Keeler: Area HS teams had much to be proud of

This high school season is officially over, but there’s no question that it was a very successful one for all of the area schools.

Starting with the fall season we had lots of success. Stonewall Jackson’s golf team was the Group 2A state runner-up. They gave it a good run for the money, but came up a little short on the final day of the state finals.

In volleyball, SVCA had the best season of the local teams. The Patriots advanced to the Virginia Association of Christian Athletics state quarterfinals. SVCA also did very well in boys soccer, winning the National Association of Christian Athletics title.

In cross country this season, Strasburg placed fourth in the boys meet and fifth in the girls meet at the Group 2A state championships. Warren County’s girls also had a strong season, placing fourth in the region and qualifying for the state meet. As usual there were plenty of individuals who had outstanding seasons and performed very well at the state meet.

It was one of our best seasons in football across the board. Out of the six public schools, four of them advanced to the postseason.

Central and Sherando had the best seasons. The Falcons advanced to the regional semis, making them one of the last eight teams in the state for the second straight year. Led by a solid senior core, the Falcons went 10-3 and finished second in the Bull Run District.

The Warriors advanced all the way to the state final, losing only to West Virginia powerhouse Martinsburg in the regular season. Sherando came up short against a very good Dinwiddie team in the state final, but still had a solid 13-2 season, one of the best we’ve had in the area in a while.

The wrestling season was also a good one for the area, with a couple state champions — Strasburg’s Nic Campbell and Hunter Dean — and several state-runner-ups. Strasburg placed second in the Group 2A state meet for the second consecutive season.

In boys basketball, Strasburg led the way. The Rams advanced to the second round of regionals, falling to a powerful Bruton squad. The Rams won 18 games in athletic director Matt Hiserman’s first year as coach. Strasburg won 12 of its last 15 games before running into a very talented Bruton team in regionals. Warren County also had a very good year, losing only five games all season. Unfortunately, for the Wildcats three of them were to William Monroe. The Dragons, who won the Bull Run District, defeated the 18-5 Wildcats in the conference semis.

Central was the cream of the crop in girls basketball. The Falcons went all the way to the Group 3A state semifinals, before falling to powerhouse Spotswood. The Trailblazers went on to win another state title. The Falcons peaked at the right time and won the conference title, and finished as the regional runner-up. Warren County and Sherando also had quality seasons. The Wildcats knocked off the top two teams in the Bull Run District — Clarke County and George Mason. The Warriors had a very tough schedule, but has some impressive wins before coming up short in their conference tournament.

Area teams went out with a bang in the spring season. We had some very strong teams that gave the area plenty of reasons to be proud.

Warren County’s girls tennis team advanced to the regional semifinals. The Wildcats lost only two matches in the regular season to eventual Group 2A state champion George Mason. Warren County finished just win away from a Group 3A state berth, the best showing in school history.

Central’s boys tennis team finished the season strong as they surprised many and perhaps even themselves by qualifying for regionals with a very young team.

Central also had success in track, where the Falcons placed 10th in the boys Group 3A meet. Many of the other teams had some strong individual performances, and there’s plenty of reason to have high hopes for next year.

Stonewall Jackson advanced to the regional tournament in boys soccer. The Generals had a tough draw and lost to eventual Group 2A state finalist Riverheads in the regional quarters.

In girls soccer, SVCA led the way as the Patriots won both the VACA and NACA titles. Warren County and Sherando also put together very strong seasons, before falling in the conference tourneys.

Central had a terrific softball season, as the Falcons went 17-4, and won 15 of their last 17 games heading into regionals. The Falcons won their conference title, but fell short in 10 innings to eventual Group 3A state semifinalist Brentsville in the regional quarters.

Sherando and Strasburg put together great seasons in baseball. The Warriors, who were the defending Group AA state champs, went on a nice run to the Group 4A state semifinals. They came up short to eventual state champion Hanover, but had a lot to be proud of with a somewhat inexperienced team.

The Rams lost in the Group 2A state final to a very talented Virginia High School team, which had four Division 1 signees. Along the way the Rams set a school-record with 22 consecutive victories, and had plenty of reasons to feel good about their season.

It seems like every year the area teams continue to produce strong seasons to make this community proud. Some teams come out of nowhere, some are a little more expected, but that’s part of the fun of sports. You just never know what’s going to happen next.

Even though another season is in the books, I have no doubt next season will be another good one. One thing is for sure, if the local athletes want to top this one they will have their work cut out for them.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd