STRASBURG -- Stonewall Jackson senior Patrick Bain walked off the pitch with a strip of black tape wrapped around his injured hand. Generals senior Dylan Dawson walked back from the Strasburg bench, where the first aid kit lay, with a fresh bag of ice packaging his dislocated shoulder.
HARRISONBURG -- In 10 seconds, a smile and a laugh melted into a wail and a tear. Strasburg senior Jaclyn Ayers, beaming only seconds before tipoff, gathered her umpteenth steal of the season on George Mason's first possession of the Region B, Division 2 semifinals. Ayers shuttled toward the Strasburg basket; she launched for what should have been the kind of transition layup she's built a career out of.
SALEM -- Last weekend, a teary-eyed Colin Barnes stood alone at the edge of the mat.
He had lost the regional championship, falling for just the second time all season to Manassas Park's Issac Velasquez.
Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School was lit ablaze Friday night. Neither Strasburg nor George Mason, as far as qualifying for the Region B tournament was concerned, necessarily needed to win the Bull Run District championship game, as both teams have already guaranteed themselves No. 4 and No. 1 seeds, respectively.
FALLS CHURCH -- All the Strasburg Rams could feel was relief. Relief that they had beaten Madison County and secured a spot in today's Bull Run District girls basketball tournament final; relief that their final score of 40-25 wasn't too indicative of their rustiness on Thursday night.
MADISON -- Top-seeded Madison County had no trouble against upset-minded Strasburg in the Bull Run District boys basketball tournament on Thursday, as the Mountaineers routed the Rams 73-31 to advance to the championship.
BERRYVILLE -- The fourth-seeded Strasburg Rams continued their late season uptick, recovering from a two-point halftime deficit with a red-hot 17-2 third quarter to best fifth-seeded Manassas Park 55-34 in the Bull Run District boys basketball tournament play-in game on Wednesday.
Colin Barnes hates to lose. Ok, so what athlete doesn't? But the trick here is, after Barnes suffered his first defeat this season on Jan. 23, the Strasburg senior took that loss and used it to bring him back down to reality.
STRASBURG -- Friday, initially, was quite ordinary for Jaclyn Ayers. She had a zesty helping of macaroni and cheese for lunch, hearty hamburgers for dinner -- Ayers loves hamburgers -- and a casual warm-up prior to a home game against Clarke County, which Strasburg won 66-35. Nothing too absurd.
STRASBURG -- Bobby Rager and Daniel Reynolds are always trying to make each other better. Every day at practice, the 119- and 125-pound Strasburg wrestlers are pushing each other, hoping to help each other improve with their skill sets.
STRASBURG -- Homestanding Strasburg proved why it's the number one team in Group A girls basketball on Tuesday, systematically crushing a very respectable Manassas Park team 62-24 in Bull Run District action.
BERRYVILLE - Strasburg High School girls basketball coach Joel Morgan realizes that the only thing a No. 1 ranking in the Group A state poll gives his team this early in the season is a big bull's-eye squarely on its back.
WOODSTOCK - In a warped, twisted sort of way, the girls basketball game between Strasburg and Central on Friday night was basketball in its basest, most elemental form. It was basketball without rules. Basketball without forethought and without hindsight.
STRASBURG - Madison County can score inside and out. It can use its vast experience to wear down teams. The Mountaineers don't lose much when they go to their bench, and a reserve led them in scoring Friday night.