Rapp spring ath­letes reach state in record num­bers

Rappahannock News - - Schools - — Holly Jenk­ins

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."

BY SUZANNE ZYLONIS

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.

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