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Mark Smoot seemed to have every reason to strut off the field on Friday night.
BERRYVILLE -- The Clarke County High School football team broke new ground in the program's history last season, advancing further into the postseason than any previous Eagles squad before eventually falling in the Group 2A state quarterfinals.
BERRYVILLE -- Sean McDonald is eager to take on a heavier load for Clarke County High School's football team this season.
STEPHENS CITY -- A spot in the state championship game tends to have an immediate and lasting impact on a football program.
STEPHENS CITY -- LeeQuan Johnson Jr., knew the score.
WOODSTOCK -- The coaching never stops for Chris Gilliland.
WOODSTOCK -- Massanutten Military Academy's Joshua Holt isn't one to take his responsibilities lightly, especially not this season.
FRONT ROYAL -- You can't help but feel the Randolph-Macon Academy Yellow Jackets got a bit short-changed last season, through no fault of their own.
FRONT ROYAL -- Randolph-Macon Academy's football team has traditionally been a group capable of racking up frequent flyer miles, and this year's squad is no different.
FRONT ROYAL --When the Patriot Conference formed three years ago to band together a regional group of in-state football-playing private schools, the new league looked like a good bet to last.
Sherando High School's Patrick Minteer and Christian Farris already share a tangible bond on the football field.
With apologies to the Hokies, the eyes of the state's college football fans should be looking toward Charlottesville this weekend.
QUICKSBURG -- There's a reason Strasburg High School senior Hannah Keane is captain of this year's volleyball squad.
WOODSTOCK -- It's another year, another new starting quarterback for Massanutten Military Academy's football team.
NEW MARKET -- Trace Wilkens can get restless, and that's been a good thing for Shenandoah Valley Academy's boys soccer team.
Well, that wasn't pretty.
QUICKSBURG -- Brandy Webb just needed a little bit of time to warm up for the cross country season last year.
FRONT ROYAL -- Brett Loy usually gets off to a good start on the golf course, a trait that served the Sherando High School sophomore well in Tuesday's Northwestern District mini-tournament at Shenandoah Valley Golf Course.
It's been a strange summer for Washington Redskins fans.
WINCHESTER -- The summer is nearly over, but Tag Grove wants to give area residents one last chance to make a splash before the cooler temperatures set in.
FRONT ROYAL -- The Sherando High School golf team had every reason to feel good about Wednesday's performance in the 13th Annual Curly Licklider Memorial tournament at Shenandoah Valley Golf Course.
This promised to be a huge summer for Shenandoah University's Tyler Hott.
It wasn't exactly a surprise when Ross Metheny answered his cell phone last month and heard the familiar voice of South Alabama head football coach Joey Jones.
It's another season in the books for the area's Valley Baseball League franchises.
WINCHESTER -- Shenandoah University men's soccer coach Corbin Sutton announced his 2014 recruiting class Tuesday morning.
This should be an incredibly interesting week for the Beltway's baseball fans.
The Valley Baseball League playoffs are just less than a week away, and all indications are that it will be a mad dash to the end of the regular season.
So this is what it feels like to be a player in the off-season free-agent market.
As Major League Baseball plods toward its approximation of the regular-season's halfway point, the All-Star break, it seems as good a time as any to dream if you're a D.C.-area sports fan.
Ashton Davis spent Thursday familiarizing herself with Radford University's campus as part of her incoming freshman orientation.
You can bet there have been a few nicknames floated out there for the longtime partnership between Stonewall Jackson High School track and field coaches Dick Krol and Debbie Ritchie.
The ending might not fit the story, not in Justin Bauserman's case, but the recent Central High School graduate wouldn't trade his experience this past season.
It didn't take Rick Lytton long to do a head count of his Central High School boys track and field team in Harrisonburg for the Group 3A state meet.
FIRST TEAM • Justin Bauserman, Central, Hurdles Senior was a two-time Group 3A all-state honoree by finishing fourth in 300...
Tony Gwynn's legacy as one of Major League Baseball's all-time finest pure hitters is secure.
Manny Machado got a bushel full of teachable moments this week.
You have to wonder if we are experiencing Tony Bennett's greatest hits right here and now.
Ted Leonsis must feel a little silly.
WINCHESTER -- The excitement has been building in Winchester since last year's announcement that the city will once again host the Cal Ripken 10-Year-Old World Series.
STEPHENS CITY -- Sherando's Seth Wade hadn't seen an opponent as collectively quick as Park View.
Horse racing fans can collectively breathe easy -- California Chrome will indeed make a bid to complete the Triple Crown.
Trivia time -- can you name the winner of the 2013 Preakness Stakes?
Have you noticed the trend?
Sometimes in sports, you wonder what ever happened to the high road.
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- The cleaning crew at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and Slots got a workout Saturday night.
The fight is on between Virginia's lone thoroughbred racing track and the horsemen who've supplied the racing stock at the turf track in New Kent.
The Washington Wizards took a huge step this past week by locking up the franchise's first NBA playoff appearance since 2008.
I'm considering a care package for Bryce Harper.
Did you hear the great news?
The hype machine kicked into overdrive on Sunday, when top-seeded Virginia dumped traditional powerhouse Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball tournament championship game.
Has the Washington Capitals' savior at last arrived from the frozen steppes of Mother Russia?
This one is going to sting for awhile.
Is there any kind of luck besides bad for the Washington Wizards? I wonder sometimes, I really do.
Is it spring yet?
I should probably just file this column away for periodic use, since I seem to write something along these lines every year.
I can't say I'm brimming with excitement about the impending start to the Winter Olympics -- never have been, probably never will be.
This is invariably the time of year when I'm easily distracted by anything not frozen or icicle encrusted -- frankly, I get plenty of that without looking for it living in this part of the world at this particular time of year.
Did you see the Virginia game the other night? The one where the Cavaliers beat an honest-to-goodness "name" program in men's basketball?
I felt my Baltimore Orioles sympathies bubble to the surface this week.
Typical Washington Redskins move -- hire another "name" coach to try to turn around the floundering franchise.
Finally, the Baltimore Orioles have started grabbing a few headlines -- with some help from the hated New York Yankees.
Interesting news out of Ashburn this week, where the Washington Redskins brain trust continues to hole up and await better days.
Jay Jacobs is stumping hard, for all the good it'll do.
Right about now might be a good time to start planning a trip to Shenandoah University's Shingleton Gymnasium to catch a men's basketball game.
Feeling a bit indecisive about today's topic, so why fight it? Let's make this column a two-parter.
I don't keep a panic button handy anywhere near my desk, and Thursday night was a prime example why.
Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin have this much in common, at least -- neither of the hulking offensive linemen will likely be suiting up for the Miami Dolphins in next Monday night's NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Last week, I got a good chuckle reading an online article about the World Series matchup between the Boston Red Sox and and St. Louis Cardinals. The premise was that this particular series matchup was the most annoying possible to the majority of baseball fans (not pulling for the Sawks or Cards, naturally), complete with a formula for just why that must be so. I laughed, but I agreed -- I did find this particular matchup of two baseball blue bloods tended to get under my skin.
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- I'm not in the habit of rooting when I'm out covering an event.
I admit it -- I have "expectations" heading into this NBA season.
STEPHENS CITY -- Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy boys soccer coach Dustin Wheelock knew his squad was facing a tough test when the Patriots hosted Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) on Tuesday afternoon.
The NHL is off and ... skating ... did you know that?
The Virginia High School League released the initial football playoff ratings this week, and were the season to end today it would indeed be another banner year for high school football.
Tough weekend for Beltway baseball fans, no question.
Forgive the pun, but there was indeed a considerable buzz surrounding the Shenandoah Hornets for their season-opening football game against Gallaudet on Saturday night at Shentel Stadium.