Sports highlights of 2018

By Duncan Nixon, Correspondent

2018 was an excellent year in sports, with a host of highlights.

The Flying Flucos of Fluvanna County High stepped up with some big team and individual performances. The University of Virginia rowing team returned to the Lake. The Faulconer Invitational golf tournament was a success and the Lake Monticello Golf Course hosted multiple events.

The biggest Fluvanna sports story of the year was undeniably the success of the Fluco football team. After a host of very lean years in football, first year Coach Mike Morris took the Flucos to a winning season and a berth in the playoffs. Early in the season, the Flucos proved that things would be different this year, as the team scored 50 points in the second half against Madison County to win 57-35. Five wins in a row guaranteed a winning season. First team All-District honors went to three Flucos: Walt Stribling at offensive line, Malachi Hill at linebacker and Prophett Harris at defensive back. Morris was co-coach of the year in the Jefferson District.

In the Flucos’ 2018 winter sports season the girls’ indoor track and field team led the way with a host of All-State performances. Amina Wilson was All-State in pole vault with a second place finish, while Ashley Pieno was also All-State, finishing third. Kristen Cabrera was All-State in the 100 meter. Saige Haney and Emily Smeds were both All-State in the 1,600 meter and the 3,200 meter. The 4X800 meter relay team was All-State with a third place finish. The girls’ team was sixth at the State meet. For the boys, Jack Rice was all-State in the 1,600 meter.

The girls’ basketball team went to the Jefferson District semifinals and the Region 3C quarter finals. Nevaeh Ivory was first team All-Jefferson District and Kyia Scott was second team. For the boys, Al Gregory was first team all-Jefferson District. The girls’ swim and dive team finished fifth in the region. The wrestling team sent Tyler Haynes and Mason Justus to the State meet.

In March, the Fluco speech team won the 3C Region tournament for the seventh year in a row. It then won the Super Region competition, and went to the State contest.

In April, the University of Virginia (U.Va.) women’s rowing team returned to Lake Monticello, hosting the women rowers from Princeton. Former Fluco volleyball and softball standout Sophie Kershner was rowing for U.Va.

In May, the Falconer golf tournament was held over a soggy Lake Monticello course. The rain, which seemed to never stop in 2018, caused the cancellation of the first day’s play. However, the results in the one-day tournament that ensued could not have been closer. Two veteran players, Jeff Toms and Bob Rotella, were tied at the end of 18 holes. Rotella won the resulting playoff with a par on the first playoff hole. In other competitions within the Faulconer, there were also a number of ties that had to be resolved by playoffs or matching of score cards.

In June, the highlight of the month was the Fluco spring sports banquet. Baseball Coach Joel Gray reported on his team’s very successful season, which was still in progress. The Flucos made it to the State tournament semifinal with a young team that could be back to the State tourney in 2019. All-Region first team selections for the Flucos were Andrew Ward as an outfielder and designated hitter, and Jacob Critzer as a utility player.

Outdoor track and field also had a strong spring season. Steve Szarmach’s boys’ team finished a solid third at the Region match and sent a number of athletes to the State event. Three Fluco boys went to the State meet in field events: Christian Holland in the triple jump, Eli Hartzog in discus and Ethan Yancy in pole vault. The 4X100 relay team also made the State meet.

On the girls’ side Wilson and Pieno were again All-State in pole vault, and Smeds was again All-State in the 3,200 meter and was Region champion in the event.

Also in June, the Lake golf course held its annual men’s member-guest tournament and it came off without a hitch. Players competed in five flights, with winners from each flight competing for the overall championship. The team of Kyle and Donald Gravitt took home the winners’ trophy.

In addition to the football team’s exploits, the fall sports season featured some top performances in cross country. Coach Rose Brogan announced at the fall banquet that her squad had a very successful season, and that Smeds was All-State and All-Central Virginia. In volleyball, Christina Walker was first team All-Region and she also signed to play next year at the Division I level at George Mason University. Amina Wilson was recognized as first team All-Region in competition cheer.
In November, the Gray Foxes golf organization at Lake Monticello’s golf course held its annual banquet and announced a number of awards. A new competition was the year-long Masters.

So far this season, the swim and dive teams and the indoor track and field teams have been performing very well.

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