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scrımmageplay winter 2012-2013


Western Albemarl e has three state championships, all of them in a row now after this winter. marle had a huge VOL 4 . ISSUE 6 :: 2012-2013 Albeseason in the same sport. Once again Orange Coun ty made its prese wrestling mat know nce on the n, and so to did a Madi son County grapp ler. In girls basketbal l, the Monticelloa Western Albemarl dn e all found their way to their respective state tournaments. And William Monr boys team made it oe’s to within a game of the state champions hip. Not a bad winte r effort, not at all. such, we have some As honors to dole out to those who left it all out there durin g the cold months. Stories by Ryan Yemen and Bart Isley /// Photos by Ashley Thornton,

11 :: @scrimmagepla y

Spring Giants Albemarle pulls it all together during spring. PAGE 11

John Berry, Bart Isley

and Ryan Yemen

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scrımmageplay winter 2012-2013

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Western Albemarle has three state championships, all of them in a row now after this winter. marle had a huge vol 4 . issue 6 :: 2012-2013 Albeseason in the same sport. Once again Orange County made its presence on the and so to did a Madison County grappler. In girls basketball, the Monticelloa dn all found their way to their respective state tournaments. And William Monroe’s to within a game of the state championship. Not a bad winter effort, such, we have some not at all. As honors to dole out to those who left it all out there during the cold months. Stories by Ryan Yemen

wrestling mat known,

Western Albemarle

boys team made it

x’s and o’s Williams



THE DIRTY WORK Monroe baseball finds new leadership Copeland





fIrsT TeAM

Markel Williams /// William Monroe, Sr. First team All-Group A D2, Bull Run & Region B player of the year


er 2012-2013

21 11 Western Albemarle has three state championships, all of them in a row now after this winter. Albemarle had a huge season in the same sport. Once again Orange County made its presence on the

Isaac Copeland /// Miller, Jr. First team All-VIC, 14.7 ppg, 2.3 bpg, 8.2 rpg.

Stories by Ryan Yemen and Bart Isley /// Photos by Ashley Thornton, John Berry, Bart Isley and Ryan Yemen

11 :: @scrimmageplay









seCONd TeAM Harmon Hawkins /// Albemarle, Sr. First team All-Commonwealth District, 12.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg Gary Morris /// William Monroe, Sr. First team All-Region B, All-Bull Run District Tony Washington /// Miller, Sr. 12.6 ppg, 2.6 bpg, 8.4 rpg

Jalen Harrison /// Fluvanna County, So. First team All-Jefferson District, 16.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg Travis Hester /// Miller, Sr. 14.5 ppg, 2.5 apg, 4.0 rpg, 1.9 spg

doug randolph /// Woodberry Forest, Sr. First team All-Prep Leauge, 20.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.5 spg

Jeff Jones /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, Sr. 13.6 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.1 apg

Jahvon shelton /// Monticello, Sr. First team All-JD,second team All-Region II, 16.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg.

Chrystian Brown /// Fork Union, Sr. ????????????????????????


BANG FOR BUCK Albemarle bids farewell to the CD

Chase stokes /// Western Albemarle, Jr. First team All-Region II, All-Jefferson District, 15 ppg, 6.5 rpg

Western Albemarle all found their way to their respective state tournaments. And William Monroe’s

such, we have some honors to dole out to those who left it all out there during the cold months.

darryl smith /// Blue Ridge, Sr. First team All-VIC, 14.5 ppg 4.0 apg, 5.2 rpg, 1.8 spg

Cam Johnson /// Buckingham County, Sr. First team All-James River, All-Region B, 15.6 ppg, 3.6 apg, 6.4 rpg

wrestling mat known, and so to did a Madison County grappler. In girls basketball, the Monticelloa dn

boys team made it to within a game of the state championship. Not a bad winter effort, not at all. As


SP WINTER AWARDS All-Scrimmage Play honors for 2012-13

vinny Agee /// Fluvanna County, So. Jefferson District POY, first team All-Region II, 20.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg

31 35


Jhalil Mosley /// Monticello, Sr. Bobby ford /// Madison County, Jr. Timmy randolph /// Buckingham County, Sr. Boo Agee /// Covenant, Sr. leon straus /// Blue Ridge, Sr. Parker Morris /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, Jr. Quaddarius Newkirk /// Fork Union, Sr. Josh Connelly /// Tandem Friends, Sr. david rogers /// Covenant, Sr. dee Mallory /// Albemarle, Sr. sam Chisholm /// Western Albemarle, Jr. Ceejay Johnson /// Goochland, Sr. Isaiah Green /// Charlottesville, Jr. darius Watson /// Charlottesville, Sr.

and Ryan Yemen



fIrsT TeAM

vinny Agee /// Fluvanna County, So. first team All-Region II, 20.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg

darryl smith /// Blue Ridge, Sr. First team All-VIC, 14.5 ppg 4.0 apg, 5.2 rpg, 1.8 spg Cam Johnson /// Buckingham County, Sr. River, All-Region B, 15.6 ppg, 3.6 apg, 6.4 rpg Isaac Copeland /// Miller, Jr. First team All-VIC, 14.7 ppg, 2.3 bpg, 8.2 rpg. doug randolph /// Woodberry Forest, First team All-Prep Sr. Leauge, 20.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.5 spg First team All-JD,second

Jahvon shelton /// Monticello, Sr. team All-Region II, 16.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg.

Chase stokes /// Western Albemarle, First team All-Region Jr. II, All-Jefferson District, 15 ppg, 6.5 rpg

HONOrABle MeNTION Jhalil Mosley /// Monticello, Sr. Bobby ford /// Madison County, Jr. Timmy randolph /// Buckingham County, Sr. Boo Agee /// Covenant, Sr. leon straus /// Blue Ridge, Sr. Parker Morris /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, Jr. Quaddarius Newkirk /// Fork Union, Sr. Josh Connelly /// Tandem Friends, Sr. david rogers /// Covenant, Sr. dee Mallory /// Albemarle, Sr. sam Chisholm /// Western Albemarle, Jr. Ceejay Johnson /// Goochland, Isaiah Green /// Charlottesville,Sr. Jr. darius Watson /// Charlottesville, Sr.





Harmon Hawkins /// Albemarle, Sr. First team All-Commonwealth District, 12.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg Gary Morris /// William Monroe, Sr. First team All-Region B, All-Bull Run District Tony Washington /// Miller, Sr. 12.6 ppg, 2.6 bpg, 8.4 rpg Jalen Harrison /// Fluvanna County, So. First team All-Jefferson District, 16.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg Travis Hester /// Miller, Sr. 14.5 ppg, 2.5 apg, 4.0 rpg, 1.9


Jeff Jones /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, Sr. 13.6 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.1 apg Chrystian Brown /// Fork Union, Sr. ???????????????????????? Matt Temple /// Madison County, Jr. Second team All-Bull Run, 18.5 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 1.9


All-defeNsIve TeAM

Kyree Koonce /// Buckingham County, So. Led Central Virginia in total steals, 2.9 per game Josh Hayden /// Goochland, Sr. 2.3 blocks per game for Region B semifinalist Will Mason /// Western Albemarle, Sr. Top defender for Region II semifinalist Jo-Jo Krynitsky /// William Monroe, Sr. Central Virginia leader in blocks at 3.3 per game Jhalil Mosley /// Monticello, Sr. 6.2 rpg, drew 21 charges in 19 games for the Warriors

:: 12

spring Giants

- B Oys B A sK e T B A l l -


John Berry, Bart Isley


Markel Williams /// William Monroe, Sr. A D2, Bull Run & Region B player of the year

Jefferson District POY,

VOL 4 . ISSUE 6 :: 2012-2013


and Bart Isley /// Photos by Ashley Thornton,

11 :: @scrimmageplay


First team All-Group

First team All-James

Albemarle pulls it all together during spring. PAGe 11

S TA F F Bart Isley, Creative Director Bob Isley, Infrastructure Director Ryan Yemen, Creative Editor Journey Group, Art Direction O N T H E COV E R AHS’ Joe Burris, Matt Crist, Carmen Thomas, Emily McAllister, Matt Sheffield and Allison Henry

Matt Temple /// Madison County, Jr. Second team All-Bull Run, 18.5 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 1.9 apg

All-defeNsIve TeAM

Kyree Koonce /// Buckingham County, So. Led Central Virginia in total steals, 2.9 per game Josh Hayden /// Goochland, Sr. 2.3 blocks per game for Region B semifinalist Will Mason /// Western Albemarle, Sr. Top defender for Region II semifinalist Jo-Jo Krynitsky /// William Monroe, Sr. Central Virginia leader in blocks at 3.3 per game

WITNESSING GREATNESS Why you should watch Burruss’ final run Jhalil Mosley /// Monticello, Sr. 6.2 rpg, drew 21 charges in 19 games for the Warriors

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. :: 12

THE NEW KIDS WAHS soccer rolls out next wave of freshmen

CO N TAC T U S 4408 Ivy Commons, Charlottesville, VA 22903 [ e ] [ p ] 434-202-0553

PAPA’S PUZZLE When you support us, We support you. Help us complete the puzzle. Papa John’s supports local athletic teams, coaches and players while also helping make local athletic events like the Madison County versus William Monroe alumni game happen.


Up and over Madison County’s Isaiah Kilby competes in the 110 hurdles in a mini-meet against East Rockingham and Luray. Dual and tri-meets allow track and field programs to build depth and give young talent like Kilby a chance to compete in a challenging environment. Kilby, who also plays basketball for the Mountaineers, has shown promise as a hurdler and could be an impact athlete in years to come. ✖ (Photo by John Berry)

03 :: @scrimmageplay :: 04


Loading up Blue Ridge boys lacrosse junior Callum Tanner looks for room to operate against Covenant during an April clash between the two private school programs. At the time, the Barons were ranked in the top five in Division I while Covenant was the top-ranked team in Division II. Tanner’s Barons got the better of the Eagles, winning 15-10 to better position themselves for a state playoff run. ✖ (Photo by Bart Isley)

05 :: scrimmageplay



ABOVE » Coaches like Fluvanna County’s Chad White who runs the Flucos girls basketball program get results through positive reinforcement.

Respect the players In the wake of the Mike Rice-incident at Rutgers, Brady Poppinga, a former NFL linebacker, weighed in on Twitter with a particularly dead-on assessment. “The best coaches don’t stoop to use anger and rage to motivate. Players don’t respond. We ignore those coaches,” Poppinga tweeted. “The best coaches earn the players respect from respecting the players. Those coaches win over players and win over time.” What Rice, now the former Rutgers basketball coach after he was eventually fired, did to his men’s basketball players? Most anyone can see that was wrong. The language, the kicking, the hitting and the shoving. He was demeaning, dictatorial and abusive. He was a bully. And if there’s anything worse than a bully, it’s a bully in a position of power. Bullies will almost always use that position to dole out

punishment in a systematic effort to gain control and to eventually force submission. Rice violated the trust players and their parents put in him to present a safe and secure environment for collegiate players to grow and thrive in. Instead he created a culture of fear. That begs the question — what should a student-athlete do if they feel bullied by a coach? It all starts with talking to an adult you trust. A parent would be great, but so could a more objective figure — a teacher, a guidance counselor or a coach from another sport. All of them can be useful resources and simply trying to talk it out can help an athlete clarify their thoughts and course of action. Based on the players age, maturity and confidence, together the adult and student athlete can decide how best to approach the offending coach. With a supportive adult in their corner, student athletes should be able to tackle this problem head

on. Once the adult and student have figured out how to handle the situation, role play out the scenario and build confidence in your message. It’s important that the parent role play the coach realistically to help a student athlete formulate a measured, thoughtful approach using the actual words they would use with the coach. This course of action could have some immediate negative consequences. We’re aware that someone who thinks bullying young athletes is appropriate isn’t going to be the most rational human being. The odds of them being totally fair aren’t great because bullies don’t like dissent — it threatens their power. My brother dealt in a similar fashion with a bullying coach and the guy kept bullying him as my brother presented the things he had a problem with, calling him a “locker room lawyer.” But my brother stuck it out on the team and learned a valuable lesson about confronting his problems head on. That directness and willingness to speak out against an injustice served him better than any extra playing time he might have enjoyed. One last thing if you’re one of the top players on a team, where a bullying coach would need you in the lineup, Don’t be afraid to use that power to help make the lives of your teammates that are lower on the totem pole better. Just because you’re playing regularly doesn’t mean an atmosphere of fear is okay. It’s never okay and nobody should accept it, whether it’s Rice at Rutgers or a local youth league. ✖ Scrimmage Play and Triple C Camp are partnering to cover family issues related to youth and prep sports in our new Family Corner.

Bart Isley,


First Quarter The dirty work Leake steps up in all phases for Monroe By Ryan Yemen


Ryan Leake’s combination of power, base running, defense and his new role have Monroe rolling along once again. (Bart Isley)

{ ON A TEAR } As of April 22nd, Monroe’s win-loss record dating back to 2011.


3 07 :: scrimmageplay

Wins Losses


{ WINS }

ou don’t go unbeaten through the Jefferson District and then the Bull Run District in consecutive years without continuity. Yet as different as William Monroe’s roster looks from last year, the results are still the same.

One of the more underappreciated contributors to the Dragons winning efforts the last few years has been Ryan Leake. A starter at third base since he was a sophomore, Leake went from being a reliable bat at the bottom of the order that year to becoming a natural fit in the two-spot as a junior. A righthanded hitter who can hit for power but can also drop in base hits going the other way, Leake is the only returning senior for the Dragons this year that’s been a cog since Monroe blossomed into one of the area’s most dominant and consistent programs back in 2011. Now on a team that is predominantly composed of underclassmen, the leadership role has fallen in Leake’s lap and halfway through the season, he’s fulfilling his job as the team’s sparkplug admirably. “It’s weird because I was always one to follow someone else and now it’s up to me to help push everyone harder,” Leake said. Where it once was his job to set the table for Logan Forloines and Ryan Morris in the heart of the order, now he does the same for sophomore Keegan Woolford and junior Austin Batten respectively. “He’s a great leader that enjoys everyday of his life, that likes to have fun and be a bit of a prankster,” Maynard said. “And that’s great because we look for a lot there from him since he’s one of our only seniors.” While you wouldn’t guess it to look at him in the batter’s box, Leake’s prowess on the base paths makes him an ideal number two hitter, a run-scoring machine that netted eight stolen bases in the Dragons first eight games.

“He hits for so much power that he’s almost too good to be a number two hitter, but he’s such a great base runner,” Maynard said. “He gets on base so much, runs really well and then is just a rock at third base. You can’t ask for more than that.” The environment and performance this past summer has helped shape that. “He had a great summer playing American Legion for me, was second on the team in batting average and playing with older kids,” Maynard said. “That helps so many kids playing against older kids, really great competition.” Outside the program, expectations aren’t the same as before. But that’s not how Maynard, Leake or any of the Monroe players feels. Still, the air around this team is different than it was last year. Leake’s animated personality has everything to do with that. “He just came before the year started and said that we were going to have to work harder than we did last year winning a state championship,” Woolford said. “He’s picked up right where the other seniors left off. And he’s a character, fun to be around and he makes us all smile.” Leake is just hoping that’s helping to keep the cycle of winning going beyond 2013. “I’m going to keep pushing them and hopefully some of them will learn how step in for me when I’m gone so we can keep all of this going,” Leake said. ✖

go online »

For more baseball coverage head to


College Update

Tale of the Tape

It’s not often that a Group A program sends a pair of athletes to play softball in college, much less for the same team. For years, Jordan Aylor and Casey Racer anchored Madison County and made the Mountaineers regular state tournament contenders. As a senior, Aylor’s stellar pitching and her power hitting helped Madison get past their Region B semifinal performance in 2010 and into the Group A semifinals in 2011. Racer’s play at shortstop and as the team’s leadoff hitter was also crucial during that run, and last year during her senior season she helped to lead the Mountaineers right back to Radford in the state semifinals. Now both at Eastern Mennonite, the two are already putting up numbers for a team that went 27-13 in 2012 and has been relying on young talent to help this program rebuild after losing three key seniors. After having to wait her turn, Aylor, a sophomore, is now front and center in the

circle pitching for the Royals. In her first 20 games she went 9-5 with a 3.60 ERA, 67 strikeouts, a save and threw six complete games. That’s an average of 5.03 strikeouts per game while just giving up just 1.2 walks in that same time frame. Aylor’s also had a pair of homeruns, a triple and double to help provide 10 RBI at the plate through mid-April. Racer, Madison’s reliable leadoff hitter and shortstop during her time there, appeared in 34 of EMU’s first 36 games. In that stretch she hit .250 with six doubles, two triples, a homerun, 19 RBI and 16 runs scored. Racer’s patience at the plate is showing early as she had just 12 strikeouts in her first 84 at bats. That’s the fourth best for any EMU player with more than 80 plate appearances. In a case of history repeating itself, the two are making waves at the beginning of their careers, just as they did in Madison. If tradition continues, the Royals have a lot to look forward to from this duo. ✖

BELOW » Madison alumni Jordan Aylor (below) and Casey Racer are off to a fast start in their collegiate careers at EMU. (Wayne Gehman)


By Ryan Yemen


EMU tapping into Madison softball standouts

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On the Sidelines

The watchful eye Everything is documented, and you’re the one doing it


ow insane is it that the mythos that surrounds Santa Claus, the notion of a great watcher keeping tabs on your every action is not a myth at all? Over the years I’ve shared with my parents just about all the limited mischief I was involved in as a teenager and then a young college student. With a set of open-minded parents, they were quick to laugh at a lot of it, shake their heads and at times explain how much more complicated my brothers and I’s lives were growing up. We had plenty more hurdles in place to stop us than they did. I’m not a parent, but the generational gap between myself and the high school athletes I first started covering from the time I graduated college until now is always growing. It’s aged me considerably. I’m starting to feel old, and sometimes like I have some sort of widsom to impart. So with that said, this is the lesson I’m taking away from the Boston Marathon bombings. It’s not the shock of violence. Ss a Canadian having spent the majority of my adult life here, the bombing, the Newtown Batman, or Virginia Tech shootings, all of that seems to cycle on a two to three month basis and follow the same themes – tragedy followed by this unusual gathering of nationalism that is hard for me to understand. Go to any hockey game in Canada and the entire crowd sings ‘Oh, Canada.” In the United States, it was a leading story for ESPN that the Boston Bruins crowd sang along to the ‘Star Spangled Banner.’ From a far, these violent events have these predictable rhythms of sadness, anger and community bonding on a national level. That’s not new. What is new, or what feels truly unreal is the level of Big Brother that goes on and it’s not coming from the government like is so popular in literature and film. No, now as it turns out, Big Brother is a more Game of Thrones-like, proletariat action. It’s the everyday citizen, the man, woman or child armed with a cellphone that is always watching. Sure it was the FBI and local law enforcement that brought in the bombers in Boston, but it was the everyday citizen that did all the gritty work. The millions of photos and videos put the pieces together for the professionals to analyze. Which brings me to the point of this column. If you think real professionals, maybe not the forensics team of the FBI, but certainly the millions and millions of business professionals in North America or even around the world don’t have the same access to this unreal network of people sharing information, photos and videos, you are so woefully mistaken. In fact, it goes deeper than that. Today’s youth has a problem. The willingness to share has made it so that parents, friends and those indifferent know way too much about you. I’m not a hermit, but I’m not on Facebook. I hate that Twitter and social media dictate so many lives. I’m thankful that my colleague Bart Isley shares a different take so that we can operate Scrimmage Play, because social media is critical to running a business, but that’s also my point. There’s a reason social media is a tool for citizens and a necessity for business. Knowledge has always been power. Filtering through the nonsense in social media is the challenge for news organizations, and a welcome one because there are far more eyes with access to a phone or keyboard than reporters. But it’s a double edged sword for young people. I’m sure it’s nice being able to communicate so far and so freely. But the thing you learn every year you age is just how misguided you were the year before. If you’re my age, you think :: 10

“The thing you learn every year you age is just how misguided you were the year before.”” about how incredibly lucky you are that none of this existed when I was at my dumbest. Today’s athletes and students don’t have that luxury. Your all going to make plenty of mistakes, ones you’ll regret, but there’s now a much better chance they’ll be documented. So what you’re presented with is what my parents were presented with in their outdated education when it came to sex. Take the route of abstinence or deal with the consequences. Today, if you think you aren’t being watched carefully you’re in for trouble when it comes to that first job interview. And on top of that, you’ll have to atone for all things you actually wrote. And remember who owns that material. It’s not you. It’s these companies and the internet at large. So you’re going to have to be smarter than I was growing up. That was the story for me growing up according to my parents, but the difference between what me and them faced and what you and I face is exponential. Try and remember that every time you think you might do something careless. ✖

Ryan Yemen,


back talk »

Am I wrong about social media? Let me know at:

2 0 12-201 R E T N I 3 W

Western Albemarle swimming now has three state championships, all of them in a row after this winter. Once again Orange made its presence on the wrestling mat known. In girls basketball, Monticello and Western found their way to the Group AA tournament. And William Monroe’s boys team made it to within a game of the state championship. Not a bad winter effort, not at all.

Presented by:

Stories by Ryan Yemen and Bart Isley /// Photos by Ashley Thornton, John Berry, Bart Isley and Ryan Yemen

11 :: @scrimmageplay

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

















FIRST TEAM Markel Williams /// William Monroe, Sr. First team All-Group A D2, Bull Run & Region B player of the year Vinny Agee /// Fluvanna County, So. Jefferson District POY, first team All-Region II, 20.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg Darryl Smith /// Blue Ridge, Sr. First team All-VIC, 14.5 ppg 4.0 apg, 5.2 rpg, 1.8 spg Cam Johnson /// Buckingham County, Sr. First team All-James River, All-Region B, 15.6 ppg, 3.6 apg, 6.4 rpg Isaac Copeland /// Miller, Jr. First team All-VIC, 14.7 ppg, 2.3 bpg, 8.2 rpg.

SECOND TEAM Harmon Hawkins /// Albemarle, Sr. First team All-Commonwealth District, 12.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg Gary Morris /// William Monroe, Sr. First team All-Region B, All-Bull Run District Tony Washington /// Miller, Sr. 12.6 ppg, 2.6 bpg, 8.4 rpg Jalen Harrison /// Fluvanna County, So. First team All-Jefferson District, 16.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg Travis Hester /// Miller, Sr. 14.5 ppg, 2.5 apg, 4.0 rpg, 1.9 spg

Doug Randolph /// Woodberry Forest, Sr. First team All-Prep League, 20.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.5 spg

Jeff Jones /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, Sr. 13.6 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.1 apg

Jahvon Shelton /// Monticello, Sr. First team All-JD,second team All-Region II, 16.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg.

Chrystian Brown /// Fork Union, Sr. All-Prep League

Chase Stokes /// Western Albemarle, Jr. First team All-Region II, All-Jefferson District, 15 ppg, 6.5 rpg

HONORABLE MENTION Jhalil Mosley /// Monticello, Sr. Bobby Ford /// Madison County, Jr. Timmy Randolph /// Buckingham County, Sr. Boo Agee /// Covenant, Sr. Leon Straus /// Blue Ridge, Sr. Parker Morris /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, Jr. Quaddarius Newkirk /// Fork Union, Sr. Josh Connelly /// Tandem Friends, Sr. David Rogers /// Covenant, Sr. Dee Mallory /// Albemarle, Sr. Sam Chisholm /// Western Albemarle, Jr. Ceejay Johnson /// Goochland, Sr. Isaiah Green /// Charlottesville, Jr. Darius Watson /// Charlottesville, Sr.

Matt Temple /// Madison County, Jr. Second team All-Bull Run, 18.5 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 1.9 apg

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM Kyree Koonce /// Buckingham County, So. Led Central Virginia in total steals, 2.9 per game Josh Hayden /// Goochland, Sr. 2.3 blocks per game for Region B semifinalist Will Mason /// Western Albemarle, Jr. Top defender for Region II semifinalist Jo-Jo Krynitsky /// William Monroe, Sr. Central Virginia leader in blocks at 3.3 per game Jhalil Mosley /// Monticello, Sr. One of the area’s top shot blockers at guard :: 12


MARKEL WILLIAMS, WILLIAM MONROE He’s not exactly a guard. He’s not exactly a post player. Point forward gets knocked around a lot these days with the emergence of Lebron James, and that might be the most accurate way to describe Williams. But really, he’s whatever the opposition will give him. Versatility in high school is usually a matter of necessity. Players are pressed into service in different roles that demand different things because of a talent shortage at a particular spot. Williams was different. Even with the presence of Gary Morris, one of the area’s best pure shooters in a year where there were a lot of great shooters, Williams was the best option at nearly every spot in nearly every role. When Monroe needed a dominant post scorer? Williams gave it to them. When the Dragons needed someone to attack the basket relentlessly from the perimeter as a slashing guard? Williams was ready and willing. He’s a big reason that while other teams had to impose their will and style on opponents to win, Monroe could adapt and transform itself into whatever they needed to be. Most teams try and slow down Stuarts Draft’s maddening, chaotic fastbreak system, but

Monroe went right at them, largely because Williams allowed them to do just that. He scored 32 points in the wide-open 108-82 win by the Dragons, helping clinch a state tournament berth for Monroe with the victory. He created matchup problems at any spot on the floor and gained the respect of opposing coaches along the way. He earned Bull Run District and Region B player of the year honors as the Dragons swept their way into the Group A, Division 2 semifinals where Gate City finally ended the run. He averaged 17.7 points per game, 6.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists, leading the Dragons in nearly every statistical category (he trailed sophomore Jeff Early, barely, on the boards). Williams seemed to grasp too that he was a part of something bigger at Monroe. He joined the program when the squad was on the upswing and new there was a legacy to maintain. He extended and built on that legacy. That’s not an easy task by any means, and yet he pulled it off. See, his game may be a bit of an enigma. But the results it gets? Those are just as clear as anyone in the state. ✖


DARREN MAYNARD, WESTERN ALBEMARLE Darren Maynard is as fiery as they come during games. Western’s head man brings an intensity that few can or are able to match. It’s impossible to argue with what Maynard did this year with the Warriors. Western came into 2012-2013 short on expectations after losing its starting backcourt (Will Donnelly and Parker Morris) and leading scorer (Ben Turner) to graduation and transfer. It would’ve been predictable for the Warriors to take a step backward, especially without many seniors on the roster. Instead, Maynard re-tooled around all-around standout Chase Stokes and a size advantage in the post with Sam Chisholm and Jeremy Baruch. Along with the emergence of Jake Maynard and Eli Sumpter as offensive standouts and Will Mason as a defensive stopper, Western had a lot of pieces in place. Throw in senior and first-year starter Brandt Berry settling in at the point and suddenly

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the Warriors had the potential to be a major factor in the Jefferson District title race. By the start of January, the Warriors had taken some lumps against strong, talented programs like Spotswood and Albemarle, and sat with four losses. Even after the first half of district play, the Warriors were a game off the pace. But Western turned it on from there as the young talent gained experience and settled into a groove in a wide-open district race. The Warriors won out the second half of Jefferson District play, including a regular season finale blowout of Charlottesville that sealed the JD regular season title. Maynard didn’t stray from his initial approach early in the year, knowing it would eventually pay huge dividends, and it did. From there, Western made it a sweep, edging Charlottesville on

a late 3-pointer by Jake Maynard before knocking off Fluvanna in the Jefferson District tournament final en route to sealing up the No. 1-overall seed in the Region II tournament. While a Handley 3-point dagger ended Western’s season in the Region II semifinals, the loss wrapped an incredible run for the Warriors with Maynard setting the tone. The Warriors return nearly everyone but Berry next year, and Maynard’s work this year in developing his talent and letting them work through their mistakes — he showed particular patience this year — should pay huge dividends in 2013-2014. It clearly already did this season. With all that talent back next year, expectations will be higher. And Maynard’s probably even more comfortable with that situation. ✖


JEFF EARLY, WILLIAM MONROE How important he was to William Monroe was felt most often when he was in foul trouble. Coach Mike Maynard wondered in the post game press conference after the Dragons lost in the Group A semifinals to Gate City what the contest might have looked like had his sophomore not been sadled early with fouls. Jeff Early allowed Monroe to become a different looking team than the squad that just the year before that made it the Region B semifinals. Early’s presence in the post allowed Maynard to shift his most dangerous player, Markel Williams, into a new role as a versatile threat. With Gary Morris’ shooting outside and his off the dribble skills, this made the Dragons a different force altogether, and they were pretty outstanding the season before. Doing all the little things down low, providing help on the offensive glass, holding his own on the defensive end and helping out fellow post player Jo-Jo Krynitsky, Early gave Monroe the added depth it needed to go from Bull Run District runner up to BRD champion, sweeping both the regular season and tournament titles and eventually earning the Dragons a trip to play in Richmond. While Early either lead the team in boards or was very close behind each game, his success offensively improved all along the way. In the Group A quarterfinals against Northumberland, he was instrumental on both ends in leading the Dragons to another round, putting up 13 points to go with nine rebounds. With so many games at near double-double effort, the sophomore often broke the back of opponents who were having enough trouble keeping pace with Williams and Morris. Now with those two seniors heading off to college, Early is about to get his chance to see what he can do in a featured role. Monroe has a strong recent history of producing young versatile forwards, whether it was with Mike Wims five years ago, Williams three years, and now apparently with Early. If he continues to elevate his game, he’ll have no trouble putting his name right next to those other two and keep Monroe in a prominent position. ✖ :: 14


















FIRST TEAM Molly Shephard /// Monticello, So. Second team All-Group AA, Region II POY, 15.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg KK Barbour /// Albemarle, So. First team All-Commonwealth District, HM Northwest Region Taylor Sandidge /// Miller, Sr. First team All-VISAA D2, 10.9ppg, 3.4 apg, 3.8 spg Nkechi Ilang /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, Jr. Second team All-VISAA D1, 16.7 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 2.6 spg Chandler Gentry /// Madison County, Jr. First team All-Bull Run, 14. 1 ppg Bridgett Holleran /// Monticello, Sr. Second team All-Region II irst team All-Jefferson District, 11.1 ppg Emily Stotmeister /// Nelson County, Sr. Dogwood District POY, 20 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 4.7 spg, 3.0 apg Tammara Taylor /// Goochland, Sr. First team All-James River District, 12 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3 spg, 1.3 bpg

HONORABLE MENTION Breanna Strother /// William Monroe, Jr. Ashleigh Harris /// Fluvanna County, Sr. Renee Lucas /// Madison County, Sr. Rachel Odumu /// Miller, Jr. Samira Hussaini /// Albemarle, Jr. Markianna Smith /// Orange County, So. Ashleigh Williams /// Orange County, Jr. Tamara Starchia /// Charlottesville, Jr. Anna Sumpter /// Western Albemarle, Fr. Kate Moody /// Tandem Friends, Sr.

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SECOND TEAM Emily Marbury /// Western Albemarle, Sr. First team All-Jefferson District Whitney Martin /// Miller, Sr. Radford signee, Second team All-VISAA D2, 11.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.8 spg Lilly Riggleman /// Miller, So. All-BRC, 11.3 ppg, 1.7 spg Meghan Comer /// Monticello, So. Second team All-Jefferson District, 10.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.4 spg Kiana Childress /// Fluvanna County, So. First team All-Jefferson District, 13.4 ppg, 2.3 apg, 3.1 apg Arica Brown /// William Monroe, Jr. Second team All-Bull Run, 12 ppg, 7 rpg, 4 apg, 2 spg Margot Liebl /// Covenant, Sr. Second team All-VISAA D2, 14.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg Haley Kent /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, Jr. All-LIS, 8 ppg, 1.8 apg, 3.5 spg

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM Ashleigh Harris /// Fluvanna County, Sr. 4.2 steals per game, school’s all-time leader Emily Larabee /// Monticello, Sr. Lockdown defender for Group AA semifinalist, 2.5 spg Alexus Anderson /// Albemarle, Jr. Post and perimeter defender for Northwest Region qualifier Rachel Cooke /// Western Albemarle, Jr. Top defender for Group AA quarterfinalist Emily Battle /// St. Anne’s-Belfield, So. 2.0 blocks per game for VISAA Division 1 semifinalist


MOLLY SHEPHARD, MONTICELLO It’s a lot to expect a player who earns All-Jefferson District and All-Scrimmage Play honors as a freshman to take a leap forward as a sophomore. There’s a reason why “sophomore slump” is such a well-known phrase. But Molly Shephard blew apart the idea of a sophomore slump. Shephard took a leap and vaulted her Monticello squad to the longest playoff run in school history, to the state quarterfinals. She emerged as the area’s most imposing low post threat, pouring in 15.2 points per game while hauling in 8.0 rebounds, all while never losing the intensity and edge she plays with on the defensive end and on seemingly every loose ball. Along with classmate Meghan Comer and Bridget Holleran, she formed a threeheaded scoring monster that made life tough on opposing defenses. Try to clamp down on one, or even two and the others will make sure the Mustangs don’t miss a step. All three were versatile threats, with Holleran able to shoot from the outside and attack the basket and Comer able to hit a jumper from pretty much anywhere. But it was Shephard that changed how defenses played. When teams locked her up down low, she could step out and hit mid-range jumpers. She’s blessed with and has worked to perfect a quick release on the low block, which helps prevent defenses from collapsing. She can

also pass out of the post and find open shooters. In short? She’s exactly what you’d want in a high school power forward. Shephard saved her best for last too. She put together a 28-point performance in the state quarterfinals against Spotswood that prompted Trailblazers coach Chris Dodson to compare the outing to another local star’s incredible state tournament outing, Fluvanna County’s and current Radford guard, YaYa Anderson’s 47-point state record setting performance against Culpeper in the boys quarterfinals at JMU in 2011. Since Shephard slowed slightly after the break, it may not have reached Anderson’s level. But it was what Monticello needed against a formidable Spotswood squad that went on to win the state championship to hang with the Blazers, giving Spotswood its toughest test. Shephard was held to under 10 points just three times all season, with Albemarle, Western and Fluvanna holding her in check one time each. She When Shephard and Comer joined the varsity as freshmen starters last season, it was clear a new era in Monticello girls basketball had arrived. Shephard’s performance as a sophomore helped make sure that that era reached its potential ahead of schedule. ✖


RACHEL PROUDFOOT, ALBEMARLE After every win that Albemarle counted up, unsolicited, one athlete after another spoke up in interviews about the importance of coach Rachel Proudfoot’s interest in their lives outside of basketball. Being a new addition as both a coach and educator at the school, Proudfoot had an open door policy with her players and students. When she was first introduced in the summer by athletic director Deb Tyson, Proudfoot met players and ran practice. She quickly put together as many team workouts as she could. She made an impact almost immediately. On a team with 13 underclassmen, Albemarle is, all of the sudden, a force to be reckoned with. That’s a far cry from where this team has been for the last half decade. With Proudfoot at the helm and the play of KK Barbour and Samira Hussaini in particular, this was a Patriots team that took a :: 16

very serious step forward, going from cellar of the Commonwealth District in 2011-2012 to playing for the CD tournament title and earning a Northwest Region bid. The Patriots never lost more than two games in a row. They finished with a winning record going into the postseason. They won their first Commonwealth District postseason game in five years against Massaponax. Then they won another, this time against Stafford to put them in the CD finals against Colonial Forge. Though their season ended in the Northwest Region, the progress made in one season was nothing short of fantastic. While Barbour was the cog that kept Albemarle rolling, Proudfoot used her bench and counted on others to contribute on both ends. Hussaini, Alexus Anderson, Kendra Hairston, Diana Corbin, Connor Carson and others all answered the call. Proudfoot’s desire to pressure teams

defensively had her rotating through her bench bringing more than enough minutes to all those willing to play high energy minutes. Offensively, Albemarle was a team unafraid to take the ball to the hoop, not relying on the life and death nature of 3-point shooting that so many teams do. Offensive and defensive rebounding was a staple of this team. Escaping presses and traps made Albemarle one of the most challenging teams to go up against as there was no one formula to hand them a loss. On any given night this team could play a variety of defenses and attack the same schemes on the other end of the court. In the end, few coaches have had better first years in the recent past. Add to it the level of competition Albemarle faced, the outcome and the arsenal that this program has coming back and you have to wonder what Proudfoot has in store for her second go around. ✖


KIANA HUDGENS, ORANGE COUNTY When you’re Orange County coach Dave Rabe and you’re going into year two of the Commonwealth District experience, you’re wondering who is going to step up and help to make it a better experience. Of course, that task is made all the more difficult when the vast majority of your team is underclassmen, or in his case, first year players. So why not hand the keys to a freshman? That’s exactly what he did. When Rabe put freshman Kiana Hudgens in as his starting point guard he was making a number of decisions. He was exposing Hudgens to the highest level of competition possible. He was wiping the slate clean for an opportunity to build his program from the ground up. And for his players, he was giving them a facilitator that is going to be around for a long time, allowing them to develop a chemistry that is so critical. Go back to the successful playoff runs in the public ranks over the years and the programs with young guards have succeeded greatly the following year, whether it was with Mia Lloyd for Chad White at Fluvanna County or Kris Wright at Western Albemarle with Kelsey Swanson or Alex Cave for Phillip Lamb at William Monroe. It looks like you’ll be able to add Hudgens to that list as she took a baptism by fire and found a way to help Orange greatly improve during a restructuring phase. The Hornets were largely improved this year, picking up a season sweep over rival Louisa County, splitting with its other rival in Madison County (a Region B semifinalist) and most importantly picking up wins over a handful of CD opponents. So much of that had to do with Hudgens’ speed, her ability to push the ball up and down the court and fly around on defense and create turnovers. With Hudgens running the point, Markiana Smith emerged as a sophomore post presence and junior Ashleigh Williams as a great scoring alternative. Orange managed to take down North Stafford once and then Stafford twice. And as a sign of things to come, the Hornets kept so many games close going into the fourth. Now with Hudgens, Smith and Williams all returning, the Hornets have much to be excited about. ✖

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GIRLS Remedy Rule /// Western Albemarle, So. Group AA champion in 100-fly, fourth in 200-IM, JD SOY Hannah Harper /// Albemarle, Jr. Group AAA fourth in 100-fly, 10th in 200-IM, CD champ in 100-fly

BOYS Zach Switzer /// Woodberry Forest, Sr. VISAA 200 IM and 100 backstroke champion, VT signee Matt Lockman /// Albemarle, Sr. Northwest champion 50, 100 free, third in Group AAA 100

Corie Morton /// Albemarle, Jr. CD champ in 200 free, NW Region second in 500 free

Alex Montes De Oca /// Orange County, Sr. Group AAA fourth place 100-fly and 100-back, W& M signee

Jeanette Yan/// Albemarle, So. Group AAA 14th 100 back, CD champ in 100 back

Bryce Campenelli /// Fluvanna County, Sr. Group AA runnerup 1m dive

Emma Lockman /// Albemarle, So. Northwest Region sixth in 200 IM, fourth in 100 back Larissa Neilan /// Orange County, Jr. Group AAA seventh 100-breast Kara McHaney /// Madison County, So. Group AA/A 11th in 100-fly Brazil Rule /// Western Albemarle, Fr. Group AA fifth 200-free, third 500-free Storrs Lamb /// Charlottesville, Sr. Group AA runnerup 50-free, 10th in 100-free Katie Sheppard /// Western Albemarle, Sr. Group AA runnerup 1m dive


Ryan Mitchell /// Monticello, Sr. Group AA second place 200-free, third place 100-breast Eli Holstege /// Covenant, Sr. VISAA champion in 100-breat, third place 50-free Danny O’Dea /// Western Albemarle, Jr. Group AA fifth 100-back, 13th 100-free Tyler Gimple /// St Anne’s-Belfield, Sr. VISAA third place 500-free, fourth place 200-free Alex Rayle /// Western Albemarle, Sr. Group AA third place 200-IM, second place 100-back, JD Ali Khalafalla /// Fork Union, Jr. VISAA champion 100-free, fourth 100 back

Jake Shrum /// Albemarle Led both boys and girls to Northwest Region championships :: 18

- W R E S T L ING -


J.P Utz /// Madison County, Sr. Second place Group A 195, 47-6 Justin Zimmerman /// Fluvanna County, Sr. Jefferson District champion at 120 pounds Ryan Brown /// Monticello, Jr. Jefferson District champion and Group AA qualifier at 138 Kyle Biesecker/// William Monroe, Jr. Fourth place Group A at 126, 37-14

Ryan Almond /// Orange County, Sr. Fifth Group AAA at 152, 39-5 Torian Peagram /// Blue Ridge, Jr. Third place VISAA Division 1 at 195 Sean Raferty /// Orange County, Sr. Third place Group AAA at 160, 45-4

Wade Kammauff /// Charlottesville, Jr. Fifth place Region II, JD runnerup at 170, 30-3

Brandon Walker /// Woodberry Forest, Jr. Third place VISAA Division 1 at 138

Lester Hernandez/// Albemarle, Sr. Fifth place Northwest Region at 106, 37-5

Wiliam Dossett /// Woodberry Forest, Sr. Fourth place VISAA Division 1 at 195

Gavin Tingen /// Louisa County, Sr. Jefferson co-wrestler of the year, champion at 152 Josh Savoie /// William Monroe, Jr. Sixth place in Group A at 182, 39-14


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Jordan Spotswood /// Louisa County, Sr. Jefferson District champion at 145

Billy Knabe /// Orange County, Sr. Northwest Region champion at 285, 39-3 Zach Ryder /// Orange County, Sr. Fourth place Northwest Region at 170, 46-5

John Kayajanian /// Orange County Coached Hornets four Northwest Region, two Group AAA appearances

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the buck :: 22


It’s not the individual players. But Albemarle’s Joe Burris in baseball and Connor Carson in girls lacrosse are certainly among the area’s best in their disciplines. It’s not the coaches either. But Bill Hutchinson in softball and Laurie Pratt in girls lacrosse have both taken programs that were nearly left for dead and turned them into area powerhouses through a combination of savvy and hard work.

It’s not even the student section. But they’ve set the standard for turnout for big games in spring where they’re as loud and supportive as anyone in Central Virginia. Not by themselves. Not the individual parts. It’s the sum that makes Albemarle’s athletic department tick. All those pieces come together to make Albemarle one of the area’s gold standards in spring despite some long odds, playing in one of the state’s toughest districts (the Commonwealth) and regions (the Northwest) at the Group AAA level. With the ascent of softball and women’s lacrosse over the last two years, the Patriots are getting it done across the board. How they do it isn’t a mystery if you ask anyone at Albemarle, but it doesn’t make it any less impressive. “We have a great athletic director in Ms. (Deb) Tyson and she does everything to help every team out,” Burris said. “And (baseball) coach (Jimmy) Bibb preaches support to everybody whether we’re losing or winning.” Support permeates the entire department at Albemarle. Whether it’s the fans, the parents, the coaches or the players, everyone seems to support everyone else. That’s why there aren’t too many wilder scenes than a home night at Albemarle High School during late spring, when the Commonwealth District and the West Central Division playoffs get going and the Patriots are competing on every inch of real estate on campus. That’s when that support and that hard work all pay off.

In baseball, you really just have to point to the standout players. There was Mickey White, who set school records with a .552 batting average and 37 hits as a senior. There was Ty Molinaro who was drafted by the Yankees and currently is an All-CAA outfielder for UNC-Wilmington. There’s also Vince Coles. There’s Rashad Talley. There’s Joey Varaksa. Now there’s Joe Burris, bound for Virginia Tech, a dual threat who serves as the Patriots’ Tuesday starter and a hard-hitting outfielder. “It’s really exciting, we’ve had a lot of great players come through Albemarle,” Burris said. “Coach Bibb does a really great job with the younger guys and we’ve just got to keep working to get where we want to go.” Around each of those great players is usually a fleet of other great players who play key roles. Those groups have pushed the Patriots to several playoff appearances, including one last year when Albemarle advanced to the Northwest Region tournament and advanced to the second round. While three different coaches — Greg Maynard, Carroll Bickers and now Bibb—have led the way for the Patriots during that span, Albemarle has maintained its forward momentum. Burris chalks that up a trait usually associated with programs in one-

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A c a d e m i c

E d g e

sponsored by hargrave military academy

Academic Athlete of the Month: Monticello’s Chase Phillips

Monticello High senior Chase Phillips is the reigning West Central Division lacrosse player of the year and earned all West Central Section honors last year too. He’s one of the area’s top offensive threats, pouring in 56 goals and dishing out 27 assists back in 2012. He was also a key wide receiver for the Mustangs’ Region II finalist football squad. His best work, however, might be in the classroom. Phillips is ranked in the top six percent of his class and carries a GPA of 4.6, making those marks largely in AP courses, which have dominated his schedule the past two years. Those high grades earned Phillips appointments in the Math, English, Spanish and National Honor societies, as well as the chance to head to Dickinson College, a top-flight liberal arts college. That’s where he’ll play lacrosse next year for the Red Devils, one of the top Division II squads in the nation that started the year 13-0 and was ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation.

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school communities — these guys just know each other. “We have a lot of people that have played together for a really long time,” Burris said. “Probably half the baseball team or more is from Central Little League where I played and we’ve all been friends for a really long time.” While baseball has been a regular source of strength for Albemarle in spring, softball has only recently found its footing. The Patriots righted the ship under Bill Hutchinson, largely because Hutchinson, like many Albemarle coaches, has proven willing to go the extra mile. “You’ve got to have someone who’s willing to get their hands dirty, being invested in the fields and the facilities,” Tyson said. “You’ve got Jimmy Bibb and Bill willing to get out there for sponsorships for a new scoreboard for a baseball field and a press box down at softball. They’re the kind of people who are willing to invest time with me out of season to improve facilities.” Hutchinson has in turn improved the product on the field, with standout seniors like Caroline Porco and Colleen Marshall melding with talented underclassmen pitchers Lindsay Chaney and Emily McAllister for a formidable Albemarle lineup that made the playoffs last year for the first time in recent memory. McAllister pointed to a

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similar familiarity that Burris highlighted in baseball as a big reason for softball’s success. “We had a lot of young people, but we’ve played together since we were seven or eight,” McAllister said. “Playing with people that you’ve known for so long really helps with the team chemistry.” Those tight bonds lead to athletes playing hard for each other too, which is why the softball team advanced to the state playoffs for the first time in recent memory when the squad got into the Northwest Region tournament in 2012. “They’re probably my best friends in the whole world,” McAllister said. “I’ve known a lot of people on my team since I was six and we have a really close bond because of sports.” And then there is the rise again from the girls lacrosse program. Albemarle’s girls lacrosse team underwent a transformation over the last three years under coach Laurie Pratt. While the Patriots have had significant success in the recent past, making the Group AAA tournament in 2008, the program slipped before Pratt took charge. Leading the new charge is Connor Carson, the Old Dominionbound midfielder, who quickly became one of the area’s most prolific scorers as the offensive centerpiece for an Albemarle team that last year advanced to the state quarterfinals.

“It’s amazing to play on a team with girls you love,” Carson said. “But it’s also amazing to have success and win with your best friends.” Carson, along with the emergence of defender Alicia Young, junior attackers Ryann Murray and Rebecca Mendelsohn plus goalie Kelsey Rund and a slew of other talents, has helped turned the Patriots into a powerhouse. “The past four years have changed so much,” Carson said. “I think each year it’s just all about team chemistry. We had, my freshman year, nine seniors, but we didn’t have the chemistry we needed. This year, we have the same number, we’ve all just played together and coach Pratt makes sure to emphasize the family motto and how much we trust each other, especially on the field.” Senior leadership has been an excellent barometer for the boys lacrosse program at Albemarle. When the senior leadership is strong, the Patriots are at their very best. “(My) freshman year, Michael Bernardino and Eric Riegel showed everybody the way to win — that it doesn’t come easy,” said Albemarle junior Matt Crist. “Every year our seniors step up and our captains teach us the right way to win.” This year’s group is no different, with Ryan Ramey leading the way for the seniors. The defenseman has been a stalwart member of the Patriots back line for several years now and has taken to the

senior leadership role well according to Crist. The Patriots are also settling in with second-year coach Greg Crow, who suffered through medical issues last year that prevented him from being with the team for long stretches. Crow and his staff have helped cultivate a cohesive feel in the program that should continue to pay dividends for the reigning West Central Section champions. “We practice together every day for the first 20 minutes so it’s not like its separate varsity and separate J.V.,” Crist said. “We all get along well together and just gel.” Like the boys lacrosse team, Albemarle’s tennis teams don’t really have off years either. The boys team advanced to the state quarterfinals last year and started 2013 on an 11-0 run through the Commonwealth District, another in a long line of those runs under head coach Chip Grobmyer. On the girls side, coach Rich Lindsay is a big part of the squad’s consistently excellent play. “I think it’s how he develops us as players over the years,” said Albemarle senior Allison Henry. “Our program has a lot of depth so even when we graduate people there are still people there on the lower end of the ladder to step up the next year.” Henry was one of the lone holdovers from the 2011 state quarterfinalist squad on last year’s team as the program revamped the lineup in 2012. With five new starters, they advanced to the

“Every year our seniors step up and our captains teach us the right way to win.” - matt Crist

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Northwest Region quarterfinals before falling to a stout Franklin County squad. Now with Henry and the rest of the lineup back including classmates Caroline Chisholm and Callie Murray, Albemarle is primed for potential run at a state tournament berth. Another loaded Albemarle girls soccer squad could also be in the mix for the state tournament. Nine starters return from the 2012 edition, and Carmen Thomas, Maggie Tubridy and Megan Schnell give the Patriots a lot of scoring punch. Throw in standout defenders like Lauren Truwit, Abby Davision and Katherine Waldron plus some of the area’s best midfielders in Lizzy Marks, Anne Brady and Ali Starr and Albemarle is clearly loaded. That’s become part for the course for the Patriors under Jon Hall, who works in new young players each year, which prevents major down years. “A lot of people play club soccer and they keep on playing,” Thomas said. “It’s never like you have people who you have to start with from scratch.” If the girls can scratch their way into the mix and advance to the state tournament, the boys soccer squad proved last year that no matter what the situation is, if an Albemarle squad gets into the state tournament, anything can happen. The Patriots’ boys soccer team, despite losing to Commonwealth rival Colonial Forge three times during the regular season and then the district tournament, put together an incredible run and won the Northwest Region title and then the Group AAA title by beating Colonial Forge in both championship games. “The bus ride I’ll remember the most is after we won the regional championship — it was the fourth time we’d played Colonial Forge and it was the first time we’d beaten them,” said Albemarle senior captain Matt Sheffield. “The chemistry on the way back was just awesome. We had donuts being passed around all on the bus and music blaring. I think that’s when we all really connected.” That boys squad graduated a number of key players and head coach Scott Jackson stepped down after the title run to open the door for assistant Jeff Balnave to take the reins. But the Patriots aren’t

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“We had donuts being passed around all on the bus and music blaring. I think that’s when we all really connected.” - matt Sheffield

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backing down from defending their title, including knocking off Colonial Forge in their first meeting in double overtime. If they can get to the state tournament too, they’ll have one major advantage over their opponents too. “All those other teams had to travel two hours and they weren’t used to that factor,” Sheffield. “We treated it like a regular game.” That’s one of the unique things about all Albemarle teams — they’re always road tested because of the travel challenge that the Commonwealth presents. All nine road games are about two hours by bus. The Albemarle soccer team found a way to turn what’s usually viewed as a negative — the school’s extensive travel log — into an advantage come playoff time. Once you start turning negatives like that into positives? That’s when an athletic department is hitting on all cylinders. That’s when everything is coming together. That’s Albemarle High in spring. ✖

The West Virginia University 3-time Big East Academic All-Star and former assistant Mens’ Basketball Coach at NCAA Divison I Charleston Southern University, Brooks Berry, joins Covenant School this summer.

BROOKS BERRY West Virginia University three-time Big East AcademicFOR All-Star COVENANT NEW ATHLETIC DIRECTOR BS in Sports Management from WVU • Covenant over Coach 40 Middle School, JVSouthern , and Varsity team sports Assistant Mens’ offers Basketball at Charleston University - NCAA Div I

• Covenant has won 19 State Championships  • 80% of all Upper School students participate on at least one team each year    • Great college advising program and outstanding college acceptances     

THE COVENANT SCHOOL THE COVENANT LOWER SCHOOL | Pre-K through Grade 6 THE  COVENANT UPPER SCHOOL | Grades 12  7 through      Virginia 175 Hickory Street Charlottesville, Virginia 22902 434-220-7330 1000 Birdwood Road Charlottesville,          22903  434-220-8125  


Gameday Decisions Grab dinner before or after the game. Refuel after practice. Wake up with chicken to get ready for your game.

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“She’s young, but it looks like she’s going to be really good.” He may never have been more right. If you haven’t seen Javanique Burruss compete, you’ve missed one of Central Virginia’s best female athletes ever. That’s not an opinion either. It’s irrefutable fact. While a parade of stellar, standout athletes have come through Central Virginia, it’s rare that one has a chance to, by at least one objective measure, to become the greatest the state has ever seen in their particular pursuit. Burruss has a chance to do exactly that. While there are a lot of competitions between now and then and any number of things could derail her quest, with a repeat of her junior year performance in the 2013 Group AA championships, Burruss would tie the all-time mark for individual championships in outdoor track and field. Burruss has six individual titles already, and three more would tie her for the all-time record held by a pair of Olympians — Sheena Johnson and Paula Girven of Gar-field. Johnson, now Sheena Tosta, took silver in the 2008 Bejing Games in the 400 hurdles and Girven competed for the U.S. in the high jump in 1976 in Montreal, finishing 18th. Considering those resumes, just being in range of that list is an incredible feat. The fact that Burruss has added one of her main disciplines during high school and has had to live up to sky-high expectations since she arrived? That’s even more incredible. When Cutright passed along Burruss’ name, he wasn’t just trading on potential. Burruss was already pretty accomplished. She’d placed second nationally in the longjump at the AAU junior national championships. Things were pretty different then too though. Burruss was doubling as the Lions’ best basketball player too, earning first team All-Jefferson District honors as a freshman. But she started locking in on track shortly after that and things really started to explode. She won the outdoor title in long jump as a freshman, took third in the triple jump and second in the 100 hurdles despite only taking it up that year. She repeated as a sophomore with a state record leap that’s still the standard and she also won the 100-meter hurdles. That’s three outdoor titles before she’d entered her junior year. She doubled that as a junior with wins in the long jump, triple jump and the hurdles. There’s no indication that’ll slow down either. She won the 55 hurdles, the long jump and the triple jump during indoor to ring up 11 total individual state titles between indoor and outdoor. She’s consistently excellent, and that has a lot to do with her approach. On race day, Burruss is all business. She’s often one of the busiest competitors at the Group AA meet, but she moves around like it’s a walk in the park. There’s an ease, a casualness, to everything she does that indicates her sense of her place. It’s a quality she shares :: 32


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with a lot of elite athletes. Truly elite athletes don’t have to draw attention to themselves or treat their competition with disdain. Some choose too, sure, and that’s their prerogative. But Burruss barely celebrated when she broke the Group AA long jump record as a sophomore with a leap of 19 feet, five inches. She looked back, checked her feet and moved on to the next jump, the next hurdle, the next leg of a relay. There’s an air of excellence around every step she takes too. And that brings us back to her place in history — potentially equaling the feat of two Olympians in Johnson and Girven. Girven won her nine titles in the high jump, long jump, 80-yard hurdles (phased out after 1978) and 220-yard dash (phased out after 1979). She’s still the state high jump record holder in Group AAA and a VHSL Hall of Famer. Johnson won her titles in the 300 hurdles (four of them), long jump, triple jump and the 100-meter hurdles. The rest of Burruss’ company in that hierarchy isn’t bad either. Sarah Bowman (now Sarah Brown) finished with eight career titles at Fauquier and is a professional distance runner, one of the United States’ top milers. Kiamesha Otey, who also had eight titles at Group A New Kent, went on to UVa and held the ACC outdoor long jump record. With seven titles each, Megan McCarthy was a distance powerhouse for Robinson who wrapped up her career in 1992 and Natalie Baird was a throws specialist who went on to William and Mary where she’s been AllCAA in the hammer throw and discus. That’s all heady, heady company. Burruss has already proven she belongs there. Central Virginia should take notice that one of the state’s finest female track athletes ever is plying her trade right in Louisa County. If you’ve seen her already, you know. If you haven’t? Don’t miss it. ✖

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on and off the field Champions Our students know that the challenges they face on and off the field every day as scholars, artists, athletes, and citizens help to prepare them for their lives ahead. Our Our students know that the challenges they face diverse community allows students to discover that every day as scholars, artists, athletes, and citizens surrounding yourself with cultures different than help to prepare them for their lives ahead. Our your own can be the best education of all.

diverse community allows students to discover that surrounding yourself with cultures different than Congratulations to the LIS Division II Champion your own can be the best education of all. Girls’ Varsity Field Hockey Team!

Congratulations to the LIS Division II Champion Girls’ Varsity Field Hockey Team! B O D Y . MIND. GRADES PS-12, 5- AND 7- DAY BOARDING GRADES 9-12 ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2013-2014 ACADEMIC YEAR H E A R T . 2132 IVY ROAD ~ (434) 296-5106 ~ WWW.STAB.ORG SB OO UD L .Y M I N D GRADES PS-12, 5- AND 7- DAY BOARDING GRADES 9-12

St. Anne’s-Belfield School

St. Anne’s-Belfield School

Free Throws The new kids

Freshman standouts continue theme for Western Albemarle soccer By Ryan Yemen

Aidan Sinclaire is yet another Western freshman making an impact. (Keith Gearhert)

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You can go back to any year and find one or two. Michael Nafzinger and Forrest White did it. Hayes Fountain did it before them. Aaron Meyers did it before that. Western Albemarle coach Paul Rittenhouse isn’t counting on freshmen to standout prominently each year, it’s just sort of worked out that way. Even his current assistant coach, Milo Oakland did it a few years back. “What we’ve found is that technical ability can be a quick equalizer for physicality,” Rittenhouse said. “The young guys come in and tend to be a bit naïve and sometimes that’s a good thing. They don’t worry about one team being really good. They just come in and play the game the way they know how.” The direct result of having such an impressive run of first year talents? The Warriors never seem to have a rebuilding year, even when they should. One season after the next, if Rittenhouse’s squad isn’t the favorite to win the Jefferson District, it’s always a given that his team will be nipping on the heels of the squad that is. “Our players have come to embrace the freshman each year,” Rittenhouse said. “They don’t wonder why a freshman is on the team, they know that the best players we have are on the field. The younger players are usually very coachable and that creates a culture. Guys like Forrest who’ve been there learn and know how to talk to the freshman.” So as teams look to mark up White, Grant Tolber, his brother Harris or any of the other seemingly endless line of senior and junior contributors on this Western roster, it’s once again a group of freshmen leaving opposing coaches scratching their heads. Aidan Sinclaire, Jake Paulson and Colin Moore are the next wave of freshman whose names everyone will know all too well after the JD slate is done. With Charlottesville being

one of the few teams capable of keeping pace with the Warriors so far, those freshmen are counting up the minutes, cutting their teeth and setting up Rittenhouse’s program with gifted yet soon to be experienced players to keep his team rolling in years to come. “We’ve got two freshmen (Sinclaire and Moore) who had six goals for us already halfway though April,” Rittenhouse said. “This has really become a tradition for us.” There’s no questioning how valuable the playing time is for the greenest of the underclassmen. As a sophomore last year, White was playing at the level expected from most seniors and went on to win JD player of the year honors. The early work grooms these athletes at a seemingly exponential level. “Instead of having guys with knees knocking we have guys out there with something to prove,” Rittenhouse said. “I think it helps them grow up faster. By mid April, you find that the younger players get into a grove.” Sinclaire, Paulson and Moore are all described as “technical” standouts by their coach who are slowly but surely earning more time. That creates a level of competition within the program for the older players to keep wanting to improve. “That’s where you see the growth, during spring break or so when some of the guys go on college visits,” Rittenhouse said. “All of the sudden the freshmen have this fire in their eyes and everyone is competing.” And that’s how this cycle of Western staying at the top of the standings in the JD rolls along. The easiest way to keep anyone motivated is to show that there is somebody willing and capable of doing their job. With young talent to work with at Western, every minute played by anyone is a minute that has been earned. ✖

Success stories begin here.

Success Story: Jacob Ruby Jacob Ruby hails from London, Ontario in Canada. In 2008 he made the decision to come to Fork Union to help further along his football career. With a 6-foot-6 frame, he spent his first season for Blue Devils coach Micky Sullivan playing at tight end before moving over to offensive tackle the following year. Along with Mark Shuman (Virginia Tech) and Russell Bodine (North Carolina), Ruby helped anchor an uncanny offensive line, leading FUMA to a VISAA Division 1 final four showing. Ruby’s play at tackle earned him All-State and All-Prep Leaugue honors and a lot of attention for colleges. In the winter of 2010, Ruby was picked to participate in the USA vs. The Word All-Star Game, an annual event that is broadcast on the NFL Network that features 90 players total.

Six programs made offers for his services including Connecticut, Toledo, Central Michigan, Akron, Old Dominion and Richmond. After much consideration, Ruby decided to stay in state and chose to play for the Spiders. After redshirting his first year, Ruby got onto the field quickly in 2011 as he played in all 11 of the Spiders’ games and started in 10 of them. This season, he started all 11 games at left tackle for an offensive line that allowed just five sacks, the best in the Colonial Athetic Assocation and tied for the third best total in the nation. With two years left to play, Ruby’s built quite the football resume. It was just four years ago that he made the trip south to Virginia, but it’s clear that Ruby’s impressive journey is still just unfolding.

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


More than a manager Monticello’s Eplee goes above and beyond her job


nnie Eplee loves basketball. Shooting, practicing, playing, whatever — Eplee just wants a ball in her hand and to be around the game. She loves it so much that occasionally she loses track of her other practice duties. Like when the buzzer runs a little too long after a timed drill. “I’m looking around because she’s supposed to be turning the buzzer off and she’s over at the other hoop shooting away,” said Monticello coach Josh McElheny. “The girls playfully give her a hard time and I’m like ‘At least she’s working.” Eplee, who was born with a brain abnormality, is the long-time manager of Monticello High School’s girls basketball team, running that buzzer during practice, filling water, and supporting the Mustangs, including this year through the deepest playoff run in school history. Eplee joined up as a manager when her sister, Rachael Eplee, now at Virginia Tech, became a Monticello basketball player. She’s been a fixture on the sidelines since, unleashing a powerful combination of wit and enthusiasm from her spot at the end of the bench. She’s serious about her job — ask her how things are going and she always says “just managing this team” — but she’ll also joke around regularly with members of the team and their coach when the moment arises. “I started to tear up in the locker room a little bit,” McElheney said after the Mustangs’ state quarterfinal win. “She was the first one to come up to me and said ‘It’s okay coach, we won.’ She’s a great kid. She makes us what we are.” Eplee keeps close tabs on what the Mustangs are too. She keeps track of points during drills and will let McElheny know if the players are counting wrong. But she’s built incredible bonds with members of the team. “It’s a learning experience for all of us. It’s taught us a lot about what it means to be a team and including everybody, especially our managers,” said Monticello senior Emily Larabee. “Everybody is a part of this. She’s been with me every year and all of us have grown to be really close with her, it’s a really good relationship.” Through early intervention, Eplee has largely overcome that abnormality that has had a significant impact on how she lives her life, allowing her to function at a level that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. And that abnormality hasn’t had an impact on her continually growing passion for basketball, which she gets to fully explore in the Special Olympics when she competes with her own squad. Eplee is a defensive force in those games, bringing a lot of the same defensive intensity that the Mustangs did during this season’s playoff run. “That’s been inspiring me for years and every year my team gets better and better against the big, tall teams,” Eplee said. “It’s a lot of fun with this team.” She’s also pretty adamant about bringing what she’s picked up from monitoring Monticello’s practices to the floor with her team. “I’ve learned a lot from Josh,” Eplee said. “And watching defense I’ll be like ‘I’m going to try and try that.’” We spent a lot of pages in this issue recognizing the best of the best in local basket-

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“She was the first one to come up to me and said ‘It’s okay coach, we won.’ She’s a great kid. She makes us what we are.” ball through our All-Scrimmage Play program. Eplee is among those too. In her own way, she’s made the basketball scene a happier, lighter place. “Just some of the things that she says or the way she looks at you,” McElheny said. “Whenever you’re having a bad day it’s an easy smile when you walk in the gym and Annie’s in there. Your mood changes automatically.” That’s certainly worth the occasional long buzzer. ✖

Bart Isley,


back talk »

What should have Missy Franklin done? Contact Bart at:


M AY 7


MAY 10

M AY 1 4





The first meeting went the Warriors way. Can a vaunted Western pitching staff complete the season sweep or will the Mustangs grind out a split with their scrappy top of the order? Come find out in Crozet.

With the James River District tournament just a week away, this will be key for both to improve their standings. Will the Knights be able to take down the defending JRD champions?

It not only had the drama that always comes when these rivals get together, it was also a tight game with the Dragons edging out the win. Expect round two to be just as entertaining.

The Patriots strong regular season performance will put them at home in the first round of the playoffs. It’s here they’ll begin to make it a third straight run to the Northwest Region tournament.

P E P S I - C O L A O F C E N T R A L V I R G I N I A ­: S U P P O RT I N G L O C A L H I G H S C H O O L AT H L E T I C S F O R D E C A D E S

Tracking down the winning smiles we helped create

(434) 296-0188

Mike Brown

He was unstoppable for Monticello at quarterback. It earned him a scholarship to Liberty University where his dualthreat ability drove defenses nuts. After he wrapped up his oustanding career in Lynchburg, Mike Brown was signed by the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars last summer and earned a start in the regular season finale against Tennessee. Keep up the good work for the Jaguars, Mike. We hope your smile serves you well!

Get your free consultation today at any of our offices in Charlottesville, Crozet and Ruckersville NEW OFFICE IN CROZET In-Ovation Brackets — new braces that reduce treatment Area’s only Premier Provider 2006-2011 and Elite Preferred Provider 2011-2012 Teen provider



SPRING SPORTS: LOVE AND HATE EDITION There’s no question that the bevy of spring sports teams keep us the busiest, May being the craziest month of year hands down. From what happens between March and June, there’s an awful lot that makes it a unique season. But there are also a handful of things that we’d sure like to see changed. Here is the list of five things we love and five things we hate about spring sports. ::



FIVE things we love

Field turf, field turf everywhere Ask the baseball and softball teams how nice it would be not to have games scheduled in March and get pushed into late April or May, right in the thick of district or conference play. If you play on one of the seven artificial surfaces throughout our area, you already know that barring a lightning storm, when the schedule says you’re playing a game, it’s going to happen. On top of that, the conditions on a soaking wet turf aren’t any different than after just a spritz of rain, and that is the whole point. For schools that have both lacrosse and soccer for both genders, grass is simply not up to the task. Before the field turf movement, the lacrosse and soccer fields in May looked like dust bowls, especially where it matters most in front of the nets. Sure the little rubber pellets that get stuck in your shoes are annoying, but it’s a very small price to pay for a true playing surface that is as consisent as possible. There is no competitve advantage for anyone on the turf.

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FIVE things we love

Primetime lacrosse matchups There’s nothing to compare to a big football game on a Friday night in fall. But night lacrosse games between two powers — preferably rivals like Albemarle and Western or St. Anne’s-Belfield and St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes — are spring’s answer to those classic fall battles. There’s noise and intensity unlike any other spring contest. You can also sense the runs and momentum swings coming under the lights unlike a typical afternoon clash. The gold standard for those kind of clashes the last few years? The STAB/SSSA battle back in 2010 that was a state title rematch of the 2009 championship. While STAB lost 13-8, there was an electricity in the air that doesn’t show up in spring very often. There was the drama of an illegal stick that could’ve turned the tide, talented players like Austin Geisler, Chapin Speidel, Owen Van Arsdale, Peter Milley, David Solomon and Ben Levy. Those are all the ingredients for a big-time performance — and one of the highlights of spring. ::



FIVE things we love

The game efficiency of softball Softball games happen like clockwork. They are perhaps the most efficiently managed games on the high school calendar. Why? The pitchers work fast. They move from pitch to pitch almost instantly, powering through lineups with a heavy dose of strikes. Walks are deadly in softball, so pitchers usually hammer the zone. That leads to less baserunners as strikeouts mount and often more groundballs as batters take cracks at balls in the zone. Coaches largely keep conversations short or to a minimum. Offensively, a single leads to a bunt. The game is won by playing small ball since usually the pitchers on the rubber know what they’re doing and happen to be quite good at it. Then you have in the distance between the bases and defensive abilities of so many team. Throw those factors together and you get well-played, speedy games. And there’s not much more you could ask for from a spring sport. Close, quick, entertaining.

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FIVE things we love

The VHSL track and field championships There aren’t many competitions as unforgiving as the state outdoor track meets. Each year we cover the Group AA event and chronicle a lot of tremendous, thrilling success by local athletes. But we also witness a lot of frustrating heartbreak by local standouts and athletes from across the state. While an athlete at the district or regional level can lean on an old mark to qualify and move on to the next level, the state meet is the end of the road. A poor performance there can be the disappointing conclusion to a stellar career. There’s a pressure to rise to the moment and seize it that that’s placed on a single athlete that’s unlike anything else. That’s why when Javanique Burruss and Tony Green of Louisa County or Hannah Meador of Fluvanna put together stellar days at the event it’s so incredibly impressive. They’re staring a high level of pressure in the face and performing on that stage. It’s a terrific feat. ::



FIVE things we love

The run rule/slaughter rule/mercy rule It’s the baseball and softball equivalent of the running clock in football. And we’ll argue it’s even better, a consequence of the absence of time mattering in the two games. Sometimes it’s about a mismatch, two teams playing at two very different levels, but in softball and baseball, sports which rely so heavily on pitching, there are going to be games where somebody simply doesn’t have their stuff. Forcing a team to continue to play the sixth or seventh innings when they trail by 10 runs isn’t just a waste of time, it’s an issue of safety. There’s nothing worse that having an athlete go down in a game that’s already over. On top of that, there’s no reason to torture the parents or fans on the wrong end of the scoreboard any further. The run rule helps to prevent animosity in later innings. Call it any name you want, there are a lot of sports that could take a page from this rule — a lot of times running clock isn’t nearly enough.

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FIVE things we hate

Spring overtime rules The opportunity for great drama is thrown out the window here. In girls lacrosse and girls and boys soccer, there should be only one kind of overtime, the kind that ends in sudden death. Pretending that spring sports need a set period of time is a waste. It’s a waste of time, and it’s also a waste of rewarding resiliency. Two few goals get scored in soccer to allow a team that trails in overtime a chance to tie the game back up. It’s counter intuitive to the purpose of overtime. In girls lacrosse, draw controls are a huge advantage in regulation, and in sudden death overtime (sudden victory is the lamest recent terminology change) the value would increase and that’s a good thing in our book. Faceoffs, draws and ground balls won are the sabremetric stats of lacrosse, give them a little more due in OT. And in any sport when it’s not sudden death, doesn’t the team that scores first just go to kill the clock? Isn’t that unecessarily boring? ::



FIVE things we hate

Penalties in girls lacrosse It seems like every single time the flow of a girls lacrosse game gets going, there’s a whistle. Something to stop the rhythm. We’re not going to pretend to understand all those rules about how aggressively you can play defense. Or how an offensive players has to control themselves. Or where the stick can be held. That’s not our area of expertise. But many of the calls, especially around the cage and in transition sequences, seem a little bit ticky-tack. If a defender hits a player in the face or on top of the head, yes, that’s got to be called. Just like a typical slash in boys lacrosse. But if they’re playing the stick? Officials have got to start swallowing the whistle or the rules have to be adjusted in some form or fashion to allow the defense to play the game. Too often players that appear to have good position on defense are getting whistled for seemingly innocuous plays. The game’s rhythm, in turn, becomes a disastrous, muddled mess.

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FIVE things we hate

The innings pitched rule change in baseball The VHSL instituted a new innings-based rule related to how often baseball players can pitch, with mandatory days of rest based on those innings pitched. It’s just ineffective. Innings aren’t the problem for a pitcher because simply pitching a single inning with no accounting for the number of pitches gives no real idea of the wear and tear on the pitcher’s arm. It’s about as inaccurate as a measurement could be, particularly when a much more accurate measurement (pitch count) is out there already. And the best pitchers, the ones with low pitch counts and high inning counts bear the brunt of this rule. It’s also not a particularly functional rule. It forces teams into some frustrating pitching rotations where players who haven’t thrown very many pitches are shut down for extensive stretches. Pitcher’s arms would be better served through well-tracked pitch counts. With all the computer programs out there, an electronic database and reporting system is certainly within the ability of most every high school team in the state. ::



FIVE things we hate

VHSL’s lack of centralization in playoffs This is actually a product of the basketball playoffs being held at the Siegel Center in Richmond being so perfectly executed. The state playoffs in the spring need the same kind of thinking. Not having Richmond serve as a hub for all VHSL sports is a bit of a disservice. First of all, there are more than enough venues, hotels, etc. to support it. But secondly, the travel that so many schools endure at the end of May and beginning of June is unfair. Northern and Southwest Virginia squads reap all the benefits. Richmond, although it favors the southeast in geography, it caters to the greater population placements, which is the most fair thing to do. It’s where I-64 and 1-95 meet. It makes it as easy as possible for the rest of the Commonwealth to get through to the capital. There should be some meaning that the state playoffs are held in the capital. Let’s make spring as fair and effective as it is in the winter.

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FIVE things we hate

The chain link fence We’re not advocating teams getting rid of backstops. But what we are saying is that it’s a little disappointing how many fields, including some of the newest, have a hamster cage look to them. Fans at so many venues have their vision obscured. The wild pitch or foul ball coming back over the plate is the only thing that fans should truly need protection from, everything else is overkill. It doesn’t increase player safety, it doesn’t stop much down the third or first baseline in terms of foul balls. What it does is take away from the fan experience. In football there is no fence. In gymnasiums, the crowd sits on top of the game. It’s a non-issue in soccer and lacrosse. Why do the fans in those sports get to enjoy the open experience, especially outdoors while so many softball and baseball fans don’t? We can’ think of a good reason, so why not save the money on future fields and use it for something else? Nobody will mind. They’ll actually give thanks for it. ::


Volume 4 Issue 6  

Scrimmage Play's latest issue

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