Category Archives: sports

‘Jonesy’ helps athletes grow: Coach serves up education and inspiration for students

You might know coach Quentin Jones as the man always rushing through the hallways in cowboy boots on some unknown mission, or as your biology teacher or the track coach. You might be one of the few students to know him as coach “Jonesy.”
“He’s kind of like a father figure,” said senior Curtis Grady, who has run track and cross country throughout high school. “He’s always there for us to help us succeed, and he’s really approachable and fun to be around.”
In June, Jones will have been at FHS for 14 years, as a teacher of both biology and employment training, and the head coach for cross country, winter, and spring track.
“The best things about [teaching and coaching] kind of go hand-in-hand,” Jones said. “It’s rewarding seeing people grow and develop, to kind of see the lights go on when they start understanding a topic or when they realize they’re physically able to do something.”
Senior Marissa McGinty has been on the track team all four years of high school and looks up to Jones as a coach and leader.
“He makes sure we get things done, but he makes it fun,” McGinty said. “He’s always available. We can always talk to him at the beginning of practice or in between classes when he hangs outside his room, even just to stop by and say, ‘hey.’”
One of his assistant coaches, math teacher Mark Scott, considers Jones a good leader.
“I have a lot of respect for coach Jones,” Scott said. “He allows his coaches to coach, listens when we have suggestions, and offers suggestions or advice as needed.”
While being a coach for all three sports seasons may sound like a challenge, Jones handles it with patience and care.
“Being the head coach especially, there’s just so much going on,” Jones said. “Sometimes it’s hard to coach. You have to coordinate all the buses for students for track meets, parents call you, the weather goes crazy… sometimes I don’t get a chance to say hi to my athletes!”
Despite all the demands on his time, Jones makes it a point to get to know all his athletes and help to train them as much as possible.
“I ran track in high school, although not as fast as some of my athletes now,” Jones said. “But I had a coach that had one assistant, and there were about 60 kids. He would just say, ‘Go run,’ and that was our practice. We’d do a five mile run and that’d be it. It made me realize that I wanted a coach at every position, to really teach the kids the techniques and individually help them improve. Just to hear them say, ‘Oh, I can do this’- that’s why we do it.”
Sometimes, however, getting a student to that point can be hard.
“I don’t want it to sound bad, because coaches had to deal with me [as a young person], too,” Jones said. “Coaching a young person is hard, because their mind is just in a lot of different places. It’s hard to make them see their own potential because they have a lot of different priorities.”
For inspiration, Jones relies on his faith, and tries to encourage students as the head of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“The church plays a large part in my life,” Jones said. “I was introduced to FCA in high school, and when I came here two older coaches asked me to kind of take over, so that’s how I got into it. It’s nice, because we’re not shoving anything on anyone.”
McGinty, also a member of FCA, marvels at how Jones handles the club in addition to all his other duties.
“He’s very active,” McGinty said. “Between being a teacher, running the track team, and being a dad, he finds time to support us in FCA. He has a lot on his plate, and he balances it really well.”
Although his schedule may groan under the weight of his responsibilities, Jones looks forward to many more years as a teacher and coach.
“It’s hard to say what the best part [of FHS] is,” Jones said. “I have great memories, like winning the state championship, but really everything is great. There’s lot of laughter here, and lots of good people I work with.”

~Fiona McCarthy, staff reporter

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Augustine dominates softball field

Senior Justina Augustine began playing softball when she was 10 years old. Eight years later, she has become one of the district’s top players and has signed with Longwood University’s Division 1 softball team.
“One of my neighbors needed a player on their team, and we had just moved to Warrenton so I decided to give it a try,” Augustine said. “It was love at first sight.”
Head coach Mark Ott saw potential in Augustine when he first saw her play as a freshman and has watched her develop throughout her career to the player she is today.
“She came in great as a freshman, but she’s gotten stronger and faster which has helped her game dramatically,” Ott said. “Lots of kids play sports because they love playing the game, but she is the sport; her life revolves around softball.”
While softball is primarily a team sport, Augustine enjoys the individual dynamic of the game.
“Each person has a job, and if they don’t do it, the game doesn’t come together like it should,” Augustine said.
Augustine has improved her abilities through various camps and Jim Pulchine’s Life Fitness class, where she has increased her strength. She also plays on three travel teams, in addition to co-captaining the school team with senior Ashley Brown. Because of her position, Augustine has had to prove herself both as an athlete and a leader.
“I’m more of a natural leader than a vocal one. I lead by example, and I’m always willing to help,” Augustine said. “I try to lighten the mood because I can be silly sometimes.”
Augustine primarily plays shortstop, but she also catches and plays in the infield. She made first team all–district and all region, second team all–state, and won player of the year last season. Augustine’s accolades and talents intimidate both the competition and her teammates.
“Playing with her is a little scary,” junior Josie Adgate said. “When I throw with her, I feel like I’m going to die. Her fast release is intimidating.”
Though she started on varsity her freshman year, Augustine continues to work on improving her game.
“It’s safe to say that I’ve gotten a lot stronger as an athlete because I’m more confident,” Augustine said. “My mental part of the game has developed, too, because once you’ve experienced something so many times, it’s easier to adapt.”
Longwood University offered Augustine a scholarship her sophomore year. She committed to the school her junior year, and signed with them this year.
“Becoming a college athlete has been a huge dream of mine since I was 12 years old,” Augustine said. “It’s nice to say that all my hard work has paid off.”
As Augustine recalls her fondest memories, beating Kettle Run her junior year stands out the most.
“Were down by 10 in one of the last innings and at the last second we broke through and scored several runs,” Augustine said. “It was a great game!”

~Maddie Lemelin, features/arts director

Holmes at home on pole vault

No one at FHS knows pole vaulting quite like senior Grant Holmes. With his technique constantly improving, he placed 10th in the New Balance Indoor Nationals on March 9 at the Armory in New York City.
“I was happy just to be there,” Holmes said. “I didn’t really care about where I placed, but getting in the top 10 was pretty cool.”
Holmes went to Fork Union Military Academy for sixth and seventh grade, where he began his pole vaulting career.
“In sixth grade, I saw pole vaulting and thought that it looked like it would be cool to try out,” Holmes said. “There was a guy jumping 14 feet, and that looked pretty beast to me as a sixth grader watching.”
Holmes has developed a technique over the years that works for him.
“I have a really good plant and swing, which is the take-off positioning,” Holmes said. “You have to have your hands up when you take off, but the top of my vault isn’t where I want it to be. You’re supposed to be inverted, and propelled straight up, but I tend to go sideways; we call it flagging out. I know exactly what I have to do, and I know exactly what I’m doing wrong, but it’s just so hard.”
The strength of Holmes’ ability has been recognized by his coach, Ted Uhler.
“This is the fourth year I’ve had him, and he enjoys the sport a lot. He’s really dedicated,” Uhler said. “He’s always looking for ways to improve. Currently, his best record is 14-7, which is five inches from a school record set in 1994, and his goal is to beat it.”
Freshmen Jimmy Filson is trying pole vaulting for the first time and admires Holmes’s talents in track and field.
“He’s absolutely amazing,” Filson said. “He’s really good at teaching, and he gives me something to aim for.”
Freshman and first time pole vaulter Ava Thornton sees vaulting as an opportunity to develop in track and field, and believes Holmes is the perfect role model.
“It’s impressive to see how far he’s come and how committed he is,” Thornton said. “He’s helped me with techniques and showed me tips to get over the bar.”
As a captain of the team, Holmes leads by example.
“I like being watched,” Holmes said. “It pushes me further. Watching the new vaulters helps me, too. It kind of reminds me of the basics that are easy to forget about. It’s so complex, sometime the simple stuff can help me out.”
Senior Ryan Enos, a longtime close friend of Holmes’s, has observed his positive attitude first hand.
“He has a good attitude towards the other vaulters in competitions,” Enos said.
Holmes and Enos have a special bond over pole vaulting. Since both recognize and understand the vault is important to the sport; they feed off of each other, improving technique.
That positive attitude and determination contributes to Holmes’s performance, and helped him get to nationals.
“It was a big honor to be chosen,” Uhler said. “They only select the best athletes in the nation to compete.”
Looking back on nationals, Holmes was a bit disappointed in his performance.
“As far as jumping, I did all right,” Holmes said. “I could have done better.”
After high school, Holmes intends to pursue pole vaulting at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, where he has a scholarship for half of his tuition. This spring, Holmes desires to jump five meters, a distance of 16-5.
“If I get my form down, I can clear 16-5 easily,” Holmes said. “I’m currently 84th out of about 8,000 vaulters in the nation. Being in the top 10 percent is awesome, but making [16-5] would probably get me a bigger scholarship to VMI.”
Pole vaulting has made up a big part of Holmes’ life and high school career.
“You have to be insane to [pole vault],” Holmes said. “Just go look at it; just watch it one time.”

~Ryan Perry, staff reporter

Morrison cradles pressure with ease

Although only a sophomore, Robert Morrison is a key player for the boys varsity lacrosse team. Starting varsity as a freshman, Morrison has high hopes for the season.
“Last year we were an average team,” Morrison said. “This year we are definitely going to be district champs. We are a young team, but a strong team.”
New head coach (and Robert’s father) Eric Morrison decided to cancel the Junior Varsity team to create a large varsity team, along with a practice team made up of freshman who did not make varsity. According to Morrison, having his father as his head coach has not added much pressure.
“He’s harder on me than the other kids,” Morrison said. “It’s not too bad though; it will only make me better.”
According to his dad, Morrison has the potential to be an impact player this year, but he would like to see him taking the shot more.
“Lacrosse is a team sport, and Robert is not a selfish player,” coach Morrison said. “He would rather feed the ball to a teammate than take the shot himself. But he wants to be better than last year, and I expect that he will increase his number of goals to become one of the leading scorers on the team.”
Junior Kenneth Palmer also lauds Morrison’s positive attitude.
“He has a great attitude about playing,” Palmer said. “He’s easy to work with and is a good teammate. He has the potential to score a lot of goals and lead the team.”
According to Morrison, his father initially inspired him to play lacrosse.
“He played in high school and in college,” Morrison said. “He really was my biggest influence.”
Morrison has had years of experience with lacrosse, playing for recreational and travel lacrosse leagues before playing for FHS, which contribute to his skill and leadership.
“As a returning varsity starter, Robert knows what it means to be a leader,” coach Morrison said.  “As a freshman, Robert gained a lot from last year’s seniors and team captains. With the four seniors on the team, there is a strong leadership presence. Robert knows what it takes to be a leader, and I look for great things from him over the next two seasons.”
Morrison also plays for the Battelax elite travel team, a lacrosse league for Fauquier and surrounding counties. According to Morrison, the travel lacrosse team faces highly skilled competition from states like Maryland. Although college seems far away, Morrison has already begun looking at schools where he could play lacrosse, including Washington & Lee and Roanoke College.
“Robert is disciplined and committed to the sport,” coach Morrison said. “As soon as he knew he loved the sport, he had a stick in his hand working countless hours on his skills. He is also great at meeting his academic and athletic responsibilities.”
To be able to compete at the collegiate level, Morrison knows there are skills he needs to work on, especially stick handling with his less dominant hand.
“I need to improve my off hand,” Morrison said. “It’s the biggest aspect that college coaches look for.”
With any athlete there are pressures to perform well, but Morrison feels extra pressure that comes from being a younger player who is counted on so heavily.
“It’s tough sometimes,” Morrison said. “But I’ve got a great team around me to take some of the pressure off. The biggest problem I faced last year was my size, but I had a around me to keep my confidence up even when I wasn’t doing too hot.”

~Caroline Liebel, staff reporter

Miller brings a ‘Hail Storm’

Balancing sports games, practices, schoolwork, and a job can be difficult, but senior Hailey Miller manages her heavy schedule with a positive attitude.
“I try to be as organized as possible,” Miller said. “I love all the things I do, and I want to be able to fully and successfully commit myself to them.”
Miller, who works at Harris Teeter, has a boss who is flexible and works with her and her rigorous sports schedule. As a student-athlete for all four years of her high school career, Miller plays field hockey, basketball, and soccer. Currently, Miller is a key player on the basketball team.
“The scoreboard doesn’t represent how we are as a team,” Miller said. “Or the amount of hard work we put into practices and games.”
According to Miller, senior Sami Cooper inspired her to work harder and become a better player. With Cooper’s departure from the team, Miller became the only senior and has stepped up into a leadership role.
“Hailey has always been a leader,” head coach George Jolley said. “She is the most positive person on the team and continues to look for ways to lift the team.”
As winter turns to spring, Miller transitions from basketball to soccer.
“Everyone on the team inspires me,” Miller said. “Everyone works hard and really wants to be there.”
Last year, the Falcons girls soccer team had a successful season, with a record of 12-4-1. Miller is confident about the outcome of her final season.
“I can’t wait for the season to start,” Miller said. “I love playing soccer, I love the girls, and the coach is awesome. I really want to win districts this year, and I know that we can.”
For many teammates, Miller’s positive attitude and eagerness to play inspires them to be better athletes. Sophomore Megan Diehl plays all three varsity sports with Miller, and has watched her grow as an athlete.
“She gets better every day,” Diehl said. “She cares a lot about the sports, and is a really good role model. She puts in all her effort, and makes me want to try harder and not slack off.”
Although Miller is undecided about where she wants to attend college, she plans to study pediatric medicine and says that playing collegiate field hockey may be an option at a smaller school. Miller sees herself as a very competitive person, and enjoys being a strong component of the successful field hockey team that placed third in the state competition in 2012.
“It’s nice to know that at the end of the season we’ll have a good shot at states.” Miller said.
Miller has received numerous honors. Freshman year she had an honorable mention, all district. Her sophomore year she made first team, all district and region, defensive player all district, and second team all state. During her junior year, she made first team all district, second team all region, and received an honorable mention for the state competition. Her senior season, she made first team all district and region, player of the year all district, defensive player of the year all region, and second team all state.
Not only is Miller a physically strong athlete, but recovering from multiple injuries has made her mentally strong, as well.
“I’ve had a few sprained ankles, and a concussion from soccer,” Miller said. “But the worst injury was when I tore my ACL freshman year during field hockey. Tearing your ACL is a big deal, and coming back from that has made me stronger when I go out on the field or court. Mentally and emotionally, I am 110 percent.”
Miller attributes her success in sports to the drive to succeed in all aspects of her life.
“When I’m doing well in school and in my personal life,” Miller said. “I know I’m going to go out on the field or court with much more concentration and drive.”

~Caroline Liebel, staff reporter

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