Jamestown High solidified its status as Bay Rivers District volleyball favorite on Tuesday by defeating Grafton, the team many feel will be its toughest challenger this season, in the opener for both teams.
Eagles coach Tom Stephenson said he expected a challenge every bit as tough as the final score of 21-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-17.
"Grafton has a lot of seniors on that team," Stephenson said. "They really only graduated one player, Ashley Lind, and she was a good one, but they've plugged that hole with Hannah Williams, a transfer from Hampton Christian."
Stephenson lost a star in hitter Briana Sutton, now at Christopher Newport University, but countered Grafton with what he says might be his "deepest" team at Jamestown. It includes two future college players in setter Monique St. Cyr (West Florida) and Kelly Esch (LSU).
St. Cyr had 39 assists, six kills, nine digs and three aces, while Esch added 14 kills, 14 digs and three blocks. Victoria Bowen, another returning starter, had 10 digs, and freshman Maria Esch tallied six kills and 10 digs. Another freshman, Ellie Popelka, played a key role with five kills and four blocks, while senior Saskia Beitzell added five kills and three blocks.
The Eagles host New Kent on Thursday in a matchup of two teams that made the AA state tournament a year ago.
Like father, like son
Will Harrell, son of Smithfield High football coach Clark Harrell, was named this week as the interim head football coach at Bertie High in Windsor, N.C. Will Harrell moved from assistant to head coach during the week after Bertie's 41-12 loss to Gates County.
At 27, Will is the same age as Clark was when he was named to his first head coaching job at Columbia (N.C) High School. Clark Harrell said he doesn't expect to have to give his son too much advice ahead of his first game as head coach on Friday against Swansboro.
"He grew up around football, so I told him, 'You've seen it all before,'" Clark Harrell said. "I'm proud of him."
Division I standouts
Several Bay Rivers District football alumni made big contributions to their Division I schools' success this past weekend. Former Bruton star Lorenzo Taliaferro ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns, including a 1-yard score with 10:52 remaining to cap Coastal Carolina's 27-20 comeback win over South Carolina State.
York graduate Ben Edwards had seven catches for 95 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown, to help Richmond beat VMI 34-0. Former Tabb standout Dan Schiele, a true freshman who has worked his way up from walk-on to backup quarterback at James Madison, had a 6-yard run in the Dukes' 38-14 win over Central Connecticut.
New Kent scrimmage
New Kent had its first football scrimmage this past Friday, when four other district schools were opening their seasons, but the wait proved to be worth it. The Trojans outscored Middlesex 3-1, head coach Dan Rounds said, with the first team outscoring the Chargers 2-0.
Kevin Karaffa was the star for the Trojans, catching a touchdown pass from quarterback Luke Mechling, while flying to the ball at outside linebacker in leading the team in tackles. Trey Lee ran for a touchdown for the Trojans, who host King William in the opener on Friday.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun