Hawks-Warriors clash on the diamond highlights local sports week

Sherando's second baseman Jack Duvall forces out Millbrook's Cody Wolford on a double play ball during last week's game in Stephens City. The Warriors will host Skyline in a key matchup Tuesday. Rich Cooley/Daily

Skyline High School’s baseball team is off to a hot start after winning eight of its first nine ballgames. The Hawks will get two of their toughest tests of the season in their first action after the school’s recent spring break.

Skyline, which hasn’t played a game since last Tuesday, will take on a pair of traditional powers in the Northwestern District when they travel to Sherando (Tuesday) and Millbrook (Thursday) this week.

“They’re important,” Hawks head coach Jay Barnes said of the two games, which will give Skyline one bonus point each toward the Conference 28 standings for playing schools of a higher Virginia High School League classification. “Our guys always look forward to playing them. … I think they’re excited to see how we stack up against two traditional Northwestern District teams.

“Mental preparation is a big thing, just coming off a break and being ready to play. … I feel like they’ll be good baseball games and I hope we’ll be prepared to get after it a little bit.”

Sherando (10-3) – coming off a pair of wins last week, including a victory over Millbrook – will remain in Conference 21 West play with a trip to Woodgrove today before hosting the Hawks the following night.

The only other local versus local game on the week’s docket is the season’s first matchup between Shenandoah County rivals Central and Strasburg. The Falcons, losers of two straight, will have two chances to snap that skid earlier in the week before hosting the Rams, who are also in the midst of a two-game slide.

Stonewall Jackson will try to rebound from last Thursday’s loss to Buffalo Gap with road games against Conference 44 foes Riverheads and Luray. Warren County, riding a two-game winning streak, play three times this week, including home games against Clarke County (Tuesday) and James Wood (Wednesday).

Softball

Skyline (7-2) will have a chance to avenge its two losses of the spring this week, first by hosting Sherando on Tuesday and by traveling to Brentsville on Saturday.

Central, which has lost two straight and four of five, faces a tough slate this week with games against William Monroe, Madison County and Clarke County before Friday’s home matchup with Strasburg. The Rams will try to snap their own three-game losing streak against Rappahannock County on Tuesday before taking on their rivals.

Warren County, which has won four of five after starting the year 0-3, faces a pair of tough matchups early this week against Clarke County (Tuesday) and unbeaten James Wood (Wednesday). Stonewall Jackson, still hunting its first win, travels to Riverheads and Luray for a pair of conference games.

Boys soccer

Central won its fifth match in a row with a 5-1 victory over Warren County last week, and the Falcons will aim to keep that streak rolling with games against William Monroe and Madison County before clashing with Strasburg on Friday. The Rams, who have cooled off with two straight losses after starting 3-1, host Clarke County in a key Conference 35 matchup on Monday before hosting the Falcons at the end of the week.

Sherando, now 8-1 after extending its winning streak to eight games after topping James Wood, 2-0, last week, will host Skyline on Tuesday in its only match of the week.

Warren County will try for its third win of the season with matches against Clarke County (Tuesday) and Rappahannock County (Friday). Stonewall Jackson seeks win No. 2 with Conference 44 games at Riverheads and Luray.

Girls soccer

Skyline (4-1-1) will get a chance at a marquee win this week when the Hawks host Sherando (5-3-1) – which has won three straight – on Tuesday before hosting Millbrook on Thursday.

Central and Strasburg will meet on the pitch on Friday. Prior to that meeting, Central will take on William Monroe and Madison County, while the Rams travel to Clarke today before returning home to host Rappahannock County on Tuesday.

Stonewall has won two straight and will try to improve that streak with home conference games against Riverheads and Luray on Tuesday and Friday. Winless Warren County, which tied Central, 1-1, last week, hosts Clarke County and Rappahannock County this week.

Track and field

Local track teams will return to action after getting the holiday weekend off. Skyline, Strasburg and Warren County will travel to Woodgrove for a Friday invitational. Sherando will compete in a two-day invitational at Lake Braddock on Friday and Saturday, while Central will travel to Turner Ashby for a meet on Saturday.

Tennis

The two Front Royal schools will be busy on the courts this week, as both Skyline and Warren County have three matches, including head-to-head meetings between the two Conference 28 rivals on Friday. Skyline’s boys and girls open the week with matches against Sherando on Tuesday and Millbrook on Thursday. Warren County’s tennis teams play Culpeper County in conference action Tuesday and George Mason Wednesday.

Stonewall’s girls travel to Stuarts Draft (Tuesday) and host Wilson Memorial (Thursday), while Central’s boys and girls will play conference matches with Mason and Clarke.

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

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