Yorktown is a club team, not affiliated with the high school. All other high school ice hockey teams in Northern Virginia are affiliated with schools and play in the Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League. Last year, Ferrara and his athletes decided they would make the leap from junior varsity to the varsity division, playing against the best teams in the area.
“I told the team, we can play JV and finish 9-1 or 10-0, or we can play varsity,” Ferrara said. “You can’t be an elite team without playing the best competition.”
The team took its lumps last year, losing 10-0 to Stone Bridge in Ashburn and 12-3 to Westfield, but that team had no seniors. The same crew stuck around this year and grew. Yorktown went from 19 players to more than 30 in the program, and have enough to field a JV team and several players on the practice squad.
Yorktown’s program was founded in 2003 and played home games in Reston until Kettler Capitals Iceplex was built in Ballston. But one of the most intriguing story lines in the team’s short history is happening this year with four of the players on the JV and practice squads: sophomore Tabitha Wood, senior Riki Langello and juniors Isabelle Wal and Caroline McCune.
“Once you get on the ice, I don’t think the guys see them as any different,” Ferrara said of his female players. He said it’s possible in future seasons they’ll play on the varsity team as players graduate. “It’s a little bit different with the camaraderie because they can’t get dressed in the locker room, but when you get on the ice, it comes down to talent level.”
The varsity team has several players who also compete on local travel teams, and Ferrara has set the expectation of making the playoffs. Yorktown was one win away last year, and if they can get there, Ferrara hopes they can, as he puts it, “make some noise.”
The group seems more up to the challenge this year; in Yorktown’s first game, against Westfield, they won 10-0. They followed that up with a 6-1 win over Bishop O’Connell (Arlington’s only other high school varsity hockey team) last week. Before the season, Ferrara said the number of players in the program has fueled competition, which has made everyone better and his players are confident.
Ferrara will know how good his team really is after this Friday’s game at Kettler Capitals Iceplex against reigning NVSHL champion Briar Woods.
“Friday night will be an interesting test for us,” Ferrara said. “It will either be a wake-up call to me that we’re one of the best teams in the league, or a wake-up call to the kids that they have a long way to go.”
Photo courtesy Jeremy Ferrara
The Sun Gazette reports that “several dozen” supporters of the Foreign Language in Elementary School (FLES) program showed up for the public comment period of Saturday’s Board meeting. They asked the Board to find a way to work with Arlington Public Schools and the School Board to expand FLES to the 9 schools that currently don’t have the program.
Meanwhile, a group called FLES For All released an open letter to county and school leaders over the weekend. The group, which claims 25-30 active members “who work weekly to educate and advocate on this issue,” blasted “educational inequity” in Arlington and called on the County Board to provide a greater share of tax revenue.
The full letter, after the jump.
Image via FLES For All
The Yorktown High School football team’s season isn’t over yet. Despite losing in the regular season finale to Washington-Lee, the Patriots bounced back Friday night with a playoff win over Fairfax, 12-7.
Washington-Lee, coming off its first district championship in decades, was Conference 6A North’s fourth seed out of 16, but lost to 13th-seeded Stonewall Jackson at home, 42-34.
Yorktown was without star running back/defensive back M.J. Stewart against Fairfax after the North Carolina-bound senior re-injured his ankle late against the Generals. Fullback Da-Jhaun Short filled in admirably, however, rushing 28 times for 164 yards and a touchdown.
The Patriots started the scoring in the second half when linebacker Sean Coleman intercepted Fairfax quarterback Nick Scott and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown. Short scored the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter after a 12-play drive consisting exclusively of runs by Short.
The Generals couldn’t generate the same defensive intensity against Stonewall Jackson as they did when they shut out the Patriots a week prior. The Raiders scored 35 of their points in the second half after the Generals went into halftime with a 17-7 lead.
Generals quarterback Sam Appel, playing in what turned out to be his final game for Washington-Lee, completed 26 of 50 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns. His top two wide receivers, seniors Trevor McManus and Noah Harrington, finished with 128 and 115 yards, respectively.
The game ended the Generals’ best season in 38 years — the last time they won a district title — but this year’s senior class will have a banner on the gymnasium wall to commemorate their accomplishments.
The NFL Play 60 campaign is giving Glebe Elementary a grant for health and wellness programming or equipment. Washington Redskins players Alfred Morris, Joshua Morgan, Josh Wilson, Darrel Young and Nick Williams will present the school their check Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 9:30 a.m.
Glebe was selected as the D.C. area’s “NFL Play 60 Super School,” after sending the NFL essays “explaining how they planned to show their NFL team pride and incorporate football into their lesson plans,” and essays “on their school’s game plan for teaching students the importance of physical education and nutrition,” according to Arlington Public Schools.
The NFL Play 60 campaign encourages children to play for at least an hour every day to maintain healthy physical fitness. The players will help the students get 60 minutes of exercise on Tuesday, and the NFL will donate all the equipment used during the event to the school for future use.
The check presentation ceremony is not open to the public.
Photo via Facebook
After their historic clash last Friday, the Washington-Lee and Yorktown High School football teams will each host a first-round playoff game this Friday night.
Washington-Lee (8-2, 7-0), the fourth seed in the Class 6A North region, will host 13th-seeded Stonewall Jackson (6-4) out of Manassas at 7:30 p.m. The Generals will be hosting a playoff game for the first time in several decades. Quarterback Sam Appel and running back/defensive back Daquay Harris will try to keep the Generals’ dream season alive.
Also at 7:30 p.m., Yorktown (8-2, 6-1), the region’s No. 7 seed, will host Fairfax (7-3), the 10th seed. The Patriots need to emotionally recover from their devastating loss to Washington-Lee if they want to return to the regional finals. At the top of their priorities list will be getting running back/defensive back M.J. Stewart and quarterback Will Roebuck healthy. Both were limping heavily at the end of Friday’s game with apparent ankle injuries. Fairfax will be tough to beat without the team’s offensive leaders.
If Washington-Lee advances, it will take on the winner of Battlefield and Langley, also at home. If Yorktown gets by Fairfax, the Patriots will either play host to Chantilly — whom they beat Oct. 25 — or go on the road against undefeated Lake Braddock.
For the first time in 38 years, the National District football title will go to Washington-Lee High School.
The Generals stormed into Yorktown Friday night and shut out the Patriots, 10-0, handing the Patriots their first district loss in four years and clinching the Generals’ first undefeated district season in almost four decades.
Washington-Lee quarterback Sam Appel scored on a quarterback sneak with 11:44 left in the game, after the Generals got a 20-yard field goal in the third quarter, and the Generals’ stout defense did the rest.
The Generals’ sideline erupted after Appel took a knee to end the game, and head coach Josh Shapiro was doused in Gatorade before his players lifted him onto their shoulders in jubilation.
“It’s overwhelming right now,” he said after the game. “We stood toe-to-toe with a giant.”
Yorktown star running back M.J. Stewart was hampered by an ankle injury in the second half, carrying the ball only a handful of times. He was trying to get himself loose on the sidelines after halftime, and he was used largely as a decoy for full drives.
Shapiro told his team in practice leading up to the game that they would need to be close to perfect to beat Yorktown, to whom they’ve lost each of the last 30 regular season meetings.
“Defensively, we were close to being perfect tonight,” Shapiro said.
The other aspects of the game were far from perfect for the Generals. They were stopped inches from the goal line in the second quarter, and Stewart, who also plays defensive back, intercepted an Appel pass in the end zone in the first quarter. The Generals also missed a field goal and shanked a punt, but the defense was good enough to cover all the mistakes.
Yorktown’s offense, which had scored more than 30 points in all but two games before Friday night, never found a rhythm. Stewart never broke a big run, and quarterback Will Roebuck’s passes sailed high for much of the night, including when he threw a costly interception to Dwayne Williams, setting up Appel’s touchdown run.
None of the players on Yorktown’s roster had ever experienced a season in which they didn’t hang a National District banner up in the gymnasium. Several players were emotional as they quickly left the field, while the Generals and their fans stayed for as long as they could to soak in the victory.
“We’re going to give this game its just due and celebrate this,” Shapiro said. The Generals and Patriots, both 8-2, begin regional playoffs this month. “When you carry something like this on your shoulders for 30 years, it weighs on you. So we’re going to enjoy this.”
That may seem like an exaggeration, but Washington-Lee (7-2, 6-0) hasn’t beaten reigning National District champion Yorktown (8-1, 6-0) in their last 30 regular season games. Yorktown has been the dominant football force in Arlington for decades, but this is the Generals’ best squad in years.
(Update at 2:30 p.m. — Washington-Lee students also released their own hype video.)
Led by quarterback Sam Appel and running back Daquay Harris, the Generals will be forced to keep pace with the best football player Arlington schools have seen in some time in Yorktown running back/defensive back M.J. Stewart. The Generals’ defense has allowed just 19.9 points per game this year, but it will have its hands full.
The game is Yorktown’s senior night, including the senior night for Stewart and his classmates. Yorktown has released a hype video featuring Stewart (below, directed by his classmate Jeremy Cannon) to get students and fans excited for the game. Stewart’s final regular season game as a Patriot figures to be special — he already has 1,387 rushing yards this year and he’s missed a few games with an ankle injury.
Parking is sure to be sparse, so those interested in driving to the game should arrive early. It costs $5 to attend without a season pass.
The Generals (7-2, 6-0) made short work of Wakefield, 56-21, in south Arlington Friday night. Washington-Lee quarterback Sam Appel had perhaps the best game of his career, throwing for 209 yards and five touchdowns. Receiver Trevor McManus was the main beneficiary with eight catches for 102 yards and three of those touchdowns. Running back Daquay Harris kept up his impressive season, and needed just 10 carries to rush for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Wakefield (2-7, 0-6) was led by running back Leon Young, who carried the ball 16 times for 94 yards, including busting free for a 44-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Wakefield’s long season will come to an end this week when they travel to face Mount Vernon on Friday.
Yorktown (8-1, 6-0) was at Mount Vernon Friday and the Patriots pulled out a 31-21 victory to extend their winning streak to seven games. Star running back M.J. Stewart returned from the ankle injury that sidelined him the previous week against Chantilly, rushing 11 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots scored 17 unanswered points in the first half, putting enough distance to hold off Mount Vernon (3-6, 2-4) the rest of the way.
This Friday night at 7:30 at Yorktown will be the regular season finale and a showdown between the Patriots and the Generals. Both teams are 6-0 in the National District, turning the finale into a winner-take-all matchup for the district title.
Bishop O’Connell ended its season on a high note Saturday afternoon, blowing out Bishop McNamara 61-36. The win brought the Knights’ season record to 5-5 and put them in fifth place in the WCAC. Unfortunately for the Knights, four teams make the Catholic league’s playoffs. Marquis Rowe was the star Saturday, scoring on a 98-yard kickoff return, a 36-yard run and two receiving touchdowns. Between quarterbacks Michael Galvan and Jason Ley, the Knights threw just one incomplete pass all game.
Photo via Bishop O’Connell
According to a tweet from Yorktown’s School Resource Officer Cpl. Jim Tuomey, “the food trucks will no longer be parked at the school. This is to be in compliance with [Arlington Public Schools] rules & county code.”
In a subsequent tweet, Tuomey wrote, “This was not my call, I like getting a milkshake every now and then…”
APS Spokesman Frank Bellavia said the policy is not the school system’s but a county ordinance, which prevents food trucks from parking within 100 feet of a school.
In an email, Tuomey said he didn’t know who owns or operates the food trucks, but they have parked at or near Yorktown “for many years.”
“They arrive before the first lunch period and leave after the last period of lunch they are here at the school every school day,” Tuomey said. “They have been very helpful in keeping students on campus instead of going off in search of other food options.”
Doug Maheu, the Arlington County Director of the DMV Food Truck Association, said he was not aware of the trucks’ presence near the school, and said he and his membership are careful to follow the county ordinance.
“Being in that area isn’t even part of our business plan,” Maheu, who owns Doug the Food Dude, said.
The two best high school football teams in the National District played their final non-district regular season games Friday night against Fairfax County powers. Yorktown was without star running back M.J. Stewart but still secured a win, while Washington-Lee was manhandled by Centreville.
Stewart, the senior North Carolina recruit leading the Patriots with 1,266 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns, was on the sideline Friday night with a sprained ankle, according to the Washington Post. That didn’t stop the Patriots (7-1, 5-0) from coming back from a double-digit second-half deficit and beating Chantilly (5-3, 2-1), 30-28. Stewart’s backup, Da’Jhuan Short, carried the ball for 90 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner in the third quarter. The Patriots play this Friday night on the road against Mount Vernon.
Yorktown’s companion atop the National District standings, Washington-Lee, lost its first game since Sept. 12 Friday night, 53-7 against Centreville. Centreville (8-0, 3-0) is the Post’s top-ranked team in Northern Virginia, and it has won all of its games by at least 21 points. The Generals (6-2, 5-0) got their only score in the first quarter on an 89-yard pass play from Sam Appel to Noah Harrington, who caught three balls for 111 yards on the day. The Generals next play on the road at Wakefield Friday night.
Wakefield (2-6, 0-5) continued its late-season swoon Friday night with a 41-7 loss to J.E.B. Stuart (2-6, 1-4). Stuart had previously been winless in the National District, so Friday night’s game looked like a shot for Wakefield to get its first win since its second game of the season. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they couldn’t stop Stuart’s rushing attack, allowing 259 yards on the ground. The Warriors didn’t score at all until a meaningless fourth quarter touchdown. They host the Generals Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
The Bishop O’Connell Knights also couldn’t find their way back in the winner’s column. They took on powerhouse Good Counsel and fell, 35-10. The Knights are now 4-5 and 1-4 in the WCAC. They got their only touchdown of the game on a 52-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by lineman Tylar Thompson. The Knights’ last game of the season is Saturday afternoon at home against Bishop McNamara, which has lost four straight games.
Image via Wakefield Athletics
APS is circulating a proposed change to its gift policy for employees that would limit the amount of gifts educators can receive to $50.
The School Board will consider adopting the policy at its meeting Dec. 5, according to APS spokesman Frank Bellavia. There is already an APS gift policy on the books, but it only has guidelines for gifts purchased for employees with APS funds.
The draft policy defines a gift as “cash or cash equivalent; any gratuity, discount, favor, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, services, transportation, lodging and meals … and any items, event, activity or other thing(s) having monetary value given to or on behalf of an employee for his or her use or personal benefit.”
The policy reads as follows:
Employees may accept gift valued at a total of $50.00 or less during a school year from any one student, individual, family or organization, including PTAs and Booster organizations. In no instance shall an employee accept a gift for services performed within the scope of the employee’s duties or given with the intent to influence an employee’s actions. Any single gift valued at more than $50, or gifts totaling more than $50 from one giver during the course of a school year, must be returned to the giver.
The policy “provides clear guidance” on what type and value of gifts APS employees can receive from students,, their family or outside organizations, which the current policy does not, according to Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Management Services Deirdra McLaughlin. It remains unclear how teachers will be tasked with appraising the value of gifts such as hospitality or services.
The Yorktown and Washington-Lee High School football teams appear closer than ever to a winner-take-all showdown Nov. 8 for the National District title and a spot in the regional playoffs. The Patriots and the Generals each extended their current winning streaks to four games this weekend, and they each stand at 5-1 and 4-0 in the district.
The Patriots rode their star running back again Friday night, giving senior M.J. Stewart 29 carries, which he took for 198 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner in the fourth quarter. The Patriots needed every one of Stewart’s yards in a 19-14 home victory over Hayfield (1-5, 1-2). Through six games, Stewart already has 1,170 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns. The UNC recruit and the Patriots next host Wakefield at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Washington-Lee had to wait to play because of Friday’s intense downpours, but the Generals collected their fourth straight win Monday against Mount Vernon, 23-21. Mount Vernon had been 2-0 in league play, and the Generals’ victory means they would need to lose twice in the next three weeks to finish worse than second place in the National District. They play Friday night at home against Edison.
Wakefield’s struggles in district play continued Friday with a 37-16 loss to Falls Church. The Warriors dropped to 2-4 on the season, and their last three losses have come to National District opponents. Sixteen points is more than they had scored in any of their previous losses, and they got two touchdowns from Leon Young, but it still wasn’t enough. The schedule only gets more difficult this week when the Patriots visit.
Bishop O’Connell, like Wakefield, finds itself in the midst of a losing streak. The Knights (4-4, 1-3) dropped their third straight game, 31-0, to Gonzaga. The Knights need to rediscover the offensive firepower they showed in the season’s first five games, when they averaged 37 points a game and went 4-1. They will have a week off to refocus and prepare for their game against traditional powerhouse Good Counsel, which is also 4-4, on Oct. 26.
(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) Arlington Public Schools held its annual Walk and Bike to School Day today (Wednesday), encouraging the tens of thousands of students in the system to avoid driving or busing to school.
Every APS school participated in the event, according to APS spokesman Frank Bellavia, and three local farms donated apples that were distributed to six different schools.
The school system also held reading events at two schools, and students were encouraged to bring in books for a book swap.
Photos courtesy of Arlington Public Schools
Washington-Lee (4-1, 2-0 district) won a statement game Friday night against Falls Church (3-2, 0-2), which had been 3-1 with its only loss coming to Yorktown last week. The Generals won 21-14, holding on after leaping out to a 13-0 lead. Duquay Harris, the running back that’s been leading the Generals this season, scored a touchdown, and quarterback Sam Appel threw for two scores. The Generals have won three straight games and seek their fourth consecutive win this Friday at Mount Vernon.
At the same time, Yorktown was riding its star running back, senior North Carolina commit M.J. Stewart, to its third-straight win. Stewart carried the ball 16 times for 230 yards — a ridiculous 14.4 yards per carry — and four touchdowns to lead the Patriots (4-1, 2-0) to a 42-7 victory over J.E.B. Stuart (0-5, 0-2). The Patriots scored all of their points in the first half, and didn’t allow Stewart to score a point until the fourth quarter, when the game had essentially been decided. Yorktown’s next game will be Friday at home against Hayfield.
After starting the season 2-0, Wakefield (2-3, 0-2) dropped its third consecutive game Friday night, 50-13 against Hayfield (1-4, 1-1). The Warriors fell behind 50-0 before scoring a pair of garbage-time touchdowns in the fourth quarter, one by Andrew Tuttle and another by Chris Robertson. Wakefield will try to get back on the winning track this Friday on the road against Falls Church.
Bishop O’Connell (4-3, 1-2), had perhaps the toughest matchup in the entire D.C. area, going on the road to Hyattsville, Md. to take on No. 1-ranked Dematha. The Knights lost to the Stags (6-1, 3-0), 49-14. The teams were tied at the end of the first quarter and O’Connell had a brief 14-7 lead, but DeMatha, in the end, was simply too much for the Knights, scoring 42 unanswered points to clinch the victory. The Knights will try to snap their two-game losing streak this Saturday at Gonzaga.
The grinding ban is nothing new, according to Arlington Public Schools spokesman Frank Bellavia. The policy, which appears on a list of “dance policy and rules” for Saturday’s homecoming dance at Wakefield High School, has actually been in place for 8-9 years, he said.
Bellavia said that Washington-Lee and Yorktown, which have homecoming dances this Saturday and Oct. 19 respectively, have similar policies in place.
A grinding ban made some national headlines last year after the website Gawker published an impassioned email from a student whose high school, outside of Pittsburgh, had just outlawed the sexually-suggestive form of dance. But such bans aren’t uncommon. Arlington isn’t the only school system in the area to have rules against grinding, according to this Washington Post article from 2011.
Other rules in place for the Wakefield homecoming include:
- Students and their guests must arrive together
- Guests older than 19 years old not allowed
- Students in violation of the rules can be kicked out of the dance or subject to other disciplinary action
Photo via @WakefieldProbz