Central, Sherando renewing old rivalry as season kicks off

Central's Jared Rice throws a pitch last year against Stonewall Jackson in Woodstock. The two teams meet again Tuesday as the season kicks off this week. Rich Cooley/Daily file

Central's Jared Rice throws a pitch last year against Stonewall Jackson in Woodstock. The two teams meet again Tuesday as the season kicks off this week. Rich Cooley/Daily file

An old rivalry will be renewed this week as the spring sports season starts up.

Central will be playing Sherando in baseball, softball, and boys and girls tennis on Thursday. Central hosts Sherando in baseball, softball and boys tennis, while the girls tennis team will be at Sherando. The two schools used to play each other in all sports when Central was in the Northwestern District.

“I like going against (Sherando baseball coach) Pepper (Martin),” Central baseball coach Donn Foltz said. “They’re going to be one of the most fundamentally sound teams you’re going to face. They’re going to be well-coached. You’re going to have to bring you’re ‘A’ game, or you’re going to have to take a licking.”

The Falcons will face Shenandoah County rival Stonewall Jackson to start the season at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Central.

Foltz said that he has a lot of new players on this year’s squad to go with some veteran players, and he’s excited to get the season started.

“We scrimmaged Spotswood and Wilson Memorial — saw a lot of good things there. Made a list of what I think we need to work on,” Foltz said. “It’s just going to be how much do we improve. We just got to get better every day. I got a pretty good mix of young and old. So we’ll see how it meshes.”

It will be a busy week for many teams in the area as the new season kicks off. Skyline hosts Manassas Park in baseball and softball and Culpeper in boys tennis today, while the girls tennis team travels to Culpeper. Sherando will host Broadway in both baseball and softball and Central’s girls tennis team plays at Stonewall Jackson today.

Warren County has only one baseball game this week, but it will be a challenging one on the road at James Wood on Tuesday.

Warren County first-year baseball coach Michael Minch said he’s happy with what he’s seen from his team in the preseason.

“It’s been great to be able to get outside these last few weeks, really get to see the kids perform a little bit,” Minch said. “The biggest thing we’re looking at as a coaching staff is being able to compete on a daily basis. They’ve always bought in so far and we’re excited to get going and getting into competing in what I think is one of the toughest districts around.”

Strasburg opens up its baseball season on Tuesday at home against Page County. The Rams advanced to at least the Group 2A state semifinals the last two years.

Skyline will be hosting Luray in both baseball and softball on Wednesday, while Shenandoah University hosts Washington & Lee in college baseball at 3:30 p.m.

Stonewall Jackson hosts Shenandoah County rival Strasburg on Thursday in both baseball and softball. Both games are scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. Central and Skyline will also play in boys and girls soccer on a busy Thursday in the area. Central plays at Skyline in boys soccer, while Skyline is at Central in girls soccer. Both varsity games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Massanutten Military Academy will play at Randolph-Macon Academy on Friday in both baseball and softball at 4 p.m. Skyline will play Brentsville in baseball, softball and boys and girls tennis.

Sherando will host the Sherando Invitational in track and field on Saturday, with R-MA and Skyline being among the schools in the meet, which starts at 10 a.m.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com

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