By Tanner Smith
While some high school athletes plateau during the course of their high school career, the gun slinging quarterback of the 3-2 Raiders, Max Revercomb (’15) continues to improve.
“This will be my third year with Max and I have known him since he was a freshman. He has definitely gotten a lot better,” offensive and defensive lineman Brett Jones (’16) said. “He is making smarter plays, reading defenses a lot better and he has grown into a overall quarterback.”
Each quarterback has his own style of playing the position, and Revercomb, who has thrown 20 touchdowns this year against seven interceptions, is no exception. While some quarterbacks prefer to play cautiously, Revercomb’s instincts have no such inhibitions.
“Max is a guy who wants to go for it all,” Jones said. “He always wants to try to make a big play. He expands the pocket and scrambles outside just to find the big play.”
While in some cases this gung-ho attitude is a great attribute, Revercomb admits that at times he needs to try to make the shorter, safer plays. While he still does not like yielding in any way, he realizes that he has matured and needs to continue to mature in this way.
“A lot of it is in-game experience and the mental part of the game,” he said. “The physical part comes pretty easy for me but now in my third year as a starter I definitely have a much better feel for the game.”
This “feel for the game” has shown up in his completion percentages, as he has went from completing 49.8 percent of his passes his sophomore year to 59 percent through five games this year.
Defensive coach Shannon Taylor, who played at UVA and then went on to play four years in the NFL, has nothing but praise for Revercomb.
“Max is our best player hands down. He is a defensive guy, our quarterback and our captain,” he said. “I have been very impressed by Max and what he has done while I have been here. He has always been a kid who has stood out to me.”
Along with being an incredible natural athlete Max takes his preparation very seriously.
“Max didn’t miss a weight lifting all summer; he was always there,” Taylor said.
As a result of his intense preparation both in the offseason and during the season, Revercomb’s durability has become one of his strengths. He has yet to miss a start since becoming the starting quarterback as a sophomore. Despite this ironman approach, it would be foolish to think his effort level ever drops in order to maintain.
“Max plays hard every play and never quits,” Jones said. “Every single play on both offense and defense if you watch him, he is doing something to help the team.”
Taylor agrees with Jones’ assessment.
“Everything he does is 100 percent,” Taylor said. “He never takes any plays off.”
One of the biggest challenges for the Raiders this year has been to jell with new dynamic players such as Maurice Garrison (’18). Taylor sees Revercomb as a pivotal part of that process.
“Max’s football IQ is one of his strongest traits,” he said. “Max is a football guy who is always watching the game and always knows what is going on around him. His awareness has helped the team and he has been able to get all the young guys lined up.”
Revercomb rarely talks about himself within interviews, preferring to use “we” to “I.” In terms of “we,” Revercomb is trying not to look too far ahead.
“We are taking it game by game, but our ultimate goal is to definitely get into the state championship,” he said.
Taylor sees no lack of effort in these Raiders in their drive to a championship.
“We are very young and very talented,” he said. “I think our youth has actually been our strength. Even with the inexperience, the guys are playing really hard and fast.”
While Revercomb is one of the main focuses of the offense, Taylor knows that the offense is far from one-dimensional.
“A lot of people might think we just want to pass the ball, but we have a run first kind of offense with Ryan Dent, Isaiah Harris, Maurice Garrison and Lucas Arnold,” he said. “From time to time though we have to stretch the defense using the width of the field and our speed in order to take advantage of all of our skills.”
These Raiders will have a chance to display those skills in their Homecoming game vs. St. Anne’s Belfield on Oct. 3.
By Campbell Lake
Jaime Dooley, a former William Byrd Terrier, arrived to be a huge asset to the varsity soccer squad.
The Raiders, who are the No. 1 seed in the state, played an exhilarating match on Sept. 26 against the Eastern Mennonite Flames. The boys varsity soccer team dominated most of the game, however it resulted in their first tie of the season when the Flames netted a goal in the last minute of the match. The Raiders fought hard throughout two overtimes, but both defenses held their positions with vigor. The ending result was 2-2, after a long and tiresome battle.
Dooley scored one of the two goals for the Raiders in the first 10 minutes of the game, with an assist by Christian Entleitner.
"He had such a great goal," said Coach James Brown, who has been leading the soccer team to success for 10 years now.
"Jaime has been quite the addition to the team, and has been leading in assists," Brown said. Dooley is currently ranked No. 1 in the state for assists with ##.
"He fits in really well with the boys, and likes to share the ball, which is something we needed with the seniors that we graduated last year," said coach, reflecting on the loss of graduate Christopher Pollock ('14), who now plays soccer at Dickinson College.
Coach Brown also noted that he sees potential in Dooley not only leading in assists, but even in goals as the season progresses.
Dooley alternates between playing center-mid and striker for the varsity squad, which is the same position he played at his former school, William Byrd.
"I like this team a lot better than my former team because we are much closer, like a family," Dooley said.
Dooley has been infatuated with the sport since he was just 6 years old. He plays for the Roanoke Star club, and has been dedicated to the club for six years. Dooley wishes to continue his passion for soccer, as he plans to play in college, and even dreams of making it into the professional world.
Dooley reflected on what he loves most about soccer.
"Everything,” he said. “The ball, the way it feels on your feet, everything."
Teammates Brandon Campbell ('16) and Christian Entleitner ('15) are ecstatic about Dooley's skills and contributions to the team this year.
"He is a great goal scorer and ball handler," Campbell said, “which is shown by his number one ranking in assists.”
As a key defender on the varsity team, Campbell really appreciates Dooley's help as striker in their games.
Entleitner had nothing but positive things to say about Dooley's personality, both on and off the field.
"He's a great guy and a great student athlete," Entleitner said, “and has his heart in the right place.”
By Dre Colston
The girl’s field hockey team has a different dynamic this year with their seven seniors leading the team.
This season the team is projected to be one of the favorites in their conference. The team’s record is 5-3-1 and coming off a large win against Carlisle.
“It felt like we had just won the state championship,” said Coach Kelly, “scoring on a last minute goal by Morgan Sturm (’17) was the best feeling ever.”
Sturm agrees with her coach’s sentiment.
“It felt really good to score that goal,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and I am really grateful to them that they set me up for that opportunity.”
That win would not have been possible without the seniors, who are Sarah Shaff, Annie Elwell, Meg Evett, Avery Sturm, Madison Bloomfield, Kerin Daly, and goalkeeper Anna Robinson. Shaff in particular has taken her leadership role to heart.
"Sarah is a great captain, she keeps us focused and keeps our energy up," said Annie Elwell who also plays defense, "She's like a wall on defense, she's always where she supposed to be on the field and she's got great hits for transferring the ball."
Shaff is a captain on the team who anchors the defense.
“Sarah has been a leader on the team as long as I’ve been here,” said Head Coach Katherine Kelly, “Sarah plays in the back of the field which makes me feel a lot better with having her back there to stop the ball.” Shaff joined the varsity field hockey team as a sophomore adding to the team dynamic right away.
"I've been playing field hockey seven years," Shaff said, "I have enjoyed every moment of it." Shaff finds field hockey more enjoyable than any other sport, even though she does play soccer and basketball.
"I like field hockey because it's unique," she said, "Not many people can play field hockey considering it is a foreign sport."
Shaff has been playing field hockey for three years and has worked her way to a captain spot.
"I feel good that people actually have trust in me to be the captain," she said. "I'm actually surprised I was voted captain. It felt really good that my teammates have faith in me."
Shaff has been starting on the defense for two years and been contributing greatly with her leadership and teamwork.
"I like defense because that's what I'm good at well that's what I'm the best at," she said. "I also play with one of the best defenses in the conference in my opinion."
Avery Sturm, who has been playing with Shaff for four years, has loved every year with her.
"Sarah is not only a great friend and teammate but also an amazing captain,” Sturm said. “She always puts herself before others and she encourages us all to play our hardest every game."
The girl’s next challenge will be to take on Trinity Episcopal on homecoming day at 12:00 p.m.
By Nathan Seidel
Chester Pruitt ('18) is new to the sport of cross country, but he is already making an incredible difference for the Raiders this season.
Pruitt is confident that cross country is a sport in which he can excel.
"It's a different sport, it's a little challenging," Pruitt said, "but I think I can be good in the long run if I keep practicing and working hard."
The cross-country team is off to a promising start this season. Their most recent meet
was Friday, September 26. The Raider boys finished first, second, third, fourth, and sixth, thoroughly dominating, while for the girls, Audrey Lemon finished second and Margo Winn and Rebecca Benson both had solid runs. Walter Mann was victorious with a strong time of 19:50, and Pruitt finished second with a time of 20:12.
Pruitt played soccer all through middle school, but once he reached his high school years, he decided to pursue the less popular, though difficult, sport of cross country. This year, he is a member of the Raiders' varsity cross-country squad. The varsity team consists of around fifteen people this season. The Raiders were victorious in their first meet this season, defeating runners from Virginia Episcopal School and Hargrave Military Academy. In this meet, Pruitt emerged as a talented new runner, finishing first out of all boys participating.
In cross country meets, Pruitt runs 5ks, a race that amasses a distance of just over three miles. He likes this distance, and feels that it is working well for him.
"A mile would be a little short," Pruitt said, "and five miles would be a little long."
Every day, the runners gather at the CAC for practice. After they meet, the team stretches and they receive their assignments for the day. Pruitt usually runs up near the head of the pack, with Coach Dickenson. The team usually covers about two miles every day. They run all over campus, including the trails in the woods.
The varsity cross-country team at our school is coached by Ed Dickenson, the head of Eaton Hall. He has been leading the Raider runners since 1989. Coach Dickenson is a runner himself, and he delights in passing on his passion for cross country. He also enjoys running with the team and getting to know them as people. In addition, he loves the feeling of pride when he watches his runners compete in the final meets of the season.
"I want the team to enjoy practices even on days when we are training extremely hard," Dickenson said, "I want for them to enjoy the routine of running because it is a lifetime sport."