling card of the team. With a loaded defensive line that features the 2017 Jefferson District defensive player of the year in Tony Thurston along with fellow trench mates in Matney, Guinn and Devon McGee, the interior of Louisa’s defense has become its strength. “I think we’re stronger upfront this year, that everyone wants to stick their nose in there and get rough,” Thurston said. “We have all the tools we just have keep doing our jobs, stay disciplined and make sure we don’t underestimate

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See a photograph you like? Defensive stand Warriors goalie has more than one trick | By Ryan Yemen

Buy a Print by from our archive by clicking this page and get 30 percent off through November 24th with the coupon code: BlackFriday2017 Two years ago the Western Albemarle boys soccer team was fueled by its underclassmen with sophomores and freshman bearing the brunt of the work load. Now two years later, forwards Aaron Myers and Alex Nolet, as well as senior defender Tom Rogers are all in their senior seasons and looking to earn a Region II bid, something that Orange County snatched away from them in the Jefferson District semifinals last season. After the first month of play, the Warriors seem to have the defensive side of the equation figured out and junior goalkeeper Kai Shin is a big part of that. Before Western went on its spring break, none of its four opponents were able to score more than once, a testament to the team’s play in the middle of the field, but also a nod

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to Shin, who doubles as a Junior National Judo medalist, but has developed into one of the area’s most versatile goalkeepers. The netminder has shown he’s capable of making big saves, particularly in the team’s two ties. In the first game of the season, Shin endured wave after wave of Albemarle attack, but stood tall and showed no rust in the 1-1- tie. But while Shin’s on the field because he can make stops, his strong leg has also been of great use as he’s able to easily clear the zone but also spark fast breaks all by himself. The Warriors averaged a little over two goals per contest before the break, but if that average starts to increase, don’t be surprised if it’s because of Shin’s ability to contribute to the transition game. ✖ Western Albemarle’s Kai Shin hauls in a shot during his team’s 1-1 tie with Albemarle that kicked off the soccer season for both squads. (Frank Crocker)


“WE HAVE ALL THE TOOLS. WE JUST HAVE TO KEEP DOING OUR JOBS, STAY DISCIPLINED AND MAKE SURE WE DON’T UNDERESTIMATE ANYBODY.” — THURSTON 11

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anybody.” Thurston was a monster last year and the only thing that’s changed this year is that he’s bigger, badder and more vocal a senior. Opposing coaches picked up quickly to run plays away from him and while that’s the ultimate sign of respect, it’s allowed Guinn, Matney and McGee to shine upfront and also allowed the Lions to get creative. “It’s actually a little frustrating for us because they’ll see where No. 79 lines up and inevitably, the ball is going the other way,” Fischer said. “So his tackle counts are lower than we’re used to and then you go back and watch film and you’re watching him make a tackle from the other side of the field. But on top of that, the rest of the line has stepped up to make plays. So now we’re playing chess a bit. We’re moving (Thurston) around to try and prevent teams from not running into him or throwing double and triple teams on him.” There’s another monster roaming the defensive side the field and an awful lot of people have seen his name without ever seeing him play. Junior linebacker Brandon Smith was the talk of the offseason with one major college after another coming up with offers from Alabama to Penn State. Smith’s linebacking play in the middle of this 3-5-3 defense has been nothing short of stellar and now his game tape and his physical metrics are starting to match. “I mean right now Brandon is getting two guards and a center thrown his way or he gets a fullback coming after him,” Fischer said. “He’s battling through all that and having to deal with his assignments and getting it all done somehow. His football knowledge has increased so much and his coachability has just gone through the roof. Still, he’s humbled himself — and I mean golly, it has to be tough at 16 to 17 years old and you’ve got 20-plus Division I offers and not come away and think you’re something high and mighty. But he’s found a way to stay humble.” While he led the linebacking corps with 51 solo tackles and 25 assisted and 11 tackles for a loss, with offenses trying to shy away from him much like Thurston, it’s allowed Jones and Whalen to thrive. Jones had 39 solo tackles and seven assisted with an interception plus five passes defended while Whalen threw in 41 solo tackles, 31 assisted, 11 TFL’s and six sacks to go with a forced fumble and fumble recovered. Throw in Bell’s play at safety where he has three interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns against Fluvanna and the picture becomes more clear as the Lions have the same depth on defense as they do on offense. Of course, with Fischer missing time here and there for medical treatment, his assistant coaches, most of them former players of his, have taken a step forward. Some of them did so back in 2014 and now they’re only better at it. “I don’t have to go to my coaches and say ‘this is how I want to do things,’” Fischer said. “They know it already, they’ve lived it. So that’s really rewarding that we’ve got this program to this point, that everyone is now officially brainwashed to doing things my way.” But the joy of the 2017 regular season has come to a close and now here is the dauntingly competitive but exhilarating postseason. Fischer’s very first game as coach of the Lions came in 2003. It was against Courtland. Since then he and Cougars coach J.C. Hall have become very close friends. The two programs line up against each other each season. Fischer and Hall talk over the phone all the time, they regularly meet up and break down film with each other. Since Fischer’s health became an issue, Hall has sent him daily motivational texts to keep him moving forward. So with the Lions having struggled in the first round of the playoffs for the last decade with one just playoff win (2010 against James Wood) since their state runnerup run in 2006, it was all too poetic that Louisa drew Courtland in their playoff opener. The Lions handed the Cougars a 41-7 loss in week one of the season. Courtland fell into an 0-4 hole before Hall completely reworked his lineup (with no shortage of input from Fischer) and reeled off six straight wins to finish their regular season. “We joked after week one at my dining room table, ‘Well I hope we don’t have


“THOSE ARE DAYS YOU DON’T WISH ON ANYBODY BUT I’LL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR HIM. THERE’S A BOND BETWEEN US THAT CAN’T BE BROKEN.” — WHALEN to play each other later,’” Fischer said before their first round clash. “Well low and behold, here we are. I coached my first game against Courtland but I do hope it’s not also the team I coach against in my last game.” There was an uneasiness in Mineral during halftime on November 10 because Fischer and his seniors were truly on the ropes, even if only for two quarters. The Lions were facing their first halftime deficit of the season, trailing 13-7. With the senior leaders all chipping in to make sure their last game in the Jungle wasn’t a sorrowful one, Louisa bounced back with 28 unanswered points in the second half to win 35-21. Now as they hit the road and face the second seed in Region 4D, a Monocan squad that bounced them from last year’s playoffs, Louisa does so having exercised previous demons. The Lions took a big step last week. Onward they march now until they either fall short or win it all. Each week, Fischer’s last game at the helm looms larger, but even he knows that his effect on this program is a bit transcendent at this point. Look no further than the coaches around him as to why. “We’ve always stressed that we’re a family and I think that’s evident when so many of the coaches (on this staff) are former players,” Fischer said. “These guys come back and then preach and coach the same thing they were taught and so it’s become cyclical. It’s fun for me — and not such because the x’s and o’s are the same through JV down to middle school — but it’s that the philosophy is the same, the message is the

same and the love for these guys is the same.” So eventually that one last postgame huddle will come. It’s sure to be emotional for Fischer, his wife Pamela, his daughter Mackenzie who’s been at every game and many practices these last few years, his son Troy who’s a ball boy on the sidelines during home games. Fischer has two families that will be there for him whenever he needs it. “We’ve been through so much these last few years but I want to inspire him too,” Whalen said. “I know when Coach is having his bad days because I’ve had them too and been there. Those are days you don’t wish on anybody but I’ll always be there for him. There’s a bond between us that can’t be broken.” That’s a senior that’s come a long way from his freshman year and his fellow brothers have been through the same process. “It’s funny because we were kind of scared of him at first, you know growing up hearing so much about him,” Bell said. “But once you meet him it turns out he’s just a chill kind of guy. I know I feel this way and so do all the guys, that he’s like a second dad.” When you don’t just preach about family, you actually walk the talk, that family tends to grow. Fischer’s family tree has branches. It has roots. It has leaves. It has saplings that are growing elsewhere but they’re all still connected. They’re all there, supporting each other. Pulling together in the same direction. A band of brothers that transcends age and time. ✖ www.scrimmageplay.com ::

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Brick by brick story by Bart Isley Photos by Ashley Thornton & bart Isley

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moya

brock

It was perhaps the most frustrating loss of Monticello volleyball’s season, a 3-1 upset at the hands of No. 7-seed Spotswood in the Class 3, Region C quarterfinals that knocked out Monticello. It was an abrupt end to a tremendous season, a time where it would’ve been easy for the Mustangs’ seniors to come apart in frustration, to let loose. Make no mistake, there were tears. But they came as that same group of seniors broke down the equipment, taking down the nets and

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removing the posts, folding the equipment for storage as they did at the end of every other match they played in at Monticello. Star hitter Makysha Brock worked with teammates to fold the game net, Amaya Gibson pulled out the post closest to the bench. Everyone contributed, everyone got the job done together. Simrin Goodman, Elise Moya and Piper Goodman they all chipped in as well. Everyone made sure everything got packed away for the last time. Even in their most frustrating hour, with their time in the program coming to what felt like a premature end, the Mustangs’ seniors didn’t forget the process. They didn’t forget their responsibilities to their teammates. They did their job. “We’re even with everybody else, it’s not like it’s the underclassmen’s job to break down the net,” said senior Piper Goodman. “It’s everybody’s job.”

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They’ve transformed this program through this season, through their four years here. The underclassmen have big shoes to fill.” - Carpenter

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When second-year coach Meg Carpenter took over the Mustangs’ program, she brought a little something different to the table. Monticello has had sporadic success in the past, especially during a strong stretch with John Mitchem at the helm and an impressive stint back in 2010 and 2011. But sustained, night in and night out success as well as a chance to compete against the area’s heavyweights like Albemarle, Western and Fluvanna had largely escaped Monticello’s grasp after that. Carpenter, who was a top flight defender for Albemarle’s program took over the Monticello program after two years as an assistant for the Mustangs, comes from a program that values family and closeness above all. The Patriots hold an annual alumni game, their former players and even their parents stay pretty engaged with the program. So Carpenter looked to import that feel, build on what Mitchem and Jackie Hargis had done before her. Like with any program, that was going to take buy-in from the team’s older and best players. She got that in this year’s senior class. “They are really transforming this program, especially this senior class, by how they lead, how they work, how they put the team above themselves,” Carpenter said. “They play for their teammates. They play selflessly. They’ve transformed this program through this season, through their four years here. The underclassmen have big shoes to fill.” They’ve got big shoes to fill in large part because of how those seniors handled transition and came to play every single night. That started with how they handled last season, a 7-16 struggle that included an early five-game losing streak and a three-game slide to end the season, including a sweep at the hands of Western Albemarle in the conference tournament. The Mustangs’ seniors didn’t let that discourage them, and that’s why they were able to turn that record on its head a year later and go 16-6. That turnaround started that year, where that group seniors made the equality that Goodman alluded to central to what their approach. “I think we’ve all learned from past years how important being a positive role model is, how talking to each other and keeping each other on the same level matters,” Goodman said. “Not acting like anyone who is lower skilled or a lower classmen is ‘less than’ on the court.” That’s a nearly perfect building block for team chemistry, and it’s probably a big reason why a critical group of juniors, sophomores during the 7-16 year, came right along with those seniors.


TEAM SPOTLIGHT WESTERN ALBEMARLE CROSS CROUNTY The Warriors’ boys and girls cross country teams completed a rare feat on November 11th — they both won Group 3A state titles. The girls beat Hidden Valley by 56 points while the boys topped Abingdon by 47 points. This is the first title for the girls since 2004 and the second for the boys in three seasons. Congratulations to both teams on all their hard work and well deserved championships!

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She is aware that her teammates look to her and she has not taken that for granted. she has taken that as a privledge.” - Carpenter

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Jewell Pugh emerged as one of the area’s top setters, dishing out 502 assists this year as a junior, running the offense. Allie Cognata and Allison Davis emerged as strong threats at the net, with Cognata notching 136 kills and another 105 digs as one of the Mustangs’ most versatile players. Throw in Ellie Quick who had 136 savvy kills, 36 blocks and 22 aces and you’ve got a tremendous group of impact players. Those juniors flourished with the tone that the seniors helped set, and three of those seniors put together impressive statistical seasons of their own. Brock, for starters, finished with 147 kills, 139 digs and 43 aces. While Brock’s athleticism has been apparent in past seasons, this year it was her leadership and approach that had clearly grown by leaps and bounds. Brock was the heart of the squad, staying steady and even during every big match, from a 3-1 win over Fluvanna in early September to a 3-1 victory over Western that was the squad’s first win over the Warriors in more than 15 years and kicked off a six-game win streak. “She is aware that her teammates look to her and she has not taken that for granted,” Carpenter said. “She has taken that as a privilege and an honor, to know that the way she plays, the mentality she holds, her teammates feed off of it.” Gibson, who had 242 digs and 32 aces from the libero spot, proved an engaging presence in every situation the Mustangs found themselves in, always staying up, keeping Monticello in each point, set and match. “She’s been on varsity for four years and just her attitude, her positivity, her respect for her teammates has been incredible,” Carpenter said. “If you could see her in practice, the way that she dives for every single ball, the enthusiasm you see in games is the same that you see in practice.” Gibson got some significant help on that back line from Simirin Goodman who finished with 125 digs and 19 aces despite seeing limited court time in the rotation. “She’s had a journey with an injury one year, a concussion another year and she has not let that stop her positivity,” Carpenter said. “She just wants to play, she just wants to do what’s best for her team.” The Mustangs’ seniors just weren’t a class that was going to think about themselves, and that’s certainly the case with the other two seniors, Elise Moya and Piper Goodman. While injuries prevented them from having the statistical impact of their classmates, they played just as big of a role in creating that positive, uplifting culture. Moya wanted to be a part of the team so bad that a


I’m thankful for what they’ve done for this program, that’ll be here long after they’re gone.” - Carpenter year after serving as a manager she made the squad as a senior before injuries kept her largely out of the lineup. “She was a manager the year before and came out fighting harder her senior year and earned a spot on the team,” Carpenter said. “She still was dedicated to her team, she was one of the loudest people cheering on the bench.” Same for Piper Goodman, who gave the squad a needed dose of humor and laughter. “Piper has been the inside joke teammate with her spirit and her fire,” Carpenter said. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard a negative word come out of her mouth.” It comes down to that idea of equality, that idea of lifting up everyone on the roster. The idea that without everyone, nothing of real value will be achieved. “None of this would’ve been possible if every single person wasn’t on the court,” said Piper Goodman. “The seniors knew that, the captains knew that and we made sure everyone felt like they were an important part of the team because everybody was.” And that’s what will stick around at Monticello in the wake of this incredible turnaround season. “I’m thankful for what they’ve done for this program, that’ll be here long after they’re gone,” Carpenter said. Long after they took down that net in a final, fitting act of teamwork. ✖

www.scrimmageplay.com ::

18


Game Time

Goochland 42, Brunswick 8 By Ryan Yemen

Goochland had 378 total yards of offense against Brunswick in its playoff opener. (Ryan Yemen)

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Everyone has seen this movie before. A cold night with sloppy field conditions? It was a familiar script for a November playoff win at Goochland. In a battle of the Bulldogs, it was the top seed rolling past the eighth seed in the first round of the Region 2A playoffs to the tune of a 42-8 victory. “We’re built for playing November football,” said Goochland coach Joe Fowler. “There are teams that are great for playing in 82 degrees and in the sun and then teams that are good in the mud and the cold and we’re better in the latter.” Goochland came out hot and put this game away pretty early. After winning the coin toss, Goochland’s opening possession saw the Devin McCray connect with Dallas Holmes on a big pass to set up a 5-yard TD run for Jasper Carter. On the next possession the Goochland defense came up with a fumble recovery to set up a short field and Perry Snead-Johnson came away with a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0 with 1:06 left in the first. After a 3-and-out, Goochland then got a piece of a Brunswick punt to set up shop in the redzone and Quincy Snead cashed in a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 21-0 with 9:54 left in the second. The momentum continued with another partially blocked punt on the next Brunswick drive and this time, McCray hit Snead for a 34-yard TD reception it was 28-0. “Everyone has one job and we all just go out there to do our own job,” said Goochland senior offensive lineman Tyler Mays. “As long as we execute, it just happens.” The last minute of play was a bit crazy on a tough night for officials. After Goochland’s defense saw what appeared to be a fumble recovery for a touchdown on fourth down called back after a player was ruled down, officials somehow awarded Brunswick a

fifth down but one that was untimed as the clock expired during the fumble recovery but no time was put back on the clock and there were no flags on the play. After the confusion, both teams went into halftime. That chaos at the end of the half leaked into the third quarter with Goochland throwing an interception on its first drive but Brunswick fumbling on its following possession. The game got interesting for a minute with Brunswick getting a 57-yard touchdown run from Ahdarius Jackson to make it 28-8 following a succesful 2-pt convert with 3:58 left in the third. But Goochland answered in kind with just two runs from Carter on its ensuing possesion, a 55-yard run followed by a 10-yard touchdown dash to make it 34-8 in just 39 seconds. And then it was Carter again with a 35-yard run to the endzone on the final play of the third quarter to make it 42-8 and set up an easy fourth quarter for the second team offense. “Playing in theses conditions, it’s a mindset,” Carter said. “You’re either going embrace it and want to come out and do it or break down and not get it done. It’s that simple.” On the night, Carter had 159 yards on 13 carries. Jordan Hughes, in clean up duty in the fourth, finished with six touches for 40 yards. McCray was 3-for-9 passing with 85 yards while adding 33 yards on the ground with just three carries. Holmes had two catches for 51 yards. Goochland will play host to Amelia on Friday at 7 p.m. for the second time in three weeks. The Bulldogs took down the Raiders in the regular season finale 42-28. “It’s another game and you have to come out and not think about it too much,” Carter said. “It’s another game and there might not be another, so you just have to come out and play the game like we know how.”. ✖


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# F or k U n i on S trong

Student profiles: RC Walbrook Competition brings out the best in senior RC Walbrook. Whether it’s in the classroom, on the football team or on the academic team for the Blue Devils, Walbrook embraces every opportunity to compete. “I feel like they all feed off each other,” Walbrook said. “In any competition, on the field, in the classroom, out of the classroom, you just want to be the best.” An honor roll student with a 4.22 GPA, Walbrook has managed quite the busy schedule this fall that includes advanced placement courses in English, calculus and history among others while loading up with extra curriculars like the Blue Devil’s 5-man Quiz Bowl team that competed in “The Battle of the Brains” this past October in Richmond and football. On the gridiron, Walbrook led Fork Union in rushing with his 106 carries for 659 yards and six touchdowns. Somehow, he found a way to excel across the board. “Everything is very organized very well so that I have time to get my work done and then can come down to the field and focus on football,” Walbrook said. “We have just enough time to deal with the work load but it is hard and so you have to be organized.” Through it all, Walbrook has found a way to make it all look easy when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Of course, in all competition, the hard work in practice usually leads to light work on game day.

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

The Historian After 20 years, Dan Heuchert has become an MHS institution

A

t some point in the last 20 years during one offseason, Monticello’s football program figured out a way to get Dan Heuchert a new printer and he was pretty thrilled about it. The way printers break down, the fact that he’s only needed two printers total to get his self-appointed job done every Friday night for two decades is kind of a miracle. Of course, he did get a little bit of a jump start because he didn’t need a printer at all early on. “The first several years I did them all by hand and then transferred them onto the computer at home,” Heuchert said. “I was just taking notes on the legal pad.” Those early legal pads have become the richest and most complete historical record that exists for any local football program. Heuchert, an assistant director of media relations at UVa during the week, becomes Monticello’s team statistician and historian on Friday nights in fall. For 20 years, Heuchert has recorded stats at Monticello games all over Central Virginia and beyond, creating an encyclopedia of historical knowledge that includes who led the team in punting average every season (Daniel Lieb did in 2004, 2006 and 2007) to who was the team’s first 1,000-yard rusher (Quinton Bolden in 2000 with 1,285 yards). There are also weekly game notes with key tidbits and information that helps frame what’s going on with Monticello. “Words can’t express how much I miss Dan Heuchert being a member of my football circle,” said former Monticello coach Brud Bicknell, who now coaches Patriot High. “Since I left Monticello, I’ve found it difficult to find anyone willing to keep stats, let alone keep them in such meticulous detail. I still read Dan’s Monticello game notes and game summaries every week.” And if Bicknell had had his way a few back in 2011, maybe those notes and summaries would be about a different school “I even tried, selfishly, to get him to move back to northern Virginia when Patriot High School opened,” Bicknell said. “Monticello is, and always has been, lucky to have him as a part of their team.” The coach who took over for Bicknell, Rodney Redd, now Charlottesville’s athletic director, agreed with Bicknell’s assessment. “Dan is truly one of the hidden gems behind the history and tradition of Monticello Football,” Redd said. “To have someone who has professionally and accurately kept up with not only the game stats, but other statistical trends in and around the program is a luxury.” Heuchert is definitely a rarity. Not to many other folks have done it as long or as well as he has locally, though Mark Fischer’s own father kept them for Louisa County for years. But finding a statistician who is on a mission like Heuchert has been from the moment Monticello opened is a coach’s dream. “I used to be a sportswriter and I remember covering a Garfield game and the kid had 300 rushing yards or something and I asked that coach if that was a school record and he said ‘I don’t know, since I’ve been here,” Heuchert said. “I was looking to do that for Monticello and know who the records were and who had them.” Full disclosure, while it’s definitely a coach’s dream, it’s also a sportswriter’s dream, as with that printer in tow, Dan provides stats that make writing a game story or picking out weekly award winners much, much easier. In fact, when we built out and updated the record book for Central Virginia area schools, we used Heuchert’s Monticello record book

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“Dan truly is one of the hidden gems.” as a template, essentially copy and pasting from his Excel spreadsheets and filling in names from there. It made the process vastly easier and helped us provide a record book for the area that is, if we’re being honest, a shell of what Heuchert has done for the Mustangs. For Heuchert, the journey and commitment has produced a ton of memories and he’s gotten to see some special moments like the 2007 state championship run. His son Jonathan, now a junior defensive end for Randolph Macon, suited up for the Mustangs from 2011 to 2014 and his daughter Michelle played field hockey for Monticello. Before all that though, keeping statistics for Monticello got off to kind of a slow start. “It wasn’t so much fun when they lost the first 13 games they ever played,” Heuchert said. “When they started winning and establishing the tradition, that was really cool. It has been a lot of fun, I’ve seen a lot of different things over 20 years.” Who knows how long Heuchert will keep lugging his laptop and printer into press boxes all over the region, he’s already put in 20 years. For our part, and for the good of the recorded history of Monticello football, Bart Isley, we’re hoping forever. ✖ CRE ATIVE DIRECTOR

back talk »

We need all the stats, all of them in all the sports. Let me have them: bart@scrimmageplay.com


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Volume 9, Issue 3  
Volume 9, Issue 3  
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