As seen in the LoCoMagazine!
By Owen Gotimer
(January 17, 2015) – In Loudoun County, the fall sports season actually started on July 7, 2014 when Tuscarora High School head football coach Michael Burnett received a phone call that changed his life forever. Burnett’s best friend and assistant coach Adam Fortune had passed away at the age of 37.
During the 2014 season, the Huskies football team dedicated their season and their field to their late coach under the motto “Fortune Strong” and made him proud with a 14-1 overall record.
Tuscarora’s first loss of the season came on Dec. 13 in Charlottesville where the previously undefeated Huskies lost to back-to-back-to-back state champion L.C. Bird High School in Tuscarora’s first ever appearance in the VHSL 5A state championship game.
Throughout the season, Tuscarora saw an explosive effort from senior running back and Harvard commit Noah Reimers who climbed his way up the VHSL football record book with his 3,040 rushing yards, 49 touchdowns and 294 points.
His 3,040 rushing yards are the third* most in a single season in VHSL history. His 49 touchdowns – which includes two touchdown receptions – are the third* most in a single season in VHSL history. His 294 points are the fifth* most in a single season in VHSL history.
In his career, Reimers ran for 6,347 yards and scored 90 touchdowns: 85 rushing, 2 receiving, 3 passing.
His 6,347 career rushing yards are 19th* most in a career in VHSL history.
For his efforts, Reimers was named the Virginia State Gatorade Player of the Year.
While Reimers dominated the football scene in Loudoun County several other high schools – including three Loudoun teams playing in the VHSL 5A North Region semifinals – made late playoff runs in an effort to prove they were the state’s top team.
On Dec. 28, the Broad Run High School football team met at Fortune Field in Leesburg to face the Huskies in a VHSL 5A North Region semifinal match up as the Tuscarora ground game proved to be too much for the Spartans’ defense.
However, Broad Run reestablished itself as one of the county’s toughest contenders playing Tuscarora in their closest win of the season, 35-28, on Oct. 10.
In the second of two VHSL 5A North Region semifinals, the Stone Bridge High School football team lost a back-and-forth game to Massaponax High School in the waning minutes. The Bulldogs finished their season 10-3 maintaining a high reputation among high school football fans in Virginia.
At the VHSL 3A level, Loudoun Valley High School and John Champe High School both won playoff games.
On Nov. 14, the Knights won their first ever playoff football game in dominant fashion over Conference 28 opponent William Monroe High School before falling to VHSL 3A power James Monroe High School in the VHSL 3A East Region semifinal.
The Vikings of Loudoun Valley – who saw their varsity head coach Danny McGrath dismissed just days before the start of the season – made a deep run into the playoffs for the second straight season. Acting – now current –head coach Anthony Long led workhorse running back Andrew Cordani and the rest of the Vikings to a VHSL 3A state quarterfinal losing to James Monroe after holding an early lead in Purcellville.
Football players from across Loudoun made a name for themselves as fifteen different boys were named Virginia High School League All-State first team members:
- David Chalmers (SR) Tuscarora Defensive Lineman
- Jason Chubbuck (SR) Tuscarora Linebacker
- Jack Corso (SR) Tuscarora Offensive Lineman
- Aaron Crawford (SR) Stone Bridge Defensive Lineman
- Chuck Davis (SR) Broad Run Defensive Back
- Jordan Fisher (SR) Tuscarora Defensive Back
- Chance Frye (SR) Stone Bridge Receiver
- Antonio Jackson (SR) Loudoun County Punt Returner
- Tanner Karafa (SR) Stone Bridge Linebacker
- Will Larson (SR) Tuscarora Defensive End
- Aaron Peart (SR) Loudoun Valley Punter
- Noah Reimers (SR) Tuscarora Running Back
- Sammy Sergi (SR) Broad Run Kicker
- Andrew Vastardis (JR) Stone Bridge Offensive Lineman
- Stephen Young (SR) John Champe Linebacker
Late Tuscarora coach Adam Fortune was named Coach of the Year in the VHSL 5A group.
While the boys of fall battled on the gridiron, two Loudoun volleyball teams brought back state championship trophies to the county.
For the seventh time in eight years – and for the first time under new head coach Sherrilyn Hanna – the Loudoun County High School girls varsity volleyball team added a state title to the Raiders’ trophy case.
On Nov. 22, the Lady Raiders cruised to a 3-0 match victory over James Wood High School in the VHSL 4A state championship after taking down their Conference 21 foe Colonels in the VHSL 4A North Region championship and Conference 21 championship.
Over the last nine seasons, the Lady Raiders have compiled a 251-13 record including nine region championships, seven state championships and one state runner-up.
Loudoun County junior Taylor Borup set a school record for kills in a season with 426 kills and will have the opportunity her senior year to become the first player in VHSL history to win four state championships while in high school.
The Raiders were not the only Loudoun team to find their way to a state title.
Just hours after Loudoun County capped off their season with gold hardware, the Briar Woods High School varsity volleyball stormed back from being down two sets to none to win the VHSL 5A state championship over Princess Anne High School.
Just a week earlier, the Falcons – who finished the season 25-3 – made a nearly identical comeback to defeat Ashburn-rival Stone Bridge High School in the VHSL 5A North Region championship.
Nine Loudoun volleyball players earned VHSL all-state first team selections:
- Taylor Borup (JR) Loudoun County Outside Hitter
- Holly Carlton (JR) Potomac Falls Outside Hitter
- Jasmine Ellison (JR) Briar Woods Outside Hitter
- Amy Gottschling (SR) Stone Bridge Setter
- Josie Lucernoni (SR) Briar Woods Setter
- Emily Solis (SR) Loudoun County Libero
- Lauren Twitty (JR) Briar Woods Outside Hitter
- Hannah Vandegrift (SR) Loudoun County Setter
- Shannon Williams (SR) Stone Bridge Middle Hitter
Briar Woods head coach Marsha Hermes and Loudoun County head coach Sherrilyn Hanna were named Coaches of the Year in their respective groups.
Of the all-state volleyball list Borup (North Carolina), Carlton (North Carolina), Gottschling (James Madison), Lucernoni (Christopher Newport), Vandegrift (Temple) and Williams (South Carolina) have committed to play volleyball at the college level.
Three Loudoun cross country runners proved themselves worthy of competing on a national stage.
Loudoun Valley High School junior Drew Hunter won the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships South Regional while his senior Viking teammate Ciara Donohue and Heritage High School freshman Weini Kelati also secured FLCCC national bids.
On Nov. 14, Hunter set a new VHSL state cross country meet record (14:41) as he won the VHSL 3A state cross country title at the Great Meadow Cross Country Course in The Plains as the Viking boys took fifth in the state.
For his efforts, Hunter was named the Virginia State Gatorade Player of the Year.
On the girls side, Donohue placed second at the state meet while Kimberly Donohue placed tenth as the Lady Vikings secured a second place finish at the VHSL 3A state level.
At the VHSL 4A state championships, Kelati ran the sixth fastest time (17:38) in VHSL state meet history settling for a second place finish. Kelati’s lightning fast time did help the Pride girls to a third place team finish.
While individuals and teams succeeded at the VHSL 3A and 4A state meets, the Tuscarora High School girls cross country team shined at the VHSL 5A state cross country championships as the Husky girls took home their first ever crown at a state cross country meet on Nov. 15.
Tuscarora freshman Emma Wolcott and senior Anna Wasko teamed up for third and fifth place finishes, respectively.
Top-ten finishes at the VHSL 5A boys state meet included Stone Bridge High School junior Jackson Morton – who helped the Bulldog boys to their third place finish – and Broad Run High School senior Ethan Newland.
While Loudoun runners muddied up the Virginia greens, several Loudoun golfers took care of their greens turning in top-notch performances at the state level.
Loudoun Valley High School junior Brandon Weaver claimed the VHSL 3A state golf title at the Ivy Hill Golf Club in Forest shooting a better two-day score than any golfer at the VHSL 3A or 4A level. Weaver’s weekend helped the Vikings to a second place team finish.
Dominion High School senior Kurt Funkhouser also earned all-state honors placing fourth at the VHSL 4A state golf championships.
On Oct. 13 and 14, Tuscarora High School duo Chad Stocks (fourth place) and Thomas Truluck (ninth place) led the Huskies to a fourth place finish at the VHSL 5A state championship at Meadowbrook Country Club in Richmond.
Stone Bridge High School placed well at the VHSL 5A state competitive cheerleading meet where they finished second. The Spartans of Broad Run High School placed third at the meet while the Briar Woods High School Falcons finished in fourth.
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently in his senior year at Syracuse University. Follow LoCoSports on Twitter (@LoCoSports) for up-to-date news and scores from around Loudoun County.