Shenandoah County track meet kicks off local sports week

Central High School’s boys track and field team has won at least a share of the last three Shenandoah County meet titles, and the Falcons appear well-equipped to defend that streak on this  evening.

Central, which has received tough competition from rival Strasburg in the county meet’s boys competition over the last few years – the two schools tied for the title in 2014 – has already bested the Rams twice in meets this season. The Falcons will try to make it three in a row on Strasburg’s home track when the county meet – which also features Stonewall Jackson and Massanutten Military Academy – kicks off the area’s local sports week at 5 p.m. today.

“The boys are quietly confident and optimistic about the possibilities for this meet,” Falcons coach Rick Lytton said. “They know they have to work for what they get and not just show up.

“I would like to see good performances from the kids. This is the first of the season-ending meets and we need to be getting to peak performance.”

Stonewall Jackson won the team championship in the girls competition last year, Lytton said.

Strasburg first-year coach Emily Brandon said the Rams lack depth in both the boys and girls teams and will need to rely on strong performances from their top individuals in order to stay competitive in the team scoring.

“We are looking for a few individual stand outs at the county meet,” Brandon said. “Elijah Waters, Rachel Funkhouser, Grace Davis, and Ryan Davis all have a great chance of putting up some big points on Monday.”

Today has turned into a busy day for local sports teams after poor weather late last week forced several postponements.

Skyline baseball will host Millbrook today, and Strasburg will host George Mason in both baseball and softball. Warren County baseball and softball will travel to William Monroe.

For Warren County’s baseball team, today’s game marks the first of two important rematches, as the Wildcats will also travel to Strasburg on Tuesday. William Monroe and Strasburg handed Warren County its only baseball losses of the season in a pair of blowouts earlier this spring.

“We just hope obviously they are different outcomes but as a coaching staff we just really want to see our guys compete at every aspect of the game, play with a lot of energy, and just continue to play Wildcat baseball,” Warren County coach Michael Minch said. “Our guys know last time around what happened, they know in order to beat quality teams we have to make plays, and just compete in the box, on the mound, limit mistakes and play good baseball.”

Skyline’s tennis teams will play Conference 28 matchups against Culpeper County today.

Strasburg will travel to Warren County in softball and girls soccer on Tuesday, while the two schools will compete in boys soccer in Strasburg on Wednesday.

Tuesday also features the local vs. local matchup of Sherando and Skyline in baseball, softball, soccer and tennis, while Stonewall Jackson will host Wilson Memorial in baseball, softball and boys soccer, while the Generals’ girls soccer team hits the road.

Central faces some key Bull Run District/Conference 35 matchups in all sports on Tuesday against Clarke County. The Falcons’ boys soccer team (9-2) topped the Eagles 2-0 earlier this year, while Central’s girls soccer team lost a narrow 2-1 contest. Clarke County’s softball team is responsible for one of the Falcons’ two losses this spring.

On Thursday, Sherando plays Northwestern District/Conference 21 West rival Millbrook in baseball, softball, soccer and tennis, Skyline takes on Handley in all sports, Central travels to Mason in boys tennis and Stonewall Jackson’s baseball team hosts Luray while the girls soccer team hosts East Rockingham and the girls tennis team hosts Buffalo Gap.

Friday features another full slate of games, highlighted by the Stonewall Jackson Invitational track and field meet, set to begin at 5 p.m., that includes Central and Randolph-Macon Academy. Sherando and Skyline will compete in the Millbrook Invitational also held Friday.

Central takes on George Mason in all sports to close out the week, while Stonewall Jackson plays East Rockingham in baseball, softball and boys soccer; Strasburg plays William Monroe in all sports; and Warren County takes on Madison County in baseball, softball and soccer.

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