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Rich Sanders

Stories by Rich

Top 100: Katie Beal, West Potomac, Soccer, 2001

Wolverine girls soccer star continued to shine as defensive stalwart for Florida State Seminoles.

Sitting on a bookcase in West Potomac High Athletic Director Jeff Dietze's office is a framed autograph picture of one of the greatest athletes the Alexandria-based public school has ever known. The picture is of Katie Beal — a 2001 West Potomac graduate and Wolverine soccer great — during game action when she was a member of the Florida State University women's team.

Top 100: Lori Grimm, Washington-Lee, Softball, 1976

In Arlington sports lore, Grimm has excelled as female athlete and coach.

When being a female sports standout was not the norm back in the mid 1970's, Arlington's Lori Grimm excelled on the softball diamond, the soccer field, and the basketball court.

Top 100: John Crone, Yorktown, Football, 2004

Team leader dominated on the gridiron and at the plate for the Patriots.

Few Arlington-area prep school athletic stars have been the overpowering Northern Region forces in two sports that recent Yorktown High graduate John Crone (Class of 2004) was.

Top 100: Clay Kirby, Washington-Lee Baseball, 1966

Former Generals ace pitched for `Big Red Machine' in the 70s.

Whether his teams were winning big or losing big, former major league pitcher Clay Kirby could always be counted on to take the mound and give his team some quality innings.

Top 100: Michelle Duhart, Wakefield Basketball, 1996

Warriors' all-time scoring leader went on to play on Purdue's national championship team.

Michelle Duhart recently recalled her ninth grade year as a member of the Wakefield High girls basketball team. That Warriors squad, coached by current Wakefield Athletic Director Noel Deskins, struggled to be competitive that season. So team members looked for little victories.

Top 100: Billy Davis, Mount Vernon, Football, 1980

At Clemson University, Billy Davis will forever be known as the player who's clutch, long punt return helped the Tigers defeat Nebraska, 22-15, in the 1981 Orange Bowl football game which decided the national collegiate championship.

Top 100: Joe Lowe, Wakefield Basketball, Football

Former Warriors basketball guard tallied over 1,000 career points, was also Wakefield's football QB.

Current Wakefield High boys basketball coach Tony Bentley recalls his days growing up in the Green Valley neighborhood of south Arlington and idolizing one of the area's great prep school basketball stars, Joe Lowe.

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Saxons Compete in Boys', Girls' State Lax Finals

Langley boys capture fourth straight crown; Langley girls fall in title game loss to Oakton.

The chant from the Langley High student body began with about four minutes remaining in last Saturday night's Virginia State Boys Lacrosse championship game at Westfield High School between the Saxons of Langley and Chantilly High. "It's a Fourth-Peat, it's a fourth-peat," is the way the chant went, reverberating from the near-side bleachers, where the large group of Saxon student supporters were perched, and throughout the stadium.

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It's Cougars All the Way

Oakton girls lacrosse, in return trip to state finals, finishes deal.

A year after losing in the state title game, the Oakton High girls' lacrosse team took the next step and won this year's state crown when the Cougars defeated Langley High, 12-7, in the finals game played last Saturday evening, June 9 at Westfield High School. It marked the fourth state championship triumph in the history of the Oakton girls' lacrosse program and came one year after the Cougars had reached the state title game before losing to Vienna cross-town rival Madison.

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Bruins' Postseason Soccer Run Ends at State Semis

After tough start to season, Lake Braddock emerged as region power.

Lake Braddock Secondary's dramatic turnaround boys' soccer season in which the Bruins won just two of their first nine games before emerging as a Patriot District and Northern Region force the remainder of the spring campaign came to a tough ending last Friday afternoon, June 8 at Westfield High School when the local squad lost its Virginia State AAA semifinals playoff game by penalty kicks to opponent Albemarle High of Charlottesville, 2-1.

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Chantilly Boys Lacrosse Falls in State Lax Finals

Chargers jump out early before Saxons rally for a 12-8 win.

Northern Region high school boys' lacrosse rivals Chantilly and Langley, who in recent years have proven to be the best public school teams in Virginia, met once again for the state crown last Saturday night.

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Westfield Baseball Season Ends at Region Semifinals

Bulldogs have no answer for Lake Braddock southpaw Thomas Rogers.

Westfield High baseball’s strong postseason showing at the 16-team Northern Region tournament concluded one victory shy of both an appearance in the finals and an automatic seeding for this week’s state tournament when the Bulldogs lost to Lake Braddock and ace left-handed pitcher Thomas Rogers, 8-0, last Wednesday afternoon at James Madison High School in Vienna.

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Successful Season Concludes for Langley Baseball

Saxons reach region finals before losing to Spartans.

A remarkable Langley High baseball season which saw the Saxons go from a team struggling to play .500 baseball at the midseason mark to one of the Northern Region's elite teams came to an end last Wednesday night, May 30. Langley, in a region tournament semifinals playoff game versus perennial power West Springfield, fell behind early and was never able to get back into striking distance in a 7-1 season-ending defeat. The postseason affair took place at James Madison High School in Vienna.

Tough Final Week For Madison Softball

Rams end Warhawks' successful season.

The Madison High girls' softball team saw its season end in disappointing fashion with a pair of postseason losses. Nevertheless, it was an overall successful and winning campaign for head coach John Schneeberger's Warhawks.

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In Region Soccer Title Game, Robinson Boys Prevail

Yardley's overtime goal lifts Rams past local rival Lake Braddock.

In a tense, back and forth championship game last Saturday night at Robinson Secondary, local high school boys' soccer opponents Robinson and Lake Braddock played with emotion, grit, and determination through an entire 80 minutes of regulation play and nearly 10 more minutes of overtime before the region title game's first and only goal was scored.

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Patriot District Well-Represented at Baseball Region Semis

Bruins, Spartans both win to advance to title game.

A trip to the Northern Region tournament title game and a seeding in the state playoffs were on the line last Wednesday evening, May 30 at Madison High School in Vienna where two regional semifinals baseball games took place. The double-header postseason action showcased contests between Lake Braddock and Westfield, followed by West Springfield versus Langley in the nightcap. At night's end, it was the two teams from the Patriot District - Lake Braddock and West Springfield - which won, both in decisive fashion, to earn a spot in Saturday's finals where West Springfield edged the Bruins, 3-2, for the championship.

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McLean Baseball Eliminated in Region quarterfinals

Highlanders come from behind to force extra innings with Bruins before losing 6-5 on ninth inning suicide squeeze play.

The McLean High baseball team gave one of the Northern Region’s annual powerhouse programs, Lake Braddock, a huge scare on Monday’s Memorial Day when the Highlanders rallied to tie the game in the latter innings. Ultimately, the home team Bruins won the Northern Region second round (quarterfinals) playoff game in extra innings, 6-5.

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Delaney Set to Play Volleyball at JMU

South Lakes volleyball standout earned Seahawks' Offensive Player of Year honors the past two fall seasons.

Sarah Delaney, a senior at South Lakes High School and a key member of the Seahawks' volleyball team during her four years with the program (three as a varsity team member), recently signed a collegiate letter of intent to play the sport next school year at James Madison University in Harrisonburg. Delaney holds South Lakes' single season record for the most blocks per season as well as most kills per season.

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Bruins Baseball Reaches Region Semifinals

Clutch game-winning bunt by O'Connor; solid pitching by Church, Rogers lead Lake Braddock past McLean.

A perfectly executed bases loaded suicide squeeze play by Dylan O'Connor saved the day for the Lake Braddock Secondary baseball team and provided the winning run for the host Bruins in their dramatic 6-5 extra innings victory over McLean in a Northern Region quarterfinals playoff game played on Memorial Day afternoon.

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Westfield High to Host Spring Jubilee

State tournaments set to be held in baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, and tennis.

Westfield High will host the upcoming Virginia High School League (VHSL) State AAA Spring Sports Jubilee from Tuesday, June 5 through Saturday, June 9. The Spring Jubilee will determine state AAA champions in baseball, softball, boys' and girls' tennis, soccer, and lacrosse. Westfield High is located at 4700 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly.

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Westfield Baseball Reaches Region Semifinals

Holiday win over Yorktown highlighted by three Bulldog homers.

Chuck Welch, the Westfield High baseball coach, is proud of his entire team for what it has accomplished this spring in reaching the Northern Region tournament baseball semifinals. But the veteran skipper is especially proud of his seven senior players who, prior to this spring, had never advanced so far in the postseason.

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Rams Defeat Westfield in Rainy Concorde Title Game

Robinson baseball builds 3-0 lead before weather delay; Go on to 4-2 title game victory.

Both the Westfield and Robinson baseball teams, along with competing against one another in Tuesday night’s Concorde District tournament baseball championship game, had to deal with sloppy, rainy weather conditions as well. Ultimately, following a third inning delay due to rain, the Rams of Robinson came away with a 4-2 finals win.

Hornet Boys Follow the Season Soccer Script

Herndon fullfills season game plan in winning Concorde title.

The long term season plan for the Herndon High boys' soccer team was to ultimately be playing its best by the postseason. The Hornets could not have fulfilled that mission any more successfully than they did at last week's Concorde District tournament where, as the No. 3-seed, they won all three of their games to capture the title.

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Rams Defeat Westfield in Rainy Concorde Title Game

Robinson baseball builds 3-0 lead before weather delay; Go on to 4-2 title game victory.

Both the Westfield and Robinson baseball teams, along with competing against one another in Tuesday night’s Concorde District tournament baseball championship game, had to deal with sloppy, rainy weather conditions as well. Ultimately, following a third inning delay due to rain, the Rams of Robinson came away with a 4-2 finals win.

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Twice the Thrill for McLean Highlander Soccer Teams

Both the McLean girls’ and boys’ teams capture Liberty titles.

The athletic grounds within Madison High School’s Norman Bradford Stadium were, for one night at least, a Highlander Haven last Friday, May 18 as both of the McLean High varsity soccer programs – the Highlander girls’ and boys’ squads – earned Liberty District champion status for 2012 as a result of tournament finals victories.

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Brianna Nielsen – On Her Feet Again

McLean High senior soccer standout, with renewed health, has been a rock for the Highlanders.

One would never realize to watch Brianna Nielsen play soccer that earlier this year she could barely even walk. The McLean High girls’ soccer standout, on the field of play, looks as if she was born to excel in the sport, with her ability to maintain and control the ball in the midfield, her natural instincts and feel for the game which seem to always have her at the most opportune place to make a play, and her all out hustle and easily recognizable passion for the game.

Herndon High Lacrosse

All-Concorde District Honors

Both the Herndon High girls’ and boys’ lacrosse teams were well-represented in recent All-Concorde District selection recognition for the spring season. The All-District Teams were announced during the halftime intermissions of last Friday night’s Concorde District girls’ and boys’ finals games at Chantilly High School. The Oakton High girls won their title game contest in the double-header championship night’s first game with a victory over Centreville. In the nightcap finals game, the Oakton boys defeated Westfield.

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Double the Fun for Oakton Lacrosse

Both the Cougar girls and boys teams capture Concorde District titles.

A poor defensive game contributed to the Oakton girls' lacrosse team 14-13 Concorde District home loss to rival Centreville High a month ago on April 13. The defeat for the Cougars was one of just two they experienced during the regular season this spring.

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Robinson Girls Lax Made Forward Progress This Spring

Rams, under their new head coach, had a good second half to the season.

The Robinson Secondary girls' lacrosse team saw its first season under veteran head coach Liz Case come to an end this past Tuesday night, May 15 when the Rams lost to defending Northern Region champion Madison, 19-13, in a first round game of the 16-team region playoffs. The postseason contest took place at Madison High School in Vienna.

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Lancers Softball Holds Special Tribute Game

Patriot District contest with Woodson honors former Robinson coach.

On Monday, May 7, a special girls' softball game was played at Lee High School between the home team Lancers and guest W.T. Woodson. The regular season Patriot District matchup between the two teams had a greater purpose, however.

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Oakton Spoils Championship Lax Night for Locals

Westfield boys, Centreville girls both reach Concorde finals.

Two local high school lacrosse teams — the Centreville High girls, and the Westfield boys — both reached the finals of their respective Concorde District tournaments last week. Both squads played in district title games on Friday, May 11 at Chantilly High School, the host site of both the girls' and boys' tournaments. The night, however, belonged to Oakton High which saw both its teams (girls and boys) earn district championship banners.

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Wildcats Softball Primed for the Playoffs

Centreville gets big Concorde wins over Rams, Hornets, Bulldogs.

The Centreville High girls’ softball team is playing its best ball at the right time of the spring with the regular season winding down and the postseason just ahead.

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Chantilly Pushes Rams to the Limit in Playoff Loss

Chargers, in Concorde quarterfinals, can’t quite overcome eight-goal deficit in 2nd half.

Both teams showcased their scoring prowess last Friday evening, May 4 when Robinson and Chantilly met in a first round Concorde District girls’ lacrosse playoff contest at Robinson Secondary.

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Robinson Girls Lacrosse Advances to Regionals

Rams win Concorde playoff opener over Chantilly Chargers.

Both teams showcased their scoring prowess last Friday evening, May 4 when Robinson and Chantilly met in a first round Concorde District girls' lacrosse playoff contest at Robinson Secondary. With a Northern Region playoff seeding on the line and a chance to advance to the district semifinals, both teams played with passion and determination. For the winner, it would be the first game of what could be an extended postseason. For the losing team, it would mark the end of the season. In the end, Robinson, the six-team district tournament's No. 4 seed, held off a ferocious late game Chantilly rally and defeated the Chargers, 19-16.

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Patriot District Lax Tourneys in Full Throttle

Boys and girls title games set for Friday evening at Lee.

The semifinals rounds of both the girls’ and boys’ Patriot District lacrosse tournaments were scheduled to take place earlier this week at Lee High School in Springfield.

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Stallions Ready for the Postseason

South County softball playing outstanding ball as regular season winds down.

With one game remaining in the regular season, the South County girls' softball team is beginning to get geared up for the upcoming postseason.

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A Different Kind of Win For Lancer Girls Soccer

Lancer team members take part in Lupus benefit walk.

The Lee High girls' soccer team participated at the recent Lupus Walk fundraiser event in Washington, D.C. Lancer team members sent out emails to fundraise and bring awareness for the benefit event. The walk itself was 1.5 miles.

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Sharing Their Love of the Sport

South Lakes boys’ lacrosse set to conduct summer youth camps again.

The South Lakes High boys' lacrosse team has experienced good success on the field this spring. This summer, the Seahawks, under head coach Craig Lunde, plan to once again share their winning ways and knowledge of the sport to youth lacrosse players throughout the Herndon and Reston areas with their South Lakes Lacrosse Summer Camps sessions.

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Madison Softball Playing Shut Down Ball

Warhawks edge Saxons 1-0 behind stellar defense and one-hit pitching gem by Kelsey Ross.

Since its eight-game win streak ended with a loss at Liberty District opponent Stone Bridge High in Ashburn on Friday, April 27, the Madison High Warhawks girls' softball team has gotten back into the win column with a pair of district shutout wins. Both victories came last week.

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Highlanders Hoping to Take Off in Soccer Postseason

District OT losses have hurt McLean boys, but team is poised for strong showing at upcoming Liberty tournament.

It has been a season of several frustrating, down to the wire losses for the McLean High boys' soccer team. On the other hand, the Highlanders have also won enough games to have clinched a winning regular season record and to believe they can be an impact team at the upcoming Liberty District and perhaps even the Northern Region playoffs.

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Westfield Working to Regain Winning Form

Bulldogs set to host Concorde and local softball rival Centreville this Friday.

The Westfield High girls’ softball team, over the final few weeks of the regular season, will be looking to get back into the winning mode that was such a prominent characteristic of its season through mid-April.

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Chantilly Boys Break Into Soccer Win Column

Chargers get victories over Westfield and Mount Vernon.

The Chantilly High boys’ soccer team, following a 0-8 start to the season, won consecutive games last week. The Chargers, in a Concorde District outing at Westfield High last Thursday, April 26, defeated the Bulldogs, 4-0, for their first win of the season. And earlier this week on Monday, April 30, Chantilly, in overtime, won a non-district home game over Mount Vernon, 4-3.

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Northern Region Sports Notes (May 2-8)

Fairfax Adult Softball signup; Wildcats baseball hosting benefit game; McLean tennis rolling; Langley softball wins.

The Centreville High varsity baseball team will be hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Washington, D.C. chapter of Operation Homefront during its home game on Tuesday, May 8 against Concorde District rival Oakton.

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Smith Leads Lancers to Baseball Win

Junior right-hander tosses three-hit shutout against T.C. Williams

Lee High baseball pitcher Will Smith threw a complete game shutout for the Lancers in their 3-0 Patriot District home win over T.C. Williams last Friday night, April 27.

Lancer Girls Looking for Strong Soccer Finish

Lee to host Patriot rival Wolverines in season finale May 9.

With just a couple more weeks remaining in the regular season, the Lee High girls' soccer team is right around the .500 mark (4-5-1) and playing particularly well of late. The Lancers are 2-1-1 over their past four games. While its play has been uneven at times over the course of the spring season, the Lee team is certainly playing good soccer as the upcoming Patriot District tournament draws near.

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Robinson Boys' Lacrosse Poised for Big Postseason

Rams finish regular season over .500 at 6-5.

It has been a season of streaks for the Robinson Rams boys' lacrosse team, which has won or lost this spring in bunches. But the Concorde District squad has been playing a good brand of lacrosse of late and appears to be at a good place with the postseason set to begin this Friday night with the start of the six-team district tournament.

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South Lakes' Lacrosse Clinches a Winning Season

Despite being undermanned, Seahawk boys defeat Liberty foe Highlanders.

Despite being far from 100 percent healthy, the South Lakes High boys' lacrosse team assured itself of a winning record this season by defeating McLean High last Thursday night, April 26, by a 9-7 score in the Liberty District contest played at South Lakes.

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McLean Softball on Course for Strong Finish

Highlanders are 8-2 in the strong Liberty District.

Over the course of the high school girls' softball season, the McLean Highlanders have shown upward progress and gotten better and better. There have been a few lopsided losses to some exceptional opponents, but the Liberty District team has consistently responded with strong bounce-back games and improved play. All things considered, this spring's Highlanders have displayed both fortitude and talent, with an 11-4 overall record.

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Oakton Ready for Another Big Postseason

Cougars' girls lacrosse playing at a high level.

The Oakton High girls' lacrosse team, along with being talented and experienced, is also playing at a high level at the right time of the spring season with the start of the postseason set to begin this Friday night with opening round games of the six-team Concorde District tournament.

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Lancers Girls Lacrosse Readying for Districts

Lee, behind good senior leadership, competing hard in Patriot.

The Lee Lancers girls' lacrosse team is having a good season thus far. The team started out the spring with four straight wins during its non-district schedule. Over the past few weeks, the wins are not coming for Lee, which competes in the ultra tough Patriot District, but the team continues to play hard and, for the most part, good lacrosse.

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