Category Archives: sports

In Loving Memory of Coach AZ

Sad news struck FHS and Southeastern on January 22 upon hearing the news that beloved teacher and coach Matt Anzivino, AZ to many, had passed away.  He coached baseball at FHS and taught at Southeastern. He touched the lives of many past and present students in his lifetime. Many were devastated by this upsetting news.  

Anzivino was born on July 24, 1981, in Chesterfield County, Virginia.  He grew up in Warrenton, where he graduated from FHS in 1999. He played baseball here coached by Mark Ott.  He continued playing baseball in college at Chowan University in Murfreesboro, North Carolina, where he graduated in 2003.  He was a teacher and head varsity coach in Richmond at Varina High School. After this, he taught at Southeastern for about six years.  He left an impact on many at Southeastern with his fun learning techniques. During this time he continued his passion for baseball by being both the JV and assistant varsity baseball coach at FHS, leading others to succeed at the same place he had.  

For a while, Anzivino was struggling with bladder cancer. This is when cells in the bladder start to grow too fast and as the cancer cells develop they can form a tumor that spreads to other areas of the body.  However, he defeated this challenge, unfortunately, cancer came back. A few years later he found himself struggling with the disease yet again, and on January 22 at Novant Health UVA Prince William Medical Center, he passed away at age 37 still fighting.  His memory will live on in the minds of family members, students, and teammates that will miss him and remember him for the great man he was.

Coach AZ’s team shared a story that really illustrated his unique personality. “After we knocked off Riverside last year, which we weren’t supposed to do, we had a big dog pile in the middle of the field.  Coach AZ ran in from the dugout and dove into the dog pile, which is not something coaches usually do,” said senior Carson McCusker. He was not the only who remembers Anzivino this way, senior Lane Pearson said, “Just his excitement and how he ran on the field and jumped on the dog pile.” This story truly shows you what type of person he was.

McCusker remembers, “just his spirit and he always brought high energy and positive attitude to the baseball field every day, [and] he really helped our team.” Anzivino was someone these boys looked up and was a role model for them.  Everyone who ever met him said he was always positive. Pearson commented that Coach AZ will be remembered for, “His positivity and how he went about his day and was never negative and loved all the kids.”

Any of the baseball players who played on Coach AZ team will portray someone who was just a great person. “He was super nice and caring for all the kids, and he was just a super positive guy,” said Pearson. McCusker added, “He was a great man and one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. He really inspired me to be a better person.”

“Outgoing,” was the one word Ott gave to describe Anzivino, “He was always happy and smiling.  He would do anything for you, and he truly cared about his athletes.” He was nicknamed “AZ” and that is what he went by for many.  Ott said, “he always had a smile and was always passionate towards people.” Coach Anzivino, Mr. Anzivino, “AZ” or whichever name you knew him by was always there to lend a helping hand and will be greatly missed by many.

By Catherine Smith – Staff Reporter

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Lady Falcons Wrap-up the Season

With a 5-15 record as of Friday, February 8, 2019, the Girls Varsity Basketball team is fighting their way through thick and thin for their love of the game. The girls have improved their work during practice and games and it shows. Because there are more players than last years’ 2017-18 season, it’s much easier for the Coach, Brian Foddrell.

“I have seen lots of improvements on the team, we come from not having confidence to having confidence and we are playing good defense. Our defense has gotten a lot better, good rotation, major improvements (…) I try to motivate them and tell them, hey, keep your heads up, we’re still in it, we’re still fighting and keep pressing forward,” Foddrell said.

Senior, Shniya Washington said, “Coach has taught me life lessons in and outside of basketball, to never give up, and he absolutely improved my game so much, I think he is a great Coach and I love him,” Because Washington is a senior this year, this is her last season with the team. Her defense and offense looks outstanding on the court.

“Majority of the time, positive results come from a positive mindset, so if they learn to have a positive mindset, they keep that and all things, not just in basketball, but in all things.” said Foddrell.
Junior, Tiana Minor said, “The most challenging part of basketball is trying not to get frustrated and to focus while [I’m] playing because there are lots of fans in the crowd.”

Most people can understand her frustration for her being “fouled out” during the home game against Briar Woods High School. Minor only had three fouls and the referee confused her number with an opposing player’s. Minor made some very good drives to the hoop and great passes to her teammates at the away game against Kettle Run.
As far as this season is going, the Girls Varsity Basketball team is pushing it towards the end.

by Carly McMurphy

Boys’ Basketball Struggles Continue

The Fauquier Basketball season has now concluded, and they’ve struggled throughout the season. The problems have been occurring for most of the year. In the month of December, the Falcons went 0-6, and kept a losing streak until early January. Around the middle of January, however, the team seemed to pick things up a bit, capped off by a double overtime win against the Liberty Eagles, 60-58. But the Falcons went on to lose their next game to Briar Woods, with a score of 65-43.

The team did manage to finish strong and will hopefully gain some momentum going into the next season. Two big games at the end of the season were the games against Kettle Run and James Wood. Fauquier beat Kettle Run with a score of 57-55 in an overtime period. Then, in the season finale, the Falcons took on James Wood High School and sent the 2018 regular season off with a solid 59-42 victory. Later this week, the Falcons will tip off their postseason play with a regional game against Sherando High School.

The team believes they have improved a lot. “At the beginning, the team was a little bit shaky,” said junior Kyle Dargis, “But now we work together as a team; we’ve all become good friends, it show it on the court.” Sophomore Therman Smith agreed; saying, “As a team, I think that we just got better at passing and defense is the biggest part because we are a smaller team.”

by Tayte Mills–Staff Reporter

Fisher Earns His 100th Win

Fauquier junior Sam Fisher recently received his 100th win in wrestling. When asked about his new accomplishment Fisher said, “I didn’t even know I got it, I figured I was getting close.” This pleasant surprise increased the admiration felt for the Fauquier wrestler. Fisher has been wrestling since he was five and played additional sports as a kid: “I didn’t really like team sports that much, there’s a lot of pointing fingers and if I’m going to lose…I want to hold myself accountable” said Fisher. He decided to focus solely on wrestling his eighth-grade year. Fisher also practices and competes in Olympic styles of wrestling which are slightly different from the style uses during the school wrestling season and are conducted under different rules.

Fisher is a two-time state champion, outside of school Fisher has competed in 5 national tournaments and received high placings in each. Prior to the beginning of this year’s season, Fisher competed in a college open tournament where he received second place. Fisher said, “Wrestling stays true to the whole ‘work harder do better.’” Head wrestling coach Doug Fisher describes wrestling as “a sport that teaches you humility like no other. No matter how good you become, there is always someone better, or another level to conquer.”

Fisher received an early offer from Virginia Tech where he will continue wrestling and his studies. Tech is one of the top Division I wrestling programs in the nation, making a great fit for Fisher. Head wrestling coach Doug Fisher said, “I am truly happy for both his accomplishments to date and his decision to verbal to Virginia Tech.” Fisher has achieved many goals up to this point and will continue to do so in the time he has left wrestling for Fauquier.

by Amanda Arellano–Staff Reporter

Lamper Brings Excitement to Softball Team

This is a year filled with changes for the Fauquier Falcons. As spring sports begin to warm-up, the Fauquier High School girls’ softball team has had a chance to meet their new head coach. Erika Lamper will be replacing Mark Ott as head coach this season, both returning alumna and teacher at Fauquier High. After a fantastic softball season last year with Lamper as the assistant coach, Coach Ott resigned leaving an empty position here at FHS.

After graduating in 2005 from FHS playing softball, coached by Ott, she moved on to play softball for four years at Seton Hill University. There she earned a degree in 2009 in marketing and human resources. In 2013, Lamper came back to teach and coach here in Virginia. After teaching at Kettle Run she took a job at FHS where she teaches personal finance and sports business. It is currently her second year at FHS.


Lamper stated, “I am very excited. This is a great group of girls. They work hard outside of the season too.” The teams have already begun workouts and conditioning and many are excited to see what Coach Lamper can bring to the team. “They are definitely working hard, very motivated, and a very positive group.” When asked what softball meant to her, Lamper said, “Softball is more that just a sport. It helps you develop as a human being. It allows you to become part of the community.” For Lamper, softball has taught her many life lessons, “It creates a well rounded person and opens up values you can’t learn in the classroom.” Her goal for this season is to get the team to states. “They have been there before and I think they can do it again.” Lamper said, “Having fun is the first priority. I want them to want to be there. I don’t want to force anyone. And take advantage of being on the team, you won’t have that same experience again.” Lamper loves the encouragement and “good support system[of the team], they help build each other up. You won’t always have 12 others who have your back all the time. Ott taught Erika Lamper since she was about 11 or 12 years old in both travel and at a high school level. He added, “I was ecstatic to have someone who played and knew the field come back to teach the girls. I have all the confidence in the world she will keep it a successful season, if not make it better.”

by Catherine Smith–Staff Reporter

Football Receives New Head Coach Buckwalter

New Head Football coach, Karl Buckwalter, may be the key to getting the Fauquier Falcons football team back on their feet. After this past seasons record of 0-10, Joe Prince resigned in November with an overall record of 11-29 for over 4 seasons. A new change is taking part in our school’s football program which has deep roots in Fauquier County as well as in FHS. Many are excited to see what this year has in store for the FHS Falcons football team.

Buckwalter grew up in Mclean Virginia and graduated from Mclean High School, having played football, basketball, and soccer. He continued to play football at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. However, since 2008, he has been a resident in Warrenton. He came back to teach and coach at McLean. “I have been a Head Football Coach for 3 High Schools in my career: McLean, Colonial Forge, and Dominion High School.” Karl Buckwalter’s oldest daughter, Paige, is a 2nd grade teacher in Kentucky. His youngest daughter, Karlyn, is currently attending Brumfield Elementary; while his two step-sons, Brandon and Michael, both graduated from FHS a few years ago. Previous to applying for Head Coach at Fauquier he taught Physical Education at Dominion High School and ran a successful football program there for 11 years.

Buckwalter said, “Growing up in Virginia and being able to come back here after college to teach and coach is very exciting. I truly enjoy the atmosphere and it is fantastic having my daughter around practices and games. It is a great environment and I feel very fortunate.” When asked what football meant to him Buckwalter stated, “Football is a fantastic team game. It is a game that everyone has to do their own job on each play in order for the play to be successful. It also teaches life lessons such as facing adversity and how to respond.” His plans for the season so far include weight room on Monday and Wednesdays from 6-7:30 pm and a start on the schematics. Buckwalter added, “Each year is a challenge… I am looking forward to the journey as we have already started preparing. We are looking to have a 7 v 7 tourney along with a Combine and Camp this spring.” He also has a “Midnight Madness” planned for August 1st at 12:01 in the FHS stadium. Buckwalter has a goal, to get to the 11th game. “I tell the team we have 10 opportunities to get the 11th one. 10 Fridays go very quickly when you think about it… Playoffs are always the goal and once you get in anything can happen.”

When asked if finding a new coach Mark Ott responded with, “many coaches come into a place that already has success and will result in an easy transition. These coaches are hard to come by for all sports. We are glad to have the opportunity to have one who lives here and wants to continue out his career here.” Coach Ott stated that Buckwalter’s “background and his ability to turn around and start programs at other schools” were the prominent factors in his hiring at FHS. Many at FHS are expecting a more successful season with the new head coach and the larger amount of seniors and their “senior leadership.” Buckwalter’s known experience and outcomes with past teams might be all the Falcons need to get the competitive spirit of the past back.

by Catherine Smith–Staff Reporter

FHS Supports Wrestling Team at In-School Pep Rally

On January 25, Fauquier High School hosted a pep-rally featuring the Falcon wrestling team’s final match. The event began at 1:30 pm in the new gym. The Fauquier Falcons faced the Brentsville Tigers in a hard fought match, ending in the Falcons claiming the victory with a score of 33-29.
The match was different from most the wrestlers have experienced. Although the team has competed in front of big crowds before, this time Fauquier students and staff were all behind the wrestlers, cheering them on. “It was nice to have the schools support,” said senior wrestler Kevin McEachin, “everyone was cheering, it got really loud.” McEachin won his match with a score of 5-3. “It could have been better, but I ended up winning, so I guess that’s all that matters,” he said. McEachin hopes to pursue wrestling in college but said it depends on where he gets into.
Sophomore Eric Dewald also competed in front of the crowd. He ended up winning his match by fall. Dewald said that he was very nervous before the match. He prepared by weighing in and then warming up like the rest of the team, but also internally prepared. “I just thought in my head and got myself mentally prepared,” said Dewald. After his match, Dewald said that he believed it went well, saying “[it was] pretty good, I pinned my kid.”
Head coach Doug Fisher said he is proud of his athletes and performance. “It was a great learning experience for them,” said Fisher. He added that the results of the match were both expected and unexpected. He said, “we had some guys that did not completely wrestle to their potential, while we had others rise to the occasion.” Fisher was very happy that the school was able to have the pep rally, saying “it was a great opportunity for the student body to see us compete. Our guys do not get that opportunity often and I was concerned a little about how they would react.” Fisher also wanted to thank the administration for making it happen. “I hope we are able to do it again next year,” he said.
FHS Wrestling has a reputation for being state champions. In the last five years, they have either been first or second in States. The process moves along with one starter in each of the 14 weight classes being entered into the District Tournament. Following this, the top four placers continue to Regionals, and then the top four placers from Regionals go to States. The team attended Districts on February 2, Regionals on February 9 and will attend states the following weekend.
Fisher said that the season has flown by very quickly. “We travel almost every weekend and see great competition,” said Fisher. “ Although it is an extremely tough schedule, it prepares us for the tough matches in the postseason.”

by Rachel Singleton– New Editor