With wrestling season well under way, the Flucos competed at Albemarle for the Albemarle Invitational on Jan. 5. At the event, sophomore Shawn Metcalf, junior Jariq Henson, and senior Ethan Vernatter all went undefeated in their matches. Afterward, Henson and Metcalf were selected for the All Tournament Team. One of Vernatter’s competitors, a wrestler from FUMA, forfeited before their match, to Vernatter’s dismay.
“The FUMA coach didn’t want me to wrestle the 170 [pound student] because he was worried that his 170 would lose. I didn’t realize until after the fact how close the teams’ points were. So if I had been able to compete, we would have beaten the FUMA team overall,” said Vernatter.
The Flucos will take on Louisa on Jan. 16, followed by a home invitational on Jan. 19.
ACE’s most recent competition took place on Jan. 11, where the team, led by Coach Luke Divine, travelled to Monticello. During the event, they competed against Albemarle, Orange, and Western. Originally, the team tied with Orange, but lost the tiebreaker to the opposing team. Although the team lost to Albemarle and Western, team captain Bayley Leyshon said, “We were very close to beating Western, which is a really big deal, because they are a really tough team and they almost always go on to States.” Leyshon, who has been on the team five years, said that this year’s team is doing better than last year thanks to more experienced members.
Their next meet is Jan. 16 at Powhatan, followed by a playoff match with Monticello on Jan. 23 to determine which team goes to Regionals.
The indoor track team competed on Jan. 8 at Louisa. For the 4×200 relay, sophomore Kaitlin Bower, freshman Shea Hart, freshman Olivia Farruggio, and sophomore Tallon Solga all took second, while sophomore Emily Smeds took first in the mile. Thus far, junior Amina Wilson, senior Ashlee Pieno, Hart, and Smeds have all qualified for States. With a solid season so far, especially with so many newcomers, long-time coach Rose Brogan appears to be pleased with her relatively young team. “We look forward to seeing their progression over the season, and [in] years to come,” she said. The team was scheduled to compete in the Fred Hardy Invitational on Jan. 12, as well as at a Polar Bear meet at FCHS on Jan. 15.
As for the boys’ team, this season’s standouts include senior Colby Martin (hurdles, long-jump, and relays), senior Dante Eddings (who qualified for States), and senior Christian Holland (who has made States for triple jump). According to team member Aydon Duenas, another player to watch out for is junior and fellow shot putter Eli Hartzog, who has been throwing 45 feet (well past the minimum needed to go to States).
Swim and Dive
The Fluco swim team has set may records already this season, kicking off 2019 by traveling to Fredericksburg on Jan. 4. The team had outstanding performances and both the girls’ and boys’ teams placed first. Among the top performers was Spanish exchange student Maialen Sudupe, who qualified for States in the 500 meter freestyle and set a new school record previously held by Zoe Moore with a time of 5:29:37. Sophomore Abby Fuller also qualified for States in the 100 meter butterfly and 200 meter individual medley. Coach Feda Morton is proud of the Flucos’ performances. “This was an outstanding showing of our strength and versatility as a team with a lot of personal records,” she said.
On Jan. 8 the team traveled to UVA for the Ben Hair Invitational, where the girls placed fourth and the boys placed sixth. A number of school records were broken at this meet, including Hunter Strickland in the 200 meter individual medley. Sudupe set three new records for the 500 meter freestyle, the 50 meter freestyle, and the 100 meter backstroke.
Armed with several new divers, the Fluvanna dive team traveled to Woodberry Forest on Jan. 9. All members placed, with junior Jason Dech placing fifth and qualifying for States. A new diver, Dech says he’s already improved a lot this season and is focusing on learning more complex dives and “cleaning up my dives so that I can get a few more points in competitions.”.
Seniors Kamden Shepard and Sterling Ruff also placed ninth and eleventh respectively. Sophomore Lauren Davis placed fifth, junior Logan Brophy placed seventh, sophomore Ellie Miles placed tenth, and Gracie McWilliams placed eleventh.
The varsity team traveled to Western on Jan. 4. Although they played hard, they fell short and lost 69-38. Their next game was at home against Albemarle on Jan. 7 where they lost 54-33. Coach Jason Davis said the team really needs to “work on [their] offensive execution and rebounding” if they want to win games. On Jan. 8, the Flucos traveled to Monticello. After a competitive game from both teams, Fluvanna was able to come out on top 68-53. Davis was pleased with the Flucos’ performance, saying they “played as a team and out hustled [Monticello].” This win improved their season record to 2-10.
JV made their way to Western on Jan. 4 where they lost 50-36. Their next home game was against Albemarle on Jan. 7, where the Flucos ultimately fell short and lost 47-37. Coach Jason Barnett said that the team is young and while they are strong athletes, they “need to realize that [they] also need to execute offensively and defensively to be more successful.”
On Jan. 8 the JV boys headed to Monticello where they had a dominating game against the Mustangs, winning 31-7. This win improved the JV record to 9-3 for the season. The Flucos’ next game is on Jan. 11 at Albemarle.
The varsity girls played at home against Western on Jan. 4, finishing with a difficult loss of 38-17. However, the loss did not appear to adversely affect them as they went on beat Albemarle at home on Jan. 7 by a score of 45-42. Coach Chad White said the Western loss “motivated [them] to go at it harder.”
On Jan. 8, the Lady Flucos’ went on to play Monticello, beating the Mustangs 55-41. “[Albemarle and Monticello] were big wins for us because they were district games and it put us second in the district,” said junior Nevaeh Ivory. As of Jan. 11, the Lady Flucos held a record of 7-6.
As for JV, they hosted Western on Jan. 4, but lost a close game, 31-26. Their next game was away at Albemarle where the Lady Flucos stayed focused and played hard to secure a 30-28 victory. “We struggled at first, but then we came out in the second half with great effort and we played together and stayed together as a team,” said Coach Jamie Stafford.
Monticello hosted the Flucos on Jan. 8 where Fluvanna lost 32-28. Eighth graders Aniah Webb and Abby Seal said the team had too many turnovers and needs to learn to make better passes in order to win. As of Jan. 11, the JV girls’ season record is 5-7.