Lady Eagle Digs Deep to Play at High Point

Courtney Butterfass in High Point game against Elon. Photo credit Phill Butterfass

Clarke County soccer teams have grown to represent a powerful force in the Bull Run District and beyond. Both boys and girls teams consistently make it to post season action and last season the Lady Eagles made it all the way to the state semifinals. However, when our finest leave Clarke County they find themselves competing against student athletes from much larger schools. While that challenge can often mean the end of a student’s school soccer career, other times it forces exceptional athletes to step-up their game and rise to the occasion.

Such was the case with local midfielder, Courtney Butterfass.

Courtney graduated from Clarke County High School last year after amassing three varsity letters, three All-District,  two All-Region and two All-State selections. She was also named to the All-Area team as a senior on the the Clarke County team that advanced to the state semi-finals.

Courtney elected to attend High Point University in North Carolina and planned to major in Pharmacy. As the new school year approached Courtney felt the draw of soccer and was compelled to try out for the High Point team during the summer.  Courtney went to the last summer camp and was evaluated during the camp.  Coach Marty Beall explained that there were already 32 girls on the roster, but he would like her to be on the team as well.  The coach provided Courtney with a training booklet for running and ball skills that she would be expected to perform. With only 5 weeks between being accepted to the team and the first day of training, Courtney gave it all she had.  Due to the excessive heat this past summer, Courtney and her mom were up at 6am every morning traveling to Handley High school  to use the turf football field for the running drills.  After dinner, the family would go over to the Clarke County recreation center to work on ball skills training.  It was truly a family affair.

It paid off,  Courtney was excited to be selected as a member of a Division 1 NCAA soccer team and was one of only 9 teammates to pass all the running tests on the first try.

Courtney knew that she would have limited playing time going into her first year, but has already amassed 96 minutes of playing time in the first 11 games of the season.

Courtney is the daughter of Berryville residents Philip and Carlene Butterfass.

Heartbreak at The Felt as Eagles Lose to Rams in Final Seconds

#1 Kasey Lake makes the interception late in the first half. Photo credit Pam Lettie

Payback was on the minds of coaches and players as the Eagles faced the Strasburg Rams Friday night at the Felt. Two losses to the Rams last season, the second of which ended the Eagles playoff hopes, gave the team an added incentive in their first district game of the 2012 season.

The Rams had their own ideas.

The tightly matched game saw entire quarters eaten by single possessions on each side of the ball as offensive sides fought for yardage. In the end two 4th quarter breakout scores pushed the momentum to Strasburg handing them the victory over Clarke County 20-13.

Going into the game Clarke County knew their defense would have to stop Strasburg running back #23 Rakwon White. Last season White amassed over 500 yards rushing in their two match-ups and remains a force to be reckoned with this season. While the Eagles rose to the occasion in the first half, the relentless running attack wore them down in the second half as White amassed 174 yards rushing and scored the winning touchdown with 30 seconds left in the game.

Clarke County jumped ahead early in the game and both teams traded series in a closely fought game. The  lead that the Eagles carried into the half held until mid 4th quarter when the momentum shifted as Strasburg Quarterback #7 Troy Gordon broke around the outside and ran 36 yards for the tying score.

The next drive for Clarke County would be pivotal as they moved the ball towards breaking the tie.  A steady drive was knocked back by a holding call backing them up to 1-20. Driving forward to 4th and 1 the Eagles went for the first down and were stopped.

The Rams took possession on their own 46 and put together a 3 minute drive capped off by the Rakwon White’s TD with 30 seconds left to play.

Strasburg remains undefeated at 5-0, while the Eagles drop to 3-2 and are now 0-1 in the Bull Run District.

Next week Clarke County is not the road against the new school in Loudoun John Champe H S. Kickoff is at 7:00 PM


Clarke County Athletic Hall of Fame Inducts Three New Members

Three former athletes became the newest members of Clarke County’s Athletic Hall of Fame Friday night.  They were honored at a pre-game reception sponsored by the Bank of Clarke County and inducted during the halftime ceremony of the Clarke County/Stonewall Jackson football game.  The Hall was begun in 1990, and the honorees comprising the newest class were:

Mike Riley with CCHS Principal Jeff Jackson. Photo credit Iva Longerbeam

Mike Riley, Class of 1979 —  Riley was a standout four-sport athlete, earning honors in football, basketball, baseball, and track.  He lettered in varsity football his sophomore, junior, and senior years, and helped lead his team to many victories.  He started as a defensive back all three years.  His nine interceptions his junior year led the Northwestern District. During his senior year, he was selected as one of the team’s captains and the Eagles had one of their best seasons in years. They went undefeated with Riley as quarterback and play caller and had only fifteen points scored on them their first six games until they met Handley High in game seven.  After an extremely tough back and forth game, Handley squeaked by with a 24-21 victory.  The team finished the season 8-2.  Riley was selected All-Area second team as quarterback.  He lettered in basketball his sophomore, junior, and senior years and played as a forward.  He was selected Unsung Hero for the team his senior year.  His freshman year he participated in track as a high jumper and pole vaulter, earning a letter, but switched to baseball his last three years at CCHS.  Riley started all three years as a pitcher and outfielder, taking the MVP award his junior year and Unsung Hero Award his senior year.

Tim Tomblin with CCHS Principal Jeff Jackson. Photo credit Iva Longerbeam

Tim Tomblin, Class of 2001 – Tomblin was an outstanding cross country and track runner    for all four years of his high school career.  His freshman year in cross country he placed ninth at the District meet while his team finished in second place, twelfth place at the Region B meet, with his team third place, and was the second place runner on the team that took third place at States, their best finish ever.  As a sophomore, he did even better, with a third place at the District meet as his team finished in second place.  His strong races at both Regionals and States helped his team to second place at both Region B and Single A championships.  His junior year was his strongest year yet, as he took second at Districts, second at Regionals, and fifth place at States.  Clarke County was finally at the top of the podium as the team won Districts, placed second at Region B, and took the school’s first State championship in boys’ cross country.  His senior year he again was All-District with a ninth place finish and All-Region B, finishing fifth.  The team placed fourth at States.

He was also a standout athlete in track.  His freshman year he took third in both the 1600 and 800 in Districts while his team won their first Shenandoah District championship, and he finished sixth in the 1600 at Regionals. As a sophomore, he won both the 1600 and 800 at Districts and ran a leg on the first place 4 x 4 team while his team was again District champions. He followed that up with a  third in the 1600 and fifth in the 800 at Regionals.  He placed sixth in both at the State meet.  As a junior he was second in both the 1600 and 800 at Districts, third in the 800 and fourth in the 1600 at Regionals, and fifth in the 800 and sixth in the 1600 at States.  His final season as a CCHS athlete saw him again take second in both the 1600 and 800 in Districts, fourth in both at Regionals, and eighth in the 800 at States, closing out as one of the most successful middle distance runners as a CCHS athlete.  His outstanding athletic contributions were recognized as he was awarded the senior sportsmanship award.

Kyle VanSice Tim with CCHS Principal Jeff Jackson. Photo credit Iva Longerbeam

Kyle VanSice, Class of 2002 – VanSice participated in  both wrestling and baseball.  During his freshman and sophomore years in baseball this centerfielder was leadoff hitter on a team coached by Chris Parker.  The team won the Bull Run District Championship and made it to State semifinals.  However, VanSice’s primary focus was wrestling.  His freshman year was the first year wrestling returned to Clarke County after a long hiatus.  Coached first by Mike Smith his freshman year and then by his father, John VanSice, the rest of his career, he repeatedly demonstrated mental toughness in facing countless opponents.  During his sophomore year he finished as Bull Run District champion and State runner-up.  He took it one step further his junior year as Bull Run District, Region B, and  State “A” champion.  He repeated all three championships his senior year, and finished with an overall record of 124 – 26, a school record that stood until 2011, and finished with an outstanding State meet record of 11-1, all in the 125-pound weight class.  He was the school’s first member of the “Century Club”, signifying 100 career wins, and was named Single A “State Wrestler of the Year” in 2002 by VA Wrestling Round-Up.  He was his team’s top wrestler for 2000, 2001, and 2002.  The school coaches awarded him the “Bud Miley Dedication Award” at the end of his senior year for his outstanding leadership and contributions to the athletic program.

First Row (seated): Rudy Telek, Nancy Merriman, Bonnie Dodson, Betty Levi, Marty Reardon Proffitt, Haskell Jenkins, Nancy Digges Specht, Kyle VanSice, Tim Tomblin Row 2: Don Specht, Ernie Turner, LaJuan Gaither Curry, Charles Kackley, Donnie Fuller, Walter Barr, Bobby Lloyd, Bobby Barr Row 3: Jim Hartung, Gary Lichliter, Kenny Peffer, Dave Childs, Gary Elsea, Jesse Longerbeam, Dave Hall, Terry Hayton, Harlan Combs Back Row: Charlie Ramsburg, Gene Strother, Bob Fiddler, George Bowman, Dwayne Dillow, Travis Nowlin, Ken Stickley, Charlie Lutman. Photo credit Iva Longerbeam


Eagles Bounce Back Against Generals

#21 Nick Helmut looks for a hole in the defense. Photo credit Phil Butterfass

The Eagles stepped onto their home turf Friday night with something to prove. After a thumping at the hands of the Wildcats last week, coaches stressed focus and told players not to let the loss to Warren County beat them mentally as they faced Stonewall Jackson. 343 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns later, the Eagles showed their focus on the field and walked away with a resounding rebound victory, defeating the Generals 35-7.

Defensive Coordinator Casey Childs told the team after the game, “You didn’t let them get back in the game, you stayed focused especially in the second half, and that’s what good teams do. You bounced back and played well.”

Coach Parker with the offense during a timeout. Photo credit Phil Butterfass

Coach Parker was also satisfied with his team’s turn-around,”I thought we played well, and I was really impressed with the way we came out, especially in the second half. As a coaching staff that’s what we wanted to see.”

From the opening kickoff, the Eagles powered over Stonewall’s defense mounting an 11 play 69 yard drive for the first points of the game on a 1- yard touchdown run by #21 Nick Helmut. #20 Macson McGuian made his debut as kicker with the PAT and set the Eagles lead to 7.

The Generals mounted their own offensive effort and burned through the rest of the first quarter with an 11 play drive, but a botched snap and two penalties backed them up to their own 37 and they were forced to punt the ball away.

#9 Sean McDonald. Photo credit Pam Lettie

The Eagles ground attack would burn through 7:33 on their next scoring drive ending in another 1 yard touchdown run, this time by #5 Davey Hardesty marking his first of 3 TDs on the night. A bad snap on the PAT resulted in a scrambling two-point conversion pushing the Eagle lead to 15.

Ball control would kill any hopes of a comeback for the Generals. Stonewall coughed-up the ball on the Eagle’s 47 yard line and 7 plays later Davey Hardesty punched in his second score of the night.

However, the Generals were not going down without a fight.

With :50 left in the first half the General’s would catch Clarke County’s special teams off guard snapping up the kickoff and tearing down the sidelines for a 75 yard return to the Eagle 37. As time expired on the clock, the Generals would add their only points of the game taking the score at the half to 21-7.

#5 Davey Hardesty had 179 yards rushing on the night. Photo credit Phil Butterfass

The second half of the game belonged entirely to the Eagles as they held the Generals offense to only two first downs. Clarke County would add two more touchdowns to the board, one of which came on a 76 yard break away run from #5 Davey Hardesty.

Hardesty ended the game with 23 carries for 179 yards on the night with 3 touchdowns. #21 Nick Helmut had 10 carries for 66 yards and one touchdown and QB #9 Sean McDonald had 11 carries for 83 yards  with one touchdown and and was 1 for 4 with 18 yards passing on the night.

The Eagles have a bye next week and will face arch-rival Strasburg at home in two weeks.


Eagles Fall to Wildcats

#9 Sean McDonald drops back looking for an open receiver. Photo credit Mike Dowling

The road was not kind to the Eagles as they traveled to Warren County to face the Wildcats. Clarke County came into the game after crushing Berkley Springs in their season opener but in Front Royal they encountered a physical team that dominated them on the field and resoundingly defeated the Eagles 27-9.

The night started on a high note for Clarke County as #5 Davey Hardesty tore through the Wildcats on the opening kickoff returning the ball to the Warren County 11 yard line. The Wildcats defense, undaunted by the special teams breakdown, stood their ground and stopped the Eagles cold  forcing them to settle for a 30-yard field goal and their only lead of the game.

The Warren County defense would set the tone for the rest of the night on the next Eagle possession. With 6:59 left in the first quarter the Wildcats broke through Clarke County’s offensive line and slammed into QB Sean McDonald forcing a fumble. Linebacker Jacob Hill picked it up on the 23 yard line and punched it into the end zone for the first of two Warren County defensive touchdown seizing the lead for the remainder of the game.

The Wildcats defense dominated the Eagle’s offensive line completely controlling the line of scrimmage and shutting down Clarke’s running game so the Eagles turned to their passing offense. The  fierce rush from the Wildcats defensive line continually tore into the backfield and kept QB Sean McDonald on the run all night long. Repeatedly flushed from the pocket and strung out to the sidelines, McDonald  threw 3 interceptions further killing any hopes of turning the tide for the Eagles.

Clarke’s offensive line struggled to hold back the Wildcats’ defense. Photo credit Mike Dowling

The Wildcats would go on to rack up three more touchdowns on the evening including a score set up by a blocked punt that left the Wildcats on the Eagles’ doorstep. Two plays later a 10 yard pass by Warren County QB Tyler Post to Matthew Nicholson added their third TD on the night.

The sole touchdown for Clarke came late in the 4th quarter when McDonald connected with #24 Ben Wallace on a 39 yard pass to set up a 2 yard touchdown run by #5 Davey Hardesty.

The Warren County wall held Clarke County to only 44 yards rushing on the entire night.

Coach Parker said after the  game, “They were physically very strong and we had problems blocking them, they were breaking tackles and you can’t allow that against a strong team. We got beat by a very good team but we are better than the way we played tonight.”

The Eagles drop to 1-1 on the season but are still two weeks away from their first Bull Run District game. Clarke County returns to the Felt next week to face Stonewall. Kickoff is at 7:30 PM.

Eagles Dominate the Indians in Season Opener

The Felt was packed Friday night as the Clarke County Eagles opened their 2012 season against Berkley Springs. Last season, the Indians gave the Eagles a run for their money in a tight game that the Eagles eventually pulled-out for the win, but last night was a whole different story as Clarke County crushed the Indians with a final score of 40-0.

The Eagles dominated both sides of the ball racking up six touchdowns. The team’s new starting QB, sophomore  Sean McDonald broke the ice capping off a 64 yard opening drive with a 3 yard run for the first points of the game. Less than two minutes later running back Davey Hardesty broke three tackles for a 31 yard touchdown run adding a second score. The quick strikes knocked the Indians on their heels and with five seconds left in the first quarter #6 Todd Benton caught a crease and ran a third score in from 19 yards out.

The Eagle defensive squad turned in a great performance as well sporting a new five man defensive line. The Indians weren’t able to muster a first down until the second quarter and had only 6 for the entire game. Noseguard #12 Eric Stewart pulled down the Indians QB for the first of the three sacks the new Eagle defense had on the night.

Clarke County added three more scores before the second string unit went in the game with 6:45 left in the forth quarter.

Team captain, Davey Hardesty delivered a standout performance on the night with three touchdowns and 200 yards rushing.

Coach Parker said he was happy with the teams overall performance,”I thought our guys played a good game, we had a couple of fumbles and some penalties, but all in all I think it was a good performance for the first game of the season.”

Next week the Eagles are on the road against Warren County.

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Registration for the Fall 2012 season for Clarke County Youth Soccer

Registration for the Fall 2012 season for Clarke County Youth Soccer is open.

Players born between 8/1/93 and 7/31/2008 are eligible to play. Players do not have to be Clarke County residents to participate. For more information and to register online visit the CCYSA website at Registration forms and a drop box are also available at the Clarke County Parks & Recreation building. Regular registration ends July 14; late registration (additional $20 per player) continues through August 8.

Sponsorship Opportunities
Are you a local business and want to sponsor a team? Sponsorship opportunities are available and are a great way to show your support for the community. Cost for sponsorship is $100/per team and includes your company name on team shirts, website listing, and a team picture plaque. If interested, contact a board member (contact info on the website) or call 540.955.9002.

For more information, email:

Become a fan on Facebook – search for Clarke County Youth Soccer Association.

Local Wrestlers Find National Success

Bayne Gordon and John Borst. Photo credit Bud Gordon

Two local wrestlers represented the Shenandoah Valley well at the 2012 2012 NHSCA U.S. Open wrestling tournament on July 7th.   Bayne Gordon won the in the 95 pound middle school division to claim a National Championship, and John Borst took third place in the 127 pound middle school division.  Bayne and John are teammates, both wrestle for the Millbrook Madmen and the Gettysburg Gladiators wrestling clubs.  Bayne attends Johnson-Williams Middle School, and John attends Robert E. Aylor Middle School; both boys will be eighth graders next year.

Gordon said “I have attended this event for the past four years and it has been my goal to win a national title; it was nice to work hard and finally achieve the championship.”  On his friendship with Borst he said “John has been wrestling with me for years and we go to most of the same tournaments, it is nice to have a friend rooting for you every time in your corner.”

The US Open Wrestling Tournament was hosted at the Harrisburg Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and has been held for the last sixteen years.  Hundreds of wrestlers from over fifteen states from California to Alabama represented their home states and clubs in pursuit of a national championship title.

Outstanding Seasons Come to a Close for Track, Softball, Baseball and Boys Soccer

While the Lady Eagles soccer team defeated Northhampton to continue on the state semifinals three other CCHS teams have closed out their epic seasons, two of them at state tournaments.

The Clarke County Boys Soccer Team lost to Northhampton 3-0 Tuesday afternoon. The Eagles had a magnificent season tearing through their  competition in district and regional tournaments. Connor Shendow, Davey Hardesty, Ben Marshall and Alex Sefton were all named to the 2012 All Region B Boys Soccer team.

The Clarke County Lady Eagles Softball team also lost in their state quarterfinal bracket dropping a tight game to King William , 2-1. The team rolled over opponents throughout the regular season with 19 wins and 2 loses breaking school record set in 1997, 1998 and 2009 for the most wins in a single season. Sarah Herndon broke an individual  school record by finishing out the regular season with 207 strike outs in a single season. Sarah was also named Region B pitcher of the year.

Other Lady Eagles who were recognized on the 2012 All-Region B Softball Team included:

1st Team Pitcher – Sarah Herndon
1st Team Infielder – Helen Good
1st Team Outfielder – Olivia Gore

2nd Team Outfielder – Megan Rion

Clarke County’s boys and girls track team competed in the Virginia High School League “A” track meet in Radford, Virginia on Saturday June 2nd closing out their season.

The Clarke County High School girl’s team finished 16th out of 36 scoring teams. The CCHS boy’s team finished 24th out of 38 scoring teams.

Congratulations to the following athletes who placed at the state track meet:

Caitlin lake 3rd in the 100 hurdles
Miles Crosby 5th in the girls triple jump
Zach Campbell 3rd in the 1600 meter run (mile)
Zach Campbell 7th in the 3200 meter run (2 mile)

Eagles Baseball closed out their season in District play.Congratulations to Drew Paice & Ethan Emmart for being on the Region B Honorable Mention for baseball!

Clarke County Soccer Teams Continue Post Season Run

Photo credit Pam Lettie

Eagles soccer continues to dominate as both boys and girls sides advance to Regional championship games.

The Clarke County boys soccer team played Goochland High School at home May 30 in the Region B semi-finals. At halftime, the score was 2-0 but the Eagles came on even stronger in the second half scoring an additional 5 goals routing the Bulldogs 7-0.

In other action, the Lady Eagles soccer team beat Altavista 6-0 on the road in southern Virginia in the girls Region B semi-finals.

Both teams play again Friday night in the Region B Championship games and both teams have secured berths in the state finals.


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