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 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.
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
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 football teams of Yorktown and Washington-Lee high schools each pushed their 2013 record to 3-1 with narrow victories last Friday night, while Wakefield lost its second straight game and Bishop O’Connell was defeated Saturday afternoon.
Yorktown (3-1) delivered National District foe Falls Church (3-1) its first loss of the year, a huge victory for potential playoff seeding in November. The Patriots jumped out to a 17-7 halftime lead with two touchdowns from senior running back M.J. Stewart, an held on to win, 17-14, despite allowing Falls Church a fourth quarter touchdown. Yorktown will trying to push its record to 4-1 next Friday night on the road against J.E.B. Stuart.
Washington-Lee (3-1) was in serious peril of dropping its second game of the season to Hayfield (0-4), but scored 23 second-half points to storm back for a 23-21 victory. The Generals got a game-winning, late fourth-quarter touchdown from running back Daquay Harris, who is having a breakout year as a junior. Next week they host Falls Church to try to keep pace with the Patriots.
After starting the season with back-to-back victories, Wakefield (2-2) lost for the second straight week Friday night, 45-14 at home against Edison (2-2). The Warriors allowed 32 unanswered points before finally crossing the plane of the end zone with a running score by junior quarterback Riley Wilson. The Warriors will try to get back on the winning track this Friday at home against Hayfield.
Bishop O’Connell (4-2) also dropped its game this week, 17-7 to St. John’s. The Knights and the Cadets were tied, 7-7 at halftime after Knights quarterback Michael Galvan hit George Hawkins for an 11-yard touchdown pass, but St. John’s pulled ahead in the second half and O’Connell couldn’t come back. The Knights face a major challenge this Saturday, facing DeMatha (5-1), the Washington Post’s top-ranked team in the D.C. area.
Yorktown and Washington-Lee’s football teams won their first National District games Friday night — against Edison and J.E.B. Stuart respectively — while Wakefield dropped its first game of the season.
Yorktown beat up on Edison, 44-18, to get back in the win column a week after losing its first regular-season game in years. Senior star running back M.J. Stewart rushed 22 times for 191 yards and three touchdowns, raising his season total to 621 yards in three games. Quarterback Will Roebuck threw just three incomplete passes and ran in a score of his own. The Patriots got past an unexpected speed bump and put their foot on the gas starting National District play. The Patriots will host 3-0 Falls Church Friday night.
Washington-Lee also bounced back from its first loss of the season with a district win, sneaking by Stuart, 15-10. Running back Daquay Harris ran for 202 yards and a touchdown while the Generals defense smothered the Generals’ running backs. The Generals, like the Patriots, are now 2-1 and 1-0 in the National District, and should go 3-1 next week when they visit 0-3 Hayfield.
Wakefield, after an 0-10 2012 season, suffered its first loss of 2013, losing 22-7 to Thomas Jefferson. The loss drops the Warriors to 2-1 after previous wins against Marshall and George Mason. The Warriors’s defense bended to allow Jefferson’s Nathan Kim to run for 270 yards, the third most in the D.C. area, and two touchdowns. Wakefield’s first home game against a National District team will be Friday night against Edison.
Bishop O’Connell thumped WCAC foe Archbishop Carroll, 42-6, in the Knights’ conference opener Saturday afternoon. The Knights moved to 4-1, putting more distance between themselves and their season-opening loss to McDonogh. Quarterback Michael Galvan threw just one incomplete pass while also leading the Knights in rushing with 37 yards and three touchdowns. The Knights next play Saturday at 2:00 p.m. on the road against St. John’s.
Teachers and administrators welcomed an estimated 23,586 students inside the halls of Arlington Public Schools for the first time since June this morning (Tuesday).
Students got their first chances to experience the final phase of the new Yorktown High School and the new Wakefield High School. Teachers and volunteers were on hand to show students around their new schools.
According to school officials, 137 school buses were mobilized today to pick up students from around the county.
The school system’s enrollment will grow by almost 1,000 students from last year’s Pre-K-12 enrollment of 22,645. The student count won’t be official until Sept. 30, when APS sends the number to the state Department of Education.
Photos courtesy Arlington Public Schools
Yorktown Wins Big in Opener — The Yorktown High School football team defeated Coolidge 49-0 at their season opener on Thursday, Aug. 29. Senior running back M.J. Stewart ran for 215 yards on 15 carries. The Patriots next face Langley on Sept. 6. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Firefighters Assist on Six-Alarm Fire — Firefighters from Arlington County helped to battle a six-alarm warehouse fire in Alexandria on Labor Day Monday. It took more than 200 firefighters four hours to finally get the fire on S. Pickett Street under control. [NBC Washington]
An Office Built for Millennials — The consulting firm Accenture designed its 90,000 square foot office in Ballston, which opened last year, with 20-something millennial workers in mind. The office eschews private offices for workspaces that are booked by workers when needed, among other innovations. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Maryva2
Yorktown Ranked #17 in Preseason — Yorktown High School’s football team is 17th in the Washington Post’s Top 20 preseason rankings. The team was undefeated in last year’s regular season, but was defeated in the regional championship. Meanwhile, Yorktown senior running back M.J. Stewart is the only Arlington player to make the 2013 All-Met preseason team.
Second Pike Farmers Market to Launch — The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization is planning a second farmers market, to be held on the grounds of the new Arlington Mill Community Center. The center is located at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Dinwidde Street, in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood. Organizers believe there are enough residents on the Pike to support two farmers markets. [Patch]
Clerk Prefers Online Juror Submissions — Clerk of the Circuit Court Paul Ferguson wants those who receive jury duty questionnaires next month to fill the form out online. Ferguson says opting for the electronic form is safe and convenient and saves time. [Sun Gazette]
Moran: Inequalities Remain — The country commemorated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the 93rd anniversary of the enactment of the 19th Amendment this week, but Rep. Jim Moran cautions that the country has taken “troubling steps backward” in recent years. “Inequalities remain, and misguided efforts that will take us backwards continue,” he writes in his weekly editorial. [Falls Church News-Press]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Starting this year, incoming freshmen in Virginia high schools will need to take at least one class online in order to graduate, as a result of a law passed by the General Assembly last spring.
Arlington Public Schools has been offering online classes for some time now — last year, APS offered 25 classes, mostly foreign languages like Arabic, Chinese and Japanese — but the portfolio of offerings will need to greatly expand to accommodate the new state law.
With less than a month to go until the school year, APS Director of Instructional and Innovative Techonologies Pat Teske said the decisions on which classes to offer online and how many are still being made.
“We’re looking at programs we want to offer to build a program,” Teske said. “We’re looking at it as more than just a graduation requirement.”
About 400 students took online classes last year, Teske said, many of whom took classes not in APS’ portfolio, but offered by Northern Virginia Community College and other institutions. The state Department of Education maintains a list of approved online educators, but before APS allows students to take any classes, school staff vets the educator for county standards.
While the rollout of the state policy takes place, some may be questioning whether forcing students to take an online class is a good idea. Brittany O’Grady, a recent graduate of Washington-Lee High School, took English 12 online as a way to get college credit simultaneously.
“I would have learned better in a classroom environment,” O’Grady said in an email. “I really enjoy making connections with people. The material becomes more engaging. Looking at a computer screen and learning the confusing material on my own was absolutely exhausting and not fun. I just wanted to get the class over with.”
Gov. Bob McDonnell argued when pushing for the law that it prepares high school students for the modern marketplace. Teske said so much business is done online — and so many colleges offer and/or require online classes — that the requirement is a logical one. The program will be called Virtual@APS, Teske said, and she and her staff have been working long hours trying to put it in place.
“The way of the business world today, you do online collaborations, online projects,” Teske said. “You have to be an effective online learner and collaborator… You can’t go to college today without taking many online classes. There are online degrees as well. We’re really giving our kids the skills they need to be productive beyond the 12th grade.”