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scrımmageplay THE CENTRAL VIRGINIA SPORTS AUTHORITY

Stage Lit

The hoops season is in full swing with playoff dreams on the line PAGE 09

VOL 9. ISSUE 4 :: JANUARY 22, 2018


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x’s and o’s 21 05 09

07 09

ALL FALLING IN How FUMA’s Cunningham netted 60 points

IN THE SPOTLIGHT Breaking down basketball at its midway point

19

GAME TIME Monroe girls basketball tops Wilson

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DR. BASEBALL Sam Beale leaves a lasting impression

Stage Lit VOL 9, ISSUE 4 :: JANUARY 22, 2018

05

FASTER, STRONGER STAB’s Taylor enjoys the fruits of offseason work

vol 9. issue 4 :: January 19, 2018

The hoops season is in full swing with playoff dreams on the line page 09

S TA F F Bart Isley, Creative Director Bob Isley, Infrastructure Director Ryan Yemen, Creative Editor O N T H E COV E R Kobi Alexander, Jovia Winkey, Cartier Key and Elisabeth Coffman 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

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PREGAME

Spotting up

William Monroe’s Hailey Morris pulls up for a jumper during her team’s 53-48 win over Wilson Memorial during the Play for Preemies Showcase held at Western Albemarle. The Showcase raised money for the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital and the Carilion Clinic Children’s Hopsital’s NeoNatal Intensive Care Units. Morris has been a breakout player for the Dragons as just a freshmen. Monroe is off to a blazing 12-0 start. ✖ (Photo by Bart Isley)

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ALTER EGOS Brayan Jara Auto Service technician Brayan Jara needed an opportunity to learn, to explore something he knew he was excited about. CATEC gave him that opportunity as part of the Auto Service Technician program. “I just really wanted to learn how to fix cars, I just really like cars,” Jara said. “I like being in the shop.” In the first few weeks of the class, Jara got right down to business along with the rest of the students, picking up the basics of auto service. “We learned how to change the oil, something I’ve never done and we learned how to lift cars too,” Jara said. As a member of Monticello’s boys soccer program, Jara was part of a program that made some huge strides last spring on the varsity level, and playing soccer at a high level certainly holds some lessons applicable in the shop. “You’ve always got to pay attention,” Jara said. “If you’re not locked in, you might miss a play or whatever and it’s the same thing over here, you might drop a car or something.” Learning best practices and safety procedures is a critical part of CATEC’s Auto Service Technician Program. That’s going to give Jara an chance to explore his interests and learn a professional approach to those interests. That’s desire meeting opportunity at CATEC.

College Track students taking an early step in their career

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

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04


First Quarter Faster, stronger STAB guard takes his game to a higher level By Ryan Yemen

D

Saints junior Dalton Taylor is enjoying an increase in both minutes and production. (Bart Isley)

{ THE DIVIDENDS } Taylor’s averages per game

14.9

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S TE ALS

AS SIS TS

POINTS

1.4

K AR A EL DER K AR A EL DER

2.8

alton Taylor was already a pretty strong guard. Taylor had already built a reputation as a sold shooter in his first two years of playing. Now a few months into his junior season, it’s clear that Taylor’s game is rounding into form.

“Dalton is doing everything we wanted him to do,” said St. Anne’-Belfield coach Brian Kent. “In the offseason he went out and got stronger and faster, increased his endurance which was already great. He’s pushing the ball ahead really well and has just become this really dynamic guard.” Playing on a guard heavy team requires that kind of dedication because STAB wasn’t going to improve on an 18-win season without Taylor and his teammates figuring out how to compensate for their lack of size under the basket. With roster change comes adaptation. Two years ago, the Saints boasted one of the best front courts in the state with Javin DeLaurier, Jalen Harrison and Jayden Nixon. Replacing that size isn’t always an option. So you get stronger where you can. “You’re trying to build consistency and that gets you bigger, stronger, faster,” Taylor said. “It’s an everyday thing. You’ve got to be in the gym everyday. You’re trying to get into the speed of the game. There’s a lot of bigger players you’re going up against so you’ve got to find a way to be stronger and faster.” With a senior veteran in Nic Kent and the emergence of senior Jordan Pennix and sophomore Nick Reese, the Saints have found a way to build around forward Myles Ward with strong guard play. With no shortage of perimeter shooters, STAB’s strength is its ability to create open shots. It doesn’t take much of a window when everyone of the starters can knock them down. “We know we have five guys that can shoot from anywhere on the floor so what we’re trying to do is be aggressive in the lane and kick out,” Taylor said. “Sometimes we

live and die by three a little too often, but it’s really open just getting open shots, working together. We know we can score in bunches so we’re tying to speed teams up.” “He’s been a tremendous leader and I really can’t say enough about how’s responded to coaching,” Brian Kent said. “He’s really worked on the stuff we talked a lot about last year, the rebounding, taking charges. He’s doing the hustle stuff. You can see it when the ball goes in for us. It goes in and he’s already putting pressure on (the opponent) defensively.” STAB needs all of its guards to be tenacious rebounders and pressure defenders and while that’s where Taylor has made the most progress, there’s also a difference on the other side of the floor. Kent has been on the Saints roster since he was an eighth grader back in the 2013-2014 season and around the program forever with his father as the coach. He’s been witness to quite a few players stepping into their own, whether it was DeLauier four years ago or Nixon last year. From his perspective, there’s something extra about Taylor’s game right now. “There’s a lot more confidence in his shot this year,” Nic Kent said. “He’s looking to score more and you can see he’s coming out early, getting a couple of quick buckets early to get rolling. There’s just a confidence that he’s built up.” Two years removed from a VISAA Division 1 final four showing, the Saints are an improved team this year in a handful of different ways. Taylor’s improvement on both sides of the floor for the Saints is a big reason why. ✖

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College Update

We’ve gone digital

FUMA alum Peter Lomong helps lead Northern Arizona to title

But you can have it in print too!

By Bart Isley Peter Lomong didn’t just improve incrementally in a year at Northern Arizona. His improvement curve doesn’t look like the steady increase typical of a hard working athlete who adjusted to college running and has two years of experience under his belt. It looks like a hockey stick. Lomong put together strong prep career where he was a five-time All-Prep League cross country runner as well as the 800-meter state champion as a senior in addition to earning All-Scrimmage Play honors in cross country and track that year. He headed to Northern Arizona because it’s one of the country’s best cross country programs and training grounds as well as the alma mater of his brother, Olympian Lopez Lomong. After taking 19th as a freshman in the Big Sky Conference meet, in year two, he took 16th in the Big Sky Conference and didn’t make the Lumberjacks’ NCAA roster, though NAU went on to win the NCAA team title in spite of Lomong’s finish. This year though, he took the massive leap forward that his old high school coach who he and brother Alex lived with while at

Fork Union, Winston Brown, has actually been predicting for years. Lomong finished eighth in the national championships, helping vault the Lumberjacks to a second straight national team title while completing one of the most improved seasons in the country, jumping from a 16th in the conference to eighth in the entire nation. Northern Arizona won the meet with 74 points, beating the runner-up Portland by 53 points. “I am my own biggest competition and I ignored the negative inner voices today,” Lomong told the Northern Arizona website. “At the end of the race, all I was thinking was that I will not quit on my team. I went out there and just raced with no regrets.” That eighth place finish was good enough to earn an All-American nod as well. In the world of elite collegiate cross country, there isn’t much separating the very top from the mid-tier. The top 73 finishers all finished within a minute of each other. With everyone striving to improve, making the kind of leap Lomong did is an incredible feat, and since he’s just a junior, he’s got time to take things to an even higher level. ✖

BELOW » Former Blue Devil Peter Lomong finished eighth as an individual to lead Northern Arizona to back-to-back national championships. (NAU Sports Information)

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First Quarter

All falling in

FUMA’s Cunningham puts together a crazy night | By Ryan Yemen Michael Cunningham had 60 points during Fork Union’s 93-92 overtime victory against Christchurch. (Bart Isley)

W

hen there’s only 32 minutes of regulation play and even an overtime period only adds four minutes, anytime you’ve got more points than minutes played, you had yourself a night. So when Fork Union coach James Pelham looked over the individual point totals after his team’s 93-92 overtime win against Christchurch, Michael Cunningham’s line stuck out. Like a lot. “It was one of those nights where I didn’t realize he was close to 60, I just figured he was in the 40’s, somewhere around that,” Pelham said. “When I looked at the book and then I saw 60, I just scratched my head and thought, ‘wow, what a night.’” The 6-foot-2 senior put together his 60-point effort, a school record, rather methodically. While Cunningham hit on a quartet of 3-pointers, the real source of his offensive onslaught came from attacking the basket. “It was a slow game at first because they kept fouling us and putting us at the free throw line,” Cunningham said. When Cunningham didn’t finish at the hole he found a way to at least get to the free throw line and he made Christchurch pay dearly there. Cunningham hit 24 of his 30 foul shots, making him 80 percent on the night from the line. To get a sense of the consistency that Cunningham played with, you just have to comb through the scorebook and see how evenly things broke down by quarter. In the first he scored six points. He had 10 points in the second quarter with eight of them coming at the free throw line. In the third he only had one foul shot, which he made, but he hit a pair of threes and finished three other field goals for 15 points. “Once I started hitting a couple of shots there I knew, I was like ‘yeah, they’re falling in tonight,” Cunningham said. “And then Coach just kept on me about attacking them, so I just did what he said.”

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In the fourth he had five field goals to go with a 4-for-5 free throw shooting effort, giving him 14 more points. Finally in overtime, he had three more field goals and went eightfor-eight from the line for 15 points. And just like that, 6, 10, 15, 14 and 15 make a clean 60-point showing. “It’s amazing and we needed every single point he had and thankfully we got them from him,” Pelham said. The only thing crazier than the 60-point statline was that Christchurch had so many players foul out that they were forced to play with just three men late in the overtime period. “It was just a crazy game,” Cunningham said. “I’ve never played in one like that where so many players fouled out. Thankfully only two of ours did so we were okay.” Cunningham also notes that once things started rolling his way, his teammates seized on it and kept setting screens for him, giving him the opportunities to ride a hot hand. “I think a lot of it was the spacing and my teammates getting me open,” Cunningham said. “After that it was just that everything kept falling in.” This isn’t Cunningham’s first big showing in high school either. As a sophomore he had a 41-point game. And while that game sticks out, there’s just something about getting to a nice clean, round 60 points. At any level, NBA, college or high school, 60 is just a lot. ✖

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TEAM SPOTLIGHT WESTERN ALBEMARLE GIRLS BASKETBALL The Warriors hosted their second annual “Play for Preemies” Showcase Tournament to kick off 2018. The event that featured six different basketball games and helped raise funds for the University of Virginia’s Children’s Hospital. Fantastic work fom the Western girls once again and great job in creating a tradition in Crozet that everyone can get behind! Keep up the great work!

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In the Spotlight

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> STORY BY RYAN YEMEN & BART ISLEY | PHOTOS BY ASHLEY THORNTON 09 :: @scrimmageplay


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

t

The pressure doesn’t really start to mount until January. In December, there’s almost an exhibition feel to basketball season. Everything is forgiven in December, teams are reconfiguring, ironing out some of the kinks. But in January it’s time to start getting a sense of urgency. The dress rehearsal vibe gets tired and the pressure mounts for teams to reach their potential. Success in January usually leads to success in February and March when it’s literally win or go home and the lights are cut out. A breakout star always makes things easier. Four athletes from four different teams that went deep into the playoffs are stepping up and trying to get their squads back in the mix. At Madison County, Kobi Alexander took over as the team’s dominant post player with hopes of making the kind of postseason splash that the program has grown accustomed to over the years. The last two years brought back memories from the ‘08-’09 and ‘09-’10 teams. Can Alexander help the Mountaineers expedite the rebuilding process after a strong Region 2A East run in ‘15-’16 and a Group 2A final four run in ‘16-’17? The St. Anne’s-Belfield girls are a seemingly endless source of great talent at guard. It was obvious when she was a freshman in ‘15-’16 that Joviah Winkey was going to be a lot more than than the clutch role player she was back then. After a serious graduation of talent at guard, Winkey has proven she can take the reins this year. Albemarle’s boys have been all about Austin Katstra and Jake Hahn for four years. Now the athletes that used to come up big in smaller roles during the Patriots’ back-toback Group 5A final four runs are getting a chance to rebrand the area’s winningest public program over the last two years. Cartier Key is more than just a timely shooter these days and the machine that is Albemarle right now just keeps rolling along. Western Albemarle’s girls have been plagued by rotten luck with injuries upon injuries. Finally last year the Warriors got back to the kind of success the program had grown accustomed for so many years prior. Elisabeth Coffman played beyond her age last year and now she’s poised to take over the primary production for the Western as it looks to build for another solid run into the postseason. And finally, the Charlottesville girls just always seem to find a way. Year-in, year-out, the Black Knights always are in the hunt and they’ve undergone quite a few rebuilds in coach Jim Daly’s tenure. Behind each rebuild, it has been younger talent taking over but often times the story behind the scenes of a retooling is about the veterans bringing out the best in the underclassmen. Regardless of how you cut it up, there are countless ways of getting back to the big show and that’s a good thing for a Central Virginia hoops scene that’s been red hot for the last two years in particular. Here are five scripts in the making to keep an eye on.

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<<< Kobi Alexander MADISON COUNTY, SR.

<<

We’re a young team so getting all the guys comfortable with the speed of the game is the big thing.

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THE BAR HAS BEEN SET pretty high at Madison County. With three runs to the state final four since 2009, the measure for success for the Mountaineers is at standard that’s awfully demanding for a Group 2A program. And with Madison losing a pair of 4-year starters in Isiah Smith and Dre Twyman, there was no question that the Mountaineers had their work cut out for them in the ‘17’18 campaign. December was a tough month for Madison as rekindling the magic this team had in ‘16-’17 proved to be every bit the challenge it appeared. Shaking off the rust is one thing, but finding a new identity as a team is another. In Kobi Alexander, the Mountaineers have the kind of double-double player a team needs to successful on both ends of the floor. But success on the scoreboard is going to require than just Alexander’s play in the paint. “It all starts in practice and building up the chemistry,” Alexander said. “I don’t think there’s any reason we can’t get back (to where we were) because the talent is there. We just have to come together in practice and learn what everyone can do, what everyone likes. You go from there.” With Elijah Lewis and Gaines Swink both back from last year, the Mountaineers have a strong trio to build around. Alexander is a veteran senior, Lewis is a 3-year starter as a junior and Swink had a breakout sophomore campaign last year. But after that the Mountaineers don’t have a ton of experience and that’s made for an adjustment period. “We’re a young team so getting all the guys comfortable with the speed of the game is the big thing,” Alexander said. “It’s your job to get everyone feeling right in practice.” Right now Alexander has done his part with 16 points per game to with an average of 9.9 rebounds. He leads the Mountaineers in field goal percentage at 54 and also averages 1.9 steals per contest. “I’m trying to be a leader,” Alexander said. “It was always Dre or Isiah in the past but now it’s my job to step up. That means more shots, more rebounds, more steals, more blocks. You just have to keep working.” With Lewis and Swink averaging 17 and 13.3 points per game respectively, the Mountaineers just need a few role players to kick in to get things going in January. Madison had a loaded out of Bull Run District schedule against a lot of schools in higher classifications. With wins over Clarke County, Strasburg and Rappahannock so far in January, the Mountaineers appear to be headed in the right direction. Alexander dropped 42 points in the latest Madison win. Any good project takes time. And it would appear Madison is coming around just at the right time. ✖


Joviah Winkey >>> ST. ANNE’S-BELFIELD, JR. HER FRESHMAN SEASON was truly something. Jovia Winkey had to wait patiently for minutes, but behind one big defensive play after another, the St. Anne’s-Belfield guard found a way to come up clutch. With the graduation of Ashley Taylor two years ago and then the graduation of Brianna Tinsley and Jayla Davis, the Saints roster is missing three athletes now respectively at William and Mary, Virginia and Sacred Heart from when Winkey first started with the Saints. Even for coach Phil Stinnie who’s used to losing that type of talent from time-to-time, it’s a lot. But it’s not like he and his players didn’t see this reset button coming over the last few years. As such, STAB is fortunate that Winkey earned the minutes she did as a freshman and sophomore and under the pressure of that playoff environment both those teams experienced. It’s been a long time since Tinsley wasn’t the sure handed guard on both ends of the floor but in Winkey they have a vetted guard in that mold going forward. “I’m not a role player anymore and I know it,” Winkey said. “It’s about stepping up and there are younger players now looking up to me so you just have to fill that role, just do what I can to motivate my team and push them.” In her first 11 games this year Winkey has managed to assert herself offensively by leading her team with 16.7 points per game. With 1.9 assists per game her new role as the team’s key distributor is making progress too. But if there’s one thing that STAB has learned about Winkey it’s that her defense steals the show, quite literally. She’s averaging 4.9 steal per game right now. Pair that with her 3.1 rebounds per contest and you’ve got a guard that’s rounding out

<<

I’M NOT A ROLE PLAYER ANYMORE AND I KNOW IT.

her game. Winkey’s numbers speak to her speed, her quickness on defense in particularly and her ability to create points in transition. When you pair that with senior Sierra Smith play in the paint, a defensive powerhouse who averages 11 points and 12.7 rebounds per game, and a versatile forward in Vanessa Woodfolk who’s chipping in 10.5 points and 7.1 boards each night and you’ve got a deep and versatile trio. “We have a good team and we know that but there are a lot of people that doubt us and we’re ready to prove them wrong,” Winkey said. “We’re rebuilding but we’re going to be just fine. If we keep improving we’ll be just as good as we’ve been.” The Saints played their usual wildly challenging schedule in December and came out with a 6-4 record, a pretty solid sign. Now as they jump into LIS play, they have a crown to defend against some more familiar opponents. If they manage that slate like they have in years past, STAB could get back to a VISAA Division 1 semifinal in a year that many in the private ranks were hoping would be a quick quarterfinal exit, if that at all. Don’t be surprised if the Saints once again crash that final four party, especially as Winkey continues to grow into her leading role. ✖

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ON THE BOARDS If you’re going to win games, you’ve got to take care of business on the boards. Rebounds drive second-chance shots and shut down the opposition’s possessions. These four players are off to a great start on the boards. SAM BRUNELLE, WILLIAM MONROE, JR.

SIERRA SMITH, ST. ANNE’S-BELFIELD, SR.

At this point we all know what Sam

Big shocker that Sierra Smith is off and

Brunelle can do on a basketball court, she

rolling for the Saints when it comes to

is perhaps a force like we’ve never seen

getting on the glass. She’s been doing that

locally or statewide with one of the most

since she walked into the gym in ninth

well-rounded, balanced arsenals ever. But

grade. Smith is averaging 13.9 rebounds

her relentlessness on the boards — she

per game, which is right on pace with her

averages 18.7 per game — changes everything, extending offensive

usual performance that has allowed her to pull down more than 1,000

possessions and erasing mistakes by a young Dragons roster regularly.

rebounds in her career, a mark she surpassed earlier this year.

<<< Cartier Key ALBEMARLE, SR. IT’S CRAZY TO THINK but maybe the real rebuild at Albemarle isn’t this year, but actually last year. That’s the luxury the Patriots had because Austin Katstra and Jake Hahn were so productive in ‘16-’17, a year that saw the program make it back to the Group 5A semifinals. The year prior was a senior laden squad of role players with Katstra and Hahn. But in those two runs, almost forgotten was that Albemarle was in the midst of developing a lot of talent to set up another group of core seniors similar to the ones from two season ago. Cartier Key is one of those seniors. The senior guard is getting an opportunity to chew up serious minutes this year and step up from his role as an outside shooter. With J’Quan Anderson’s breakout season last year as an explosive, basket-attacking guard, Key is able to continue to hone his job as one of the deadliest 3-point shooters in the area. But finding offense inside the perimeter is every bit as important for this offense. “I know I have to be more creative with the ball this year,” Key said. “The steals and the defense need to be there but I really know that I have to step up with more scoring this year than before.”

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ON THE BOARDS PT.2 NA’IL ARNOLD, ALBEMARLE BOYS, SR.

MYLES WARD, ST. ANNE’S-BELFIELD, SR.

There’s no doubt that the graduation of

Everyone in STAB’s lineup has to crash the

Austin Katstra and Jake Hahn left a major

boards because the Saints don’t have great

scoring void for Albemarle this year, but

height this season underneath. Instead,

it also left a huge rebounding hole. Na’il

they’ve got a team that looks more like

Arnold has stepped his game up this year

some of the best teams for the Saints over

and especially underneath cleaning things

the years, a wealth of athletes who can

up off the glass. As proof, he’s averaging 8.6 boards per contest in

jump and play bigger than they’re listed. Ward is one of those and

Albemarle’s first 11 games. If he continues to perform that way on

the de facto post player because his athleticism allows him to guard

the boards, the Patriots have the offensive weapons to do some

anyone, one to five. If he can find a way to keep guarding the Prep’s

damage with four players including Arnold averaging more than 10

toughest big men, snag some more boards and the Saints keep

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> points per game.

<<

IT’S A DIFFERENT TEAM BUT WE HAVE A LOT OF REALLY GOOD PLAYERS THAT HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS.

running, they’re going to be a tough out all season.

When you pair Key with another fellow senior’s expanded role in the paint in Na’il Arnold and then Maxx Jarmon’s ability as a shooting guard, you get a better picture of why this reconfiguration for Albemarle isn’t the daunting task you’d have guessed coming into the season. Guard heavy? Yes. But with Anderson’s tenaciousness inside and Arnold thriving in the paint too, Albemarle has a great deal of diversity on offense and the ability to be explosive on the other end of the floor with its team speed. “Everyone just has to know their role and what their job is,” Key said. “Yeah, it’s a different team but we have a lot of really good players that have been waiting for this and so we know we can be great too.” Where the Patriots were all about being patient and methodic with their post play two years ago, last season saw coach Greg Maynard speed things up a good bit with Key, Anderson, Arnold and Jarmon being perfect fits for that attitude. Now without Katstra and Hahn, Maynard has just turned the dial up and made the Patriots into an even higher pressure team defensively, a team that thrives in transition and kicking things out to its shooters. Key has delivered so far with 10.6 points, two steals and three assists per game. “We’re pressing a lot more this year and that makes sense since we lost so much height,” Key said. “Being up-tempo, that starts in practice. We can’t slack around there, we have to grind it out.” The results, a mid-season grade if you will, are pretty telling. With 14 straight wins to start the season Albemarle has picked up the pieces and run and quickly established themselves once again as the Jefferson District’s team to beat. With a three game stretch that includes a home game with Western Albemarle and road trips to Louisa County and Charlottesville to close out January and open up February, the Patriots’ schedule gives them the Jefferson’s next three top teams all in a row to create a playoff atmosphere that this group of seniors are all too familiar with. ✖

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<<< elisabeth coffman WESTERN ALBEMARLE, SR.

<<

THAT’S NOT WHAT HE’S LOOKING FOR FROM HIS GUARDS. WHAT HE WANTS IS CONSISTENCY

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IT’S ALWAYS BEEN about the guard play in the Jefferson District. You either have a really good one or you don’t. And if you do, the season has a completely different feel to it. Elisabeth Coffman had a breakout season last year as a sophomore and along with Eleri Haden who has since graduated, led the Warriors to Region 3A West win over Liberty-Bedford. It had been a while since the Warriors had enjoyed success at the regional level after a couple of years in a row set back because of injuries across the board to key players. With Coffman, the Warriors might have the most multi-tool guard in the Jefferson District. Coffman’s ability to bring things up the floor under pressure is huge as her ability to handle the ball is as good as you’ll find in Central Virginia. She’s one of the taller guards in the JD too which always helps and gives the Warriors a great inbounder and the type of guard that can take advantage of mismatches on both ends of the floor. But while there’s nightly pressure on Coffman to lead the Warriors, that’s not how she feels. “Honestly it’s the same or less as last year because we have a lot of new players and they’re doing so well,” Coffman said. “I’m relying on them a ton and they’re being super dependable. As a guard, I’m just out there having fun with that.” Ellie Plantz and Hannah Leeb have stepped up their roles as juniors, and with Shannon Moore (before her injury) and Syndey Sherman’s presence in the paint, the Warriors have plenty of options to work with. While Coffman has the ability to create her own shot, dribble and drive and crank out 3-pointers, that’s not something Western has to have every single night. That’s not Western coach Kris Wright’s style either, just calling Coffman’s number non-stop. “That’s not what he’s looking for from his guards,” Coffman said. “What he wants is consistency. He wants fewer turnovers and consistency. I’m working on both. When you’re playing consistent you get a lot more playing time.” While Hayden’s loss left a void, the Warriors have been building to this for a while and so they are hardly a young team. With three seniors including 3-point specialist Anna O’Shea and five juniors, this isn’t a baptism by fire by any means. Coffman has come through with 11.9 points, four assists, 3.5 steals per game while knocking down 37 percent of her three point attempts. “We’ve all played together for quite a while now,” Coffman said. “We all get along really well and as we play more and more and continue to practice we’re just getting there. It’s good.” Comfort is going to crucial going forward. The Jefferson has shown one thing so far — that it’s anybody’s game. Western, Monticello, Charlottesville, Fluvanna County and Powhatan have all beaten each other and sleeping on Orange County or Louisa County isn’t wise either. Parity in the girls game is at a level not seen since 2008 and as such, it never hurts to have a guard like Coffman who provides her teammates confidence when she has the ball. ✖


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COMBO GUARDS Combo guards can change things for a team. Versatile guards can drive and dish, drive and finish, step out and hit a 3-pointer and force opposing defenses adapt. Here are four combo guards who are creating problems for defenses this year. LATRELL WINKEY, TANDEM FRIENDS, JR.

DARIUS MCGHEE, BLUE RIDGE, SR.

Latrell Winkey’s numbers are off the

Darius McGhee is a big reason why despite

charts for Tandem through the first five

losing Aamir Simms to graduation and

games of their season. Winkey is averaging

Clemson’s basketball program, Blue Ridge

27.2 points, 6.8 boards, 6.8 assists and a

is sitting at 9-3 and one of the area’s top-

stunning 7.8 steals per game. He’s thriving

ranked squad through the first stage of the

too with the addition of Jalen Anderson

season. McGhee is a gifted guard averaging

to the Tandem backcourt, and they got Tandem off to a 7-1 start

20.4 points and 3.5 assists per game, but he’s also a relentless

including two wins over Covenant.

rebounder despite checking in at 5-foot-9. with 7.2 each night.

<<< Kaniyah Key Kajesha Taylor CHARLOTTESVILLE, JR. & SR. HOW DOES JIM DALY DO IT? Well honestly, how did Harry Terrell do it? How did Dee Mitchelson do it? The last three Charlottesville girls basketball coaches have all found a way to pile up the Jefferson District titles. There is no such thing as a down year for the Black Knights, not since the Jefferson District formed in 1997. But if ever there was a recipe for one, it’s the team coming off a Group 4A state quarterfinal run that returned one senior for this year and graduated more players that any other team in the JD after last year. That seems like basic math for a serious step down. Except, here we are in January and Charlottesville’s right where it always is, in the hunt and not playing around. How do they do it? Well, senior Kajesha Taylor has a simple answer. “We had five seniors graduate and so everyone thinks we can’t do what we do,” Taylor said. “We’re just going to come out and play as hard as we did last year. We’re going to do it and show people up.” When that one senior is post player and a reliable rebounder with 5.8 boards a game, a solid scorer in the paint and then a presence defensively to deny opportunities it helps immensely. The thing that makes Charlottesville more dangerous is that Taylor has so much confidence in the youth movement and has known this for a while. It also helps immensely that Taylor has an experienced post player

17 :: @scrimmageplay


COMBO GUARDS PT.2 NEVAEH IVORY, FLUVANNA COUNTY, SO.

J’QUAN ANDERSON, ALBEMARLE, SR.

There isn’t an aspect of the game where

After four years of Austin Katstra and

Fluvanna’s Neveah Ivory can’t contribute.

Jake Hahn, Anderson is now the Patriots’

She’s got all the tools you want in a young

leader in so many facets of the game

guard, and an awful lot of minutes under

where his raw athleticism is often too

her belt despite her age. After averaging

much for opponents, Him becoming the

13.6 points, 6.2 boards, 3.2 assists and 3.4

centerpiece (he was already a pretty huge

steals last year, Ivory is back at it again for the Flucos, who are

factor) changes the very nature of how the Patriots play and operate.

working in another influx of young talent this year. She played a big-

When the game is on the line, like it was against St. Anne’s-Belfield

time defensive game against Western Albemarle in late December.

in the holiday tournament, Anderson takes over. He scored 28 in that

Just a sophomore, Ivory is proving to be the kind of multi-faceted

contest and with averages of 16.0 points and 4.9 assists per game,

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> guard the Flucos can build around for the next three seasons.

<<

AS LONG AS YOU HAVE THAT AND PUT HARD WORK INTO IT AND CONTINUE TO PLAY GREAT BASKETBALL WE’RE NOT GOING TO LET PEOPLE DOWN

it’s clear he can also get the whole lineup involved too.

in Kaniyah Key. That tandem allows Daly to tinker with the roster and go forward heavy or allow the two to spell one another. It also gives the guards, most of them new to varsity, a steadying presence on the court to cool things down. “Most of us have played together so long that that makes it easier,” Taylor said. “But the younger players, they know, they know they’re good. They know they belong playing on varsity so that’s always good.” One of those shining the way that Destinee McDonald and Alaijah Ragland did as freshmen? Jessica Antwi. She’s one of the team’s leading offensive threats with 9.8 points per game and has given Charlottesville a steady hand to lean on. The Black Knights are also being paced offensively by a sophomore. TC Younger, leads the team in scoring with 10.1 points per game. So while the bulk of the Black Knights early season success has been built primarily on depth and a full fledge devotion to every player on the roster getting plenty of minutes, Younger and Antwi have been nothing but spark plugs for a team that needed just that. “We have a young team but a lot of potential,” Key said. “As long as you have that and put hard work into it and continue to want to play great basketball we’re not going to let people down. It’s always about hustle, playing hard and then we have great coaching. That allows to practice hard and play hard.” Charlottesville dropped its first two games against Harrisonburg and Western Albemarle but put together nine straight wins after that to remain a force in the JD. And considering that the Black Knights have so many underclassmen right now, the success they have this year is only going to bear more fruit down the road in future seasons. And so somehow, Charlottesville’s keeps chugging along. And when a team is this young and is thriving, the writing is on the wall for the rest of the JD going forward not just the rest of this year, but the seasons to follow. ✖

www.scrimmageplay.com ::

18


Game Time

Miller 81, Blue Ridge 72 By Bart Isley

Miller’s Deshaun Wade had a big-time game on both ends of the floor against Blue Ridge. (Bart Isley)

19 :: @scrimmageplay

Miller needed this one that late in the third quarter, with Wilson Memorial leading William Monroe by 10 points, that it wasn’t enough of a lead. That the Green Hornets might be in trouble. They were. Miller needed this one. Five times last year, Blue Ridge’s boys basketball got the better of the Mavericks. In fact, the Barons have owned the rivalry with 10 straight wins since 2014. “We just had to come out and set the tone because know there are probably going to be three or four like last year,” said Miller’s Deshaun Wade. “We just had to come out and set the tone and let them know they’re not going to pick on us this year.” Wade helped set that tone himself defensively and teammate Aundre Hyatt caught fire from behind the arc, pouring in 28 points to hold off the Barons 81-72. Wade, who guards the opposing team’s top scorer night in and night out, drew the challenging assignment of marking Libertybound Blue Ridge guard Darius McGhee, who averages 21.1 points per game. Wade pestered McGhee all night, and through three quarters held him to 14 points. “I just do what my coach tells me to do, latch on, follow him around screens, keep my hands up and avoid fouling the shooter,” Wade said. “Simple as that. I like to play with a chip on my shoulder and I’m sure he does too. Whenever I see him on the court I know it’s going to be a tough matchup.” McGhee got going a little in the fourth and finished with 25 points on the night, but by then, the Mavericks had enough of an advantage and Miller hit 12 of 16 free throw attempts in the fourth to keep the Barons at arm’s length. The thing is, the Mavericks knew McGhee was going to get his points, they just wanted Wade to make it hard for McGhee, to make him work for it.

“It was an awesome performance (by Wade),” said Miller coach Danny Manuel. “Darius McGhee -- people don’t understand how good that kid is, he’s putting up unreal numbers against the highest level competition in the country a lot of nights. That dude is unreal good. You’re just trying to slow him down, you’re not going to stop him.” Wade also chipped in offensively with 18 points, including two critical first half 3-pointers. Dae Dae Heard and Tariq Balogun each came up with 13 points. But it was Hyatt who did the heavy lifting, knocking down six 3-pointers including three in the third quarter when Miller stretched its lead out to eight points right out of the gate. Hyatt knocked down catch and shoot three after catch and shoot three. “He’s obviously a crazy player, he’s one of the best guys I’ve seen in the 2019 class,” Wade said. “He can shoot it, dribble it, plays like a grown man.” Like every Miller and Blue Ridge game, this first edition of the rivalry in 2008 was a battle. Blue Ridge led early in the first quarter, but Miller got on track and led 1615 at the end of the first quarter. Sardaar Calhoun scored 12 points in the first half, giving the Barons a boost in the first half with McGhee scoring just six points. Chris Rogers dished out six assists for the Barons and Calhoun added seven rebounds to his 16 total points, but the Barons couldn’t get over the hump throughout. Then Miller’s stellar fourth quarter where they finished fastbreaks and took care of business at the line, snuffed out any hope of a Blue Ridge rally. “We knew going into this game that we were going to get their best shot -- this is a really good team, they’re well coached,” said Blue Ridge coach Cade Lemcke. ✖


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

At Scrimmage Play we pride ourselves on offering the best possible graphics Two years ago the Western Albemarle boys to Shin, who doubles as a Junior National Judo soccer team get was fueled its underclassmen medalist, we can our byhands on, in both our but has developed into one of the with sophomores and freshman bearing the area’s most versatile goalkeepers. magazine as well as at our website at brunt of the work load. The netminder has shown he’s capable of Now two years later, forwards Aaron Myers making big saves, particularly in the team’s www.scrimmageplay.com and Alex Nolet, as well as senior defender two ties. In the first game of the season, 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

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 dur-

We want to make sure that our readers have the same opportunity to have these photos. If something catches your eye in either the magazine or on the web, you can order the photograph for yourself.

Whether it’s a 4x6 glossy print or a 13x11 mounted photo, we’ve got a full range of possibilities for you to choose from. Simply visit our smugmug website at

scrimmageplay.smugmug.com Covenant 1/2 page

ing his team’s 1-1 tie with Albemarle that kicked off the soccer season for both squads. (Frank Crocker)


# F or k U n i on S trong

Program profiles: Skirmish New to the school, the Blue Devils launched their Skirmish program this past fall as an opportunity for cadets that aren’t playing in a team sport to play against fellow classmates in an organized environment. With roughly 25 percent of the Corps participating, it’s been a huge success with Major Mike Sidewell directing the event. “For these guys not playing a team sport, this is an opportunity to get everyone together, get the heart rate up and have some fun,” Sidewell said. Outdoors in the fall and spring and indoors in the winter at the school’s Estes Center, the program has students meet up twice a week. In the fall, students played lacrosse, handball, ultimate frisbee and kickball. Sports for the winter include wallyball, dodgeball and water polo. For cadets like Josh Cosby, Skirmish is a welcome addition. Not only does it offer a great environment in which to get some exercise, but more importantly is helps the student body better get to know one another. “Without Skirmish, a lot guys would be sitting around not doing a whole lot,” Cosby said. “These sports get us out doing things together, focusing on an objective. We’re put on different teams and so we all get to know each other. Half of us didn’t know each other before so this has been so great.” With physical fitness and team building in mind, Skirmish provides Cadets an opportunity to grow. “I love it,” Cosby said. “It brings everyone out, gets them together and makes things feel like family.”

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

Farewell Dr. Baseball Beale’s love for the game infected so many of us

E

ach sport in this area has one of those types of coaches. The coach that everyone knows. In this area, baseball might be the sport richest with coaching talent, and has been for a long time. But if you ask anyone that grew up here, one thing that connects a player today to my generation and then to one before mine was that you probably were coached by Sam Beale at some point. Baseball was my first love, but I know when I met Beale at a UVa baseball camp back in elementary school that his love for the sport was a little different. The big selling point of the camp was that you got to play at UVa and then coach Dennis Womack would sign a ball for you, give you some tips. It was a week long deal in the summer, but Womack was the closer. The guy stealing the show and working hands-on with every single kid all day and everyday was Beale. There was just something appealing about an adult that loved the sport the way a kid loved it. It didn’t feel like coaching coming from him. It was more like one of your buddies giving you a tip, a pointer. Beale had that effect on pretty much everyone. Fast forward to my first year out of college and I’m working at the Daily Progress. In the spring I’d work some shifts taking box scores on the phone. Beale was then coaching Miller School. He’d call in every game his school played and you could set a watch to it right at 10 p.m. Back then the paper’s deadline was midnight so you had some time to chat before the barrage of 11 p.m. phone calls came in and you were scrambling to write things down, punch them into to this design document we had and have everything formatted and ready for the sports editor. When you talked to Beale about his games you could hear Karl Ravech and ESPN’s Baseball Tonight blaring the in the background. Sometimes it would be so loud that you had to ask him to read off a couple stat lines a few times because you missed them. Yet somehow that was never frustrating. Even if that made your job tougher, there was something perfect about Dr. Baseball being wrapped up in the world of the sport. He’s combing through his scorebook and trying to keep up with the pros in the background. He was just like us, doing our work but keeping tabs on our favorites games. I always kept a Toronto Blue Jays gamecast running the background while working back then. It was refreshing to know that Beale in his 60’s was still just a kid in that sense, that he had not changed over the years. To talk to Beale as a media member after a game was a chance to see what makes a great coach from a different perspective. I distinctly remember the sixth seeded Blessed Sacrement-Hugenot squad upsetting third seeded Miller in Crozet in 2010. Afterwards Beale talked so openly and freely about the tougher parts of that game as though he was an univested fan simply watching and observing from the stands. He was such a fan of the game that there wasn’t a question you couldn’t ask, couldn’t get an answer to. He wasn’t critical, he was analytical. Later on when Billy Wagner took over for the Mavericks, Beale was still a regular at the games, the revamped park. There wasn’t a player from any team that didn’t come over to him and say hey. I was never taken aback by that because I knew all of them had crossed paths with him somehow, had been to the same countless camps and so forth that I went to when I was young. There are so many great local baseball personalities in Central Virginia but I don’t know that any of them were bigger than Beale. And when you talk to baseball coaches across the state, his name always came up. While his players loved him, the coaching community loved him every bit as much. It’s not easy to fit the mold of a player’s coach and a coach’s coach. I’m not sure there is a mold for that.

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“If you grew up here Beale just was baseball. It’s that simple.” If you watched the last week of the regular season NFL pregrame show on Fox you saw Howie Long take the first cue thrown his way to make a shoutout to Beale on the national stage and mention just how much he mattered to this community. Sadly, Beale died the following day. When coaches like Beale are gone it marks a passing of your youth. A piece of so many childhoods for so many baseball players now feels a little more distant. But at the end of the day, whenever tragedy strikes, hopefully you’re reminded that you were fortunate enough to have known that person. Everyone that picked up a bat or threw a ball in their youth in this area knew Sam Beale. If you’re in that group you’re lucky. If you’re too young, don’t worry, his coaching will live on long after him as those who were taught by him won’t stop talking about Sam Beale and what he still means to this beautifully complicated game of baseball that he manage to make simple and fun. And with so many of his former athletes getting involved in coaching the game, while Beale leaves an incredible void, he trained thousands of potential replacements. ✖

Ryan Yemen,

CRE ATIVE EDITOR

back talk »

Who are your favorite coaching legends in the area like Beale?: ryan@scrimmageplay.com


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Volume 9, Issue 4  
Volume 9, Issue 4  
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