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Tonight’s High School Football Game of the Week on The River 95.3, Fox Sports Radio 1450, theriver953.com and the TuneIn Radio App features the 61st matchup between James Wood (2-2) and Handley (1-3).
This is one of the most anticipated games in the area every year thanks to one of the oldest rivalries.
This year’s installation will feature two head coaches looking to make their first mark in the rivalry.
Handley’s head coach Dan Jones is in his first year with the program after coaching at Sherando last season.
Todd Wilson has served on the Colonel’s coaching staff as the offensive line coach for the last 4 years before taking over the head job.
Coach Jones will bring with him a Handley offense that has explosive potential from numerous spots on the field.
Running Back Manno Lusca enters the game as one of the area’s leading rushers with 380 yards, 9.2 yards per carry, and six touchdowns, but he is just one of many players who could go the distance at any time.
Hassan Akanbi possesses track athlete speed and has already taken one catch 99 yards to the house this season.
Breylon Miller looks the part of a future Division I athlete at 6’6″ 218 lbs. and has stats to back it up.
Miller is second in receiving yards in the area with 264 yards off 12 receptions with two touchdowns.
James Wood’s defense looks to be up to the task, already having faced some of the best offenses in the area.
The Colonel’s limited the an explosive Brentsville offense to just one second half touchdown and forced two turnovers in that half.
They also contained last year’s state runner-ups, Kettle Run, on the first three drives forcing two turnovers and a turnover on downs.
Two leaders on that opportunistic defense include defensive back Justin Gwinner, the area’s leader in interceptions with 4, and linebacker Zack Smith, the area’s leading tackler with 46.
They will need to keep the explosive Handley offense in front of them and force a few turnovers to come away with the victory.
Handley must focus on efficiency inside the red zone and execution on special teams.
Last week the Judges were stuffed on numerous opportunities in the red zone.
I look forward to another great installation of this rivalry which gave us a classic game as recently as last season when Handley came back from trailing 16-0 early and a 10 point deficit with 3:47 remaining to come away with a 37-30 win in overtime to clinch a playoff birth.
This will be another close game but Handley’s playmakers should help the Judges prevail on the road, 27-20.
Press play below for my interview with James Wood Head Coach Todd Wilson.
Handley High School’s Alumni Speaker Series will be hosting Jimmy (’86) and Braden Robertson (’21) on August 16th at 6:30 pm in the Handley Robinson Auditorium (100 W. Piccadilly St., Winchester).
The father and son duo will be sharing their “Experience Along the Appalachian Trail: A Father & Son Trek”.
They will show photographs, maps, gear and tell their story about situations and the people they encountered on the 2200-mile hike.
This is a free event, share with your friends and family.
For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.
Former John Handley High School basketball standout Michael Brown signed a one year contract to play professionally for GKK Sibenka Sibenk of the Croatian Premijer League.
Brown recently graduated from Mount Olive where he played Division II basketball.
He had a strong start to his collegiate career earning conference freshman of the year and continued his success through his senior year.
Last season he was named a 3rd team all American and first team all conference and all region which helped him gain the attention of professional teams.
In the Croatian Leagues’ standings, Sibenka finished in the middle of the pack of 12 teams.
They look to take a step forward with Brown, who will be one of three Americans on the roster.
Winchester Public Schools will join numerous departments across the country with expanded Walk Zones for the upcoming school year in response to the ongoing bus driver shortage.
Households included in the Walk Zones will get to school by either walking, biking, or riding with a family member.
The change will primarily impact students at Virginia Avenue and Quarles and a smaller group at Daniel Morgan and Handley.
The areas chosen have safe walking paths, sidewalks, and crosswalks while avoiding four lane roads and train tracks.
The City of Winchester is also working with the school district to employ additional Crossing Guards and add crosswalks and signage.
If you have questions or concerns, WPS is hosting two Transportation Walk and Talks at 6:30 pm on July 19th at Quarles Elementary and on July 20th at Virginia Avenue.
Students with an IEP requiring transportation will still be able to take the bus.
For more information on the Walk Zones, click here.
John Handley High School is hosting a Cornerstone Commemoration as part of their 100th Anniversary Kick Off Program on Tuesday, June 13th.
The event is open to the public and free of charge.
Pre-event tours and exhibits begin at 1 PM, featuring special guests, a video, the unveiling of a new Eugene Smith painting of Handley, and a look back at the original cornerstone laying in 1923.
At 2 PM, a Processional resembling the original Cornerstone-Laying parade will make its way to the site of the new Centennial Stone.
A reception will follow where guests can browse Handley 100th merchandise and sign an attendance book included in the time capsule that will be buried at the end of the celebration year.
For more information on the event, click here.
The 96th Annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival announced that Phil Glaize will be joining the celebration as a Court Ambassador for the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah, Bella Astin.
The Coronation will take place at John Handley High School on May 5th at 1:30 pm.
Glaize is a Winchester resident who has managed Fred L. Glaize L.C for over 35 years.
His organization operates 600 acres of apple orchards, a cold storage facility, packing operations, and sales activities.
In 2022, he was acknowledged as the “Apple Person of the Year” based on feedback from his peers nationwide.
Glaize has also been affiliated with the Old Town Cidery and Rotary and is currently chair of Mt. Hebron Cemetery.
The City of Winchester’s new public transit route to Laurel Ridge Community College began service today.
The bus will stop at five locations between the downtown Winchester Boscawen Street transfer station and the Community College every 70 minutes.
The stops include Bank of Clarke, Braddock Street at Amherst Street, John Handley High School, Shihadeh Innovation Center, and Jubal Early Drive at Apple Blossom Drive.
The Laurel Ridge Route will run throughout the year except for holidays with the first bus leaving at 7:10 am and the final bus returning at 9:10 pm.
All buses are wheelchair accessible and equipped with a bike rack.
Winchester Transit would also like to remind all residents that it is free to travel on any WinTran bus to any destination through June 30, 2023.
To view the schedule and stop information, click here.
The City of Winchester will hold a full scale emergency exercise on October 1st.
The training exercise will take place at John Handley High School from 8 am to noon and include the city’s public safety departments, public schools, and supporting agencies.
The simulated scenario will involve an active threat at Handley.
The goal is to assess first responders and school staff’s readiness in the event of a threat.
On that date, there will be increased traffic around Handley, John Kerr Elementary, and Quarles Elementary.
There will also be numerous road closures in those areas.
The Healing Field of Honor is back for its second consecutive year in the lawn of John Handley High School.
Over 1000 flags will be on display in a patriotic tribute to honor first responders, military members, or just anyone who is a personal hero.
The opening ceremony featured local keynote speakers, a C-17 flyover, and a parachutist on Thursday afternoon.
The display will remain available for 24 hour viewing until the closing ceremony on May 30th at 3 pm.
Flags can still be purchased online or on location with all proceeds going to the Winchester Rotary Charitable Foundation.