Outsider’s perspective (by Kevin Trudgeon): Winter sports heating up
Posted: January 25, 2013
Ray Lewis may not like it, but with the Super Bowl more than a week away there are more important things to focus on at the moment.
Sure, the Harbaugh brothers are making every set of siblings across the country look in the mirror and ask themselves why they can’t measure up (I blame my little brother, the journalist should not be the most successful one of the Trudgeon brother duo ... step your game up son) and Colin Kaepernick is trying to monopolize a move meatheads at the gym have been doing for years while also being on the verge of making it a prerequisite for all elite QBs to have their arms covered in tattoos.
But even with all that and more, there’s plenty of interesting things going on locally in the sports world.
Mother Nature may have other plans, but as of late Thursday the Northwestern District swim meet was scheduled for tonight and there should be no shortage of fast times turned in.
The usual suspects like Sherando’s Kelsey Dingman and Handley’s Liz Grove and Taylor Watts will undoubtedly take home their share of first-place finishes, but newcomers like Millbrook freshman Taylor Linder and the James Wood duo of Conor Babington (a sophomore who has made huge strides since his freshman season) and Brian Baker (a junior who did not swim last year) should make some noise as well.
Weather should not be an issue on Wednesday when the Northwestern District wrestling meet gets underway at Sherando High School.
Skyline may be riding high after winning the first regular season title in school history, but there should be plenty of exciting matchups on the mat, including a possible showdown between heavyweights Jordan Dowrey (Handley) and Erik Bearer (James Wood), a pair that has already provided a couple bouts that have gone the distance this season.
And while the district tournament may still be a few weeks away, the second half of the Northwestern District regular season is scheduled to tip-off tonight and there are plenty of storylines to follow.
The Sherando boys stand alone as the only undefeated team in district play — and an impressive one at that with an 18.5-point differential through four district games — but the Warriors still have to go to Millbrook and Handley, two teams that would like nothing better than to add a blemish to that district record for Sherando, making a district title no sure thing.
And fight for district player of the year is just as intriguing.
Heading into last Friday Millbrook’s Rze Culbreath (19.6 ppg), Sherando’s Aaron Miller (19.5 ppg) and Handley’s Cameron Jackson (18.8 ppg) were separated by less than a point in the battle for the district’s top-scoring spot and all three will factor into the final decision.
On the girls’ side the Warriors are also all by themselves in first place, although by a much smaller margin than their male counterparts.
While the Sherando girls crushed Handley and Skyline by a combined 62 points, the Warriors had to fight and claw their way to wins over James Wood (54-48) and Millbrook (50-47).
The Colonels may have a tough time duplicating their effort on the road tonight, but Sherando still has to make its annual trip to Casey Gymnasium where the Pioneers haven’t lost in more than four years.
Warriors freshman Lauren Reed (18.3 ppg) and Millbrook junior transfer Brenna Cook (16.9 ppg) are the top scorers in the district and will be looked upon to lead their teams the rest of the way.
All in all the next couple weeks should provide plenty of excitement for the local sports fan.
And there’s always that big football game down in New Orleans as well.
— Kevin Trudgeon is the sports editor at The Winchester Star