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scrımmageplay THE CENTRAL VIRGINIA SPORTS AUTHORITY

Zeroed in Covenant’s Emily Maupin and Sara Meakem head into the twilight of their prep careers. PAGE 07

VOL 8. ISSUE 8 :: FEBRUARY 10, 2017


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EVOLVING FRIENDSHIP Covenant girls duo paves the way

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THE NEXT PHASE Madison boys hit postseason with vigor

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GAME TIME Monticello girls edge Fluvanna County

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REMEMBERING DUANE Just how much a FUMA grad, official affected all

Zeroed in VOL 8 . ISSUE 8 :: FEBRUARY 10, 2017

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TAKING THE LEAD Albemarle boys swim team rallies behind Smith

VOL 8. ISSUE 8 :: FEBRUARY 10, 2017

Covenant’s Emily Maupin and Sara Meakem head into the twilight of their prep careers. PAGE 07

S TA F F Bart Isley, Creative Director Bob Isley, Infrastructure Director Ryan Yemen, Creative Editor O N T H E COV E R Covenant’s Emily Maupin, the school’s all-time leading scorer M I S S I O N S TAT E M E N T Local sports are the lifeblood of every community in America, and we’re here to reach beyond the basics and give compelling accounts about Central Virginia athletes to our readers. CO N TAC T U S [ e ] info@scrimmageplay.com [ p ] 434-249-2032

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PREGAME

Playing Spoiler

Charlottesville boys basketball’s Jaylen Hudson looks for room to attack against Western Albemarle during the Black Knights’ 73-63 upset of the Warriors that knocked Western out of a share of the Jefferson District regular season title. Hudson poured in 16 points to lead Charlottesville’s offense on the night and also drew the unenviable task of trying to mark Western’s career leading scorer Ryan Ingram. ✖ (Photo by Ashley Thornton)

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ALTER EGOS MArk MCGill FireFigher For Western Albemarle and CATEC student Mark McGill, whether he’s working as a volunteer firefighter in Crozet or as a team roper and steer wrestler in rodeos, teamwork matters. “It’s a brotherhood, kind of like the firehouse,” McGill said. “Everybody knows everybody, everybody is trying to help you and everybody is really encouraging.” CATEC has given McGill the opportunity to pursue his career goals while still in high school as part of CATEC’s firefighting program. He fell in love with firefighting after getting involved with the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department at 13 years old. After just a couple of weeks he knew that was definitely what he wanted to do. “My brother was an EMT, so I always knew I wanted to be a firefighter as a career and this is the first step toward getting all your qualifications to get hired,” McGill said. “It’s amazing because after high school with college and everything it’s going to be hard to get those things done.”

College Track students taking an early step in their career

To learn more about the firefighting program at CATEC and check out a photo gallery of the students in action, click this page.

www.catec.org

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First Quarter Taking the lead

Albemarle’s Smith helps Patriots stay in step By Bart Isley

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Albemarle’s Caleb Smith has excelled as a middle and long distance swimmer this season. (Tom Pajewski)

{ FAST TIMES AT AHS } Smith’s 500 free times

4:54.62 4:46.01

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K AR A EL DER K AR A EL DER

2017 REGION 5A

2016 GROUP 5A

2015 GROUP 5A

4:42.30

aleb Smith knows he’s got a responsibility to lead. The Patriots graduated a ton of talent off last year’s squad including current South Carolina swimmer and Scrimmage Play swimmer of the year Nick Pease and Army’s Hogan Harper, another All-SP honoree.

That leaves Smith leading the Albemarle swim team, while just a junior, as a de facto leader for the Patriots because of his experience and performance. He takes on that leadership role in two pretty distinct ways. He starts with hard work, leading by example in the pool. That helps set the tone for the Patriots, as it did at the Ben Hair meet in early January where he ripped off wins in both the 200 and 500-freestyle races. “As a captain I like to set the attitude and just show by example,” Smith said. “So if I’m going out there and busting my butt, anybody else can too.” It helped of course that, like a lot of swimmers, he loves the atmosphere and excitement that surrounds the Ben Hair meet. “This is my favorite meet of the season, it’s everybody from the city and county, my friends that I train against,” Smith said. “It’s great.” Smith is a force in his two races, having taken third in the Group 5A state meet in the 200 a year ago and sixth in the 500. The 500 is a grueling, brutal race that demands a lot from distance swimmers, requiring focus and a high tolerance for pain. Smith’s mindset for attacking the race is pretty simple and clearly effective. “You’ve just got to go into it with a positive attitude, knowing it’s going to hurt but you’ve got to enjoy it,” Smith said. “At the end, it feels better. I work hard and I train hard and I

do what I can.” What he can do is be a building block for the Patriots as they reload for a new era. Smith is a consistent, top notch swimmer who grabbed a pair of runner-up finishes in the Conference 16 meet in the 200 and 500 last year. That’s a solid point output for just a sophomore and he’ll look to build on that postseason performance as a junior. But beyond points, he can have a big impact with the other way he takes on the leadership role that has been thrust on his shoulders -- by keeping the entire team loose. Swimming is a grind of a sport with early morning practices and the repetitiveness that can drive even the most focused swimmers out there insane sometimes. Smith, however, was walking around the Ben Hair meet with a portable boombox, loosening up himself and teammates alike. Whether its dubstep or rap coming through the speakers, he’s trying to create a particularly fun atmosphere for the Patriots. “I like to bring the boombox, play music on the bus, keep everybody live,” Smith said. “No falling asleep. I like having a positive attitude as a team so I do whatever I can.” Sometimes leadership is hard work and performance. Sometimes it’s a boombox. Being a leader doesn’t stop, and Caleb Smith is making sure Albemarle’s swim team has all the leadership it needs as the Patriots reload and move forward. ✖

go online »

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


College Update

We’ve gone digital

Texas’ Rule gears up for last two meets of the year

But you can have it in print too!

By Ryan Yemen Her four year run at Western Albemarle saw the Warriors produce four consecutive VHSL championships. Remedy Rule was the black widow of girls swimming as she earned seven individual state titles, tied for first place all time in the state -- you were pretty much dead if she jumped in the pool next to you. So everyone assumed that she’d do well in college after she signed with Texas in the fall of 2014. Rule is making good on those assumptions. With three weeks left until the Big 12 championship, Rule and the second-ranked Longhorns improved to 11-1 on the year with a final tuneup win over Texas Christian. The former Warrior took second in the 100-yard free style with her time of 52.34 behind teammate Lauren Case (51.98) to set up another opportunity to shine in the postseason. The first postseason for Rule? How about a pair of Big 12 gold medals as she swam a leg on the Longhorn’s 200 free style championship relay team. Individually, Rule won the

200 butterfly and came in fifth in the 100 fly. At the NCAA Championships, Rule was on the 200 free relay squad that placed 14th overall. So now as a sophomore, the Crozet native will look to try and best her unbelievable performance as a freshman. Against top-ranked Stanford back in November, Rule had a huge meet. While the the Cardinal won the meet, Rule took the 200-back stroke, edging last year’s NCAA second place swimmer in Ella Eastin and Olympic champion Katie Ledecky who placed third. With the Longhorns tied with California in the NCAA rankings, and only Stanford infront of them, they’ll be the favorites heading into the Big 12 meet on February 22. Then late in March, Rule and the Longhorns should get an opportunity to try and take down Stanford for a national title. Look for Rule to add to her already impressive early collegiate swimming resume, and become more and more of a household name on the NCAA Division 1 circuit, if she isn’t already. ✖

HOW TO GET A PHYSICAL COPY OF SCRIMMAGE PLAY Step 1 :: Click here and head to the MagCloud version of the magazine. It’s going to look like this below:

BELOW » Former Western Albemarle graduate Remedy Rule is now in a starring role swimming for the Texas Longhorns as a sophomore. (University of Texas Sports Information)

Step 2 :: Click the Buy Print button next to the magazine and follow instructions to order Step 3 :: Wait patiently by your mailbox Step 4 :: When it arrives, take it out and read or stash away to your heart’s delight!

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Evolving Friendship story by bart isley photos by ashley thornton & bart isley

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Growing up IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO ONE ANOTHER CAN GIVE RISE to a certain symbiosis — mutualism, like how the sea anemone protects the clownfish from predators and the clownfish protects the anemone from its own threats. Two different entities, when pushed together in the same environment will often adapt and compensate to protect and complement the other. Maybe Sara Meakem and Emily Maupin would be entirely different players if they hadn’t come up playing for Covenant together. Maybe Meakem, the Eagles’ sharp-shooting guard who isn’t a short player, would be more post focused. Maybe Maupin, Covenant’s double double machine, wouldn’t be as strong on the low block as she can be. Maybe she would’ve drifted out even more than she has in recent years in order to give her team some scoring punch. They’re both hard-working, dedicated players who want to find ways to contribute, and maybe if the other wasn’t there, they’d have developed differently than they have the last few years.

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It takes a lot of pressure off me, it opens things up and i’m able to do what i want to do and not have all the focus on me.” — Maupin

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But the fact is, that Meakem and Maupin haven’t known any high school basketball without the other. They’ve developed right alongside one another and the end result of that organic process is that there’s an incredible sense of wholeness to their game when they step on the floor. The 21 and 12 jerseys that they wear are mirror images, and in many ways so are their respective skill sets. “When I’m on on the outside, that helps draw defenders out on me more so that she’ll have more of a chance to do her thing,” Meakem said. That works both ways. “It takes a lot of pressure off me, it opens things up and I’m able to do what I want to do and not have all of the focus on me,” Maupin said. That focus has been pretty intense since Maupin showed major promise when she took the floor as an eighth grader for the Eagles’ varsity under former coach Doug Smethurst. Back then, she was an immediate contributor as an already 6-foot tall middle school student, averaging 5.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game on a squad with 15 wins that earned a state tournament berth. Since then, she’s been one the area’s surest bets in the paint. She’s a double double machine — Maupin is one of just a handful of players locally to average a double double each season as a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior. Sam Brunelle at William Monroe is on pace to do that right now, but the feat just doesn’t happen often and Sarah Imovbioh at STAB did it for the Saints a few years back during her junior and seniors seasons. Maupin’s hard work, production, improvement and her height— she’s now 6-foot-3 —have helped paved the way for a collegiate career. Post players with potential are not easy to find, and Elon University was one of several programs vying for Maupin’s services. “There’s definitely been a lot of work, a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” Maupin said after signing with Elon. “Especially staying here at Covenant and having to rebuild every year has really taught me a lot about how important it is to get the fundamentals down and be able to lead. It makes all of it worth it, all of those long nights and tears, I’m so excited and I couldn’t be happier.” That rebuilding part is a huge element of Maupin and Meakem’s story. While both were on Covenant’s team as eighth graders, it was as freshmen that their work really began. That’s when Rock Watson took over as the head coach after years of being around the local youth game. “I saw them develop throughout the years and when I took over I knew they were special, two special girls that have a strong bond that would continue to work hard together,” Watson said. “I knew that I could build a foundation around them.” That strong bond doesn’t just happen overnight.


ACADEMIC EDGE

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LOUISA COUNTY’S ANNA AGEE

Anna Agee has been an instrumental part of Louisa County girls basketball’s elevation over the last two seasons as head coach Nick Schreck and his staff have turned the Lions into a major factor in the Jefferson District. Agee is one of the squad’s top scorers, and she’s been a key senior leader this year with a lot of young contributors in the lineup. “(Louisa’s coaches) have really rebuilt the whole program in two years and it’s really good and fun to play with this team now,” Agee said. Agee also gets the job done in the classroom with a 4.3 weighted GPA and is ranked 14th in the Lions’ senior class of 320. She’s in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is the National Honor Society’s treasurer. Agee has handled that balancing act between sports and academics nicely and has applied at James Madison and Virginia Tech. “Over the past four years, I’ve learned to manage time and as a senior things have really settled down, I’ve learned how to handle it,” Agee said.

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& Both Maupin and Meakem have been at Covenant since kindergarten and their families have been friends. But like a lot of friendships it was strengthened by high school and the path they’ve taken together on the court. “To know Em and to play with Em is a blessing. I don’t think I would’ve gotten through high school without her honestly,” Meakem said. “She just carries this team so well. We help keep each other energized, I love her.” They’ve had to lean on each other during basketball because that early taste of team success as an eighth grader has been a little bit of a mixed bag since then for Maupin and Meakem. They’ve qualified for two straight VISAA tournaments and snagged a win in the state tournament’s opening round as sophomores. But they haven’t broken that double digit win mark since they were in eighth grade. Of course, that isn’t all on Meakem and Maupin, the Eagles have been rebuilding around them each year. “It’s definitely an asset to have them on the court together but it’s also a challenge because they lean and depend on each other quite a bit,” Watson said. “They’ve handled it pretty well because each year I’ve told them, they’re the leaders of the team. It was a two year process turning them into leaders.” Maupin in particular has stayed committed to the Eagles’ program instead of seeking out a change of

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They’re trusting what we’re working on in the game. now their eyes are opening up.” — Watson

scenery, choosing like Javin DeLaurier did at STAB to stay and build something special instead of exploring other opportunities. That requires leadership and becoming leaders is a process that Meakem readily admits didn’t happen overnight. The payoff, however, has been worth it. “It hasn’t been easy but as a result, there’s just been something special to our team that other teams don’t seem to have,” Meakem said. “(You hear a lot of players say) It’s not just a team, it’s a family but for us it’s actually legit. We’re all close as a result of having to rebuild each year.” That seems to be culminating in this season, where Maupin and Meakem are leading and they’re getting some help. They’re just one win away from 10 victories and they beat a Division I squad for the first time in the


seniors’ career when they knocked off St. Gertrude and they’ve played a lot of D1 squads with their challenging LIS slate. The emergence of freshman Ella Dalton running the point (7.0 points and 3.8 assists per game) and sophomore Briana Boland as another rebounder (4.7 boards per game) has helped in a big way. Both seniors have become more polished players in recent years too, with Meakem increasing her shooting accuracy and ability to score off the dribble. Her overall field goal percentage rose over the last two years (from 33 percent as a sophomore to 42 as a junior to 44 as a senior) despite the fact that she’s already taken nearly as many 3-pointers as she did as a junior. Maupin has made huge strides on the perimeter herself, going from 17 percent from beyond the arc as a junior to 32 percent this season without losing much at all on the boards where she’s still averaging nearly 20 rebounds per contest. She’s also hitting 56 percent of her shots inside the arc, another significant gain over last season despite continuing to get massive attention from opposing defenses. She’s become the school’s all-time leading scorer, broken the career 2,000-point barrier and the career 1,500-rebound mark. Meakem reached the 1,000-point mark for her career too just recently. There’s a sense of urgency too with time winding down on Meakem and Maupin’s careers. They’re not pressing but it all seems to have clicked, even against top notch competition like STAB and Trinity Episcopal where the Eagles lost, but brought a level of intensity and polish that hasn’t always been there. They took Jefferson District regular season champion Charlottesvile to double overtime. “They’re trusting what we’re working on in the game,” Watson said. “Now their eyes are opening up, they’re trusting themselves and their trusting each other.” That’s what it takes, and like Maupin committing to Elon, it’s what’s making years of blood, sweat and years worth it. Meakem and Maupin started as talents, they found ways to complement each other and they’ve grown into leaders for Covenant. Maybe they’d be completely different players and people if they hadn’t come together, but it’s pretty clear that neither one would want it any other way. In this case, two are much stronger than one. ✖

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p h a s e

STORY BY RYAN YEMEN PHOTOS BY JOHN BERRY

The Next

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e

sacrilege

it’s almost

t

for Madison County not have a sniper, at least most recently. Whether it was Bobby Ford, James Graves or last year’s breakout freshmen performances from Elijah Lewis and Dalton Taylor — the Mountaineers always seem to have that guy who can deliver a dagger, whether it’s to push Madison way ahead or to help get the squad out of a hole. In high school basketball, to compete at the playoff level, you have to have that guy. Or guys. So with the development of Lewis into more of a shooting

forward role and the transfer of Taylor to St. Anne’sBelfield, the beginning of the 2016-2017 season left Madison not so much with a void, but rather an opportunity. The Mountaineers had a need for someone to step up and be an opportunistic scorer. They didn’t need someone to challenge the team’s returning leading scorers. But that’s what they got, and from one sophomore who played sparingly last year. There was a buzz for the Mountaineers before the season

kicked off based on the run and progress this program made last year. Now with their first Bull Run District Championship in seven years in the bag, the time is ripe for the Mountaineers to make a bigger run.

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“You just have to step up and show that drive and kick. There’s always a time where you have to be able to make a play.” — Swink

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Just as it has been for four straight years now, this program is as good as Isiah Smith and Dre Twyman’s health. Or at least that was the general thought going into this campaign. These two four-year starters are the life-blood of this program and have been for so long now that’s it’s hard to imagine basketball at Madison before they hit the scene. Of course, the same was said of Ford and Matt Temple who were four-year starters before them. And no Madison County reference to recent success is complete without a shoutout to the trio of Logan Terrell, Jerel Carter and David Falk, the last of whom is now an assistant coach, and a member of that famed 2009-2010 Group 2A championship squad. Yes, the four-year talents seems to be a regular deal at Madison, but the success of the program has always hinged upon just how much complementary power the Mountaineers have had, sometimes even just from the bench. Just ask Terrell or Falk how important Matt Garr and Patrick Lucas were during their championship run. Or ask Carter how much Casey Campbell’s play at guard factored in for him. With Smith and Twyman, Madison is good. With more, this team is really good and now rounding it out to find greatness because of what’s surrounding that seemingly infinitely experienced senior duo. The stats don’t lie on this one. Few players are having the breakout campaign that Gaines Swink is this year. “When we lost (Dalton) I knew there was role to fill,” Swink said. “I just have more confidence in my game than I did last year, it’s weird, I don’t know how to describe it. You just have to step up and show that drive and kick. There’s always a time where you have to be able to make a play. I feel good about it this year.” In the first month of the year, Swink wasn’t just playing well, he was leading the team in scoring. A solid guard to aid Smith in bringing the ball up the court, Swink showed early on in the season that he was a confident shooter, particularly from outside. As far as trying to put the puzzle together coming off of last year, that couldn’t have worked out more perfect given Taylor’s absence. That Swink has been a 32 percent shooter from beyond the arc is huge too. With Lewis already having showed he can connect from deep as a freshman on a regular basis, then then again this year with his 37 percent success rate, the Mountaineers have two sophomores that are showcasing just how much one year’s difference can make, particularly in player development. “They both have so much talent and they both just shoot so well,” Smith said. “It’s showing up this year. Elijah has become aggressive, knows when to shoot, knows when to attack the basket, knows how to finish and that’s what he worked hard on this summer. Gaines has stepped up and taken the load off us to score as seniors and can just shoot. It has been amazing.” With that sophomore duro aiding Smith and Twyman, Madison continues to build to their best regular season since that storied season in ‘09-’10. The eight game winning streak to start the year was proof that Madison was back. The 10-game winning streak to follow the lone loss of the year to East Rockingham has been proof that this program is ready to hit mid-February with a vengeance. If last year was a feel-good story of Madison’s return to prominence, this year is about execution and depth. “We’ve had good balance the whole season so far,” said Madison Coach Ben Breeden. “That’s good, that’s how we like it. It makes us


TEAM SPOTLIGHT WILLIAM MONORE GIRLS BASKETBALL William Monroe girls basketball keeps building strong community relationships across Greene County by hosting a Future Dragons night, celebrating young students from the community featuring some crafts, some autograph signing and a lot of basketball. Nice work Dragons, you’re making a difference!

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“It feels good to help the seniors out so they’re not having to pour all the energy into a game.” — Lewis

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harder to defend and gives multiple players the opportunities to have big nights.” When you have Twyman averaging 15.1 points to lead the team in scoring in the paint and Smith not far behind with his 13.7 points from all-over the floor, the fact that Swink is third on the team in scoring average with 12.7 per game is huge bonus in addition to the help he gives this team as strong 2-guard coming up the court. “He’s our secondary ball-handler and we’ve seen flashes of what he could bring to us on offense the last two years,” Breeden said. “We’ve just been waiting for it to come together and we’re seeing it happen this year. He’s been a great 3-point threat for us.” Swink has hit a team high 40 shots from beyond the arc on his 134 attempts. With his other 60 field goals coming from inside the arc, he’s not just a one dimensional scorer, but he’s certainly turned himself into the kind of player that Ford was early on as a freshman and sophomore, that hired gun that Graves turned into as a junior and senior. But none of that would have mattered all that much were it not for his ability to stay on the court and contribute defensively. “The thing holding him back as a younger player was the defense and he’s worked so hard on that,” Breeden said. “You mix that with his offensive ability and he’s become a different player and made this a different team. It’s allowed us to be able to switch on defense at any time. That puts pressure on teams when you have all five guys that can defend at all five spots, unless Isiah gets posted up on, but that’s very rare with how well he plays. It has allowed us to be aggressive and put a lot of pressure on teams’ 3-point shooting.” Almost quietly, Lewis has become the best kept secret for the Mountaineers. His role has expanded immensely since last year because he’s become such a diverse player. He’s bigger and stronger and he’s taken that rounded out his game to morph into this do-all talent that can get lost in the stat sheet a bit. “Gaines, myself, we had to step up this year, had to be a bigger parter of the team,” Lewis said. “It feels good to help the seniors out so they’re not having to pour all the energy into a game.” With 10.5 points a game, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals, Lewis is turning into another game-changing force for Breeden instead of just being a role player. “The part of his game that’s gotten so much better is his midrange shooting,” Breeden said. “He’s able to catch the ball in that 10-15 foot range and really knock down that jumper. That’s helped a lot.” With Lewis not just firing from three, but also developing what has become rare in the boys game, a mid-range jump shot, Madison’s offense has diversity. So much of high school basketball is now about 3-pointers and finishing at the rim that shots from the middle of the floor has become a bit of a rarity and a place offenses can exploit defensive focus. For so many players, it’s about the big three, or the flush. So for a coach who, as a player was a great jump shooter himself in the late 1990s, it’s a welcome sight. “The jump shot has become a bit of a lost art,” Breeden said. “It really puts pressure on defense and really makes it easier on our post players. People forget that misses from there are easy to rebound for guys like Dre and Kobi Alexander. It’s been a big help for our offense to have a guy like Elijah.” And when you’re a lengthy player like Lewis, then his physical


“The expectations are so much higher, we obviously want to be able to play championship ball.” — Smith talent makes him a developing difference on the other end of the floor. “He’s become a defensive stopper too. His ability to guard the other team’s best perimeter player is huge,” Breeden said. “He’s great on the ball defensively. So the details of the game, we just keep working on that. He’s really grown into his skills.” Smith, Tyman and Breckenridge, the three seniors on this squad are focused on finishing strong and finalizing their legacy for a proud program. They want to give a community that’s always had a rabid affinity for high school basketball. But Lewis and Swink represent a glimpse into the near future while also serving as what could well be the difference in a tight spot come February, and for Madison, hopefully in March. For two kids who were thrust into the mix last year, one where the Mountaineers won a lot of games, got their gym packed for more than just the rivalry games and created a buzz around the county, the sophomore showing has been more than you could ask for as a coach. “I think last year was great experience for Elijah and Gaines,” Breeden said. “It’s shown in their growth this year.” And in just a few weeks, the Mountaineers will find out just how far they’ve come as a program. A Bull Run District title is sweet. But that’s low on the totem pole. It’s not about that. It’s about getting through Region 2A East, getting back to the Siegel Center. “The expectations are so much higher, we obviously want to be able to play championship ball,” Smith said. “But we also want to keep a winning mentality at Madison. That’s what it’s all about.” Twyman, Smith and Breeden have worked tirelessly to get their team to this point again. Swink and Lewis already have shown they can be players to carry the flame in the future. That’s nice to know, but there isn’t anyone in Madison concerned about next year’s transition. In the last weeks of the regular season, Smith and Twyman both hit the 1,000-point milestone for their careers. In the last week before conference play, they led the Mountaineers in close wins over William Monroe and George Mason to wrap up a Bull Run District championship. Now Madison hits the part of the season they’ve been building up to for years with a healthy mix of veteran and youth talents. This is a serious window of opportunity for this group. It’s going to take everything that the Mountaineers have on their roster to push things further than they did last year. Nothing is easy in the playoffs. But nothing worth winning ever comes easy. ✖

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Game Time

Monticello 41, Fluvanna 38 By Bart Isley

Monticello’s Kirstena Lilley had six points for the Mustangs on senior night in a win over Fluvanna County. (Bart Isley)

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Monticello’s girls basketball team trailed Fluvanna County by three with under a minute to play. That’s when sophomore Josie Mallory decided to take over. “She doesn’t quit, her motor is just always running,” said Monticello coach Erica Terrell. “She’s always looking to the next play, regardless of what happens.” She’s a big reason the Mustangs managed to erase that slight Fluvanna edge and pull off a 41-38 victory over the Flucos, Monticello’s second Jefferson District win of the season. With just under a minute to play, Mallory swiped a steal in the backcourt and quickly converted it into a lay-up. Then after a missed Fluvanna free throw, Mallory found a wide open Rachel Mathews under the basket. Mathews finished off the go-ahead lay-up. “That was crazy, I was wideopen so I was really nervous I was going to miss it but it was a great look by Josie and my teammates trusted me to finish it,” Mathews said. According to Terrell, Mathews hitting that shot on her senior night was appropriate for a player that hasn’t posted huge numbers but has been a cornerstone-type player for the Mustangs. “That’s kind of been her role for us, just being the anchor and being where she’s supposed to be, getting everyone else aligned,” Terrell said. “It’s certainly fitting that she got that shot because she was right where she needed to be.” Then the Monticello defense held up on two late Fluvanna chances before Mallory grabbed a rebound off the second shot. Mallory then hit both free throws with three seconds left to increase the Monticello lead to three. Fluvanna’s buzzer heave missed right, giving the Mustangs a huge win on senior night. Several in the Mustangs’ current crop of

seniors — Ciana Graham-Shelton, Kirstena Lilley, Mathews and Mariah Brown — have been part of a rebuilding transition since Terrell took over as head coach before last season. The Mustangs were 1-10 in the Jefferson coming into the clash with the Flucos and wins have been difficult to come by. “I’m ecstatic, I’m so happy for them,” Terrell said. “I’ve known them since freshman year and to see them from then to now, it’s a special, special thing.” To get that win the Mustangs had to battle past Fluvanna’s stifling defense, and hanging in against the Flucos’ physical, stingy unit is a challenge unto itself. “At one of timeouts, at about six minutes left in the fourth quarter, that’s all we talked about — the mental toughness of fighting through whatever was going on,” Terrell said. “That’s what they did, they didn’t pay it any mind, they just kept playing.” Mallory finished with 12 points while Mathews and Brown each had seven points. Lilley notched six points for the Mustangs. Their collective efforts erased Fluvanna’s solid performance. The Flucos appeared set to pull away (they led by as much as nine in the fourth) before the Mallory-fueled run behind 20 points from Neveah Ivory and six points each from Jemika Johnson and Jules Shepherd. “We’re working on it, we’ve just got to make better decisions at the end of games,” said Fluvanna coach Chad White. “Just plays that aren’t high basketball I.Q. plays, but we’re getting better.” Shepherd and Niya Brown each dished out three assists. The Mustangs will look to build on its win against Orange County Tuesday while the Flucos will look to get back on track against district-leading Charlottesville at home the same night. ✖


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Remembering Duane Former Blue Devil leaves lasting impact across the area

F

or many of us, having a lasting impact in one arena, one area of society, among one group outside our family would be accomplishment enough. When you manage to have a lasting impact in two arenas simultaneously? You’re living a full, impactful life. You’re changing lives at a scale most of us can only hope to do. Duane Fender did that for decades. Fender, a long-time area basketball official and the commandant at Fork Union Military Academy, passed away after officiating a girls basketball game at Orange County in early December at 56 years old. He was a dedicated servant leader, willing to stand up for the rules at both the academy and nightly on basketball courts across the region. “He was a great guy to work with, he was all about the kids. Even in officiating a game, he’d try to help kids, mentor kids,” said David Utz, who officiated with Fender. “The world lost a good person.” That’s really one of the common threads in Fender’s life looking in from the outside. In a world where on a select few people want to be the rules enforcer, Fender was willing to stand up for what the students required at Fork Union and what the game requires on the hardwood. “He tried to teach them right from wrong and simple values like respect, don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t cheat,” said Lou Farina, another official who worked with Fender. “With every kid he wanted to make a difference in their lives.” It was much the same in his day job, where Fender returned to Fork Union after being a postgraduate student there and then graduating from The Citadel. He worked in the commandant’s department, was the assistant athletic director, worked in admissions and was an assistant football coach among many other roles. Sure, it helped that he married legendary Fork Union coach Red Pulliam’s daughter Lynn. But there was something about the message at Fork Union that truly resonated with Fender. “He believed in the school,” said Fork Union athletic director Brooks Berry. “He believed in the mission of the school, he loved working with students and he saw the impact it had on his life and he wanted to give back in the same way that others had done for him.” It’s the ultimate in paying it forward, using your life to take the blessing you’d been given to serve an entirely new group of students for years. Faith, Family, Friends and FUMA summed up Fender’s priorities and the how he lived his life according to those who worked alongside him. There was a steadiness and sense of purpose to Fender that was unmistakable to those closest to him, a man firmly rooted in who he was, what he was meant to do and how he was meant to do it. “From the day that I met him to the day that I last saw him, that man never changed,” said Terry Lynch, who refereed with Fender.

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“He tried to teach them right from wrong and simple values like respect, don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t cheat.”

If you want to effectively teach and enforce the rules, you have to start with being a man of integrity yourself. You have to be consistent and true to your values or the people doing the learning won’t hear the message. That’s why Fender was a tremendous, effective messenger. “He loved athletics and he loved working with students and he loved all the coaches in Central Virginia, even the ones that yelled at him while he was reffing,” Berry said. “It was a blessing to be around him.” It was a blessing for all of Central Virginia. ✖

Bart Isley,

CRE ATIVE DIRECTOR


# F or k U n i on S trong

Alumni Profiles: Kevin Laue Kevin Laue’s journey is the stuff movies are made of — quite literally. Born with just one arm, Laue became one of the top stories in the country back in 2007 when Sports Illustrated labeled him as “the most exciting player in basketball.” However, in a both a sad and ironic twist, a broken leg dashed his recruiting prospects as a high school senior. So Laue did what so many in the country do, they come to Fork Union. In 2008 the San Jose, California native switched coasts and suited up for legendary coach Fletcher Arritt. Laue’s efforts as a post graduate player did not go unnoticed. His goal the entire time was to draw interest from Division 1 collegiate programs. After intially garnering Division 3 offers, Laue worked his way to a change to realize him dream and play at the highest level. When Laue was offered a scholarship to play for Manhattan College, he became the first player ever with one arm to acquire a Division 1 offer. In 59 games over three years with the Jaspers, Laue was able to contribute off the bench, playing his best as a sophomore. During his travels from a high school standout in California to a promising recruit at Fork Union and finally a Division 1 athlete at Manhattan, a film crew followed Laue around, chronicling his journey. Last fall Franklin Martin, the man who documented Laue’s story, released the film “Long Shot: The Kevin Laue Story.” New York Times critic Daniel Gold called the film “a memorable account of an inspiring struggle to finish on top.” NBA legend Bill Walton said, “Kevin’s remarkable and perfectly told story will make you laugh, cry and think.” It’s an amazing tale and one that unfolded here at Fork Union.

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

Volume 8, Issue 8  
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