The Duke’s Hoops Preview: Warren County vs Skyline

The high school boys basketball regular season concludes tonight with Skyline hosting Warren County on 1450 WFTR, theriver953.com, and the Tune In Radio App at 7:20 pm.

It will be Senior Night at Skyline High School and two of those seniors have stepped up their game of late.

Colby Wood played one of his best games of the season against Meridian to lead all scorers with 23 points, helping the Hawks knock off the top team in the region.

Caden Thorne has shot the three-ball more efficiently lately which has helped keep defenses honest, allowing more space inside for junior forward Dwayne Tucker.

While Skyline’s offense starts with their senior guards, Warren County’s offense has been led by a freshman down the stretch.

Bryce Bergmann has been filling up the scoring column, reaching over 20 points in the Wildcat’s last two games.

Warren County has already improved their record from last season, as well as raising their scoring average and lowering their points allowed, and with the emergence of Bergmann, should be very excited about the future of the program under head coach TJ Atlee.

Skyline started off the season rockier than previous years but have seem to find their stride as the season progressed to maintain aspirations for another playoff run.

The Hawks will look to put away their cross-town rivals early to provide some rest for their key players before the playoffs begin next week, but Warren County kept the game competitive early in the last matchup before fading.

Skyline’s depth and experience on Senior Night in front of a packed gym will give them the edge to continue their win streak against Warren County, 79-54.

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The Duke’s Hoops Preview: Skyline vs Meridian

Skyline, the reigning Regional Champions, host Meridian, the current leaders for the Region, tonight in our High School Basketball Game of the Week on Fox Sports Radio 1450, theriver953.com and the Tune In Radio App.

Skyline has dominated the area the last few seasons taking home back-to-back Regional titles, but Meridian has asserted themselves as the front runners for the hardware this season.

The Mustangs have already knocked off Skyline once, boast the best record in the Region at 17-1, and can claim the Northwestern District regular season championship with a win this week against Skyline or Manassas Park.

Meridian is led by the sophomore sensation Daylen Martino at point guard and returning All-District selection Grant Greiner, but usually have a relatively balanced scoring approach.

Martino and Greiner are coming off 16 point performances to lead the Mustangs over Heritage Friday night.

The Mustangs like to employ an aggressive, full-court trap defense which will challenge Skyline’s primary ball handlers.

Senior guard Colby Wood has held up well to pressure in the past and often finds one of his athletic swingmen like Isiah Maxwell or Ahsan Abdul-Qasim to throw it down in transition.

Meridian has great size around the roster but Skyline’s Dwayne Tucker should have an advantage in the paint.

The junior forward is second in the area for points per game with 16.8 and rebounds per game at 7.5.

Skyline will need to play their most complete game of the season and focus on minimizing turnovers against the Meridian pressure to come up away with a win.

Meridian has essentially locked up the district title with struggling Manassas Park awaiting them later this week and could find themselves in a let down spot for a game that doesn’t have a lot of meaning to them.

Skyline will use the boost of the home crowd after ending a tough four game road trip and a steady dose of Tucker to come away with a tight win, 70-67.

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The Duke’s Hoops Preview: Skyline vs Millbrook

Skyline welcomes Millbrook to Front Royal tonight for the boy’s basketball Game of the Week on Fox Sports Radio 1450 WFTR, theriver953.com and the Tune In Radio App with coverage starting at 7:20 pm.

The Hawks enter the evening 11-4 and undefeated in district play (6-0), while Millbrook sits at 5-8 but also undefeated in district play (3-0).

Skyline is coming off a 75-66 loss to Handley which saw the Judges future Division-I guard Will Braun-Duin lead all scorers with 35 points.

Millbrook is also coming off a loss to Hedgesville, 46-23, on the road last night.

The Pioneers uses a balanced offensive approach and have a variety of guys who can lead in scoring on a given night.

Chase Ford has been their most consistent weapon averaging 13.1 points per game and 2.9 assists per game.

Shawn Rooks recently stepped up against Kettle Run for a career high 28 points including 6/6 from three point range and Cohen Creswell regularly packs the stat sheet with points and rebounds.

Skyline relies on the post presence of the double-double machine Dwayne Tucker and veteran guard play of senior Colby Wood but have also seen sophomore guard Andre Ford and senior guard Caden Thorne flourish in recent games.

Skyline’s defensive pressure will look to fluster Millbrook’s guards with the home crowd behind them, while forwards Tucker and Creswell battle down low.

The Hawks appear to have an advantage in both areas and will use that to secure another win against an opponent from a higher classification, 74-58.

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The Duke’s Hoops Preview: Skyline vs Sherando

Tonight’s High School Basketball Game of the Week on Fox Sports Radio 1450, theriver953.com, and the Tune In Radio App features the Skyline Hawks (10-3) hosting the Sherando Warriors (10-5) with coverage starting at 7:20 pm.

The first meeting of the two teams was a Sherando victory in a 55-53 season opening thriller.

This matchup is expected to be no different as both team’s enter the game still holding high expectations for this season.

Sherando will arrive in Front Royal on a four game winning streak led by senior guard Trey Williams, who has averaged over 20 points per game in the stretch.

Williams is an early candidate for Player of the Year in the region as the second leading scorer with 17.2 per game, third in rebounding with 6.5 per game, and the leader in assists and steals with 4.4 apg and 2.3 spg.

Skyline enters the evening winning 7 of their last 8 games by an average differential of 22.4 points per game.

While the Warriors are led by Williams from the outside, the Hawks follow the lead of junior forward Dwayne Tucker on the interior.

Tucker has been a dominant force for Skyline in his second year of varsity action.

He led all scorers in the first matchup against the Warriors with 23 points, many of those coming against Sherando’s 6’4″ senior center Drew Tyson.

Tucker has also collected a few double-doubles this season and joined Williams on the All Tournament Team at the Ram Hardwood Classic.

Tonight’s heavyweight matchup could come down to the free throw line, an area that helped Sherando secure a few victories already this season including the first game against Skyline where the Warriors finished 14/21 from the line while the Hawks made just 5/16 free throw attempts.

Skyline’s aggressive defense could end them up in foul trouble and send the Warriors to the free throw line early and often, leading to the difference in a tight Sherando win, 57-54.

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The Sports Dogs’ Top 5 for 2023

As 2023 comes to a close, The Sports Dogs reflect on their Top 5 sports stories of the year.

For a full breakdown of Randy and Ryan’s Top 5, check out the latest Sports Dogs Podcast here.

Randy’s Top 5:

  1. The sale of the Washington Commanders from Dan Snyder to Josh Harris, Magic Johnson, and their group.
  2. The Orioles stun the MLB to win the AL East and over 100 games.
  3. The Bob Huggins Era comes to an end in Morgantown after using homophobic slurs on a radio interview and then arrested for drunk driving.
  4. Martinsburg High School secures their 10th WV state championship since 2010
  5. Alderson Broaddus, Randy’s alma mater, closes it’s doors in Philippi.

Ryan’s Top 5:

  1. The debut of The River Rivalry trophy for the Warren County-Skyline football game.
  2. Millbrook High School alum Nazeeh Johnson plays a crucial role in the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl run.
  3. James Madison University’s final transitioning year to the FBS features Top 25 rankings, College Gameday, and after threats of lawsuits and litigation, the first bowl appearance in school history.
  4. Local schools earn state championships including Clarke County girls’ soccer and basketball teams and James Wood volleyball’s second consecutive title.
  5. Skyline basketball’s 26-1 season featuring the school’s first state semifinal appearance, a regional championship, and Zack Diggs becoming the first 1000 point scorer in Skyline history.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

The Duke’s Hoops Preview: Skyline vs Brentsville

Skyline (3-2) hosts Brentsville (0-4) at 7:30 tonight in the High School Basketball Game of the Week on Fox Sports Radio 1450 WFTR, theriver953.com, and the Tune In Radio App.

The Hawks are not off to the start that they had hoped, already accumulating more losses this season through five games than all of last season.

But the season is young, and Skyline’s losses have came against very strong competition.

The 55-53 opening night loss on the road to a Class 4 Sherando team expected to have a great year is nothing to hang your head about and the other loss in the Handley Showcase was to a powerhouse Spotswood program.

Tonight is a classic “get right game” opportunity for the Hawks as they have dominated Brentsville in recent history.

Skyline has graduated some key pieces to those teams like Zack Diggs and Elias Carter but return some star familiar faces in Colby Wood, Dwayne Tucker, Andre Ford, and Sebastian Banks.

Coach Chunn is also excited about some new additions like the ultra athletic Ahsan Abdul-Qasim, standout wide reciever Isiah Maxwell, and Day’Shawn Haley, who has already played key minutes this season.

They were both members of Skyline’s JV team that went undefeated last season.

In last year’s varsity matchups with Brentsville, the Hawks dominated both outings 80-48 and 91-53.

Dwayne Tucker had 14 points in the first of the two games and is off to a hot start again this season.

In Skyline’s season opener against Sherando, Tucker scored a game high 23 points and in their most recent win against Clarke County, he totaled 22 points and 12 rebounds.

Brentsville has struggled this season but is coming off their closest game of the season, falling by two to Culpepper.

The Tigers allowed a concerning performance to freshman guard Makel Minor of James Monroe as he reached 51 points, including eight-three pointers.

Colby Wood’s three point shooting or Dwayne Tucker’s inside dominance could provide an impressive stat line by the end of tonight.

I predict Skyline to roll to a convincing win and calm the concerns of some fans in the area, 87-53.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

The Duke’s Preview: Warren County vs Skyline featuring Coach Breeden and Gilbert

The annual Warren County (1-8) and Skyline (3-6) football game has even more on the line this year with the addition of The River Rivalry Trophy which will be presented to the winner on the field following the game.

The broadcast for the Game of the Week will begin at 6:40 pm with Randy Woodward and Ryan Rutherford on The River 95.3, 1450 WFTR, streaming at theriver953.com and the Tune In Radio App.

This rivalry has fired up both teams.

Warren County has nothing to lose as they sit outside the playoff picture.

Coach Josh Breeden emphasized to his team in practice this week the importance of this rivalry and trying to get the senior class their first win over Skyline.

The Wildcats hope to have P.J. Dellinger back at quarterback as he returns from injury, but the offense will rely on the backfield of Gavin Dodson and Blaise Skube.

Skube has looked strong lately with a 37-yard touchdown last week and a kickoff return for a touchdown the week prior, despite being bogged down by an injury earlier in the season.

Dodson has been steady for the Wildcats with his best game coming against one of the toughest defenses they have faced at Sherando.

Dodson finished that outing with 15 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown.

Last week, Warren County went to a “Wildcat” formation with both Dodson and Skube in the backfield and used a zone blocking scheme for their most successful drive against Meridian.

Last year, the Hawks contained the Warren County rushing game, holding the backfield to 72 yards on 28 carries.

This year, Skyline will rely on a defense that swarms to the ball carrier led by linebackers Marques Lockhart-Wright (73 tackles) and Andre Ford (71 tackles).

Offensively, the Hawks know their identity lies with the running game led by Aidan Vaught.

Vaught recently had one of the best games in state history against Meridian where he reached 452 rushing yards on 17.4 yards per carry with five touchdown.

In general, it has been a slower season for Vaught who certainly looks to end his regular season career at Skyline with a bang.

Vaught is back at his running back position this year, but last year as quarterback, he led the team with 112 rushing yards, 129 passing yards, and two rushing touchdowns against the Wildcats.

Skyline is currently in the playoffs, but Warren County would love to play spoiler of their cross-town rivals and put the first plaque on The River Rivalry Trophy.

Both teams will pull out all the stops and we may see a few exciting trick plays along the way.

Skyline has focused on accomplishing three goals this regular season:

  • Winning Homecoming
  • Winning Senior Night
  • Beating Warren County

They accomplished the first two and now look to check one more box before the playoffs.

Skyline will have more on the line tonight fighting for their playoff birth and a more experienced roster.

I predict that combination will help the Hawks secure the victory at Warren County and earn The River Rivalry Trophy in a thrilling 28-22 win.

Press play below for my interview with Skyline Head Coach Heath Gilbert and Warren County Head Coach Josh Breeden.

For more information on The River Rivalry Trophy, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

1450 WFTR presents The River Rivalry Trophy to Skyline and Warren County High Schools

1450 WFTR proudly presents The River Rivalry Trophy.

The winner of the annual football matchup between Skyline High School and Warren County High School will receive the trophy to hoist and display for the following year.

Inspiration from the trophy came from other local rivalries like the Barr-Lindon Crimson Apple, which is awarded to the top high school football team in Winchester and Frederick County, and the Shenandoah County Championship.

1450 WFTR worked with Jean’s Jewelers to select a high quality trophy with a classic look that measures nearly three feet high and features a traditional gold cup design at the top.

Each year, the winning school will add a plate to the base with their name, final score, and year.

From when the school’s first began competing against each other in the 2007-2008 school year, the series has stayed close with Skyline currently holding an edge 12-7.

Skyline has won the last four matchups in a row by a combined score of 123-27, but all time, the series has provided some instant classics with eight games decided by one score or less.

The schools played each other twice in 2007, 2008, and 2017.

1450 WFTR coincides the inaugural trophy presentation with the station’s celebration of 75 years of serving the Front Royal and Warren County community.

The latest installation of The River Rivalry will begin Friday, November 3rd at 6:40 pm on 1450 WFTR, The River 95.3, theriver953.com, and the Tune In Radio App with Randy Woodward and Ryan Rutherford.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

The Duke’s Preview: Skyline vs Fauquier featuring Coach Heath Gilbert

Last week, the Fauquier Falcons (1-3) travelled to Front Royal and Warren County stole their first win of the season on an insane finish.

This week our High School Football Game of the Week on The River 95.3, Fox Sports Radio 1450, theriver953.com and the Tune In Radio App, will see the Falcons return to town to face the Skyline Hawks (0-4) as they continue to search for their first win.

Fauquier regularly plays Warren County, but this is the first time they have played Skyline since 2014.

Skyline has struggled out of the gates for a variety of reasons, some of which are self imposed.

The Hawks have suffered from penalties week after week including over 100 penalty yards against Millbrook and James Wood, while late penalties cost them a chance at the win Week 1 against Strasburg.

The ground game has also struggled as Aidan Vaught has been unable to find space behind the Hawks offensive line.

One of the leading rushers in the area the last few years has been to under 100 yards per game this season, a milestone that seemed a given every week last year.

Fauquier has struggled this season as well but when they saw success in their win vs Culpepper County, it came with an effective rushing attack.

Their F-1 backfield led by Aaron Lewis and Mason Hamilton, ran for 348 yards and six touchdowns.

Many of those carries came behind the blocking of their 6’5″ 275 left tackle Dillon Epperson, a future D-I athlete committed to the University of New Hampshire.

Skyline is going to come out hungry for that first win in front of their home crowd.

The Hawks have prepared to contain Fauquier’s run-heavy gameplan, featuring almost 50% buck sweeps.

I predict Skyline taking home their first win of the season behind 150 yards and 2 touchdowns from Aidan Vaught, 35-20.

Press play below for my interview with Skyline’s Head Coach Heath Gilbert.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.