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Basketball season has arrived and our coverage tips off tonight at 7:20 as Warren County hosts Strasburg on Fox Sports Radio 1450 and streaming at theriver953.com and the Tune In Radio App.
Strasburg is coming off a great season last year as they advanced all the way to the State Quarterfinals before falling to the Division I basketball factory, John Marshall.
The Rams have some star power returning including a favorite for Player of the Year in the Bull Run District, Walker Conrad.
The 6’7″ senior forward, was a 1st team All District and 2nd team All State selection last season after finishing with 16 ppg, 8.2 rpg, and 2.9 apg.
Another returner for the Rams is Conrad’s tight end counterpart on the gridiron, Griffin Carter.
Carter was a 2nd team All District selection last year and averaged 7.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, and 1.2 apg.
Warren County struggled last season but returns an experienced team with 11 seniors.
Marshall Barton and Raymond Dingess were two of the teams leading scorers last year and either one can light up the score sheet on any night.
Barton was a 2nd team All District selection and an extremely efficient shooter averaging 14.8 ppg shooting 40.4%.
He also shot 32.2% from outside the arc and was one of the area leaders from the free throw line shooting 71%.
Dingess averaged 7.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.2 apg, and 1.1 spg with his season high coming against Brentsville where he finished with 25 points including 11 in the first quarter.
Last year when Strasburg and Warren County faced off, the Rams took the win in both matchups.
Strasburg led basically from start to finish in both games with a combined score of 99-56.
Conrad led the way with 25 points and 15 rebounds the first go round and 17 points the second.
The first matchup also saw Warren County held scoreless for the entire second period.
Strasburg’s emphasis on defense and having the largest, most talented player on the floor in Conrad will help them secure the victory, 55-32.
Next week, we will be back at Warren County High School as the Wildcats host Luray High School with a tip off scheduled for 7:30, pregame coverage at 7:20 on Fox Sports Radio 1450 and theriver953.com.
For the sixth time in the last three years, Central (11-0) and Strasburg (8-2) meet on the gridiron; this time in the second round of the VHSL playoffs.
In their first meeting this year, Central emerged victorious and claimed the Bull Run District Championship with a 28-7 win.
That game was closer than the final score implies as Central added a few late scores.
Strasburg had numerous opportunities in that game to put points on the board where they came up short and a few defensive plays that allowed 4th down conversions.
If Strasburg can correct those mistakes, they will be able to go toe-to-toe with one of the most dominant teams in Virginia over the last two years in Class 2 football, the Central Falcons.
Central has not lost since last year’s State Championship against Graham and has looked to be on a mission to get back to Salem.
The Falcon’s dynamic running game was too much for the Rams in the last matchup which allowed star running back Tyler Forbes to reach 164 yards and Jacob Williams-Warner to reach 140 yards on two carries.
Forbes recently claimed the Central High School career rushing record in the first round matchup against Stuarts Draft when he passed Johnnie Williams with 3,308 yards.
Central’s gameplan will once again revolve around Forbes and his bruising style, but they have shown some big play capability through the air as the season has progressed.
Both team’s have been dominant in the trenches and it will basically be a Bull Run All District All Star game between both team’s lines.
The more physical team who can limit mistakes will win the game.
Strasburg has a nasty taste in their mouth after losing to Central in last year’s playoffs and in the regular season finale, but the Falcons playoff experience and home field advantage should give them the boost they need to get past the Rams in a tight one, 22-14.
Press play below for my interview with Strasburg Head Coach Mark Roller.
Tonight’s Friday Night High School Football Game of the Week features the Skyline Hawks (0-1) coming off a bye week and the James Wood Colonels (1-1) who fell to Brentsville 41-7 last week.
Even though they have only played one game, Skyline had a lot to look back on from their first game against Strasburg.
Skyline had a few chances to win but self-inflicted mistakes like unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and turnovers led to them coming up short.
Aidan Vaught already looked to be in midseason form back at his more natural running back position piling up 133 yards and two touchdowns.
Vaught had a great game against James Wood last year when he had 133 yards and a passing and rushing touchdown.
He willed Skyline to victory on their final scoring drive rushing for 61 yards.
James Wood already is off to a better start to this season than last.
James Wood had to wait until October for their first win in 2022, but this year they took down Warren County in Week 1.
The Colonels shut out Warren County in the second half and played a strong second half against an explosive Brentsville offense, limiting them to one score and forcing two turnovers.
One of the players tasked with tracking down Vaught when James Wood’s defense is on the field is Zach Smith.
The All Region selection from 2022 has already shown his impact leading James Wood with 16 tackles and and interception against Warren County.
My prediction for the game is that Skyline will be able to use the extra week of preparation coming off the bye and the frustrations of letting one slip away against Strasburg to come up with the win tonight in another close game, final score Skyline 21-James Wood 13.
Tune into the action at Fox Sports Radio 1450 WFTR, The River 95.3, and streaming on theriver953.com and the Tune In Radio App.
To hear my interview with the Skyline Hawks Head Coach Heath Gilbert, press play below.
Week 1 is finally here and our first Friday Night Lights Game of the Week features two teams with promising returning players, experienced coaches, and question marks at the game’s most significant position, quarterback.
Skyline is led by Head Coach Heath Gilbert on the sidelines and senior running back Aidan Vaught between the lines.
Coach Gilbert is switching the defense up this year to a 3-3 stack to better fit the team’s athletes.
That could hurt them against teams that like to pound the run like Strasburg does out of their classic T-formation.
All eyes will be on Vaught when Skyline’s offense is on the field.
He switched back to his more natural position of running back this season, but while playing quarterback last year, he amassed over 2,000 total yards and 17 touchdowns on his way to earning 1st Team All Region 3B All-Purpose.
Strasburg is lead by All State offensive lineman and linebacker Colby Shaw.
Shaw was one of the areas leading tacklers with 145 last season.
Head Coach Mark Roller’s Rams are coming off a strong season including a Bull Run District Championship.
The former Strasburg QB and long time head coach has to replace his son, All Region performer Ryan Roller, at QB this season.
He will look towards sophomore Brayden Hough who beat out another sophomore, Harper Sherman.
Hough was thrown into the fire during the Regional Championship loss to Central when Roller went out with an injury, but with more time to prepare, should have more control over the offense.
Skyline’s quarterback battle saw the more athletic Nick Mrad beat out the more experienced Nate Ballard.
Neither quarterback should be asked to do too much unless one of the team’s falls behind substantially as they will both look to pound the ground game.
I predict a very competitive contest between two teams who will try to keep their game plan simplified for their new QBs.
I look for Strasburg to emerge victorious tonight due to their strong run game and the way their offensive formation could exploit the weaknesses of Skyline’s 3-3 stack, 23-14.
Tune in to the action on The River 95.3, Fox Sports Radio 1450 WFTR, theriver953.com and the Tune In Radio App.
For my interview with Coach Mark Roller, play below.
Shenandoah County Public Schools students recently competed and excelled at the 97th annual Virginia FFA State Convention held at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
Shenandoah County brought home the top chapter in the state for both high school and middle school categories with Central and Signal Knob earning the honors.
Central competed against 188 chapters around the state for the competition which looks at all activities conducted by the chapter throughout the year.
The contest was divided into three areas including Growing Leaders, Building Communities, and Strengthening Agriculture.
Central won first place in the northern area for Growing Leaders.
Strasburg High School also was named a Superior Chapter with a gold rating and ranked in the top 10% of chapters in the state.
Individual State Winners will represent the Commonwealth at the National FFA Convention held November 1-4th in Indianapolis.
Some of those first place winners include Central’s Tavion Dodson in Poultry Evaluation and Strasburg’s Marketing Plan team of Kerrigan Bauserman, Hannah Fisher, and Tinleigh Rusher.
Bauserman also won first place in Agricultural Sales Proficiency.
To view SCPS press release on the results, click here.
Strasburg’s Girls Track and Field team won the state championship last week including a school record setting 4x 800 performance and Macy Smith taking home 1st place in the long jump.
Many local high school teams are looking to follow up with crucial state playoff games this week.
Sherando’s girls tennis doubles advanced to today’s state championship game after defeating Handley in a comeback.
Friday at 10 am, James Wood baseball will take on Hanover in a semifinal game that is a rematch of last year’s state championship game.
Clarke County’s boys and girls soccer teams also advanced to the state semifinals, with both games being hosted at Roanoke College on Friday.
Page County’s softball team extended their win streak to 16 games to advance to the semifinal game against Tazwell at the Botetourt Sports Complex at 10 am on Friday.
Strasburg and Skyline softball saw their strong seasons come to an end in the state quarterfinals.
Central’s girls soccer team also fell in the quarterfinals.
Strasburg’s boys soccer team advanced to the state tournament for the first time in program history before falling to Poquoson 3-2 after taking an early 2-0 lead.
Strasburg’s Mayfest is in full swing!
The action kicked off yesterday with the festival’s marquee events scheduled for today.
The fun starts with a Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast and continues at 10 am with the start of the GUI ESports event and the opening of the Kids Zone and vendor areas.
Live music will be playing all day on the Square starting with DJ Tony Knave followed by Souled Out at 7 pm.
The Duck Race starts at 2 pm at the Pavilion.
The Parade will follow at 4 pm and follow King Street between N Massanutten and Capon Street.
Some new additions for this year’s Mayfest include hot dog and cupcake eating contests as well as free shuttles to additional parking at Strasburg High School.
Late Friday afternoon Shenandoah County Public Schools announced the cancellation of the Strasburg Ram’s first game of the season.
Strasburg Rams were to open the football season against Skyline High School on Fri. Aug. 26.
The cancellation stemmed from a social media comment threatening the safety of students and fans at the game at Strasburg’s Glenn Proctor Field.
The Shenandoah County School Board did not say what type of thereat was indicated.
Shenandoah County Sheriff Tim Carter did say the threat came from a student at Strasburg High School but there was not enough or sufficient evidence to press charges.
Anyone with any additional information can contact the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office at 540-459-6100.
For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is holding a public hearing on their plans to widen I-81 near Strasburg.
The hearing is on April 20th from 4:30 to 7 pm at Strasburg High School.
Written comments can be submitted up to 10 days later to Project Manager, Pamela Bowman.
This project is part of the I-81 Corridor Improvement Program and plans to build an additional southbound lane from mile marker 295 to 299.
This will connect with the acceleration merging traffic from 66 west to 81 south.
Other improvements planned for that area include multiple bridge renovations or replacements.