Getting to Know Area High Schools’ Sports

Robinson Secondary: Boys’ soccer team won Northern Region title in 2012.


The Robinson boys’ basketball team won a Concorde District championship in 2012.

School: James W. Robinson Secondary School.

Mascot: Rams.

School Colors: Blue and gold.

Athletic Director: Jeff Ferrell, 703-426-2126.

Football Coach: Trey Taylor (second year).

The Rams qualified for the 2011 playoffs despite a 1-5 start and a 4-6 regular season record. They lost to top-seed Westfield in the first round. Taylor enters his second season with Robinson after coming over from Woodson to replace long-time head coach Mark Bendorf.

Volleyball Coach: Jill Pearson.

Boys’ Basketball Coach: Brian Nelson.

Girls’ Basketball Coach: T.J. Dade.

Wrestling Coach: Bryan Hazard.

Baseball Coach: John James.

Boys’ Soccer Coach: Robert Garza.

Rival School: Lake Braddock.

*What Happened Last Year: The wrestling team finished state runner-up. The boys’ basketball team won a Concorde District championship. The boys’ soccer team won a Northern Region championship. The baseball team won a district title. The girls’ soccer team finished district runner-up and advanced to the region quarterfinals.

*Famous Graduates: Rob Muzzio (1982 graduate) won back-to-back NCAA decathlon titles at George Mason University in 1984-85. He finished fifth in the decathlon for the United States at the 1992 Olympic Games. He is now an assistant coach for the Robinson track and field team. Chris Warren (1985) played running back at Division III Ferrum College before being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round of the 1990 NFL Draft. He played 11 seasons in the NFL with the Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, finishing with 7,696 yards, 52 touchdowns and four 1,000-yard seasons on the ground, and more than 12,000 all-purpose yards. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection. Shawn Camp (1994) is a relief pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. Javier Lopez (1995) is a relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants.

*Quotable: "His first two years he had a losing record. His father took him all over the country. He traveled and trained six to seven days a week for the last two-and-a-half years and it paid off. He made good decisions socially; he did all the right things that you ask of a kid. He is the poster child for what hard work can do because he has put in more work than any kid you will ever see in the state." —Robinson wrestling coach Bryan Hazard about 2012 138-pound state champion Santiago Valdez.

Lake Braddock Secondary: Baseball program won its first state title in 2012.


Thomas Rogers and the Lake Braddock baseball team won a state championship in 2012.

School: Lake Braddock Secondary School.

Mascot: Bruins.

School Colors: Purple and gold.

Athletic Director: Mark Martino, 703-426-1001.

Football Coach: Jim Poythress (ninth season).

Coming off back-to-back Northern Region titles, the Bruins finished the 2011 regular season with a 6-4 record, qualifying for the postseason while sharing the Patriot District title with South County and West Potomac. Lake Braddock defeated Oakton in the regional quarterfinals before falling to eventual state runner-up Centreville in the semifinals.

Volleyball Coach: Aubrey Eaton.

Field Hockey Coach: Amy Worrest.

Cross Country Coach: Michael Mangan.

Boys’ Basketball Coach: Brian Metress.

Girls’ Basketball Coach: Leigh Janis.

Baseball Coach: Jody Rutherford.

Boys’ Soccer Coach: Joe Soos.

Girls’ Soccer Coach: Adam Soos.

Rival School: Robinson.

*What Happened Last Year: The field hockey team won a Patriot District championship and advanced to the Northern Region semifinals. The volleyball team finished district runner-up. The boys’ cross country team won a district title and the girls’ team finished third. Sophie Chase won an individual girls’ cross country state championship. The girls’ gymnastics team won a district title. The baseball team won district and state championships. The girls’ soccer team won a district championship. The boys’ soccer team finished district and region runner-up. The girls’ lacrosse team finished district runner-up. The softball team was district runner-up.

*Historic Achievements: The boys’ soccer program won state titles in 1982, 1983, 1988, 1989 and 1995. The girls’ soccer program won state championships in 1987, 1989, 2003, 2006 and 2007. The baseball program won its first state title in 2012.

*Famous Graduates: Mia Hamm (1989 graduate) is considered one of the greatest women’s soccer players of all time. She led the University of North Carolina to four national championships. She won Olympic gold medals with Team U.S.A. in 1996 and 2004, won World Cup titles in 1991 and 1999, and was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002. Hubert Davis (1988) played basketball at the University of North Carolina and was selected by the New York Knicks in the first round of the 1992 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-5 guard also played for the Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks, Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons and New Jersey Nets during his 12-year career. He led the NBA in three-point shooting during the 1999-2000 season, shooting 49.1 percent as a member of the Mavericks.

*Quotable: "He was on today. In his past two or three starts, including this one—I’ve been playing with him since Little League—that’s the best I’ve ever seen him pit—Lake Braddock catcher Garett Driscoll about pitcher Thomas Rogers, who threw a four-hit shutout in the state championship game.

West Springfield High: Girls’ basketball program reached state playoffs last three seasons.


The West Springfield baseball team won a Northern Region title in 2012.

School: West Springfield High School.

Mascot: Spartans.

School Colors: Blue and orange.

Athletic Director: Andy Muir, 703-913-3861.

Football Coach: J.T. Biddison (fourth season).

The Spartans won their first two games and started 4-2, but closed the 2011 season with four straight losses to finish 4-6.

Volleyball Coach: Stephanie Noriega.

Boys’ Basketball Coach: Jason Eldredge.

Girls’ Basketball Coach: Bill Gibson.

Baseball Coach: Jason Olms.

*What Happened Last Year: The girls’ basketball team won a Patriot District championship and finished Northern Region runner-up. The baseball team won a region championship.

*Historic Achievements: The baseball program has won three state championships, the last coming in 2010. The girls’ basketball program won the district championship and reached the state playoffs each of the last three seasons.

*Famous Graduates: Bryn Renner (2009 graduate) was a highly-touted prep quarterback who is now the starting signal caller for the University of North Carolina. Kara Lawson (1999) was a star guard on the Spartans girls’ basketball team before playing for the University of Tennessee and the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs and Connecticut Sun. Lawson was a first-round selection (No. 5) of the Detroit Shock in 2003, but was traded to the Monarchs. She was part of Sacramento’s 2005 championship team. Pitcher Joe Saunders (1999) led the Spartans to the 1998 state title and went on to pitch at Virginia Tech, where he compiled a 27-7 record. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected the left-hander in the first round (No. 12 overall) of the 2002 MLB draft. He now pitches for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

*Quotable: "Every elimination game, they played their best baseball. You can’t ask for more than that from a team. They just love being in these situations. They play loose and they have a good time. They all love each other and that’s what it takes to win games like this against a great team." —West Springfield baseball coach Jason Olms after the Spartans defeated Lake Braddock to win the 2012 region title.

South County Secondary: Football team finished state runner-up in 2011.


Whitney Burks in 2012 helped the South County softball team win the program’s sixth consecutive Patriot District title.

School: South County Secondary School.

Mascot: Stallions.

School Colors: Navy blue, forest green and silver.

Athletic Director: Mike Pflugrath, 703-446-1675.

Football Coach: Gerry Pannoni (second season).

The Stallions started 0-3 in 2011, losing to Hayfield, Oakton and West Potomac. But led by a stout defense, South County rebounded with 11 consecutive victories and a trip to the Division 5 state championship game. The Stallions finished state runner-up, along with securing a Northern Region championship and a share of the Patriot District title.

Volleyball Coach: Trista Barnhart.

Field Hockey Coach: Leah Conte.

Boys’ Basketball Coach: Wendell Johnson.

Girls’ Basketball Coach: Noel Klippenstein.

Baseball Coach: Mark Luther.

Softball Coach: Gary Dillow.

Rival School: Hayfield.

*What Happened Last Year: The field hockey team won a Northern Region championship and reached the state semifinals. The boys’ basketball team finished Patriot District runner-up. The boys’ lacrosse team was district runner-up. The softball program won its sixth consecutive district championship and advanced to the region semifinals.

Quotable: "I feel like a champion. We worked so hard to get here since our sophomore year—everybody worked hard." —South County’s Devin Vandyke after the Stallions defeated Yorktown to win the 2011 Division 5 Northern Region football title.

Fairfax High: Field hockey program has won three consecutive district titles.


Austin Perryman (4), Anthony Bowen (25) and the Fairfax football team made the Division 6 playoffs in 2011.

School: Fairfax High School.

Mascot: Rebels.

School Colors: Blue and gold.

Athletic Director: Nancy Melnick, 703-219-2201.

Football Coach: Kevin Simonds (third year).

The Rebels won six of their first seven games in 2011 and qualified for the Division 6 playoffs with a 6-4 record. Fairfax lost to No. 2 seed Centreville in the regional quarterfinals.

Volleyball Coach: Tyler Freiheit.

Boys’ Basketball Coach: Mike Barbee.

Girls’ Basketball Coach: Marcus Konde.

Wrestling Coach: Craig Franklin.

Baseball Coach: Richard Freeman.

*What Happened Last Year: The field hockey team won its third consecutive Liberty District championship. The boys’ basketball team finished district runner-up and advanced to the Northern Region semifinals.

*Famous Graduates: Bill Pulsipher (1991 graduate), a left-handed pitcher, was selected in the second round of the 1991 MLB Draft by the New York Mets. He was part of a promising young Mets pitching trio known as "Generation K," which included Jason Isringhausen and Paul Wilson. Isringhausen found success as a closer, but each pitcher’s career was affected by injuries. Owen Schmitt (2003) is a fullback for the Oakland Raiders. He played collegiately at West Virginia University and was a fifth-round selection of the Seattle Seahawks in the 2008 NFL Draft. He also played for the Philadelphia Eagles. "Good Morning America" weather Anchor Sam Champion (1979) attended Fairfax High School.

*Quotable: "We have the mentality and the attitude of we are not the Fairfax of 2006, 2007, 2008. We are a different team, and we are one that needs to be reckoned with." —Fairfax football coach Kevin Simonds after the Rebels beat Washington-Lee early in the 2011 season.

W.T. Woodson High: Boys’, girls’ lacrosse teams win districts in 2012.


Grace Finnerty helped the Woodson girls’ lacrosse team win a Patriot District championship in 2012.

School: W.T. Woodson High School.

Mascot: Cavaliers.

School Colors: Navy blue and white.

Athletic Director: Dan Checkosky, 703-503-4681.

Football Coach: Joe Dishun (second year).

The Cavaliers, two years removed from a region runner-up finish, started 0-5 in 2011 en route to a 2-8 campaign. Woodson’s wins came against T.C. Williams and Annandale.

Volleyball Coach: Len Palaschak.

Boys’ Basketball Coach: Doug Craig.

Girls’ Basketball Coach: Pat Neri.

Field Hockey Coach: Becky Preston.

Baseball Coach: Chris Warren.

*What Happened Last Year: The volleyball team won a Patriot District championship and finished Northern Region runner-up. The boys’ basketball team reached 20 wins and earned the top seed in the district tournament, but lost to T.C. Williams in the semifinals. The boys’ and girls’ lacrosse teams won district championships. The girls’ soccer team finished district and region runner-up.

*Famous Graduates: Andy Heck (1985 graduate) was a three-sport athlete who went on to play football at Notre Dame. He switched from tight end to offensive tackle and was a team captain and first-team All-American on the Fighting Irish’s 1988 undefeated national championship team. The Seattle Seahawks selected Heck in the first round (No. 15 overall) of the 1989 NFL Draft. He played 12 seasons in the pros for the Seahawks, Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins. He played in 185 games and made 139 starts. Abe Thompson (2000) played soccer at the University of Maryland. FC Dallas selected him in the second round of the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft. Michael Lahoud (2005) played soccer at Wake Forest University, where he helped the Demon Deacons win the 2007 national championship. Chivas USA selected Lahoud in the first round (No. 9 overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.

*Quotable: "Our motto is we’re turning the butterflies into rhinos. We have butterflies in our stomach, we’ve just got harden it up and play to the end." —Woodson’s Rachel Conway after the volleyball team clinched a state tournament berth in 2011.

Hayfield Secondary: Softball team won 2012 National District championship.


Emily Ryan and the Hayfield girls’ lacrosse team finished National District runner-up in 2012.

School: Hayfield Secondary School.

Mascot: Hawks.

School Colors: Orange and white.

Athletic Director: E.W. Nowland, 703-924-7472.

Football Coach: Roy Hill.

The Hawks finished 8-2 during the 2011 regular season and qualified for the postseason, where they lost to Lee in the Division 5 region quarterfinals.

Volleyball Coach: Jeff Berggren.

Boys’ Basketball Coach: Carlos Poindexter.

Girls’ Basketball Coach: Rudy Coffield.

Baseball Coach: Michael Shore.

Softball Coach: Ron Giovannucci.

Girls’ Lacrosse Coach: Sarah Burrowbridge.

*What Happened Last Year: The softball team won a National District championship. The girls’ lacrosse team finished district runner-up to Yorktown for the third consecutive season.

*Famous Graduates: Offensive lineman Tony Mayberry (1985 graduate) played football at Wake Forest University and was a fourth-round selection of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1990 NFL Draft. He played 10 seasons as a center with Tampa Bay and was selected to three Pro Bowls. Darnell McDonald (1995) played receiver at Kansas State University and was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft. Larry Asante (2005) played safety at the University of Nebraska, where he was a first-team all-Big 12 coaches selection as a senior in 2009. The Cleveland Browns selected Asante in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He spent time on the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad and saw playing time for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, recording an interception.

*Quotable: "The frustration feels like [a product of] it could have been anyone at the end, and we’re the ones that haven’t gotten it in so long. That’s where I feel frustrated. It’s not a frustration [about] the way my team played, at all." —Hayfield girls’ lacrosse coach Sarah Burrowbridge after the Hawks lost to Yorktown in the district final for the third straight season.

Robert E. Lee High: Football program rebounded from 1-9 season in 2010 with playoff berth in 2011.


Michael Jolly, with ball, and the Lee football team reached the playoffs in 2011.

School: Robert E. Lee High School.

Mascot: Lancers.

School Colors: Blue and gold.

Athletic Director: Lori Barb, 703-924-8352.

Football Coach: Clarence Martin (second year).

The Lancers won their first four games of 2011, qualified for the Division 5 playoffs with a 6-4 record and reached the region semifinals.

Boys’ Basketball Coach: Kosa So.

Girls’ Basketball Coach: Harold Jackson.

Baseball Coach: John Dowling.

*What Happened Last Year: Gymnasts Leah Michetti and Katie Stewart qualified for the state meet.

*Famous Graduates: Melissa Belote Ripley won three swimming gold medals as a 15-year-old in the 1972 Olympics, including setting a world record in the 200-meter backstroke.

*Quotable: "The team’s ecstatic right now. Last year they went 1-9, so we’re still trying to learn how to win and we’re still trying to learn how to finish off teams, but the sky is the limit for these guys. They have so much confidence right now that they’re going to keep rolling. They’re very confident in what they can do and they know they can come out and compete with any team in the region." —Lee football coach Clarence Martin after the Lancers improved to 3-0 in 2011.

Paul VI Catholic High School: Girls’ basketball team has won six consecutive state titles.


Photo courtesy of Paul VI athletics

The Paul VI boys’ basketball team defeated Coolidge in the 2012 City Title game in the Verizon Center.

School: Paul VI Catholic High School.

Mascot: Panthers.

School Colors: Black and gold.

Athletic Director: Billy Emerson, 703-352-0925 ext. 318.

Football Coach: Gordon Leib (second year).

The Panthers lost their first six games of 2011, but rebounded to win their final three to finish 3-6. Paul VI defeated Bishop Ireton, St. Mary’s Ryken and Bishop O’Connell.

Volleyball Coach: Sam Farrar.

Boys’ Basketball Coach: Glenn Farello.

Girls’ Basketball Coach: Scott Allen.

Wrestling Coach: Tom Healy.

Rival School: Bishop O’Connell.

*What Happened Last Year: The girls’ cross country team won a state championship. The boys’ basketball team won Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, state and city championships. The girls’ basketball team won the program’s sixth consecutive state title. The baseball team won conference and state championships. The softball team reached the state semifinals.

*Famous Alumni: San Diego Chargers receiver Eddie Royal and Oakland Raiders fullback Owen Schmitt attended, but did not graduate from Paul VI.

Thomas A. Edison High: Boys’ basketball team finished region runner-up in 2012.

School: Thomas A. Edison High School.

Mascot: Eagles.

School Colors: Red, white and navy blue.

Athletic Director: Berk Stoy, 703-924-8091.

Football Coach: Anthony Parker (third season).

The Eagles won two of their final three games to finish 4-6 in 2011. Edison defeated Washington-Lee, Falls Church, Mount Vernon and Wakefield.

Boys’ Basketball Coach: Terry Henderson.

Girls’ Basketball Coach: Dianne Lewis.

Baseball Coach: John Lam.

Boys’ Lacrosse Coach: Jason Jeffries.

*What Happened Last Year: The boys’ basketball team won a National District championship and finished region runner-up. Head coach Terry Henderson coached the National District/Liberty District team in the Northern Region all-star game. The boys’ lacrosse team won a district title.

*Quotable: "It’s fun. You get some talent you don’t normally have. It’s kind of like coaching at a private school or something. You’ve got your shooters, you’ve got big men [and] you’ve got ball handlers. I was like a kid in a candy store; I didn’t know what to do and what to call." —Edison boys’ basketball coach Terry Henderson, who led the National District/Liberty District team in the Northern Region all-star game.