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07 GOOCHLAND

FOOTBALL ROLLS AHEAD

scrımmageplay THE CENTRAL VIRGINIA SPORTS AUTHORITY

Digging Deep

Albemarle field hockey crashes the cage. PAGE 15

VOL 8. ISSUE 3 :: OCTOBER 20, 2016


# F or k U n i on S trong

Almuni Profiles: Jacob Ruby Canadian-born from London, Ontario, Jacob Ruby came a long way to high school football at Fork Union. After competing at Medway High in Canada, the 6-foot-7, talented lineman came to play for then coach Micky Sullivan in an effort to play collegiate football. Ruby spent two years with the Blue Devils and alongside Mark Shuman (who signed with Virginia Tech), Russell Bodine (who signed with North Carolina) and John Tu’uta (who signed with North Carolina State) made up one of the best offensive lines in program history. Ruby helped FUMA on both sides of the ball as the Blue Devils made it to the VISAA Division I final four. For his efforts, Ruby signed with the University of Richmond in 2010. That fall he redshirted before playing in all 11 games a freshman in 2011. In 2012, Ruby earned the job as the Spiders’ starting left tackle. He anchored a unit that allowed a Colonial Athletic Association low five sacks all season. In 2013, he started all 12 games for Richmond and then as a senior, he started all 14 games en route to earning third team All-CAA honors. Upon graduation, Ruby moved back north and continued his football career by signing with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 2015 after becoming the team’s first round selection. There he played in three games and now in second season this summer, played in all 16 regular season games. Ruby, at just 23 years old, has already established himself as a community leader in Quebec, regularly volunteering and helping to make a difference at Montreal’s Children’s Hospital for starters. It’s a long journey from Ontario to Fork Union to Richmond and up to Montreal, but Ruby has shown that when passion and hard work meet talent, it will take you quite the distance.

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


07 GoochlAnD

FootbAll Rolls AheAD

scrımmageplay the central virginia sports authority

x’s and o’s

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07

GREATER THINGS Goochland football gets locked in

15

MINING DEVELOPMENT AHS field hockey’s offense takes off

19

GAME TIME Western Albemarle football edges Louisa County

23

ATTENDANCE RECORD The Rateaus and their love of basketball

Digging Deep VOL 8 . ISSUE 3 :: OCTOBER 20, 2016

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BANNER YEAR Four local golfers wrap up VHSL tourney

vol 8. issue 3 :: october 20, 2016

Albemarle field hockey crashes the cage. page 13

S TA F F Bart Isley, Creative Director Bob Isley, Infrastructure Director Ryan Yemen, Creative Editor O N T H E COV E R Albemarle’s Kat Mayo 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

Community Partnership

Working hand in hand with Red Shoes Cville to support the Ronald McDonald House of Charlottesville. Choose the Red Shoes Cville special at www.papajohns.com


PREGAME

Volleyball hops Albemarle’s Katie Schnell jumps for a serve in her team’s 3-1 win over Fluvanna County. The junior led the way for the Patriots with 14 kills and leads the team with 101 on the year. With the victory over Fluvanna, Albemarle moved to .500 and has since improved to 12-10 on the year. They sit in second place in the Jefferson behind Powhatan and Western Albemarle with just two JD contests left on the schedule. ✖ (Photo by Ashley Thornton)

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The Trainer’s table IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

Staying fresh

Recognition and prevention of stress fractures in adolescent athletes By Erin Brooks

{ DEALING WITH IT } Recommended daily doses of Calcium and Vitamin D for 9-18 year olds with stress fractures.

1300

VITAMIN D (IU)

CALCIUM (MG)

600

One particularly worrisome injury is stress fracture. Stress fractures can present in many different ways and develop for a variety of reasons. Many assume only athletes in predominately running sports sustain stress fractures, however, this is not the case.  Others assume, it’s because you’re out of shape or you did too much — also not always the case.  Stress related injuries can occur in any sport but are most commonly seen in track, cross country, basketball, and soccer. Risk factors for stress related injuries include gender, insufficient pre-season training, running mechanics, hip strength, and nutrition.  As with most issues, preparation is key. Proper preseason training is important in reducing the risk of overuse stress injuries. Many athletes begin a new sport with no previous experience, thus increasing their risk for a stress related injury. For many track and cross country athletes it is recommended that they modify training volumes and intensities prior to starting the season. Slowly building mileage and increasing workout intensity help to acclimatize athletes to the demands of in-season training. Muscle strength also plays an important role in reducing risk of injury.  In running stride, the athlete is always in a single limb stance. In this position the force is transferred through the lower limb and is absorbed in the ankle, knee and hip. Much of the stability, however, comes from the hip. It is key for runners to maintain gluteus medius and gluteus maximus strength. Exercises such as bridging, resistance band training, and proper squatting should be done consistently prior to the start of the

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season to ensure adequate strength and ward off injury. A stress fracture can present with a set of very specific symptoms. A common site for stress fracture in athletes, especially runners, is the tibia or lower leg. Many times symptoms begin and are diagnosed as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) or “shin splints.” The key difference between MTSS and stress fracture is that an athlete with MTSS will endure pain with activity but that pain with ease with rest.  An athlete with a tibial stress fracture will have pain at rest as well as at night. The pain will be localized to the bone and tender to the touch. Diagnosis of a stress fracture requires imaging to be done by a physician.  Most physicians prescribe complete rest but the duration varies depending on severity and fracture location.  A stress fracture can set an athlete on the sideline for just a few weeks or it could end the season, adequate strengthening, preparation, and nutrition are the best defenses against a stress related injury. 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 Erin Brooks in 2011. CERTIFIED ATC @AC AC

for more info »

K AR A

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ore adolescents are participating in organized sports every year, many of which are multi-sport athletes.  With a growing number of participants comes a growing concern of overuse injuries.

To learn more about stress fractures: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic. cfm?topic=A00112


First Quarter Banner year

Four Central Virginian golfers play in VHSL championship By Ryan Yemen

I

Louisa County senior Ryan Fleshman led the Lions to a first ever Conference title. (George Stanley)

{ FINAL ROUNDS } Top scores from locals at the Group 2A, 3A, and 4A championships

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STANK E KJ.AR A EL DER K AR A EL DER

G. S WIN K

D .GIBS ON

A . CRENSHAW

149

169 158 163

t was a banner year for Louisa County golf. The Lions have spent years lurking on the cusp of making a postseason splash, and in 2016, they finally made the kind of waves they’ve been hoping for.

The run started with Louisa winning its first ever Jefferson District championship. Then in Conference 19 play, the Lions ran away with first place, posting a team score of 345 led by Ryan Fishman’s 85, Christian Wenger’s 87 and John Reynolds’ 89. The dominant showing was good enough for 25-stroke difference between them and second place Eastern View. After claiming their first conference championship, the Lions earned their second ever Region 4A East bid as a team. Fleshman qualified for the VHSL tournament and finished 12th among individual state qualifiers. The Lions senior shot an 86 on his first day at Tradition Golf Club at Stonehouse in Toano. Then on day two he followed up with an 84 to finish at 170. Of course, while the Lions were the breakout story of the golf season, one of the most successful programs over the last five years managed to put together another strong postseason. William Monroe’s string of playoff runs continued. The Dragons took second in the Conference 28 championship at familiar Greene Hills Golf Club behind Riverside, who snagged first by 20 strokes. The Dragons’ Austin Crenshaw was the C28 medalist as his 69 led the field. Crenshaw and teammate Dalton Gibson both shot rounds of 79 in the Region 3A East tournament to qualify as individuals for the Group 3A championship. That tournament was also held at Stonehouse. There Crenshaw, a senior who is no stranger to

playing at the state level, picked up All-Group 3A honors with his fifth place overall showing, putting together a 76 and then 73 for 2-day total of 149. Gibson shot a 78 and then an 80 to finish with a 158, good for fifth among the individual qualifiers. In the same Group 3A tournament, Fluvanna County’s Jack Stanke managed an 89 and 80 for a 169 to land in 10th among individual qualifiers. Another Bull Run District golfer made it to the final week of play. Not since Austin Kelliher qualified in 2014 has Madison County sent a golfer to the VHSL championship. Gaines Swink worked his way through Region 2A East play to qualify for the Group 2A championship held at Heritage Oaks in Harrisonburg. Swink had to battle on day one with a total of 87 over his first 18 holes, but on the second day he rebounded and put together a strong round of 76 to put his total at 163. That gave him 13th place among the individual qualifiers. With four different programs sending golfers to three different state tournaments, the 2016 golf season this fall offered plenty. And with traditional powers reloading like Charlottesville, Western Albemarle and Albemarle, the rise of Louisa County and the continued presence of Monroe should mean that the field in Central Virginia in 2017 is even more competitive. A more polished product? That’s always a good thing. ✖

go online »

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


College Update

We’ve gone digital

Mary Washington flying high with local Central Virginia trio

But you can have it in print too!

By Ryan Yemen While not unheard of, the idea of three former Central Virginia athletes playing on the same roster is a little bit unusual. Nonetheless, that’s the case at Mary Washington, as with the addition of former Albemarle volleyball standout in Ellie Benning this fall, the Eagles have a local trio that includes another former Patriot in Caroline Porco (2013) and former Fluco in Leslie Walters (2015). The Eagles are off to a blazing start in 2016 as they sport a 22-2 record and a perfect 5-0 record in Capital Athletic Conference play. While Porco has provided solid depth as a senior, and Benning has found a way to contribute as a freshman, Walters is simply having a breakout sophomore season. A former first team All-Scrimmage Play selection in 2014, Walters is averaging 2.19 kills per set and is third on the team in total kills with 188. Her hitting percentage of .286 is second best for the Eagles and her 0.57 blocks per set, a mark good for third on the team, has turned Walters into a versatile

force at the front of the net. Porco and Benning overlapped and played just one season together at Albemarle in 2012. The senior Porco, who was an elite libero in her time with the Patriots, is averaging 1.96 digs for the Eagles right now as she’s played in 28 sets and 10 matches. With a deep roster, the fact that Benning has contributed in 21 sets and 10 matches bodes well for the future. Benning was an All-Scrimmage Play first team selection as a setter last year at Albemarle and she’s playing the same role at UMW. She’s third on the team in assists with 51 and her 2.43 assists per set is second best on the team putting her in prime position to take over for senior setter Emma Olson come 2017. With three athletes whose careers stretch over four years, there’s a few eras of Central Virginia volleyball being represented at Mary Washington. With Porco set to graduate this spring, the Eagles will lean heavily on Walters and Benning next fall. And time will tell if Mary Washington taps this area again for some help on the Division III volleyball circuit. ✖

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 » Former Fluvanna County standout Leslie Walters is among three former Central Virginia athletes getting UMW volleyball off to a 22-2 mark. (Mary Washington 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!

www.scrimmageplay.com ::

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STORY & PHOTOS BY RYAN YEMEN 07 :: @scrimmageplay


AFTER CRUISING TO A 7-0 RECORD WITH A WIN OVER BUCKINGHAM COUNTY, YOU’D THINK THAT GOOCHLAND’S PRACTICE ON THE FOLLOWING MONDAY WOULD BE LOOSE. IT WAS MEANT TO BE THAT WAY ON A DAY THAT HAD TEAM PHOTOS EATING UP A GOOD CHUNK OF THE TIME. BUT AS THE PRACTICE DREW TO A CLOSE, BULLDOGS COACH JOE FOWLER EMPHASIZED TO HIS TEAM THAT THEY WERE GOING TO HAVE TO AMP UP THEIR CONDITIONING AS THEY NEARED THE PLAYOFFS. OF COURSE THAT MEANT MORE SPRINTS. THE ANNOUNCEMENT WASN’T MET WITH AUDIBLE GROANS AS YOU’D EXPECT. “IT’S WILD TO HAVE 45 KIDS — TEENAGERS — AND NOT ONE OF THEM IS A PAIN,” SAID GOOCHLAND COACH JOE FOWLER. “RARELY CAN YOU HAVE THAT MANY TEENAGERS IN ONE SPOT AND THERE ISN’T SOMEONE WHO’S A PAIN, SOMEONE WHO CAUSES PROBLEMS, OR SOMEONE WHO’S HAVING TROUBLE IN CLASS. WE’RE KNOCKING ON WOOD, HOPING THAT EVERYTHING STAYS THIS WAY. WE’VE GOT A GREAT, CLOSE-KNIT TEAM.” SO TO CLOSE OUT PRACTICE, THE BULLDOGS RAN AND RAN AND RAN. NO GRIPES. NO DRAGGING FEET. BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING QUITE INTERESTING HAPPENING DURING THOSE SPRINTS. THE BIG GUYS, THE LINEMEN, THEY WERE HAULING IT. WHEN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR FASTEST RUNNERS AND THE LAST BIG MAN TRAILING BEHIND IS ONLY A FEW STEPS, IT’S EASY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT FOWLER HAS. THERE IS NO LAZINESS TO THIS TEAM. AND SO IT SHOULD BE NO SURPRISE THAT THERE ISN’T ANY ONE PARTICULAR ATHLETE THAT IS CARRYING THEM. IN WHAT IS BOTH A COACH’S DREAM AND A COMMON CLICHE, GOOCHLAND IS SIMPLY A SUM GREATER THAN ITS PARTS. A WELL-BEHAVED BUNCH THAT SUBSCRIBES TO EVERYTHING THE COACHING STAFF DEMANDS? BY MOST STANDARDS, THAT MAKES THE BULLDOGS BORING. BUT THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT. GOOCHLAND DOESN’T BEAT YOU WITH A FEW EXPLOSIVE PLAYS ON EITHER SIDE OF THE BALL. NO, THEY’RE BUILT UPON THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE GAME. WHAT THE BULLDOGS LACK IN STAR POWER THEY MORE THAN MAKE UP FOR IN TOTAL TEAM DEPTH. THEY GETS THINGS DONE ONE PLAY AT A TIME — THEY JUST HAPPEN TO DO IT FOR 60 MINUTES EVERY WEEK. AND THAT PHILOSOPHY, AS “COACH SPEAK” AS IT SOUNDS, IS EXACTLY WHAT IS ALLOWING GOOCHLAND TO DISMANTLE ONE TEAM AT A TIME. www.scrimmageplay.com ::

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“We’re more unified that we were last year,” said senior Cordell Mattox. “Last year we’d have a few people slacking. Not this year. We’re always going hard and trying to make each of us better. There’s always going to be someone there when one guy misses a tackle.” With just two weeks separating this team from the playoffs, this Bulldogs senior class has a lot to prove. The graduation of KK Timberlake and Reid Chenault this spring not only meant that Goochland had new leadership, but it also marked the last connection to the 2012 Group 2A championship team. Mattox has two brothers with state championship rings — his brother Ivan was on the 2006 state champion squad and Nathan was a member of the 2012 title run. There’s obvious family pressure there, but it’s not just Mattox feeling it. It is every member of this 15-member senior class. “Expectations, that’s a good word,” Fowler said. “None of these kids ever wants to let down the ones that came before them. They also know about the work that it takes to get to that level. These guys have all seen the work that was necessary to win, to have great seasons. So it’s not hard to get them to put that work in.” When you start out 8-0, obviously you’re doing something right on both sides of the ball, and while the Bulldogs’ offense is crushing teams right now, the story of the year early on was the defense. Facing perennially talented Essex in week one, it was a pair of interception returns for touchdowns that proved the difference and the only scoring. The first came in the fourth quarter with John King’s 19-yard return and then later in the frame with Mattox’s 97-yard return. That marked the first of four shutouts. The Bulldogs are able to do a lot of different things with this defense because it’s so strong up front. “The front four are able to move the line of scrimmage and pressure the opposing teams into making mistakes,” Fowler said. “Then we’ve got the ball hawks behind them. We’re pretty happy that we’ve got

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“THE FRONT FOUR are able to move the line of scrimmage and pressure the opposing teams into making mistakes. Then we’ve got the ball hawks behind them.” - FOWLER

eight interceptions spread out amongst six different kids. That says a lot about the defensive front and then the secondary.” Senior Clay Brooks and brother Sam, a sophomore, lead the team in tackles with Clay amassing 21 solo and 18 assisted tackles while Sam has come up with 17 solo and 27 assists. The Bulldogs have five different players with four or more tackles for a loss in seven games. Junior linebacker Ricky Mayfield leads the way in that department with seven — and a team best three sacks — while Clay Brooks and sophomore Marqual Chennault each have five and Marcus Burton and Mattox with four apiece. “I feel like it’s that we’re unified and we’ve got the game experience,” Clay Brooks said. “All that experience has made a big difference and helped us out a lot. I feel like the shutouts are giving us motivation to keep trying to shut teams out. It’s making us play harder, we’re looking for that turnover, that defensive touchdown.” That sets the table for a secondary that features a blend of leadership in Mattox and Calvin Martin to go with junior Cole Nuckols and freshman sensation Devin McCray. The Bulldogs started out playing a lot of soft zone coverage, but the push up front paired with


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the talent and smarts in the secondary has allowed them to play a variety of coverages, with a lot of man coverage and some bracketing with with some zone coverage sprinkled wherever necessary. Of course the beauty of is that Goochland is not letting this smothering defense go to waste. Throw in a classic Bulldogs rushing team that’s as good as it has been since the run in 2012 and you’ve got a daunting task on both sides of the ball. One of the big challenges coming into the season was finding the depth on the offensive line to help out senior captain Joshua Clarke. Sophomore Christian Drumheller along with seniors Jontavian Turner and Jacob Davis have made this an elite unit that’s improved each week. “Coming out of the scrimmages with Powhatan and Monticello we were missing some starters and so we were a little bit worried early on,” Fowler said. “We didn’t know how it would go against Essex and then Fork Union. But things just kind of fell into place and we started executing, opening up the holes. And that’s all we have to do because we’ve got the guys who know how to run through them.” With the offensive line staying healthy and improving each week, that’s opened the door for what is nothing short of a stable when it comes to Goochland’s running backs. When you’ve got four different runners with at least 200 yards through seven games, you’ve got an unfair advantage. And when throw in just how different each back is, it allows the Bulldogs to execute inside and outside when it comes to this wing-T offense. “We get to get after defenses and that’s all we talk about (as linemen),” Clarke said. “Anytime we get the ball it’s about those long drives downfield and trying to get these running back’s loose on the outside or we’ll just pound it up the middle inside. They’re so much diversity back there. We’re just trying to make sure as a line that we do our jobs so they can do theirs.”

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“THINGS JUST kind of fell into place and we started executing, opening up the holes. And that’s all we have to do because we’ve got the guys who know how to run through them.” - FOWLER With Burton as the downhill hammer, it all starts there. Averaging 8.32 yards per carry and 103.2 per game, Burton has a team best 516 yards and three touchdowns. Jasper Carter, Calvin Martin and Mattox are the speeders that Fowler moves around, using them off tackle or on sweeps. Carter has 7.59 yards per carry and 448 total yards to go with six touchdowns. Martin is close behind with 6.63 yards per touch and 313 yards and four touchdowns. Mattox has a 5.94 yard per clip average and 214 yards and three touchdowns. “We’re blessed that all those guys worked so hard in the offseason in the weight room,” Fowler said. “Marcus is a physical force inside, Jasper can be a battering ram as well. Then we’ve got the speed kids outside with Cordell and Calvin. The one thing Goochland always has, it’s kind of funny, we’ve always got running backs and that’s why we run the wing-T.” Of course, second on the team in touchdowns is first-year quarterback Tanner Bradshaw who has the build and mentality of an offensive lineman. The Bulldogs senior had six touchdowns on just 22 touches and figures to get his number called a bit more as the stakes increase come playoff time. Obviously when you lose a passing talent like Chenault who is now


at the University of Richmond, the passing attack isn’t quite going to be the same. But Goochland isn’t trying to be like it was the last few seasons. Bradshaw has done a nice job of picking his spots as he’s 22-for-40 passing with 376 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. Mattox leads the receiving corps with six receptions for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Dallas Holmes is next with five catches for 79 yards and then Martin just behind with four catches for 71 yards. Yes, that means the Bulldogs are only getting 53.7 passing yards per game from Bradshaw, but when you’ve got nearly 250 yards per game on the ground, the aerial attack is obviously meant to be a complement, not a feature player. With Central Lunenburg coming to town on October 21 and a road trip to Bluestone on October 28, the Bulldogs sit just two games away from completing a perfect regular season. Of course, the last time that happened was in 2011 when Goochland finished as state runner-up to set up its state title run in 2012. Of interest is the fact that the Bulldogs have their bye week to finish up their regular season. That means they’ll get a two-week break to prepare for their first round Region 2A East opponent. With a second-round exit last year, a 22-19 loss to Greensville County, Goochland has been chomping at the bit to get to this second portion of the season. “We learned a valuable lesson in 2005 when we went 10-0 in the regular season and felt primed win a state title,” Fowler said. “We went up against another 10-0 team in Manassas Park, our best player on the team broke his arm on the first play of the game and next thing you know we’re 10-1 and we’re done. Winning out in the regular season is great but they don’t give out rings and the big shiny trophies that you want for that. Who hangs district banners in their gym? Nobody. You hang state banners.” And on a yearly basis, with those expectations each senior class sets up to make its mark. There’s always hope that comes with a new season, and while the Bulldogs have been talented each year since that state championship in 2012, there’s a bit of a unquenched fire brewing — the kind of thing that happens to a program that expects to compete for state championships when it hasn’t for a little while. “We started talking about this before the season ever started, way back in the offseason,” Mattox said. “We just want the ring. So we worked so hard in the offseason lifting weights, every day in practice with the coaches. Now we want something in return.” State title or bust is a common thing for programs like Goochland. And for Fowler, a coach who’s won a pair of championships since he arrived in 2003, there’s a simple formula. “Winning out the regular season is great if that’s what happens,” Fowler said. “But when it comes to the playoffs we always say we’ll just throw down our chips and see how it plays out.” That should give a lot of teams reason to worry. The Bulldogs haven’t played in a lot of close games, but they’ve got a lot of chips. They’re keeping their hand close to the vest, developing little looks here and there on offense and defense waiting for the right opportunity to really tap into them come playoff time. What this team has right now is something special, a meeting in the middle between the players and coaches where everyone is on board, doing all the little things, and looking forward to seeing what happens when greatness is on the line. ✖

“WE STARTED TALKING about this before the season ever started, way back in the offseason. We just want the ring. So we worked hard in the offseason lifting weights, everyday in practice with the coaches. Now we want something in return.” - MATTOX

www.scrimmageplay.com ::

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mining development

STORY BY BART ISLEY

PHOTOS BY TOM PAJEWSKI AND BART ISLEY 13 :: @scrimmageplay


SEVERAL TIMES

during nearly every high school field hockey game, what appears to be a mad scrum breaks out in front of the goal. It often looks like chaos from the outside and it’s even unclear sometimes who exactly scored if a goal comes out of that chaos. It takes some serious work to make those goals happen. As an old ice hockey saying goes, if you want want to find gold, you’ve got to dig. That digging and clawing that looks like madness to most has been broken down into a science at Albemarle. The Patriots are simply more deliberate and more successful in the scrum inside the solid circle than they’ve ever been before. They do it by staying spread out and when Albemarle’s Lauren Hughlett explains it, it doesn’t sound that complicated. “It’s hard to not get clumped in the circle,” Hughlett said. “We keep the midfielders up, offensive players on each side of the post and have another player on pads. We try and get good shots from the top and people at the bottom tip it in.” That’s the simple version, but move the ball around a couple of feet either way and the entire situation can change. Albemarle has somehow figured out a way to slow down the chaos, to use the basic structure Hughlett described to inflict maximum damage, to reap the greatest rewards. It’s the Patriots’ attention to detail, Albemarle’s depth and a collection of athletes with a variety of backgrounds has helped the Patriots’ hockey program make a huge leap forward this season under first-year head coach Brittany McElheny. “They know the basics and they like to be pushed,” McElheny said. “When they’ve been issued challenges, they’ve stepped up, so we just keep upping the level. We’re way ahead of where I thought we would be at the beginning of the year.” www.scrimmageplay.com ::

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“THE BALL IS COMING

PAST YOU AND YOU MIGHT THINK IT IS GOING OUT.

BUT YOU HAVE ONE MORE

TEAMMATE DOWN ON THE

GROUND READY TO HIT IN IN BEHIND YOU.” - MAYO

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That science around the cage starts with repetition. Constant, well-informed repetition. “We practice a lot doing tips, shots right in front of the goalie,” said Albemarle’s Kat Mayo. “We put people on pads a lot so we practice being scrappy and staying low in that situation.” That’s a big difference between just throwing in some situational drilling. Mayo and the Patriots don’t just concentrate on being scrappy. Or talk about being scrappy. They practice being scrappy. They also practice being unselfish and they practice trusting one another. They’re not assuming it’s just going to happen. They’re making sure it does by incorporating those unsettled situations into their work every day and practicing the values and mentality they want to see in a game in those specific situations. It’s not words at that point. It’s action. “That’s a very unselfish thing where you have the ball and you choose to let your teammate have it,” said Albemarle’s Anna Murray. “We have to trust each other. You can’t see the people on post behind you, but we’re so close as a team that we know our teammate is going to be there to finish.” Those moments in front of the goal can start a variety of different ways. Most often they start on an offensive possession after an entry shot or off a corner on an injection. From there, any number of things can happen, with players deliberately letting the ball through and shielding the goalie or looking to tip the ball toward the cage or a teammate or fighting a defender for the ball in an effort to regain possession. For offensive players, the key element is trusting your teammates to play their role and doing your job. “The ball is coming past you and you might think it’s going out,” Mayo said. “But you have one more teammate down on the ground ready to hit it in behind you. We crash the goal because we practice being in that position for those situations.” So if Mayo is playing to the goalie’s pads and Lauren Hughlett is setting up near the post, Mayo has to trust that Hughlett is in position and ready to finish. When that trust is there, she’ll let the ball slip by and sometimes that results in an easy goal for Hughlett or another player. The only way to figure all that out is practice it a ton of different ways. Albemarle runs drills that present a lot of different scenarios and ask the offense and defense to react, to correct. To communicate. “We’ve talked a lot about setup and how to group yourselves,” McElheny said. “I’ll correct them a couple of times so they see the positioning and then I let the girls direct each other so they’re used to directing each other. I think that’s why the science is working a little better because they’re seeing the holes and they’re used to the communication.” All that work is paying off in a big way. It’s clear what’s


ACADEMIC EDGE

S P O N S O R E D

B Y

H A R G R AV E

M I L I TA R Y

A C A D E M Y

ORANGE COUNTY’S HOLLI FOSTER

Orange County field hockey captain Holli Foster is capable of halting an offense’s advance and immediately transitioning it into an advantage for the Hornets. From her sweeper/center midfield spot, Foster can orchestrate an entire game. Off the field, she’s doing some serious orchestrating too. That’s where she boasts a 3.96 GPA while managing a slew of responsibilities in the high school club world ranging from secretary of the Health and Fitness Club to Debate to National Honor Society. To make all that work, Foster strikes early. “I like to get stuff done ahead of time. All my college applications are done right now,” Foster said. “I’m two weeks ahead in my online class so I get it out of the way and don’t have to worry about it.” Getting projects and assignments done so she can put things in the past also frees her up to work on her senior project. “For my senior project I’m doing it on the impact of interest on voter turnaround in young adults,” Foster said. “I want to go study politics.” That discerning eye and quick decision-making that Foster uses to stop defenses and jumpstart her offense? That could serve her well in that line of work.

ABOUT HARGRAVE MILITARY ACADEMY Hargrave believes individual achievement is a gamechanger for all students, both on and off the field. With a college acceptance rate of 100% and a heavy emphasis on academics, your son will have competitive advantages ahead of his peers including leadership and character development.

The Academic athlete of the issue is selected by Scrimmage Play’s staff with the consultation of coaches and athletic directors. To nominate an athlete email info@scrimmageplay.com

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“EVERYONE HAS GOTTEN PLAYING TIME AND

EVERYONE HAS SCORED.

IT’S AMAZING HOW MANY

PEOPLE WE HAVE OUT

THERE SCORING.” - MURRAY

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translating. “At the beginning of the year we got lucky with some goals in the scrum,” McElheny said. “Now we’re scoring off situations we’ve seen in practice.” The Patriots’ unselfishness becomes critical once that communication is flowing, Albemarle’s players have to be willing to allow the best opportunity to present itself and go with it, rather than trying to dominate and work outside the system. That is clearly not a problem for the Patriots, who spread the scoring out extensively. Twelve different Patriots have scored this year, led by Anna Murray’s team-high 18 goals. “Everyone can start any day,” Murray said. “We’re all athletes and we’re all skilled and on gameday we’re all ready to go. Everyone has gotten playing time and everyone has scored. It’s amazing how many people we have out there scoring.” That team-first attitude is in the little things too, like when midfielders like Kat Bianchetto and Kelsey Myers set up near the top of the circle when the Patriots are in their offensive zone. Instead of taking low percentage shots from that far out that they’re perfectly capable of making, Myers and Bianchetto work for something better, something more efficient. They lean on the science. “(Kat and Kelsey) can hammer it into the back of the net,” Murray said. “For them to just lay it out and just push pass it to us, that’s why they’re great teammates.” Beyond Murray’s highly productive year, Mayo, Hughlett and Morgan Rose have notched eight, eight and seven goals respectively. But Albemarle really does seem to operate on a whoever-is-open approach to the game. They can do that in part because they’re extremely deep with 19 field players on the roster, almost all of whom play a role. They’re also flexible when it comes to positions, making them a little more dynamic, a little more unpredictable, with little drop off when those changes happen, particularly in the second half. “We sub all the time,” Murray said. “If you come to the game in the second half when we’ve switched it up you would not be able to tell. Everyone is very adaptable and that includes playing different positions.” That frequent substitution opens the door for Albemarle to lean on other teams and wear them down. Slowly, but surely the opposition starts to run out of gas in the second half as Albemarle keeps throwing fresh, well-rested players into the mix. “We’ve kind of gotten used to playing a lot of different positions and subbing constantly,” Mayo said. “I think that’s a really good quality. We have such a deep bench that we can put people in different positions and sub every two minutes. I think that’s really unique to our team.” Last season, Covenant’s hockey team celebrated the fact that it went unbeaten against all Central Virginia teams public and private. This year, it was Albemarle’s


“EVERYONE HAS

THEIR OWN TALENT

AND IT JUST MESHES REALLY WELL TOGETHER.” - HUGHLETT

turn to own that crown, beating STAB and Covenant as well as all the Jefferson District squads in their first run through the district. Only Richmond-area power Collegiate has managed to derail Albemarle, and the Cougars needed overtime and eventually a series of 1v1s to pull that off. “Everyone has their own talent and it just meshes really well together,” Hughlett said. “We know what each other is capable of so we trust each other on the field.” While the offensive explosion has been a pleasant surprise, this has been a holistic effort all over the field. In fact, defense was even a little more a known entity for Albemarle at the start of the season before a 6-1 win in the season opener served notice that the offense had the ability to pile in goals. The Patriots knew that defensively they were sound going into the year, and that unit has even exceeded some lofty expectations, allowing just five goals all season. The fresh legs that help the Patriots wear down opposing defenses also help the Albemarle back line as they’re constantly putting fresh defenders into the mix. Those players are also getting all the work the offense is getting on tip drills and scrums in front of the net. They’re learning how to counteract the offense in those situations. Chemistry is helping too. Good chemistry enables that sought-after unselfishness and not being selfish creates good chemistry. They go hand-inhand. “I think we’re really close this year, we’ve done some team bonding and playing all of August really helps us build the connection,” said Albemarle’s Morgan Stilley. That connection is paying huge dividends in the Patriots’ win-loss record. It’s paying huge dividends in the way they’re playing. Now they’ll get to see if it’ll pay huge dividends in the playoffs. It should. Albemarle wants to find gold and they’re also clearly willing to dig. That desire and work ethic is enough to sustain the Patriots, in the scrum or out. ✖ www.scrimmageplay.com ::

18


Game Time

Western Albemarle 28, Louisa County 22 By Bart Isley

Noah Yourkavitch and Western Albemarle handed Louisa County its first loss. (Ashley Thornton)

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Western Albemarle has had some rough starts this season and it’s clear the Warriors just need a little time to settle in. Around six minutes to be exact. “All we were talking about is the first six minutes, just get through it,” said Western’s Jack Weyher. “That’s all we had on our mind today.” Apparently, if the Warriors can survive those first six minutes, an upset that seemed nearly impossible to pull off before the game can become quite possible. The first six minutes against Louisa County on Homecoming went nearly perfectly Friday night as the Warriors built a two-touchdown lead and battled the Lions all night en route to a 38-30 shocker of a previously unbeaten Louisa squad. The Warriors dedicated the game to Kenny Gibson, a former Western student battling lung cancer who returned to the school during a pep rally where he received a warm welcome from his former classmates as well as an autographed photo and video message from his favorite football player, former Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, the result of a #peytonforkenny social media campaign that caught fire. Later that night, Western made the day even more special, taking advantage of an early Louisa miscue, a bobbled punt snap, to build that quick lead when Derek Domecq connected with Weyher for a touchdown. That score came just minutes after Domecq scored on the ground to cap the Warriors’ game-opening drive. Western was up 14-0 and maybe more importantly, they’d gotten past that six-minute mark. Louisa bounced back with Malik Bell completing a jump pass to Alex Hurley midway through the second quarter, cutting Western’s lead to 14-8. Western was unshaken though, with Domecq responding with a 5-yard touchdown run with three minutes left before halftime. Domecq finished with 115 rushing yards

and two touchdowns on the ground while unleashing an efficient 9-for-17, 152-yard, three-touchdown night through the air. The Warriors’ defense stepped up throughout, and while Western didn’t completely shut down the Lions’ potent ground attack as Bell and Job Whalen each rushed for more than 100 yards (Bell going for 107, Whalen for 112), Western contained Louisa enough and prevented Louisa from breaking too many big plays. Out of the half, Louisa County struck first with a 12-yard touchdown run by Bell, but the Warriors responded with Domecq hitting Noah Yourkavitch on a well-thrown 18-yard toss to the end zone. Bell struck again, scoring from 15 yards out to cap a quick drive, pulling Louisa within six points at 28-22 to keep the pressure on Western. The Warriors, however, hung tough and refused to allow Louisa to overtake them. “It’s an eye-opener and it’s a welcome to the big time,” said Louisa coach Mark Fischer of the Lions’ first loss of the year. “We’ll find out what we’re made of now.” The dagger for the Lions came in two parts in the latter stages of the fourth. The first was when a pack of Western defenders stuffed Bell on fourth down with 6:30 to play in the game. The second part came when Louisa appeared to be ready to force Western to punt, but Domecq burned the Lions with a toss to Weyher on a rollout with 3:29 to play. Weyher then raced in from 55-yards out to put Western up 38-22. Bell answered with 1:23 to play with a touchdown toss to RaQuan Jones (he finished with a 6-for-12, 109-yard, 2 TD performance through the air), but Western recovered the onsides kick and then Domecq picked up a first down on third down to put an end to Louisa’s comeback bid. Darren Klein had 109 yards on the night while also catching 42 receiving yards. Noah Crutchfield led the Warriors with eight tackles, four of them solo, and a sack late in the fourth. ✖


TEAM SPOTLIGHT LOUISA COUNTY FOOTBALL The Lions held their first ever “Cancer Out” on September 30 during their home game with Fluvanna County. The event did a lot more than just help to raise cancer awareness, Louisa County set up a registration area where the crowd could volunteer to become potential bone marrow donors. That’s truly being proactive! Fantastic Job, Lions, and best of luck on the rest of your season!

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Overtime

Attendance record How the enitre Rateau family embraced Fluvanna hoops

S

haron Rateau hasn’t missed many games during her husband Munro Rateau’s long, storied career as the Fluvanna County boys basketball coach. Her daughters, Erin and Beth, haven’t missed many either, going to their first games in infant seats. Sharon even tried to make a game once right after Erin had a school program in middle school. Only thick, dangerous fog on Route 6, the path to Goochland she was trying to take to make tip-off, slowed her down. “As soon as her part was over, I was like, we’re getting in the car and driving to Goochland,” Sharon said. “When I got past the town of Columbia, the fog was so bad I couldn’t see in front of the hood of the car. I (thought) I better turn around, as much as I want to see this game.” That dedication continued as adults. Beth and Erin would come home when they lived outside the area or were in college specifically to attend games. In fact, Erin pointed out that she only missed the Flucos’ last state quarterfinal appearance in 2012 for a particularly good reason. “I missed the last quarterfinal game to have a baby,” Erin said. That’s a pretty darn good reason. Coaching has always been a family pursuit. The odd hours, the travel, the out-ofseason practices and camps, the stress — all of it requires incredible teamwork from a family. Sustaining that for 37 years and more than 500 career victories — the career that got Munro inducted into the Virginia High School Hall of Fame this year — takes more than teamwork. It takes a family-wide commitment. It takes love. “It’s what our whole winter every year has revolved around,” Beth said. “Our dad wasn’t always at our dining room table but it was okay because we liked what he was doing.” In particular when Beth and Erin were younger, during Fluvanna’s runs to state titles in 1989 and 1990, there were some definite trade offs. Erin was born in March, which meant that her birthdays were often spent in Richmond at the state tournament. “My biggest memories of basketball games are being there with our entire community,” Erin said. “It wasn’t just us there, it wasn’t just the parents there, it was a community event. It meant so much to the people that lived near us and cheered for us to be at games, to feel like they were a part of it.” That feeling persists. Players and students from the past who haven’t seen the Rateaus in year know. Whether it’s paramedics who Beth encounters in her job at UVa’s Medical Center or when Erin goes grocery shopping in Fluvanna. “I walked into E.W.’s the other day,” Erin said. “And some guy was like ‘you’re a Rateau.’ I was like, I was but now I’m married and he said, ‘No you’ll always be a Rateau.” Both Beth and Erin encouraged Munro to keep coaching the last few years, and they had a pretty unique reason for doing so -- they wanted his grandchildren to remember him coaching the Flucos. “It was important to us for them to know, being that we live there now, why Fluvanna

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“It wasn’t just us there, it wasn’t just the parents there, it was a community event.” is important to us and why basketball is important to us and why team is important to us,” Beth said. When something means as much to your family as Fluvanna County basketball means to the Rateaus, you want everyone in the family, no matter how small, to experience it. Because now it exists in memory, with Rateau retiring earlier this year just a couple of years short of 40 years leading the Flucos and many years after Sharon and Munro thought they’d be in Fluvanna County when they arrived in the 1970s. “We fell in love with Fluvanna once we had our girls in Fluvanna and the community became so important to us. It became our family and those boys became our boys. It was the best life we could have ever dreamed of.” That’s about all anyone can ask. It’s a life that’s driven by teamwork and it’s powered by love. ✖

Bart Isley,

CRE ATIVE DIRECTOR

back talk »

What is Fluvanna County’s best moment under Coach Rateau? bart@scrimmageplay.com


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Volume 8, Issue 3