Thursday, December 31, 2015

THE WRAP: Henrico Finally Grabs Holiday Hoops Title Again....

It was hard to believe Henrico Warriors basketball had captured two state championships since the last time they hoisted the trophy from their own holiday tournament.

But since their last Henrico Holiday Hoops title in 2012, head coach Vance Harmon's crew had won state championships in 2013 and this past March. In between? A pair of disappointing losses in their tournament championship, two years ago in overtime to the team that would later deny the Warriors a three-peat at the state level in Potomac, and, last year, a one-point loss to eventual 6A state champion Colonial Forge, the only blemish in a 28-1 campaign.

Between Henrico and the trophy was second-ranked St. Christopher's, who, at 11-0, were looking for their third tournament title this month, having won the Rebel Invitational at Douglas Freeman December 4th and the Times-Dispatch Invitational one week ago. Two future Richmond Spiders collided as St. Christopher's Nick Sherod battled Henrico's Monte Buckingham.

Each team had huge runs in the first half, which ended in a 40-40 deadlock. But Henrico pushed ahead at the outset of the third quarter, keeping the Saints at bay and sealing the win on the boards and at the free throw line for an 87-74 win for the title, and a 10-0 record.

The Warriors built an early 13-3 lead, and led 21-17 after a quarter. That's when St. Christopher's took off, bursting out to a 33-24 lead when, suddenly, a bank of lights which had been out much of the day inside the Henrico gym, but were restored late in the Third Place Game previously, won by Trinity Episcopal over Collegiate 60-46, went out again. Coaches, then referees conferred, joined by one of the men who had spent the afternoon working on the problem.

The teams decided to play on, and, thankfully, full lighting was quickly restored and remained for the rest of the game. Now it was Henrico clawing back into the game and, with a three-pointer from Richard Sanders just before the buzzer, the Warriors tied the game at 40-40 at intermission.

The Warriors again seized the early moments of a quarter, this time the third, building a cushion that the Saints could never erase, spending the rest of the night playing catch up. Sharp shooter Alex Petrie was held to 5-of-24 shooting from the field, hounded much of the night defensively by Jamal Newton, who played well despite some foul trouble. But it was Sanders who came up big in his role for Henrico, shooting 60 percent from the field, and 80 percent (4-of-5) from beyond the arc for 19 points.

The usual suspects, Sherod and Buckingham, led their teams in scoring, Nic with 29 and Monte with 28, making their future head coach, Chris Mooney, who was at the game, assumedly very happy. But, in the end, it was a simple matter of who was hot and who was not from the field. Henrico shot 57.7%, taking advantage of drives to the basket for easier shots, while St. Christopher's shot 37.3%, including 31% (9-of-29) from three-point range.

The Saints are 11-1 and will be a legitimate VISAA state championship threat. The Warriors now get ready for a busy first week of January that begins with a trip to always dangerous Douglas Freeman Monday and ends with a date against Lake Taylor Saturday night in the VirginiaPreps.com Classic at J.R. Tucker High School.

But, as Henrico trainer Rob Welch pointed out to this reporter as we left Guy Davis Court Wednesday night, the Warriors finished the calendar year of 2015 undefeated. They can only hope 2016 can be just as rewarding.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

LISTEN LIVE: 2015 Henrico Holiday Hoops Championship!

Join RVA Sports Network for live, exclusive coverage of the showdown between #1 Henrico and #2 St. Christopher's, the battle of unbeatens, for the 2015 Henrico Holiday Hoops Championship!

Our coverage begins with the 3rd Place Game between #5 Trinity Episcopal and Collegiate, with pre-game airtime set for 5:30pm.

CLICK HERE to listen live tonight only on RVA Sports Network!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

HOLIDAY HOOPS: WEEK TWO

The action only gets bigger as Henrico, Douglas Freeman and Benedictine host holiday tournaments, and other county teams travel from Fairfax to Hampton in basketball action!

For all the details, brackets, ticket information and more, visit our main network website by clicking HERE!

For a review of Christmas Week action and a preview of upcoming basketball action, download the latest "Central Region NOW!" Podcast at the top of the page!

REMINDER: RVA Sports Network will provide live coverage of Quarterfinal Monday and Championship Wednesday at Henrico Holiday Hoops this week! Consult the broadcast schedule to the right on this page.

Go HERE to listen to Monday's four games!
Go HERE to listen to Wednesday's Championship and 3rd Place Games!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

T-DIT Semifinals: Saints And Wildcats Prevail

(RVASN Correspondent Preston Hausser filed this report Tuesday night following the Times-Dispatch Invitational Tournament Boys Semifinals...)

The stakes were high, the rivalries were deep and the outcomes were more than spectacular. In a classic private school rivalry, the Saints of St. Christopher’s took down the Cadets of Benedictine 68-62 to advance to the championship game of the Times-Dispatch Invitational Tournament. On the other side of the bracket, two undefeated Colonial District juggernauts met for the right to play St. Christopher’s in the finals, and only one prevailed. After trailing deep into the fourth quarter, the Deep Run Wildcats finally pounced on the John Marshall Justices, creating their own verdict for the final score; one where the boys from Short Pump came out victorious 63-59.
            Despite adding several players to their roster for this season, Benedictine is still having trouble finding the playmaker and team leader they need to excel against prime Prep League competition. Aaron Fowlkes, a transfer from Glen Allen, took the reins for most of the game, hitting a three-pointer every quarter to bring his total to 17.  Cutch Ellis and Deandre Thomas combined for 23 points, as the Cadets outrebounded the Saints 34-32, but even this wasn’t enough, as Benedictine trailed for almost the entire game.
            St. Christopher’s stuck to their guns and handed the ball to Richmond commit Nick Sherod and junior Alexander Petrie at almost every chance they could. Sherod poured in 33 points while Petrie added another 26 to bring the tandem’s total to 59, equaling 87 percent of all Saint points on the night. Justin Jasper also added five. Although the Saints got the win, their free throw shooting was abysmal, as the team went 18 of 35 from the line, just 51 percent. The Saints want to improve on that in Wednesday night's Championship at the Siegel Center.
            Having trailed the entire game, the fourth-ranked Wildcats found a way to win against the 3rd-ranked team in the latest RVA Sports Network Top 10 Poll. Damontez Oliver displayed why he’s a Division 1 athlete, headed to Campbell University next fall, by providing 20 points for the Wildcats, on top of Pacheco’s 15. Garrett Whitley and Harry Trippeer each had 6 and Kimani Donovan scored 7 much-needed 4th quarter points to ensure a Wildcat victory. Deep Run used their outside shooting to get past a Justice frontcourt full of strong, big men.

            Despite shooting 86% from the line, John Marshall could complete a late comeback. Jeremy Carter-Sheppard scored 22 points, nine of which came from behind the arc. The Justices shot well; it was working toward a shot that was less successful,as Marshall turned the ball over eighteen times, compared to Deep Run’s nine. De’Marr McCrae had nine points for the Justices while Xavier Trent added another eight. John Marshall will face Benedictine in the 3rd place game Wednesday at 5pm.


Friday, December 18, 2015

HONORS: 5A South Region Football Team Announced

Congratulations to the following student-athletes for being honored on the 5A South Region All-Region Football Team!

5A South Offensive Player of The Year: Greg Dortch, Highland Springs
5A South Defensive Player of The Year: Rayshard Ashby, L.C. Bird
5A South Coach of The Year: Loren Johnson, Highland Springs

FIRST TEAM:

OFFENSE:
Center: Mike Green, Highland Springs
OL: Trey Ramsey, L.C. Bird
OL: C.J. Bynum, Highland Springs
OL: Truvell Wilson, Henrico
OL: Kemmone Henderson, Hermitage
TE: Sam Tanner, Lee-Davis
WR: Greg Dortch, Highland Springs
WR: K'Von Wallace, Highland Springs
WR: Devon Watford, Norview
WR: Dazz Newsome, Hampton
RB: J.B. Wright, L.C. Bird
RB: D.J. Anderson, Highland Springs
RB: Malik Butts, Salem
QB: Juwan Carter, Highland Springs
Utility: Jalen Elliott, L.C. Bird
K: Tommy Martin, Hickory
KR: Greg Dortch, HIghland Springs

DEFENSE:
DE: Aaron Motley, Highland Springs
DE: Tyler Crist, Kecoughtan
DL: Kevonte Demery, Henrico
DL: Sulaiman Kamara, Hermitage
DL: Nick Ackles, Douglas Freeman
DL: Sam Tanner, Lee-Davis
LB: Rayshard Ashby, L.C. Bird
LB: Jordan Wall, Highland Springs
LB: Tavante Beckett, Indian River
LB: John Kinney, Hermitage
DB: Jalen Elliott, L.C. Bird
DB: K'Von Wallace, Highland Springs
DB: Kaelin Snead, Hermitage
DB: Marcus Tarrer, J.R. Tucker
DB: Jovonn Quillen, Hampton
Utility: Earl Anderson, Highland Springs
P: John Gardiner, Matoaca
PR: Dazz Newsome, Hampton

SECOND TEAM:

OFFENSE:
Center: Jordan Rochester, Hermitage
OL: Gavin Brennan, L.C. Bird
OL: Dashon Moss, Salem
OL: Jermaine Taylor, Norview
OL: Jarrett Hopple, Nansemond River
OL: George Holm, Douglas Freeman
TE: Dmarco Scott, L.C. Bird
WR: Kier Townsend, L.C. Bird
WR: Keith Grady, Kecoughtan
WR: Koby Chavis, Henrico
WR: Kaimire Hodge, Hermitage
WR: Nick Reisenweaver, Lee-Davis
RB: Xavier Goodall, Henrico
RB: Nathan Evans, Lee-Davis
RB: Jacione Fugate, Kecoughtan
RB: Terrance Lambert, Nansemond River
QB: Eli Odom, Hermitage
QB: Jovonn Quillen, Hampton
Utility: Delveon Little, Maury
K: Justin Dyke, Matoaca
KR: Ja'Kari Williams, Douglas Freeman

DEFENSE:
DE: Chris Hayden, L.C. Bird
DE: Trey Wilson, Hermitage
DL: Quashawan Armstrong, L.C. Bird
DL: Tavien Blackwell, Highland Springs
DL: C.J. Bynum, Highland Springs
DL: Elijah Conliffe, Hampton
DL: Charles Garrett, Norview
LB: Isaiah Moore, L.C. Bird
LB: Jaquan Yulee, Indian River
LB: Kadofi Wright, Henrico
LB: Sam Murphy, Douglas Freeman
DB: Kumonde Hines, L.C. Bird
DB: Jalen Dowe, Matoaca
DB: Calvin Whitehead, Hermitage
DB: Lodiongo Elyardo, Douglas Freeman
DB: Dazz Newsome, Hampton
DB: Elijah Blue, Norview
DB: Tracy Martin, Salem
Utility: Calvin Whitehead, Hermitage
P: Mike Catlet, Menchville
PR: Anthony Freeman, Henrico

HONORABLE MENTION:
Center: Jalen Powell, Hampton
TE: Tyler Crist, Kecoughtan
TE: Nick Stokes, Kempsville
DE: Jalen Joe, Norview
DE: Tahlik Banks, J.R. Tucker
K: Evan Lomax, Nansemond River

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Henrico Holiday Hoops Ticket Information

The following are ticket procedures for the Henrico Holiday Hoops Tournament coming December 28th through 30th. A reminder that all four quarterfinal games on December 28th and the 3rd Place and Championship games on the 30th will be broadcast live by RVA Sports Network. You can listen on our YouTube Channel HERE on the 28th, and HERE on the 30th.

Monday December 28th:
--Whole Tournament Tickets available for just $20.
--Single Day Tournament Ticket is $8, good for all four varsity quarterfinals.

Tuesday December 29th:
--JV Games Ticket is $5, good for both JV games that day.
--Single Day Tournament Ticket is $8, good for all four varsity games.

Wednesday December 30th:
--JV Games Ticket is $5, good for both JV games that day.
--Single Day Tournament Ticket is $8, good for all four varsity games.

NOTES:
--Tourney programs are $1, include both JV and Varsity rosters.
--Varsity Tournament tickets go on sale at halftime of the second JV game.
--Spectators purchase tickets and retain in their possession. They are allowed to exit and return to the gym provided they show their Tournament Ticket or Single Day ticket for that day upon their return.
--Spectators who purchase a $5 JV ticket can stay all day on that ticket provided they never leave the gymnasium. Should they leave at any time, the JV ticket will be invalid for re-entry, and you will need to purchase a Single Day varsity ticket to re-enter.
--Faculty passes not accepted for any team or any game. Guest passes not accepted. VHSL, VHSCA passes, School Administration ID's, and all passes listed on the VHSL website will be honored except "State Event Pass". All passes are good for bearer only and will only admit one person per pass.

HONORS: Three Deep Run Wildcats Named First Team All-State

The Deep Run Wildcats' magical 2015 field hockey season was rewarded today as three team members were named to the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Group 5A All-State Team. Each received First Team honors. The team is listed below, with Richmond-area players in bold.

FIRST TEAM:
Forward: Allie Kelley, Deep Run
Forward: Brittany Romero, Gloucester
Forward: Lia Constantine, Stafford
Forward: Rachel Riley, Stafford
Forward: Victoria Novak, Marshall
Midfielder: Cora Every, Deep Run
Midfielder: Cassidy Goodwin, Gloucester
Midfielder: Gail Podlesny, Stafford
Midfielder: Lauren Graves, Mountain View
Midfielder: Korena Shaw, Princess Anne
Defense: Allie Kelleher, Deep Run
Defense: Bri Green, Gloucester
Defense: Emily Kresho, Stafford
Defense: Madison Hatcher, Mountain View
Defense: Lauren Smith, Princess Anne
Goalkeeper: Lacey Frazier, Princess Anne

SECOND TEAM:
Forward: Ameila Johnson, Prince George
Forward: Taylor Hayes, Brooke Point
Forward: Shannon Lonergan, Princess Anne
Forward: Karly Hardwood, Gloucester
Forward: Demi Barrow, Mountain View
Midfielder: Maggie New, Maury
Midfielder: Kendall Eaton, Prince George
Midfielder: Callie Quinn, Stafford
Midfielder: Madison McNult, Massaponax
Midfielder: Addie Clark, Marshall
Defense: Amanda Grebas, Prince George
Defense: Meredith Label, Gloucester
Defense: Emily Fulk, Atlee
Defense: Ariana Wheeler-Lafuente, Marshall
Goalkeeper: Numa Rehmani, Atlee

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Interview: New Glen Allen Football Head Coach Salvatore Camp

He's ready now.

After a first stint as a high school football coach in Florida basically thrust upon, Salvatore Camp has come a long way.

To be closer to family, Camp headed to Chester in 2008 for a six-year stint on David Bedwell's staff at L.C. Bird, experiencing playoff heartache first, but then, three straight state championships.

And now, after a year as head coach of Duluth High School in Duluth, Georgia, Camp is beyond thrilled to get back to Virginia, this time as the third head coach in the short history of Glen Allen High School. Camp was announced as coach on Monday, replacing Keylon Mayo, who was not retained after two seasons where the Jaguars went 1-9 in each campaign, after making their first playoff appearance under original head coach Francel Smith in 2013, going 4-6 in the regular season before losing to Denbigh in the 4A South Region First Round.

Camp spoke to RVA Sports Network by phone on Tuesday from Georgia and discussed the move, his philosophies, and his excitement over taking the reins at Jaguar Nation.

RVASN: It's been an interesting road you've taken the past 12-18 months.

Camp: It has been. It's been kind of a whirlwind thing. I was kind of surprised when the opportunity (Glen Allen) came up when it did, and I wanted to try to take advantage of it while it was there. I'm excited to get up there, get started, and get the program rolling and get this thing turned around.

RVASN: How much do you know about Glen Allen, the program, the school?

Camp: I interviewed there two years ago, and when I studied film, I think there's a very unlimited amount of potential in that community to be successful. I think there's a very good base to build from, there's a really good group of kids coming up from the Ravens organization in Glen Allen, and I'm reaching out to parents, to students via Twitter and all that good stuff to just start to be known to them and make an outreach to the kids. My job to turn the program around is to get out there, get my face out there, let these kids see me and keep these kids at Glen Allen. The talent is there to win. The entire culture of the program has to be changed.

RVASN: Is the first step in changing the culture making yourself the "face" of the program?

Camp: That is step one, and step two is hiring a staff that's on board with my vision for what that program can be. I've started to work on that now. I, by myself, can't do it. I need assistants to coach and bring their particular set of skills to the table. I think that's very important for our program to be successful.

RVASN: Explain what you learned from your time at L.C. Bird and what you plan to take away from that to help Glen Allen.

Camp: The great thing about Bird is that they don't reinvent the wheel over there. It's no secret what they're doing. We're going to implement a lot of that philosophy. We're going to keep things uncomplicated and let our kids play fast and free, be simple with our terminology. We're not going to make the kids think so much that they can't execute what they're going out on the field to do.

We want to play physical, defensively and offensively, that's the goal. We're going to change the mentality. I'm not a big spread guy. We're going to run the football, and we're going to play defense, and that's the mentality, the philosophy that I'm going to bring over there.

RVASN: It's easy to keep the wheel when people know what you're going to do, but most of the time it's a matter of can you stop them, and in the past several years at Bird, most haven't.

Camp: Yes, and I think that comes with preparation, with film study, with coaches doing their jobs on the weekends to break down film so we can put our kids in the best position possible. I think film study with the kids, you know, the big eye in the sky never lies. So that's a good teaching tool for us, and obviously we have to do the work in the film room as a coaching staff to make sure we prepare our kids.

***
Camp played high school football in his native Florida, had, as he describes, a short college career, and came into his first head coaching position, at Boynton Beach High School in an unorthodox way. He freely admits he was not ready for the position at the time, but his work in those two seasons, 2006 and 2007, laid a foundation for a team that now is a playoff regular.

"We did some good things at Boynton, and left it in much better shape than it was, but I moved to Virginia to be closer to my sister, and I was very lucky to land when I landed at Bird."

His seven seasons coaching in Chester gave him plenty of opportunity to taste success, and now, after a year at the helm in Duluth, he's beyond excited to return to RVA.

***
Camp: I miss Virginia. Virginia is home, Virginia is where I want to be. It's where my family is. Atlanta's a great city...to visit. It's not home. When I came back to Virginia at Thanksgiving, it just felt like that's where I'm supposed to be, so the timing of it all worked out.

***

ANALYSIS: Glen Allen opened in the fall of 2010, began varsity football competition in 2011, and in their first five seasons have won nine games, four of them in 2013 when they reached their only postseason game. The road will be difficult, with the Jaguars moving into the powerhouse that is the 5A South Region as of last August. The region has produced the first three state champions in the new classification: L.C. Bird twice, and Highland Springs last Saturday.

With the other two public schools in the Central Region that opened after the year 2000, Deep Run and Cosby, experiencing good levels of success after just a few seasons, there was pressure on Glen Allen from the moment the school opened. The good news is the Jaguars now have a legitimate opportunity to turn the page, begin a new era, and do so while some of their West End, and Colonial District brethren, are struggling. Deep Run is searching for its new coach. J.R. Tucker has had one winning season since 2008, Mills Godwin is within reach.

Also, Douglas Freeman in its tenure under Mike Henderson has proved you don't have to be named Hermitage to be good in football in Western Henrico County. Camp is keenly aware of the long road ahead, but there's no doubt he cannot wait to get back in the Old Dominion to help Jaguar Nation begin another ascent towards what they've always wanted: excellence.







Monday, December 14, 2015

2015 Jaguar Jamboree Boys Tournament Schedule

Glen Allen High School debuts the "Jaguar Jamboree" next week with eight teams from around the area vying for the inaugural championship.

NOTE: Tickets are $5 daily, and will be color-coded to allow for same-day re-entry. Ticket colors will change each day.

The schedule is below:

Monday December 21st: First Round
Game 1: Varina vs. Hermitage, 3pm
Game 2: Midlothian vs. Atlee, 4:30pm
Game 3: Powhatan vs. Glen Allen, 6pm
Game 4: Thomas Jefferson vs. Caroline, 7:30pm

Tuesday December 22nd:
Game 5: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, 3pm
Game 6: Loser of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4, 4:30pm
Semifinal #1: Winner of Games 1 and 2, 6pm
Semifinal #2: Winner of Games 3 and 4, 7:30pm

Wednesday December 23rd:
Seventh Place Game: Loser of Game 5 vs. Loser of Game 6, 3pm
Fifth Place Game: Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 6, 4:30pm
Third Place Game: Semifinal Losers at 6pm
Championship Game: Semifinal Winners at 7:30pm

NOTE: A JV Jamboree featuring the same eight teams and brackets will be held earlier each day, with games beginning daily at 9AM.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

CHAMPIONS: Springers Seize State Title Over Stone Bridge

Countless groups of people that are placed together for a common reason, or to achieve a common goal, refer to themselves as "family". Few, if any, are tighter, more genuine, more authentic than the 2015 Highland Springs Springers football team.

Their mettle was tested early, on the field and off. Tried and tested by life even before the calendar flipped to September, the Springers truly became a family, filled with its ups and downs, celebrations and dysfunctions, riding a 13-game winning streak to Charlottesville for the 5A State Championship against red-hot Stone Bridge.

And while most headlines this season have been about the skill players, and certainly deserved, it was the young men in the trenches, on both sides of the ball, who led the push to the promised land, as the Springers held a Bulldog team who had scored 104 points to beat two previously unbeaten teams in the past two weeks to just a touchdown en route to a 27-7 victory, and the school's first state title since 1961, and first ever decided in a championship encounter.

Names like Dilworth, Motley, Blackwell, Bynum, Streat, Carey, Williams and Becton have consistently won the war in the trenches, and on this day, they opened early holes for running back DJ Anderson, protected quarterback Juwan Carter, and, especially in the second half, harassed Stone Bridge signal caller Joe Thompson time after time.

"Our defensive line coaches emphasized flatbacks, controlling the line of scrimmage, and staying with your keys," said head coach Loren Johnson. "Against a single wing, if you penetrate too much, guys will run right by you."

There was much talk this past week about whether the Springers could weather the single wing attack of the Bulldogs. But a play very early in the game, unbeknownst to Johnson and his staff at the time, caused a decision on the other side of the field that, in the end, played right into the strength, and the teeth, of the Springers.

As Stone Bridge drove down the field on the opening possession of the game, Thompson launched a pass across the middle that, for a moment, seemed like a sure touchdown. But Greg Dortch used his blazing speed to catch up to the receiver just enough where he could leap and grab the football for the game's first turnover at the end zone.

Bulldogs head coach Mickey Thompson acknowledged following the game that the closing speed of the Springers secondary, shown by Dortch's athletic catch, caused him to focus more on running the football. And, for each time Stone Bridge found a way to grab a first down, there were multiple runs of short yardage, no gain, or a short loss. When they attempted to run to the corners, Dortch, Deshawn Sutton, Earl Anderson and others would shut them down.

But before that, the Springers needed a lead. DJ Anderson provided that, rushing three times for 73 yards, including a 61-yard scamper to start the scoring on the Springers' first possession off the interception for a 7-0 lead. The Bulldogs would take advantage of what appeared to be a Dortch mistake, running back for a quick kick on fourth down, but the ball seemingly touching his leg or foot, recovered by Stone Bridge at the Highland Springers 17. The Bulldogs took advantage of the red zone opportunity, tying the game at seven on a one-yard run by Chase Ridley with 8:48 left in the first half.

The Springers responded, as Carter found K'Von Wallace for a 22-yard score for a 13-7 lead nearly five minutes later, a lead they would take to the locker room. Highland Springs was halted quickly on their first drive of the second half, but fired the offensive engines on a third down and ten on their second possession, Carter hitting Wallace on a seven-yard out pattern, the Cincinnati commit doing the rest, making one man miss and jetting down the Stone Bridge sideline for a 55-yard score. Wallace was the recipient of a two-point conversion pass by Dortch for a 21-7 lead.

The rest of the game featured the Bulldogs frustratingly attempting to find any spark to start a comeback. But once the Springers placed their final touchdown on the board early in the fourth quarter, the air came out of the Stone Bridge sails, and the anticipated celebration for Springer fans who had made the trek up Interstate 64 began to bubble.

A drive that went backwards, placing Highland Springs at a third down and 32 to go at their own 34, turned on a dime when Dortch was placed at tailback. He simply allowed his linemen to create a hole, turned on the jets up the middle, and broke away from a would-be tackler for a 66-yard touchdown run that put the game out of reach.

Highland Springs has had many talented teams, including during Johnson's eight-year tenure, teams like 2012, who began 9-0, lost to arch rival Varina to end the regular season, finding themselves 9-1 and out of the playoffs, teams with home-field advantage that fell short, such as a year ago against eventual champion L.C. Bird, and two teams, in 1978 and 1989, that made the state finals, only to lose by a combined four points. What was the difference in 2015?

"There were two things: teamwork and trust," Johnson noted. "That was a point of emphasis this off-season. We think last year against L.C. Bird in the second round, we just didn't get it done because we had some guys that kind of swayed a little bit. With fifteen, sixteen, seventeen year olds, if you sway a little bit, that's swaying a lot."

The galvanization of this team began in the offseason, when junior lineman Brandon Lambert collapsed of heatstroke during a workout. His comeback, just to survive, then to return to his team, was showing a quality of leadership unexpected at the high school level.

"Brandon is the epitome of Highland Springs football," Johnson said. "Brandon Lambert can lead people, and stature means nothing to him. It's just the way he is as a person, and we love him for it. When he speaks, everyone listens."

Lambert, fittingly, entered the game on its final play, his only action of the season, and took a handoff from Carter to take a knee and watch the clock reach 0:00, not from a hospital bed, or his home, but on the field at the University of Virginia.

When senior players were asked about the mixed emotions that come with winning a state title, followed by, moments later, the realization that the uniform you're wearing is about to come off for the last time, raw emotion came forth, with messages that led Johnson to tears at the podium.

"I'm not necessarily saying I'm a man now, but he (Johnson) brought me to the man I am today," Wallace noted. "I have no father in my life. So him being there, going to church with him...we were praying, and he told me I would go to college on a D-1 offer, and that's what happened. God blessed me to have this man in my life."

For Johnson, the scoreboard today was not validation for the indelible stamp he's placed on the Highland Springs program.

"Validation is hearing them say Coach Johnson is the best coach I've ever had, Coach Johnson loves us, Coach Johnson cares about us. That's validation to me, because I got into high school coaching to make young men better men."

On this sunny, unseasonably warm Saturday in December, his men were better men on the field, and his legacy will help them be better men off the field for many years to come.






NOTES:
--The Springers ended the season with 612 points scored, an average of 40.8 points per game. The defense only allowed 186 points, an average of 12.4 points per game. 69 of the points came in the second and third rounds of the playoffs, 34 by Lee-Davis and 35 by Hermitage.
--Highland Springs rushed for 241 yards, led by DJ Anderson with 107.
--The Springer defense held Stone Bridge, who scored 104 points in the past two weeks, to just 184 total yards of offense. The Bulldogs were just two of twelve on third down conversions.
--Kicker/Punter Glaster Ellis had a standout day on special teams, with two kickoffs for touchbacks and averaging nearly 36 yards per punt, taking precious field position away from the Bulldogs when the game was still well in reach.
--Highland Springs joins Hopewell (2003), Meadowbrook (2004), Thomas Dale (2009) and L.C. Bird (2012, 2013, 2014) as state champions from the Central Region in the 21st century.

Friday, December 11, 2015

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PRIMER: Stone Bridge vs. Highland Springs

What: 5A State Football Championship
When: Saturday, December 12th, 12:07pm kickoff
Where: Scott Stadium, University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Tickets: $10, available at the gate
Parking: CLICK HERE (there could be a fee)
Seating Diagram: CLICK HERE (Highland Springs is the "home" team)

LIVE TWITTER COVERAGE: @henricosports from RVA Sports Network, 11:30AM

TV: Comcast SportsNet "Plus" Channel: FiOS 78/578 (HD); Comcast 10, 12PM
Radio: WRNL, Fox Sports 910, 11:30AM






Sunday, December 6, 2015

SWIMMING: St. Christopher's/St. Catherine's Meet Results

Results from Friday's swimming meet sponsored by St. Christopher's and St. Catherine's:

TEAM:

Men 
Fredericksburg Christian 113, Virginia Episcopal 52
St. Christopher's 140, Virginia Episcopal 29
St. Christopher's 120, Fredericksburg Christian 56
Fredericksburg Christian 125, Glen Allen 27
Mills Godwin 97, Glen Allen 27
St. Christopher's 143, Glen Allen 14
Virginia Episcopal 84, Glen Allen 33
St. Christopher's 131, Mills Godwin 37
Mills Godwin 79, Virginia Episcopal 68
Virginia Episcopal 96, St. Catherine's 0
Fredericksburg Christian 100, Mills Godwin 65

Women 
St. Catherine's 130, Glen Allen 49
Mills Godwin 111, Fredericksburg Christian 52
St. Catherine's 140, Fredericksburg Christian 35
Virginia Episcopal 81, Fredericksburg Christian 70
Glen Allen 89, Mills Godwin 76
Glen Allen 105, Virginia Episcopal 52
St. Catherine's School 134, Mills Godwin 43
Mills Godwin 106, Virginia Episcopal 51
Glen Allen 111, Fredericksburg Christian 50
Virginia Episcopal 102.00, St. Christopher's 0
St. Catherine's 140.50, Virginia Episcopal 30.50

Girls 200 Medley Relay:
1) St. Catherine's (Gullquist, Timmerman, Wielar, Yan): 1:57.22
2) Glen Allen (Jorgensen, Meyer, Pryor, Wilhelm): 2:03.34
3) St. Catherine's (Heiry, McCarthy, Warren, Ogden): 2:05.57
4) Mills Godwin (Tu, Taylor, Dixon, Miller): 2:10.25

Boys 200 Medley Relay:
1) St Christopher's (Mancini, Wood, West, Cox): 1:43.83
2) Fredericksburg Christian (Turbyfill, Tryfiates, N. Ross, G. Ross): 1:48.14
3) St Christopher's (Wise, Everhart, Aldridge, Hale): 1:50.58
4) Mills Godwin (Gordon, Estrada, Dixon, Muscarella): 1:53.11

Girls 200 Free:
1) Grace Wielar, St. Catherine's: 2:01.03
2) Alexa Heiry, St. Catherine's: 2:06.48
3) Allison Pryor, Glen Allen, 2:12.72
4) Abby Nichols, St. Catherine's: 2:13.99

Boys 200 Free:
1) Sean Hogan, St Christopher's: 1:50.05
2) David Turbyfill, Fredericksburg Christian: 1:52.03
3) Gareth Mancini, St Christopher's: 1:58.83
4) Zane Drees, Virginia Episcopal: 2:10.47

Girls 200 IM:
1) Ashley Meyer, Glen Allen: 2:18.79
2) Haley Gullquist, St Catherine's: 2:18.81
3) Joanna Yan, St Catherine's: 2:27.90
4) Katie McCarthy, St Catherine's: 2:30.87

Boys 200 IM:
1) Sean Hogan, St Christopher's: 2:01.39
2) Giovanni Augusti, Fredericksburg Christian: 2:36.68
3) Robert Allen, St Christopher's: 2:38.39
4) Tommy Shelburne, Fredericksburg Christian: 2:45.95

Girls 50 Free:
1) Taylor Allen, St Catherine's: 26.48
2) Joanna Yan, St Catherine's: 26.63
3) Corrinn Ford, Fredericksburg Christian: 27.15
4) Emily Miller, Mills Godwin: 27.53

Boys 50 Free:
1) Garrett Ross, Fredericksburg Christian: 22.50
2) Will Cox, St Christopher's: 23.01
3) Luke Powell, St Christopher's: 23.92
4) Hagan Aldridge, St Christopher's: 24.61

Girls 100 Butterfly:
1) Grace Wielar: St Catherine's: 1:01.15
2) Alexa Heiry, St Catherine's: 1:06.18
3) Isabelle Warren, St Catherine's: 1:09.87
4) Sarah Jorgensen, Glen Allen: 1:09.94

Boys 100 Butterfly:
1) David Dixon, Mills Godwin: 53.16
2) Townes West, St Christopher's: 58.71
3) Will Cox, St Christopher's: 1:01.15
4) Jacob Gordon, Mills Godwin: 1:02.68

Girls 100 Free:
1) Abby Nichols, St Catherine's: 58.34
2) Emily Miller, Mills Godwin: 1:01.09
3T) Ryley Ogden, St Catherine's: 1:02.00
3T) Tatum Timmerman, St Catherine's: 1:02.00

Boys 100 Free:
1) Luke Powell, St Christopher's: 52.70
2) Alec Hale, St Christopher's: 54.25
3) Noah Ross, Fredericksburg Christian: 54.35
4) Thomas Branch, St Christopher's: 54.65

Girls 500 Free:
1) Allison Pryor, Glen Allen: 5:58.08
2) Corrinn Ford, Fredericksburg Christian: 6:04.54
3) Isabelle Warren, St Catherine's: 6:14.44
4) Jessica Wilhelm, Glen Allen: 6:19.85

Boys 500 Free:
1) David Dixon, Mills Godwin: 4:54.81
2) David Turbyfill, Fredericksburg Christian: 4:55.39
3) Zachary Akin, St Christopher's: 5:35.77
4) William Simopoulos, St Christopher's: 5:49.77

Girls 200 Free Relay:
1) St Catherine's (McCarthy, Heiry, Timmerman, Nichols): 1:49.51
2) Virginia Episcopal (Wood, Bonyak, Schindler, McVeigh): 1:54.44
3) Glen Allen (Meyer, Fagan, Gaspar, Renner): 1:54.75
4) Mills Godwin (Berrier, Besnier, Butterworth, Miller): 1:56.19

Boys 200 Free Relay:
1) St Christopher's (Hogan, Powell, Mancini, Cox): 1:33.37
2) Virginia Episcopal (Cook, McGee, Drees, Head): 1:43.27
3) St Christopher's (West, Wood, Akin, Simopoulos): 1:43.44
4) Mills Godwin (Anastasiou, Butterworth, Gordon, Muscarella): 1:46.76

Girls 100 Backstroke:
1) Haley Gullquist, St Catherine's: 1:06.13
2) Madison Wilkinson, St Catherine's: 1:10.74
3) Carson Berrier, Mills Godwin: 1:11.74
4) Jenna Gaspar, Glen Allen: 1:14.90

Boys 100 Backstroke:
1) Gareth Mancini, St Christopher's: 1:00.38
2) Alec Hale, St Christopher's: 1:01.38
3) Fuller Wise, St Christopher's: 1:05.62
4) Noah Ross, Fredericksburg Christian: 1:07.13

Girls 100 Breaststroke:
1) Bailey Dixon, Mills Godwin: 1:18.25
2) Tatum Timmerman, St Catherine's: 1:18.50
3) Katie McCarthy, St Catherine's: 1:18.84
4) Addie Wood, St Catherine's: 1:20.18

Boys 100 Breaststroke:
1) Garrett Ross, Fredericksburg Christian: 1:08.70
2) Frost Wood, St Christopher's: 1:10.36
3) George Tryfiates, Fredericksburg Christian: 1:12.71
4) Ryan Everhart, St Christopher's: 1:14.88

Girls 400 Free Relay:
1) St Catherine's (Yan, Nichols, Wielar, Gullquist): 3:54.23
2) Glen Allen (Pryor, Wilhelm, Jorgensen, Aiken): 4:21.35
3) St Catherine's (Nesbitt, Wilkinson, Hodges, Ogden): 4:21.73
4) Virginia Episcopal (Wood, Updike, Cowan, McVeigh): 4:28.03

Boys 400 Free Relay:
1) St Christopher's (West, Powell, Hale, Hogan): 3:29.18
2) Fredericksburg Christian (Ross, Jones, George, Turbyfill): 3:53.13
3) Mills Godwin (Dixon, Anastasiou, Appel, Lyons): 3:54.25
4) St Christopher's (Akin, Halle, Cobb, Branch): 4:11.34










Saturday, December 5, 2015

THE WRAP: 5A State Football Semifinal: Highland Springs 35, Indian River 10

Highland Springs football had no interest in watching another playoff opponent make a big comeback Saturday afternoon. And, as they did in four consecutive games in the heart of the regular season, the Springers defense put the clamps down on Indian River, holding them off the scoreboard in the final sixteen minutes to help clinch a berth in next Saturday's 5A State Championship with a 35-10 victory at Kreiter Stadium in front of a packed house.

The Springers will play for a State Championship for the first time since 1978. They last won a state crown in 1961.

"Our season started a week after the L.C. Bird loss," said Highland Springs head coach Loren Johnson in the weight room after the game, and after changing clothes to rid himself of his Gatorade-drenched game outfit. "We felt like we gave away something, and we knew we had to put ourselves in a position to be better."

Since a 21-20 overtime loss on opening night August 28th at home against Hermitage, the Springers have won 13 straight games. The twelfth win avenged the lone loss last week, a 42-35 win over the Panthers in which they held a 35-7 lead only to see Hermitage come back to tie in the final two minutes, but responded with a touchdown of their own with nine seconds to go to set up today's encounter with the Braves.

From the start, the Springers were aggressive, mirroring their earlier playoff starts. On offense, it was DJ Anderson (pictured below) gaining over 50 of his 122 yards on the afternoon on an opening drive ended by Anderson's six-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead just two and a half minutes into the contest.

Indian River, who made the 5A South Region final by upsetting unbeaten Hampton the week before, answered with a 42-yard field goal to cut the margin to 7-3. But that is as close as they would come on this day.

On the ensuing kick, Greg Dortch was pinned to the opponent's sideline at his 26. Rather than reverse field, he trusted his speed and his teammate's blocking, racing down the sideline, then veering right to beat the kicker for a 74-yard touchdown return to up the lead to 14-3. Six minutes later, quarterback Juwan Carter found Dortch wide open in the left end of the end zone from 34 yards, and, briefly, it looked like the rout was on.

But just like the second Hermitage encounter, things slowed down for awhile. The Braves cut the margin to 21-10 before halftime on a 15-yard touchdown run. The message from Johnson to his team, before the game and again at intermission, was very simple.

"Finish," Johnson noted.

The defense led the way. Aaron Motley and Tavien Blackwell made big plays, keeping Tyre Givers-Wilson on the run most of the afternoon, having to flee the pocket. When the Braves were threatening in the third quarter, trying to cut into a 28-10 margin, an overthrown pass from Givers-Wilson was grabbed by K'Von Wallace on a diving grab in front of the scoreboard in the back of the left end zone to end the last best hope for Indian River.

Then, early in the fourth quarter, Wallace provided the dagger, again laying out in the same end zone, this time on the right side to grab a low Carter pass for a 15-yard touchdown to make it 35-10. The earlier touchdown was scored when, on fourth and short, the Springers opted for a wide receiver screen, and Dortch ran untouched from 40 yards out when it looked like the Braves assumed a flag had been thrown and essentially stopped playing the play. It seemed to briefly confuse Dortch himself, who slowed down for a half second, then took off to the end zone.

Carter went 17-for-25 for 217 yards and three touchdowns, while Dortch had 151 receiving yards and three total touchdowns. Anderson rushed for 122 yards, 82 of them in the first half.

Highland Springs now sets their sights on 5A North Region champion Stone Bridge, who started the season 4-4, but have won their last six, including upset wins over the top two seeds in their region, both previous unbeaten, knocking off Massaponax and last year's North Region champion Tuscarora in back-to-back weeks, scoring 104 points in the process.

However, they've also given up 90 points in the last two games, a fact that should be Springers fans hope that they could see one last explosive performance from the likes of Dortch and Wallace before they head off to Wake Forest and Cincinnati respectively.

And, again, expect the message from Johnson and his staff to be simple: finish.

NOTES:

--As soon as we receive ticket information for the game, we will post it here as well as on Twitter at @henricosports. Tickets will be $10.
--The game will be available on television and radio for fans who cannot make it to Charlottesville. On TV, Comcast Mid-Atlantic will have the game on their "Plus" channel, which is FiOS 78 (578 HD) and Comcast 10. Fox Sports 910 will broadcast the game beginning at 11:30am.
--Of course, RVA Sports Network will have live tweet coverage from Scott Stadium on Saturday beginning after 11am on our @henricosports feed.
--New Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente was in attendance today, taking in the entire game.



5A State Semifinals: Indian River at Highland Springs

Where: Highland Springs High School
When: 2pm
Tickets: $10 and available

COVERAGE:

Real-time Twitter updates throughout the game on our @henricosports feed from RVA Sports Network!

For online radio coverage, join Gary Hess and Gary Criswell on the Fox Sports 910 stream by clicking HERE !

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

2015 Henrico Holiday Hoops Tournament Schedule

For the third consecutive year, RVA Sports Network is proud to present live online radio coverage of the Henrico Holiday Hoops Tournament! RVASN will present four first round games on Monday December 28th, then return for the championship round on Wednesday December 30th.

Here is the complete schedule for the event: Games to air on RVASN with an (*)

Monday December 28th (First Round):
Game 1: Gar-Field vs. Trinity Episcopal, 2:30pm*
Game 2: C.D. Hylton vs. St. Christopher's, 4pm*
Game 3: Thomas Dale vs. Henrico, 5:30pm*
Game 4: Collierville (TN) vs Collegiate, 7:15pm*

Tuesday December 29th:
Game 5: Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 2, 2:30pm
Game 6: Loser Game 3 vs Loser Game 4, 4pm
Game 7: Winner Game 1 vs Winner Game 2, 5:30pm
Game 8: Winner Game 3 vs Winner Game 4, 7:15pm

Wednesday December 30th:
7th Place Game: 2:30pm
5th Place Game: 4pm
3rd Place Game: 5:30pm*
Championship Game: 7:15pm*