No. 1: Colorado Rockies draft Kettle Run graduate Brenton Doyle
Former Kettle Run star Brenton Doyle became the highest-ever drafted county athlete in history for any sport when the Colorado Rockies selected him in the fourth round of the Major League Baseball draft. The NCAA Division II all-American at Shepherd University had a red-hot summer with the Rockies’ rookie affiliate Grand Junction, hitting .383 with eight home runs, 33 RBI and 17 stolen bases. He will report to spring training camp with the Rockies in Scottsdale, Arizona, in February. He’s expected to next play with the Asheville (North Carolina) Tourists in the Class A South Atlantic League.
No. 2: Kettle Run’s Smith, Fauquier’s Fisher, Liberty’s Barrett win state titles
The county’s three wrestling programs combined for unprecedented success at the Class 4 state tournament. Each school had a state champion in Mason Barrett (Liberty, 106 pounds), Alex Smith (Kettle Run, 138) and Sam Fisher (Fauquier, 182). Smith, a junior, became Kettle Run’s first wrestling titlist. Barrett, a sophomore, became the Eagles’ fourth state champion. Fisher, a junior, won his third consecutive state title after winning at 160 as a freshman and 170 as a sophomore. Liberty also placed third as a team to tie its all-time best finish, while Kettle Run posted its best in history with a fourth. Fauquier placed sixth in the state after winning the Region 4C and Northwestern District championships.
No. 3: Liberty sets field hockey program record with 18-2 record
Liberty’s field hockey team shredded its record book en route to its first district regular-season and tournament crowns in history. The Eagles finished with an 18-2 record, including an 18-game streak for the most wins and longest winning streak in county field hockey history. They finished as the Region 4D runner-up and advanced to the state tournament for the first time since 2002, falling to defending champion Chancellor in the quarterfinals. Junior Daphne Daymude tallied a program-record 35 goals and was named Class 4 Northwestern District Player of the Year and Region 4D Player of the Year before making the all-state first team. Jordan Cabanban was second-team all-state.
No. 4: Fauquier’s Patrick Atwell sets 2 state track records
Fauquier senior Patrick Atwell won three state track championships and set two Class 4 state records. He won the indoor 500-meter dash crown in 1 minute, 4.34 seconds, the second-fastest time in the nation. He also was part of the gold medal 1,600 relay team that set a state record. During outdoor season, he scorched the 400 field to win in a state-record 47.66 before joining the Virginia Tech track team.
No. 5: Highland girls win 4th consecutive lacrosse state championship
Sophomore Gabby Brisbin had eight goals as the Highland girls lacrosse team won its fourth consecutive VISAA Division II state championship with a 21-11 win over Cape Henry on the Hawks’ home field in Warrenton. Kayla Soltys and Abby Soltys had four goals each in the final. So the Hawks finished 20-0 for a 70-1 record since 2016.
No. 6: Highland girls win 1st basketball state championship
Highland registered its first-ever girls basketball state title with a 43-35 win over Miller School in the VISAA Division II final. Kayla Soltys scored 16 points and sister Abby Soltys had 11 as the Hawks finished with a 21-5 record and ended Miller’s run of six consecutive state titles.
No. 7: Highland girls win 5th soccer state championship
Highland’s girls soccer team went 14-1-2 and overpowered Nansemond Suffolk 5-1 in the VISAA D-II final thanks to goals by Caroline Lawson (two), Molly Petronzio, Carolyn Treuting and Alexis Conlin.
No. 8: Liberty’s Sam Rodman records nation’s fastest track time in 1,000
As the year ended, Liberty junior Sam Rodman held the nation’s fastest time in the indoor 1,000-meter run at 2 minutes, 29.66 seconds. He set that mark at Liberty University on Dec. 21 one week after earning the nation’s second-fastest time. Rodman also previously won the Class 4 Northwestern District cross country championship, adding sixth in the Region 4C race and 10th at state.
No. 9: Liberty wins football district title with new Buzzo as coach
Liberty hired 25-year-old Travis Buzzo as its new football coach, and he led the Eagles to the Class 4 Northwestern District championship. Liberty then eliminated Loudoun County in the Region 4B quarterfinals before falling to Tuscarora in the semifinals to finish with an 11-1 record. Buzzo is a 2012 Liberty graduate who played for his father, Tommy, a legend who had an 89-24 record in 10 years as Liberty’s coach.
No. 10: Kettle Run earns 2nd baseball state berth in history
Kettle Run’s baseball team made the state Class 4 baseball tournament for the second time in history. Zach Ewald and Dan Dispanet combined to pitch a five-hitter as the No. 3-seeded Cougars won the Northwestern District championship game over No. 1 Sherando 3-0. Kettle Run then eliminated Loudoun County 2-0 in the Region 4C semifinals as ace Joe Vogatsky retired 16 of the last 17 batters and allowed no hits in the final five innings. The Cougars lost the region final to Riverside 5-4 and in the state quarterfinals to Liberty Christian Academy, 11-0, to finish with a 15-10 record.
No. 11: Liberty grad Wyatt Teller earns starting role for Cleveland Browns
The only Fauquier County product in history to play in the NFL, 2013 Liberty graduate Wyatt Teller was traded from the Buffalo Bills to the Cleveland Browns in August. The 6-foot-4, 314-pound offensive lineman started the final nine games at right guard, playing 100 percent of the Browns’ snaps.
No. 12: Fauquier grads Benson and Johnson claim college conference track titles
Two former Fauquier track stars had top-notch seasons for NCAA Division I schools. Dominique Johnson, a senior at James Madison, won the Colonial Athletic Association discus championship at 167 feet, 7 inches to become the first Dukes thrower to win the event since 1992. George Mason’s Tyler Benson was part of a 1,600-meter relay team that advanced to the NCAA championship semifinals. He ran the first leg for the team, which finished second in the Eastern Region and also won the Atlantic-10 400 relay.
No. 13: Kettle Run’s Paul Frye named Athletic Administrator of the Year award
The Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association selected Kettle Run’s Paul Frye as the state’s top Class 3/4 Athletic Administrator of the Year. Kettle Run’s only activities director since opening in 2008, Frye joined Highland AD Gary Leake, former Fauquier AD Allen Creasy and former Wakefield AD Paul Sipes as a winners. Creasy won the Group AA award in 2011 while Sipes won the 2012 VISAA award and Leake won the 2016 VISAA award.
No. 14: Fauquier grad Caity Ashley shines in Boston Marathon
Former Fauquier soccer star Caity Ashley finished in the top two percent of female runners in the prestigious Boston Marathon. The 2013 FHS grad completed the hallowed course in 3 hours, 3 minutes, 45 seconds to place 246th in a field of more than 12,000 female runners.
No. 15: Orlean’s Parley Hannan wins NCAA D-III women’s cross country title
Orlean resident Parley Hannan of Ithaca College won the NCAA Division III women’s cross country title in 20 minutes, 53.8 seconds. A graduate of Westover School in Middlebury, Connecticut, she averaged 5:36 per mile to win by 18 seconds in a field of 277 runners.
No. 16: Kettle Run wins boys lacrosse region championship
The Kettle Run boys lacrosse team beat Fauquier 18-6 to claim its second consecutive Region 4B crown. Both teams advanced to the Class 4 state quarterfinals where they lost to Loudoun County teams. Kettle Run finished with a 14-3 record while Fauquier was 11-5.
No. 17: Warrenton Post 72 ends 33-year state drought in American Legion
Warrenton Post 72’s American Legion baseball team returned to the state tournament for the first time since 1986. They finished as the state runner-up.
No. 18: Fauquier’s football team ends 13-game losing streak
Under new head coach Karl Buckwalter, Fauquier’s football team ended a 13-game losing skid with a 32-0 home win over Brentsville. Later, the Falcons knocked off Kettle Run for the first time in six years to finished with a 4-6 record.
No. 19: Kettle Run grad Yergin sets 7 records for Shenandoah women’s soccer team
Emily Yergin, a former all-state soccer player at Kettle Run, finished her four-year career at Shenandoah University with at least a share of seven career records. That included the most goals (61), most points (14) and most game-winning goals (15). She also earned Old Dominion Athletic all-conference first-team honors for the fourth time.
No. 20: Locals capitalizing on NCAA Division I opportunities
A host of county residents are members of NCAA Division I sports program. Michigan football signee Blake Corum was Maryland’s Gatorade Player of the Year for his play at St. James Academy, while Fauquier senior wrestler and three–time state champion Sam Fisher signed with national power Virginia Tech. Signees already competing in college include Fauquier’s Patrick Atwell (Virginia Tech, track) and Jules Oravec (Central Arkansas, beach volleyball), Liberty’s Kinsley Lewis (Radford, basketball) and Morgan Hatcher (Norfolk State, softball), Highland’s Kate Soltys (Mercer, lacrosse) and Joe DeBardi (Mount St. Mary’s, baseball), and Kettle Run’s Caitlyn Adair (UNC-Wilmington, swimming). Former Liberty girls basketball star Makaela Kestner transferred from South Florida to Liberty University while former Liberty High offensive linemen Julian Sams and R.J. Proctor shined on national TV. Sams was starting left guard for a Kent State football team that beat Utah State 51-41 in the Frisco Bowl for the school’s first bowl win in history. Proctor started at left tackle for the University of Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship win over Baylor, and in the college football semifinal loss to LSU.