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Top 20 Fauquier County sports stories of 2018

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No. 1: Wyatt Teller plays in NFL

The 2013 Liberty High graduate became the first Fauquier County product to play in NFL after the Buffalo Bills drafted him. The 6-foot-4, 315-pound left guard entered Nov. 4 in a 41-9 loss to Chicago Bears and emerged as a starter afterward.

No. 2: Many county coaches leave teams

Liberty football coach Sean Finnerty was among a flurry of county coaches who vacate posts. Other notable departures included Fauquier High softball coach Mark Ott, Liberty girls basketball/softball coach Ryan Washington, Fauquier football coach Joe Prince, Fauquier girls basketball coach Maurice Sanders, Wakefield boys basketball coach Joe Harrington, and more.

No. 3: Fauquier and Liberty place top-3 in state wrestling

Ricky Ryan and Jordan Florence became the Eagles’ first individual state champions in 17 years, with Liberty third in the Class 4 state team standings for its best finish in history. The Falcons placed second with Franco Camarca and Sam Fisher becoming the Falcons’ fourth and fifth repeat individual champions in history. Casen Chumley tied a Kettle Run record by finishing as an individual state runner-up.

No. 4: Highland girls win 3rd consecutive lacrosse state title

The Hawks routed Virginia Episcopal 17-6 to win the VISAA Division II championship. They finished with a 15-1 record after beginning the season 12-0 as part of a 47-game winning streak that dated back to start of 2016 season.

No. 5: Fauquier wins 1st state baseball game since 1998

The Falcons finished with a 19-7 record and beat Amherst 3-2 in the Class 4 quarterfinals to join the 1998 Falcons as the only teams in program history to win a state game. They lost in the state semifinals to Salem 8-3.

No. 6: Kettle Run wins 10 football games for 1st time since 2012

The Cougars’ 10-2 record represented the second-best winning percentage in program history and their most wins in a season since going 11-3 in 2012. The Cougars lost to Sherando 16-14 in the Class 4 Region C semifinals after beating Millbrook 20-14 in double overtime in the quarterfinals as Shannon Ferguson caught a tipped 10-yard touchdown pass from Gabe Chumley, who broke a handful of his brother Casen Chumley’s passing records.

No. 7: Makaela Kestner sets county's scoring record in basketball

The Liberty graduate departed with 1,545 points, passing 1996 Fauquier High graduate Tera Walker’s 1,496. Kestner teammate Kinsley Lewis became the Liberty girls’ leading career rebounder as only a junior.

No. 8: Doug Harpole hikes Appalachian Trail

The Amissville 56-year-old completed a 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail in five-and-a-half months, hiking from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mt. Katahdin, Maine, from March 12 to Aug. 26.

No. 9: County products excel as NCAA D-I athletes

Julian Sams (Liberty High) earned a football starting role as freshman left guard at Kent State, a rare feat for a lineman. Juliette Ruland (Fauquier High) was all-Big South for the Radford women’s lacrosse team. R.J. Proctor (Liberty) earned a starting spot for the Virginia football team. Julian Ngoh (Liberty) shined as a William & Mary soccer player. Kelli Burney (Liberty) did the same for South Florida, which qualified for the NCAA tournament. David Eldridge (Kettle Run) and the James Madison football team advanced to the FCS second round. Anthony Spagnoletti (Liberty) helped East Tennessee State make the FCS playoffs. And other county products had successful college seasons.

No. 10: Fauquier beats Kettle Run in boys soccer for 1st time

The Falcons ended a winless streak of at least 21 consecutive matches that spanned the entire history of their rivalry with the Cougars. Goals by Daniel Duca and David Cruz gave the Falcons a 2-1 win in Nokesville.

No. 11: Fauquier advances to volleyball state tournament

The Falcons lost in the Class 4 state quarterfinals, falling one victory shy of reaching the semifinals for the first time since 2003. Fauquier dropped a five-set decision at Blacksburg to end its season at 20-6, the third consecutive season with 20 or more victories for a school record.

No. 12: Lizzie Waln sets Liberty softball home run record

The catcher hit five home runs in a week to reach 11 for the season, topping the nine that Eagles coach Ryan Washington hit in 2004 as a player.

No. 13: Highland wins 4th girls soccer state title in history

The Hawks went 14-1-2 and won the VISAA Division II championship over Nansemond Suffolk 5-1. Caroline Lawson scored twice, with Molly Petronzio, Carolyn Treuting, Mallory McReynolds add goal each.

No. 14: Liberty sets record for boys lacrosse single-season wins

The Eagles went 6-6 after entering the spring without more than five wins in a season. They amassed only a 32-144 record between 2005 and 2017. She helped Liberty finish with a 17-7 record an an appearance in the Class 4 Region C semifinals, falling one win short of the Eagles' first state berth since 2012.

No. 15: Fauquier runs to best region finish in more than 18 seasons

The Falcons finished as the Class 4 Region C runner-up, tying for their best region placement in at least 19 years. Nick Matthews placed seventh to tie for the Falcons’ top boys individual region placement in that same span. Fauquier then placed fourth at the state meet with Matthews finishing 17th.

No. 16: Kettle Run ties best state finish in swimming history

The Cougars finished third in the boys standings of the Class 4 state meet, tying two other teams for best in program history. Tanner Smith, Jake Heenan, Garrett Finan and Andy Whitted helped Kettle Run’s boys and girls combine for nine state medals and eight program records.

No. 17: Wakefield sets record for wins in boys soccer season

The Owls began 13-0 for their best run in history and finished 13-2 with a 1-1 loss to Seton (5-3 on penalty kicks) in the Delaney Athletic Conference semifinals and a 2-1 loss to Trinity of Mountain View in first round of the VISAA Division II state tournament.

No. 18: Fauquier track athletes win state races

The Falcons placed fourth in the girls standings of the Class 4 indoor state meet while Patrick Atwell was the boys state champion in the 500-meter run. During the outdoor track season, Fauquier’s girls won the 3,200-meter relay thanks to the unit of Kelsey Gastley, Kyra Holland, Elise Fernandez and Hannah Holland.

No. 19: Kettle Run places 3rd in region golf

The Cougars won the Northwestern District regular season golf title and placed third the Class 4 Region C meet, falling short of their first state berth in history by one spot. Hunter Anderson shot 76 in the region meet and Reece Massei shot 77. Freshman Gabby Finan later became the first Kettle Run golfer in history to qualify for the VHSL Girls Open state meet.

No. 20: Fauquier goes winless in football for 3rd time in football history

With a 0-10 record, the Falcons matched their 1980 team for the lowest mark in the program’s history.

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