Fluco girls soccer team wins region title; boys baseball falls in regions

By Duncan Nixon

The Fluco girls soccer team went into the region playoffs as the number eight seed. That, of course, means that they were not expected to sweep to victory in the tournament. However, the Kat Hinkle coached girls jelled at just the right time and posted four wins in a row to capture the Class 3 Region C title. They will now move on to play in the VHSL State Class 3 tournament. On June 14, they host Lord Botetourt High from Region D.

The Fluco girls began their title run on May 25 when they hosted Liberty High and put the Highlanders away by a 4-1 score. On May 30, the girls traveled to Waynesboro and came away with a 3-2 win over the Little Giants. The Fluco girls were then matched against the Black Knights of neighboring Charlottesville High. The Black Knights had prevailed in two regular season matchups, but many coaches say it is really hard to beat a competitive team three times. Sure enough, Charlottesville couldn’t do it. The Flucos were undeterred and on June 1, they bested Charlottesville, at Charlottesville, by a tight 1-0 score. The following evening the Flucos played for the Region title and they topped Liberty Christian 5-3.

As Hinkle has pointed out, this was a young team that will return quite a few top players. Two of only four seniors on the roster received Jefferson District recognition as Christina Valadares was a first team selection and Maggie McWilliams was a second team pick. However, a number of Hinkle’s key players will be returning. Junior Evelyn Demers was a second team selection and sophomore Abby Ford and freshmen Piper LaRochelle and Anna Amato were serious contributors to the team’s success.

A Fluco squad that draws quite a bit of local interest is the baseball team. This year the team made the Region playoffs, but they were not able to advance. They were matched in the first round against Wilson Memorial High School. Playing on their home field, Wilson jumped to an early lead with two runs in the first inning and three in the second. The Flucos were unable to generate much offense, as they only managed two hits and fell by a 7-1 score. Coach Joel Gray commented that his team was young, with only three seniors. He noted that the team “played unbelievably well at times” but also showed its inexperience on other occasions, He was pleased that the squad had a winning record in the tough Jefferson District. A highlight was a 6-0 win over a previously unbeaten Western Albemarle team.

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