LoCoSports Athletes of the Month: January 2016

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AthleteOTM

(February 8, 2016) – 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 January 2016 Athletes of the Month for basketball, gymnastics, swimming and wrestling.

The selections were made from nominations 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 locosportsnews@gmail.com.

By Joe Skinner
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Nominated by Chris Caylor

For a Broad Run High School team that graduated nine seniors after the 2014-2015 season, many picked the Spartans boys basketball team to finish at the bottom of pool this season, according to head coach John Costello. Right now, the Spartans are sitting in second place in Conference 14 and can lock up a first round bye in the Conference 14 playoffs in the last week of their season. Leading the charge for Broad Run is junior point guard Anthony Cooper

“[Cooper] is averaging 14 points a game and has limited turnovers [while]handling the basketball 95-percent of the game,” Costello said. “He is one of the top assist leaders in the conference and is shooting almost 80-percent from the foul line.”

BCEliteBannerCooper has led the Spartans to a 10-8 record as of February 7, along with a 3-2 record against Conference 14 opponents.

“Anthony has earned many accolades he receives this year because of never taking a day off the past offseason and doing all things necessary for him to be successful on the court this year,” Costello said. “He totally dedicated this year to play a very competitive AAU schedule and spent many tireless hours in the gym working on his weaknesses. Broad Run is excited to have Anthony as their point guard this year and next year.”

Photo by Kaitlyn Mason

By Spencer DuPuis
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Nominated by Anonymous

On January 9, Heritage High School senior Fletcher Davis earned his 100th career victory — a feat that not many high school wrestlers achieve — at the Strasburg Duals. During the month of January, Davis compiled a win-loss record of 15-1. His leadership is not only shown in the win column, it is also shown in his mindset for the sport in general.

“Fletcher has been a four-year captain for our team,” Heritage head coach Mike Hill said. “He leads by example in the practice room, always looking for the best possible partner to make not only himself but his partner better and has taken numerous younger teammates under his wing showing them how to prepare for matches, train and have the proper mindset. He has taken the leadership role from day one and has embraced the responsibilities that go along with that.”

The qualities in which we use for the selection process for this honor are success, hustle, work ethic, attitude and heart; Davis not only shows these qualities while competing on the mat, he also shows them in all aspects of the sport including practicing and training.

“His mindset in my opinion is what contributes most to his success as a wrestler,” Hill said. “He pushes his body to it’s limits and truly hates to see someone do something better than him; if it’s running the pacer in P.E. class, lifting weights in the offseason, running spring during conditioning or seeing who can spit the furthest. These qualities will serve him well as he moves on past high school and college and into the real world.”

By Kyle Gotimer
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Nominated by Karen Pettit

Only halfway through her junior year – Tuscarora High School junior gymnast Claire Pettit has already set school records in each gymnastics event and the all-around and hopes to continue her dominance in Conference 14 and the VHSL 5A level. On February 2, Pettit rebroke the Huskies’ all-around record for the third time this season with a score of 36.950 to finish in second place in the Conference 14 championship meet.

“Claire is always motivating and encouraging her fellow teammates to do their best,” Tuscarora head coach Emilly O’Reilly said. “She is a true leader. [She’s] the first one to get to work and the last one to leave. She does things before she is asked to do them.”

Pettit has led her team to a nearly perfect season with first place finishes in all but one meet this year. Pettit maintains a 4.4 GPA, tutors students in math, science and Spanish and is still able to attend all team events.

“What makes Claire a talented athlete is her drive and passion for gymnastics,” O’Reilly said. “She performs the exact same way that she practices and that is inspiring to all of her teammates as well as her coaches.”

Photo by Mary Beth Pittinger

By Michael Pittinger
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Nominated by Mary Beth Pittinger

As swimmers prepare for this year’s regional and state meets, one of the hottest swimmers going into the meets is Park View High School sophomore Carson Stevens. In January, Stevens broke four more Patriot swim records and qualified for the VHSL 4A West region and VHSL 4A state meets in two events.

“I’ve seen Carson turn into the swimmer he is for the last eight years. He started out with a passion for swimming, and passion paired with work ethic creates excellent athletes,” Park View head coach Amber Kerico said. “He tries to do all of the extras that most people are not willing to do – lifting, diet, recovery – and that is why he succeeds. Saying he is [only naturally]talented would really take away from everything he has done to become the swimmer he is now. He has just started tapping his potential, and I cannot wait to see what he can achieve the next two years.”

Snow Swimming Banner Sept 2015

Stevens’ hard work has allowed him to qualify for multiple regional and state swim events. In all of the events he competed in in January, he set new Park View records as of February 1:

  • 200-yard medley relay (1:43.95)
  • 200-yard freestyle (1:55.31)
  • 500-yard freestyle (5:09.22)
  • 200-yard freestyle relay (1:33.98)

Stevens has been the shining star of the rebuilding Park View swim team.  The best example of that would the region and state events he has qualified for this year: 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle relay and 100-yard breaststroke.

“Carson is the strongest swimmer Park View has because he is an awesome racer and he is well rounded.  I can put him in any race and expect him to place first,” Kerico said. “Outside of him being a great swimmer, he spent all season recruiting people to come out and swim. We had over 50+ kids come out to swim, and I even had to turn some away. He is incredibly passionate about the sport but even more so about Park View. He gives hope to a lot of kids at PV that they can achieve success as well.”

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Local student-athletes pour sweat, tears and long hours into their crafts while maintaining eligible academic standing, and it’s time for each and every one of them — no matter their school, their sport or their gender — to be showcased. LoCoSports — you’ll go crazy for our sports coverage!

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