Category Archives: sports

Falcons may be red, but belts are black

Junior Ian Soule and senior Sergio Ribeiro demonstrate their martial arts outside. “It helps you stay fit and react quickly,” Ribeiro said. “It really promotes self discipline.”
Junior Ian Soule and senior Sergio Ribeiro demonstrate their martial arts outside. “It helps you stay fit and react quickly,” Ribeiro said. “It really promotes self discipline.”

FHS doesn’t need armed guards to prevent shootings; it’s teeming with students proficient in the practice of martial arts.
Junior Kristy Rosenberger started taking Tae Kwon Do in kindergarten, reaching the rank of black belt in fourth grade.
“I did Tae Kwon Do when I lived in New Jersey,” Rosenberger said. “I can still remember it. The rush of adrenaline I got every time I sparred or grappled made me feel like the coolest thing in the world.”
Rosenberger gave up martial arts after she got her black belt, but is confident it was a valuable experience.
“I stopped because of how ridiculously expensive it got, but the satisfaction and bragging rights last forever,” Rosenberger said. “My mom would never tell me how much money she had to spend, but the studio kept trying to trick me into joining all these different clubs, all of which cost extra money. It also just took up too much time.”
Junior red belt Klaiton Alicea started taking Tae Kwon Do to lose weight, but wound up gaining more than physical prowess and talent.
“I was a really fat kid in fifth grade,” Alicea said. “I lost a lot of weight doing it, and then I got better at sports. I really liked the boxing and wrestling part of it. I stopped when I started high school because I was doing a lot of other sports, and I just didn’t have time. I also got kind of bored of it, and I got a little lazy too.”
Senior John Seminaro has been taking Tae Kwon Do for about four years, and has stuck with it regardless of the difficulties caused by moving around.
“To me martial arts means having a good time and staying in shape,” Seminaro said. “I’ve been to a lot of schools for martial arts because I’ve moved from house to house so many times. I’ve had to restart too many times to get my black belt, but the complications have been worth it.”
Karate Sports Academy charges as much as $125 a month, providing multiple lessons every day for subscribers. Most martial arts start with a beginner’s white belt and finish with a black belt. Students move on from black belt by gaining degrees. Grandmaster Jenkins of Karate Sports Academy is an eighth degree black belt.
Senior Sergio Riberio started taking Tae Kwon Do about three years ago. Last summer, he took up a separate martial art from Brazil called Capoeira that incorporates elements of dance and music. Riebero enjoys the immediate rewards of martial arts, but thinks people fail to see its true value.
“People have to understand that martial arts are not just about winning,” Riberio said. “Martial arts are a way of life. Using your power responsibly and using it to defend yourself or others are the only acceptable uses of a martial art. Exercising restraint is just as important as defending yourself.”

~Patrick Duggan, news director


Track takes a run at state competition

The varsity indoor track and field team traveled to Charlottesville to compete in the Region II championships hosted at Fork Union Military Academy on Feb. 13. The girls won third place with 52 points and the boys took fourth place with 47 points. thirteen athletes will move on to the VHSL AA state competition on Feb. 23 at Liberty University in Lynchburg.
The team ended the regional meet with victories in the 4×400 meter relay for the girls and boys teams. The boys team had a dramatic finish, beating the second place team by only milliseconds.
Freshman Tyler Benson will also advance to the state meet in the 4×400 meter relay and 300 meter dash.
“It’s a crazy experience,” Benson said. “I’m a freshman and I’m running against these juniors and seniors. I love the feeling after the race, the rush and how it feels.”
Senior Briana Hill placed in the top three for all three of her events and was a part of the girl’s 4×400 meter relay that placed first. Hill is advancing to states for all three of her events and hopes to get new personal records in her individual events. The girls 4×400 school record for indoor track is set at 4:16, and the team ran 4:19.80 at regionals meet. Hill hopes to obtain the school record at the state meet.
“Overall, it was okay,” Hill said. “I think we could’ve gotten second place overall, but it was good we walked away with a gold in the 4×400.”
Head coach Quentin Jones was pleased with the results from the regional meet, and has high hopes for the states.
“I always love how we finish the meet,” Jones said. “No matter what happened during the meet, the 4×400 is like the last hurrah.”

~Sarah Thornton, managing editor

Wrestlers advance to states

Sophomore Matt Raines pins a Loudoun County wrestler. Raines placed first in the 132-pound weight class and had a 4-0 record throughout the tournament.
Sophomore Matt Raines pins a Loudoun County wrestler. Raines placed first in the 132-pound weight class and had a 4-0 record throughout the tournament.
Senior Michael Villalobos rides a Sherando High School competitor at the Region II tournament on Feb. 9.
Senior Michael Villalobos rides in an attempt for victory a Sherando High School competitor at the Region II tournament on Feb. 9.


The wrestling team won the region II tournament on Feb. 9 for the fourth year in a row. Seniors, Max Strum and Michael Villalobos and sophomore Matt Raines placed first in the tournament. Four wrestlers will be advancing to states on Feb. 15 and 16.
“We finally came together as a team at Regionals,” head coach Doug Fisher said.  “We were competitive in all of our losses this year, but just couldn’t find a way to fire on all cylinders at the same time. The guys really came to that reality at Districts when we lost by such a thin margin. They took ownership in that second place finish, and really came together for a focused and determined week of practice prior to Regionals, and the result is now history.”
The Falcons have persevered through many problems this season, one of which was the lack of returning wrestlers.
“I am continually amazed, though, at our level of success this year,” Fisher said. “Other than Michael, we have had principally only three other returning starters from last year’s squad and one of those was a freshman last year.”
The biggest obstacle for this year’s squad was injuries. Senior Marko Tcheukado and junior Henry Weber were knocked out by season ending injuries.
“These injuries left a tremendous void to fill,” Fisher said. “Although their absence has provided opportunity for some, their leadership and experience has been missed by all.”
Tcheukado got in only two days of practice before breaking his leg in three places. As a senior, he will not get another chance at FHS. However, Tcheukado has joined the coaching staff for junior varsity and helped teach up and coming wrestlers what it takes to make varsity.
“I felt really bad about it,” Tcheukado said. “I had to just tell myself that I wasn’t going to wrestle this year. I am still a team captain, and I go to all the meets and help the junior varsity players with weight management.”
Weber was primed for a big year in 2013, but was knocked out by a shoulder injury which he suffered from while playing varsity football in the fall.
“It’s been awful because there have been many situations this year where I could’ve helped the team,” Weber said. “On a personal level, it sucks because I could’ve done really well this year and won’t get the chance to.”
Because of the injuries, the few remaining veterans are forced to step up and convince the young guys to compete as hard as possible.
“[The injuries to other guys] make you want to do better,” Villalobos said. “You have to do your best all the time and encourage the younger guys to keep pushing through everything.”

~Josh Henry, design editor

Spirited students show sports support

If FHS was a body, the Zoo would be its heart. Made up of students with school spirit, the Zoo sports their nicknamed shirts and gathers on Friday nights to support the Falcons.
The Zoo began when a group of students in 1985-1986 enjoyed being a part of the energy at games. Business teacher Diana Story was part of the original zoo when she attended FHS.
“We were a big group of students who caused a scene,” Story said. “We definitely were not liked in the district. We yelled at the refs, we yelled mean stuff at the other teams. We would get right to the line, but never crossed it.”
Back when there was only one school in the county, the biggest rivals were Stafford and Stonewall Jackson High Schools. The group enjoyed the game and gathering with friends who all had similar opinions on school spirit.
“It’s a different time and age,” Story said. “They were much more tolerant [of our behavior] then. The best part was when they announced the other team, and we would ‘read newspapers’ or turn our backs.”
The Zoo Part II was started back up by the class of 2006 when senior Tripper Henson wanted to fill the shoes of his father, an original Zoo member. Business teacher Kathleen Evans served as a sponsor and let the group meet in her room to discuss T-shirts, school spirit, and ways to get people to turn out at the games.
“They packed my room with kids. They tried a lot of trial and error ideas at the games,” Evans said. “They didn’t used to have to stand on our side of the bleachers in one section, so it got pretty dicey. We were good, and we would win.”
Now, the Zoo Part II takes up an entire section in the stands and cheers loud enough for the whole stadium to hear. Zoo captain senior Hailey Miller was originally taken back by the idea of the cheer section because she came from Wakefield Country Day school, a private school with only 180 students at the time. She was introduced to the Zoo when former captain Erika Kondeziwala came into Charles Lewis’ history room selling Zoo shirts her freshman year.
“I told Mr. Lewis that day that I was going to be in the Zoo all four years, and I would be captain,” Miller said. “Here I am, captain of the Zoo. It’s definitely one of my favorite clubs; I love it so much.”
Now ‘Hailstorm’ balances her own basketball schedule with the schedule of the boys games to get the crowd going as much as she can. As a player on the court, junior Leif Heltzel enjoys having the Zoo present and loud at games.
“They make it hard for the other team to focus,” Heltzel said. “It makes our team play better; it gives us motivation.”
~Sarah Thornton, managing editor

Swim team rises from the depths

Halfway through their season, the swim team has learned to adjust to whatever is thrown their way. From new coach Robert Blashill to a young roster, the team has seen it all. In their most recent meet, the team finished third on Dec. 21, behind Kettle Run and Millbrook.

“Starting a new job is always a challenge–learning new traditions and incorporating my own coaching style,” coach Robert Blashill said. “Our athletes have risen to the occasion.They’re cooperative, open minded about learning, and very coachable. We will definitely have some swimmers qualify for regionals, and hopefully some will qualify for states.”

According to Blashill, sophomore Jake Boulter is close to qualifying for states in the 100 fly with a time of 58.9 seconds, just shy of the 57.4 second state cut time.

During the post season swim, all team members are eligible for the district competition, but only the top five from districts advance to the regional level. Swimmers can either advance to states by being in the top five at regionals, or beating a state time. According to Blashill however, the team is still working towards their playoff goal.

“We will never be done working on everything we need to work on,” Blashill said. “Endurance is a big part of the program.”

This year, the team fields only four seniors, which, according to junior Amanda Bengston, has required some adjustment.

“We have a really young team,” Bengston said. “But we have really strong underclassmen which will help us next season.”

In addition, there are only seven boys on the team. According to junior Sam Henson, the boys team can be affected by one swimmer’s weak performance.

“We can only have one relay team,” Henson said. “So even if we win our race, we may not win overall because other teams have more relay teams.”

~Caroline Liebel, staff reporter