This is the first of a 3-part series by Viva Loudoun looking at the 2012-13 high school sports season:
(June 30, 2013) – How good were the athletic programs in Loudoun last year?
Considered that the undefeated Briar Woods football team claimed its third straight VHSL Division 4 state championship … and the Falconscouldn’t even claim bragging rights on their own campus as that honor went to the school’s competitive cheer team which brought home its fourth straight state title.
onsider that the undefeated
And as good as the Falcons were in the fall, the Loudoun County girls volleyball team boasted a better dynasty argument as the Raiders tied a state record with their fifth AA state title in six years.
In the spring Loudoun continued its hold on AA girls soccer in the state as Woodgrove won its second straight state championship beating local rival Briar Woods in the finals at Radford. It was the third time in four years that the AA girls soccer state finals featured two Loudoun schools.
How good is girls soccer in the area? Since the AA girls soccer state tournament started in 1999, Loudoun teams have won 11 titles and made 16 state finals appearances.
It wasn’t just a banner school year again for Loudoun teams but 2012-13 was perhaps the greatest year ever for individual performances, highlighted by two local athletes being named Gatorade Players of the Year for the state of Virginia – Stone Bridge senior defensive lineman Jon Allen(Alabama recruit) for football and Woodgrove senior defender/midfielderBrittany Basinger (Penn State recruit) for girls soccer.
While it is an incredible honor to be named the best at your sport for a given year, Loudoun County Patrick Joseph left no doubt after an amazing senior season that he is the greatest prep runner in Loudoun history.
Joseph’s claim to fame included turning the fastest ever record 5K time by a Loudoun high school runner, clocking 15:11 at the Footlocker South Regional in Charlotte in the fall. He finished second in the AA state meet with a 15:40.
Just getting warmed-up, Joseph (Virginia Tech recruit) ran the fastest mile in Loudoun high school history with a 4:07.38 at the Penn Relays in the spring and he finished off his prep career by winning the 800 and 1600 AA state titles.
Joseph wasn’t alone in bagging double state titles as Briar Woods speed sophomore Brandon Polk, waiting for his turn to star on the Falcon football team, won the 100 Kaleigh Rosenburg capped her brilliant career by winning the 200IM and 100 breast at the AA state meet.
and 200 meters at the AA
state meet, and Heritage senior
Loudoun County’sSteven Graham pulled off the rare feat of winning the AA state 400 meters title for a third straight Michael Hulcher won the 126 pounds state title at a very tough AA state tournament.
year. In wrestling, Briar Woods junior
From 1970 to 2006 Loudoun schools claimed just one state football title, but in the last six years local schools have brought home six straight championships with Briar Woods on a three-year roll. The Falcons were a perfect 15-0 in 2012 and basically flattened all competition including a 52-0 win over Heritage of Lynchburg in the state finals. Briar Woods is just the second Division 4 team to claim three straight titles since divisional play was started in the state 27 years ago.
Briar Woods has found a way to improve each season, going 13-2 in 2010, 14-1 in 2011 and 15-0 last year to bring a 29-game winning streak into 2013. Junior Trace McSorley has been at quarterback for a three state titles, racking up a 42-3 record as a starter.
McSorley, who is being as actively recruited as 2012 seniors Matt Rolin (Florida) and Cam Serigne (Wake Forest), enters his senior season with nearly 7,000 yards passing and 75 touchdowns. The AA State Offensive Player of the Year has a chance to finish top five all-time in both categories in state history.
Falcon coach Charlie Pierce had his team focused as they out-scored opponents, 204-35, in the playoffs and by a whopping 627-98 overall, for an average margin of victory of 35 points. The team was honored in the offseason as part of the 8th annual MaxPreps Football Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard.
Falcon senior running back Cory Colder finished his career by averaging 161 yards in four career state playoff games including 158 and 182 yards in state title games.
Briar Woods’ only close encounter all season occurred in a non-district rivalry game as they edged AAA Broad Run, 20-15, in August. The Spartans are the last team to beat the Falcons, in the 2011 season opener.
On the AAA level, Stone Bridge coach Mickey Thompson, over 200 career wins now, took his team to the Division 5 state finals again, losing a heartbreaker to Lake Taylor, 20-14. The Bulldogs fought back from a 20-0 second half deficit in the finals and were driving into the Red Zone before a turnover in the final seconds.
It was the third time in four years that the Bulldogs fell one game shy of state title and it was Stone Bridge’s fifth state title appearance since 2005. Ryan Burns (Stanford recruit) set a Stone Bridge school record with more than 2,500 passing in the season.
Both Burns and teammate Allen were selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Stone Bridge finished 14-1 on the year and secured a Northern Region title in perhaps the wildest playoff football game ever played in Loudoun as the Bulldogs rallied from a 29-7 first half hole to beat Yorktown, 69-50. Allen’s Gatorade State Player of the Year honor made him the second straight player from Loudoun chosen with Alex Carter of Briar Woods, now at Stanford, winning it the previous season.
Loudoun County, under coach Todd Hill, had one of its best football seasons in school history with a 10-3 mark, two of the losses coming to Briar Woods, including a Region II finals defeat. The Raiders made the regional finals after avenging a regular-season loss to Leesburg neighbor Tuscarora in the regional semifinals.
Woodgrove made the playoffs for the first time in school history, falling to Loudoun County in the first round and Loudoun Valley made the Division 3 playoffs as well.
Once again the biggest crowd of the season turned out to watch Stone Bridge beat Ashburn rival Broad Run in the “Battle of the Burn”, but the biggest buzz of the season might have been on the sidelines of a Broad Run game in October as Washington Redskins rookie quarterback sensation Robert Griffin III made an appearance in support of the school’s Pink’D fundraiser for breast cancer awareness.
The season got off to a historic start as John Champe High School in Aldie, Loudoun’s 13th public high school, christened its beautiful football stadium on Aug. 24.
In girls volleyball, Loudoun County went 28-1 with the Raiders only loss to AAA power Stone Bridge in the regular season.
Led by junior Maggie Phillips (Naval Academy recruit), the AA State Player of the Year, and Taylor Huewe, the Raiders won their fifth state title in six years but only after a great comeback as County rallied from down 16-10 in the fourth set to beat Hidden Valley, 25-22, 20-25, 25-21, 15-11.
Stone Bridge, led by senior Ryan Ackermann (Rider recruit) finished 27-3, falling to Atlee in five sets in the state semifinals. It was the third straight AAA Final Four appearance for the Bulldogs.
Potomac Falls, led by Kayla Carlton who was Dulles District co-Player of the Year along with LC’s Huewe (Towson recruit) had one of its best seasons ever, falling in five sets in the regional semifinals.
Broad Run captured the Cedar Run District regular season and tournament titles.
Loudoun County will again be the AA state favorite next year with Phillips returning for her senior season and depth that included a 6-foot-3 freshman, Taylor Borup, that has already verbally committed to the University of North Carolina.
In competitive cheer, Briar Woods became just the third Loudoun program ever to capture four straight state titles, joining, the Broad Run girls soccer (2007-10) and Loudoun County girls volleyball (2007-10) programs. Broad Run, Stone Bridge, and Tuscarora all advanced to the state meet.
In golf, Loudoun Valley junior Ian Hildebrand finished runner-up at the AA state tournament with a sizzling 67 in the second round. In the Region II tournament, Dominion was runner-up with Titan Sam Stillwell shooting a 69 to take tournament low honors.
Dominion won the Dulles District regular season for the second straight year and took its first ever district tournament tile. Tuscarora was runner-up at the district meet to qualify for its first ever region meet.
Heritage senior Ryan Douglass (East Carolina recruit) outlasted Hildebrand in a marathon 7-hole playoff to win the individual district title.
John Champe golf’s team claimed the school’s milestone win in any sport, with a 190-193 win over Park View in late August.
Stone Bridge senior Matt Ashley shot 69 to win the Cheers Sports Invitational, the only golf tournament to feature all 13 Loudoun schools, and he rewrote the Bulldog record book most of the season.
In Cross Country, while Loudoun County’s Joseph was turning heads with his historic runs, the Tuscarora girls made some history with a Dulles District and Region II championships. The Huskies finished fifth at the AA state meet.
Woodgrove freshman Emma Gillies was the top runner on the girls side most of the season and was third in the Region II meet. Briar Woods’ Jackie Deffer lopped 25 seconds off her Oatlands course time from September to win the Dulles District meet in October.
The Potomac Falls boys, without any runners in the top six, used a strong pack to claim their 11th Dulles District title in 12 years.
Stone Bridge claimed its first ever Liberty District boys cross country title led by junior Brady Guertin.
Tomorrow: Winter 2012-13