(December 16, 2014) – In an effort to better recognize student-athletes in Loudoun County who exemplify the values classmates, coaches, spectators, officials, families and friends look for in teammates, the LoCoSports team has selected its November 2014 Teammates of the Month for cross country, football and volleyball.
The selections were made based on the following criteria: selflessness, hustle, work ethic, attitude, team-first mentality, spirit 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 Joe Skinner
Rock Ridge High School sophomore Flora Grainger is giving the new school an early dose of athletic success with an outstanding season as a part of the varsity Cross Country team. She joined the varsity team as a part of their inaugural season, and put in her work to solidify herself as a top runner on the team.
“Coming from an established program and not knowing who will be on the team, she came to the summer conditioning days and made contact with some of the younger and new runners,” Rock Ridge head coach Brian Schmidt said. “She was there to cheer her team on and take pictures when she was held out a meet because of a slight injury.”
Grainger’s many top finishes included a third place finish at the Conference 28 championship meet, a fifth place finish at the VHSL 3A East region championship meet and a 19:17 time that earned Grainger 11th place at the VHSL 3A state meet. Her finish at the state championships was the third fastest from a Loudoun runner at the event and fourth fastest of all sophomores. Grainger – the Phoenix’s clear-cut number one – also placed seventh at the Loudoun County Public Schools Cross Country Championships.
“Even though she was the number one runner and all-state performer, she was always thinking about the team and how to make them better and more complete. I never heard ‘I want this’ or ‘I need this,’ it was always the team needs or we should or the team wants. I didn’t assign captains this year because of not knowing the kids, and she went into a captain’s roll without even thinking about it,” Schmidt said.
By Owen Gotimer
Noah Klemm has led an industrial, offensive line at Tuscarora High School all season. The Huskies – whose primary offensive strategy is their north-to-south ground game – finished their season 14-1 after falling, 22-19, in the VHSL 5A state championship on Saturday, Dec. 13 in Charlottesville against L.C. Bird High School. Klemm – the line’s keystone center – and fellow linemen David Chalmers, Jack Corso, Adam Benalayat, Anson Brasselle and Riley Hartman have worked hard in the shadows, paving the way for Harvard-bound running back Noah Reimers.
“They’re incredible. They open up huge holes for me,” Reimers said. “They’re the guys who do the grunt work up there for me. When they’re opening up big holes and giving me alleys to run through, it makes my job easy.”
The O-Line really helped Reimers shine in November as the senior ran for 831 yards on just 94 carries – which is just under nine yards per – and 14 scores. Klemm and Co. created holes for the rest of the Huskies’ backfield as well as Tuscarora as a team ran for 1,118 yards on 148 carries and 19 touchdowns in just four games.
“Noah values his relationships with his teammates more than wins or losses. He measures success by all the right measurements and is a tremendous teammate,” Tuscarora head coach Michael Burnett said. “Noah is selfless and does whatever it takes for us to succeed. He is surrounded by some outstanding athletes who constantly receive accolades and yet that never deters him from working his hardest.”
By Emma Myers
On Nov. 22, Lauren Twitty and the Briar Woods High School volleyball team won their first ever VHSL 5A state championship. After being down two sets to zero, Twitty led the Falcons back to defeat Princess Anne High School in the next three sets including a 16-14 win in the fifth and final set of the match. Twitty’s leadership abilities are in part what allowed the Falcons to storm back and take the win.
“She’s a natural leader and the girls kind of look towards her to see how she’s reacting to a situation,” Briar Woods head coach Marsha Hermes said. “She also brings that determination. She likes to win and she wants her team to succeed.”
The Falcons ended the season with a 25-3 overall record. Twitty ended the season with 320 kills, 50 total blocks and 251 digs in 93 sets. In the final set of the state championship match Twitty got the last three kills to propel her team to the state championship victory.
“You could see it in her face that she knew she was going to win, she knew her team was going win, and she knew that they were going to do it,” Hermes said. “That’s kind of special thing when you’re facing match point and if you make a mistake, the other team’s the champion and you’re the runner up.”
For the first time ever, the Falcons won the Potomac District championship, the VHSL 5A North region championship and the VHSL 5A state championship all in the same year. As only a junior outside hitter, Twitty will look towards the 2015 season to make another run at a state title.