Central, Stonewall soccer to meet for first time since 2013

Despite the close proximity of Central and Stonewall Jackson high schools, it’s been three years since the two Shenandoah County rivals last met on the soccer field. That drought ends this week.

The Falcons’ and Generals’ soccer teams will square off at 7 p.m. Tuesday – the boys at Central and the girls at Stonewall Jackson – in the teams’ first meeting since 2013.

“Stonewall has had our number for many years,” Central boys soccer coach Ted Poor said. “We did get a win a couple years back, so I’m looking forward to playing them.

“It’s kind of nice because we get to play all three teams in the county and there’s the unofficial county title if we’re able to win both of them.”

The Falcons’ boys and girls soccer teams are each coming off season-opening wins over Skyline last Thursday. The boys topped the Hawks 4-1 as four different players scored goals, while the Falcons’ girls blanked Skyline 1-0. Tuesday’s game will be the season opener for Stonewall Jackson.

The two schools will also meet in baseball and softball on Tuesday, with both games being hosted by Stonewall Jackson at 5:30 p.m. The Generals’ baseball team (1-1), which is coming off its first win over Strasburg in recent memory, will also host Rappahannock County on Wednesday, as will the softball team.

Tuesday’s games will be the second of three straight road contests for Central’s baseball (1-1) and softball (2-0) teams this week, as the Falcons also travel to Skyline at 7 p.m. Monday and William Monroe at 7 p.m. Thursday. William Monroe handed Central softball one of its three losses last season.

Also spending the week on the road are Sherando’s baseball and softball teams, which played as the away teams in their first two games of the season last week and will continue to travel in their next three contests. The Warriors go to Martinsburg, West Virginia, Monday, to Harrisonburg for a Conference 21 West matchup Tuesday and to North Hagerstown in Maryland, on Wednesday.

“If the weather cooperates we will be the road warriors next week, or you can call us the I-81 warriors,” Sherando baseball coach Pepper Martin joked last Thursday.

Sherando’s baseball team is off to a 2-0 start after wins over Broadway and Central, and Martin said he’ll begin to experiment with a young lineup after keeping things mostly the same in the Warriors’ first two games to help them gain some confidence.

“I’m gonna give some of these other kids a chance to get in there and get some at-bats,” Martin said. “If we wanna develop them, being as young as we are, we’ve got to do that. And I’m not gonna give it to them just to give it to them, but they’ve earned it.”

Strasburg baseball is off to a rare 0-2 start and will aim to get back on track with a home game against Moorefield in West Virginia at 7 p.m. Tuesday and a 5 p.m. road game Thursday at Page County, which dealt the Rams their first loss in the opener last Wednesday. The Rams’ softball team (1-1), which picked up its first win of the season in a 14-0 win over Stonewall Jackson last Thursday, will follow the same schedule.

Skyline baseball (1-1) and softball (1-1), in addition to hosting Central on Monday, will travel to William Monroe for a pair of 6:30 p.m. Conference 28 games Tuesday, capping a challenging four-game stretch for the Hawks’ softball team to start the season.

Skyline’s softball team lost a close game to Brentsville and standout pitcher Leah Shipp last Friday, and the Hawks will face another Division 1 college-bound pitcher in Central’s Bekah Ansbro on Monday.

“We’ve gotta go in with the same focus we had here (Friday night),” Hawks softball coach John Ritter said. “We’ve gotta make (Ansbro) pitch to us and if we can do that we’ll be fine.

“William Monroe, they’re a good team. They went far in the conference last year. It’s not a conference you’re not gonna take anyone too lightly in,” Ritter added with a laugh.

Warren County’s baseball and softball teams will open their seasons with road games at James Wood at 6 p.m. Tuesday in a makeup of last week’s rainout.

Also kicking off their seasons this week are Strasburg’s boys and girls soccer teams and Sherando boys soccer. Strasburg is scheduled to play Skyline on Monday – boys at home and girls in Front Royal – in a pair of 7 p.m. matches, while Sherando’s boys (away) and girls (home) soccer teams will play Harrisonburg in conference games Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Skyline’s soccer teams will also host Page County on Tuesday, with the boys (1-1) playing at 5:30 p.m. and the girls (1-1) to follow. The Hawks swept a meeting with the Panthers last week.

Central’s soccer teams will play William Monroe on Thursday, the boys at home and the girls on the road.

In high school track, Strasburg will host a four-team meet on Wednesday at 5 p.m. that includes Central, Sherando and East Rockingham.

Shenandoah University’s baseball team will host Old Dominion Athletic Conference rival Bridgewater on Tuesday and Mount Aloysius on Thursday before traveling to Hampden-Sydney for an ODAC doubleheader Saturday.

James Madison University’s baseball team travels to Virginia on Tuesday before hosting George Mason on Wednesday and Northeastern on Friday.

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com