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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
On Tuesday, December 4, the Fauquier Falcons ice hockey team took on Kettle Run High School. Before the game, the two teams had a ceremonial puck drop in honor of Theodore Warzinski, a former falcon, who passed away earlier this year. The game was a close one with Kettle Run pulling ahead with three quick goals. Then halfway through the second period, with the help of the Fauquier student section, the Falcons rallied and scored three goals, but the game was far from over. When the start of the third period came along, both teams really started to get going on offense. After a hard-fought battle, the final score of the game was 8-7, with Fauquier coming out on top. The goals were scored by Jacob Roteman, Danny Martino, Max Romeo, Patrick Kirk, Brandon Stumpf, Ian Napolitano and Hunter Barrett.
by Helena Lovell and Ella Tedeschi–Staff Reporters
Fauquier High School’s Varsity Basketball team tipped off their season on November 27 against Briar Woods. They played a hard fought game, but ending up falling 58-41. However, they managed to bounce back against Park View High School, 54-44. The next game, the Falcons took on Manassas Park. In a defensive struggle, Fauquier lost to Manassas Park 33-20. The next match-up, was a home game and the Falcons took on John Champe High School from Aldie, Virginia. Fauquier took a halftime lead, but ended up falling to the Knights 59-57, in double overtime. Following the heartbreaker against John Champe, the Falcons went onto beat Brentsville High School.
“I’m just hoping that everyone works together, doesn’t put anyone down, and tries their hardest,” team manager Rylie Schmidt said when asked what she hoped for in the remainder of the season. The Falcons have 17 games left on their schedule, and get into region play soon.
“I think the team is doing great so far,” Schmidt said. Fauquier is 2-3 through five games, but the team does have their moments where they look good. The Falcons current starting lineup is Devin Lewis, Jerreco Gaskins, Kyle Dargis, Robby Brooks and Thurman Smith. Fauquier is coached by Wayne Brizzi.
In the interview with Schmidt, she made it very clear that teamwork is a huge part of the team’s plan to do well throughout the season. Schmidt wants the players to “just have a good time.”
by Tayte Mills–Staff Reporter
Fauquier High School's student newspaper. By the students, for the students.