(December 6, 2014) – In an effort to better recognize student-athletes in Loudoun County who positively affect high school athletics in the area, the LoCoSports team has selected its November 2014 Athletes of the Month for cross country, football and volleyball.
The selections were made based on the following criteria: success, hustle, work ethic, attitude and heart.
If you wish to nominate a student-athlete for athlete or teammate of the month, please reach out through our contact form or email us at [email protected]
By Kyle Gotimer
In November, Loudoun County High School junior Taylor Borup led the Raiders volleyball team to a VHSL 4A North region title and then through the state playoffs to a VHSL 4A state title, the Raiders seventh state championship in the last eight years. Borup led the Raiders to an 8-0 record in November by winning 24 of 28 sets and adding the region title and state title to the Loudoun County trophy case.
“Taylor, obviously, is a very talented volleyball player and is our most productive attacker. She was also a six-rotation player for County this year and was second only to our libero in serve receive percentage,” Loudoun County head coach Sherrilyn Hanna said. “Taylor was a stabilizing force on the court for our team all season, particularly in the tougher matches. She is a great teammate and was an inspiration to the team throughout our postseason run.”
With 426 kills, Borup set a new Loudoun County single season record. The 6-foot-3 outside hitter also finished the season with 150 service points, 233 digs and 49 blocks.
“Taylor takes the advantages she has in height and strength and maximizes those attributes with a drive to excel. She simply wants to be the best,” Hanna said.
Only a junior, Borup has already made a verbal commitment to continue her volleyball career at the University of North Carolina – whose volleyball team is currently No. 7 in the nation – beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year. But before leaving for her journey to Chapel Hill, Borup will get one more chance to add state hardware to the Raiders’ already impressive trophy case.
By Kyle Gotimer
In November, Heritage High School freshman Weini Kelati led the Pride girls cross country team to a bronze as she placed second in the girls 5,000-meter run at the VHSL 4A state meet with a time of 17:38. Although she placed second, with her 17:38 finish, Kelati set a record for the fastest time run by a freshman and the sixth fastest time ever run at a Virginia State meet.
“I was always told ‘a rising tide raises all ships,’ that has most certainly been true with Weini. While we had a very good team already when she came in, her addition showed the girls that we could accomplish more,” Heritage head coach Doug Gilbert said. “Between her and Georgie Mackenzie, our girls really have amazing leadership up front. Weini works hard and does all the little things that a good runner must do for success. Combined with the hard work that our kids did in the preseason and the addition of Weini, it made for an amazing season.”
Kelati fell into stride early in the season when she won the Loudoun County Public Schools Cross Country Championships by over a full minute on Oct. 1 in Purcellville and the Conference 21 championship meet with a time of 17:55.6 on Oct. 29 in Winchester. She continued on that pace moving on to place second in the VHSL 4A North region meet on Nov. 6 and VHSL 4A state meet on Nov. 15, losing both races to state-record holder Libby Davidson.
On Nov. 29 in Charlotte, N.C., Kelati placed fifth in the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships South Regional with a time of 17:04 earning herself a spot in the FLCCC National Finals on Saturday, Dec. 13 in San Diego, Calif.
After moving to Leesburg from Eritrea, Africa, Kelati still has one year of eligibility left and has set the bar high for herself after an excellent freshman year.
“Weini works very hard on all that she does. She is focused and expects nothing but winning from her running. She doesn’t have any problems putting in the work that it takes to be good,” Gilbert said.
By Owen Gotimer
In the month of November, Loudoun Valley High School senior quarterback Sully Warner threw for 615 yards on 44-for-77 passing including eight passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. Warner threw for a season high four touchdown passes against York High School on Saturday, Nov. 22 in Loudoun Valley’s, 37-13, win in the VHSL 3A East region quarterfinals.
While Warner’s numbers are not off the charts, it is vital to recognize that he hands off most of his snaps to senior running back Andrew Cordani who the Vikings targeted – by run or pass – on nearly 42-percent of their offensive plays this season.
The senior quarterback led the Vikings to a 2-2 record in November including a return to the VHSL 3A East region semifinals for the second straight year.
Warner completed his senior campaign with 21 passing touchdowns and just one interception.
“Sully is like a coach on the field. He studies the defense, believes the game plan and is able to make adjustments,” Loudoun Valley acting head coach Anthony Long said. “He has broken records at Valley and is the best quarterback this school has seen in my opinion. He not only has a great arm and mind for quarterback, but is willing to do whatever it takes to win, even if that means only throwing three passes. Loudoun Valley will miss him, but kids that played with him will carry on a lot of the things he did. He is just a flat out winner.”