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South Briefs (Jan. 7-14)

<b>All-State Eakin</b>

Jenny Eakin, a Lake Braddock graduate and a senior back on the James Madison University field hockey team, recently earned second team All-State honors from a panel of Virginia’s sports information directors. One of eight Dukes that were honored, Eakin was the cornerstone of a defense that allowed only 16 goals in 1,500 minutes this season. James Madison, which finished 18-3, also logged 11 shutouts. JMU’s eight selections were the most in the state.

<b>WSLL Registration</b>

West Springfield Little League will conduct registration for its 2009 season on two Saturdays this month, Jan. 10 and 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Washington Irving Middle School, 8100 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield. WSLL's boundaries cover parts of West Springfield, Burke and Fairfax Station with the league open to all boys and girls ages 5-12.

<b>Robinson’s Bobsin a Pirate</b>

Nearly a week before Christmas, Robinson senior Geoff Bobsin already had his most expensive present: a free education. One of the area’s top swimmers, Bobsin verbally committed to compete next season at East Carolina University on scholarship. As a junior last season, Bobsin won a Virginia AAA state championship in the 50-yard freestyle in 21.34 seconds. He also finished ninth at states in the 100 backstroke (54.21) and was on two state championship relay teams (200 and 400 free). In addition to his first team All-State honors from a season ago, Bobsin won the 50 free and 100 fly at the Concorde District championships and was a first team All-District selection.

<b>Paul VI’s Emerson Honored</b>

Paul VI baseball coach Billy Emerson was presented with the National High School Baseball Coaches Association (BCA) District II Coach of the Year award recently in Chicago. Presenting the award was former Major League manager Bob Winkles. District II includes the mid-Atlantic states of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia. Emerson was a featured speaker at the event, and he was invited to speak next year in Tucson, Ariz. and the following year in Nashville, Tenn. Emerson said he enjoyed "having an opportunity to meet and share with so many great teachers and coaches from all over the country.” Last spring, the Paul VI baseball team was ranked No. 12 in the nation, won WCAC and VISAA championships. Nine seniors from that team signed to play NCAA Division I college baseball.

<b>Spartans Return a Good One</b>

With a 60-47 win over Mills Godwin of Richmond in the finals of the Pohanka Chantilly Classic — the program’s first holiday tournament appearance in more than 15 years — the West Springfield girls basketball team marked its return to the holiday tournament basketball scene in style.

The Spartans improved to 10-1 overall, 3-0 in Patriot District play this season with a 74-18 win Tuesday night over West Potomac.

“I felt going into it that we should make it to the championship game,” West Springfield coach Bill Gibson said of the Pohanka experience. “After that, our goal was to win it, and we won it so it was all good.”

Stony Brook recruit Sam Landers, a senior guard who scored a team-high 15 points in the title game, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player while freshman guard April Robinson joined Landers on the All-Tournament squad.

The only hiccup West Springfield has faced this season came with a 56-50 loss to Good Counsel on Dec. 6. Otherwise, Gibson’s squad has won eight in a row. The Spartans will travel to Patriot District rival T.C. Williams on Friday.

<b>Harris a Helper at USC Aiken</b>

In her team’s 80-60 win over Shaw University on Friday, Jan. 2, West Springfield graduate Triahna Harris, now a sophomore point guard on the USC Aiken women’s basketball team, dished out a career-high eight assists. Harris has now recorded seven or more assists twice during the 2008-09 season, having already done so at Wingate on Dec. 3. During her senior season at West Springfield, Harris averaged eight points, three rebounds and three steals per game, earning honorable mention All-State honors. She was also a first team All-Patriot District and second team All-Northern Region pick. USC Aiken competes at the Division II level and resides in the Peach Belt Conference. The Pacers improved to 10-3 overall, 2-1 in Peach Belt play with a 72-68 win over Augusta State on Monday. Harris has started all 13 games and averages 4.8 points, 3.3 assists and 1.1 steals per contest.

<b>Fairfax, Hayfield Hold Court at Verizon</b>

With a record of 7-26 through Wednesday morning, each win for the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center has been special.

But on Saturday, Dec. 27, prior to a 104-95 defeat of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Fairfax and Hayfield teamed — squared off, really — to make a special memory of their own.

The schools’ girls basketball teams enjoyed a 3 p.m. tip before the Wizards’ game as part of the Marshall Holiday Tournament. Hayfield left with a 56-40 win, but the experience itself seemed to supersede the score.

“Just to have an opportunity to play on the floor, the kids really enjoyed it,” said Hayfield coach Richard Carlock, whose team enjoyed the experience so much it parlayed the win over Fairfax into a three-game winning streak and a tournament title.

“It was a feeling that you can’t describe,” Carlock said. “We needed it.”

With four freshman on the varsity squad, Fairfax coach Marcus Konde had to continually remind his players that a basketball game was actually about to unfold.

“Despite wins and losses, it’s all about the experience,” Konde said. “It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime deals where not everyone can say that they played at the Verizon Center.”

<b>Fairfax Adult Softball Signup</b>

Fairfax Adult Softball (FAS) is currently accepting applications for adult softball teams. Men’s, women’s, co-ed, corporate co-ed, senior’s (age 50+) and master’s (age 35+) leagues are available. Applications are accessible via the FAS home page at www.fairfaxadultsoftball.com. For further information, please call 703-815-9007 or e-mail office@fairfaxadultsoftball.com. FAS is a non-profit corporation registered in the state of Virginia which administers the largest adult softball program in the state with nearly 10,000 participants.