Rapp spring athletes reach state in record numbers
For the first time in the recent history of the school, Rappahannock County Public Schools sent two teams — girls’ varsity soccer and varsity softball — to state competition in a single season.
Each team left for their own state competitions with an escort of county emergency vehicles while fans excitedly cheered. RCHS Principal Jimmy Swindler enthusiastically led the teams' sendoff, showing his deep reserves of school spirit by waving a Panther Spirit Banner and sporting the Panther Mascot head.
RCPS Athletic Director, Daniel Nobbs, was equally proud of the teams’ accomplishments.
“Two teams competing in states is rare and it is a great opportunity for these athletes and coaches to experience,” said Nobbs. “There are a lot of teams that do not get this experience and as an athletic department we are glad to see the student athletes and coaches get rewarded for their hard work.”
Girls’ varsity soccer, coached by Rich Hogan, competed in the Virginia High School League Class 1 state semifinal at Radford University on June 7th. Although they were defeated 0-4 by Auburn, this marked the first time that the girls’ varsity soccer team made it to the state level.
In a Virginia High School League (VHSL) press release from June 11th, it was announced that five of the girls’ varsity soccer team had been selected for VHSL 2019 Class 1 All-State girls’ soccer team. Sarah East had earned the honor of making the 1st Team All-State. Fellow teammates Jordan Welch, Kayla Compton, Hannah East, and Abby Taylor each made 2nd Team All-State.
For the first time since 2001, the varsity softball team will be competing in the State Semifinals. The Panthers are scheduled to play Northwood at Radford University today (Thursday, June 13th). If the team is victorious today against Northwood, they will play at Radford in the State Championship tomorrow (Friday, June 14th), first pitch scheduled to be thrown at 9 a.m.
In addition to the varsity softball and varsity girls’ soccer teams, RCHS had six individual track and field athletes that competed in the state meet on May 31st and June 1st. This marked the 18th year that Varsity Head Track Coach Scott Stephens has had athletes qualify for the State meet. And while no individual
championships were brought home this year, Coach Stephens is sure to return next year with even more Rapp Track student athletes.
Summing up the spring sports season, Principal Swindler noted that our student athletes' playoff performance was both gratifying and inspiring.
“As we work our way through our regular seasons in all sports, playing bigger schools due to geographic limitations, we hold on to the fact that once the postseason begins we will only face schools in our size grouping, schools with whom we know we can compete. Seeing the playoff success of our teams this spring, and other postseason success in past seasons, affirms that the "light at the end of the tunnel" we tell our athletes and coaches about is in fact an attainable goal.
“Our athletes' and teams' achievements, after what are often very difficult regular seasons, are not only gratifying and inspirational but also illustrate a valuable life lesson; that being the value of perseverance and hard work, no matter what the circumstances. I congratulate our players, coaches and parents and am especially thankful for the huge support shown to our Rapp Student Athletes by our incredible community."
WCDS eighth graders pose one last time as middle school students before joining their graduation celebration. Back left to right: Jaden Johnson, Maddox Lowe, Zhongyue Yang, Manoa Weber, Jack Gerard, Connor Lummis, Owen Schuster, Logan Marks, and Dakota Cate. Out front, we find Bayleigh Fox, Alexis Cross, Lauren Mehl, Ava Lubkemann, Sophia Esposito, Maeve Ciuba, and Ruth McMahon.