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SwimmersFluco swim Coach Feda Morton described the efforts of the girls’ and boys’ swim teams on Jan. 9 as “a great showing with stiff competition in every event.” The squads were competing at the University of Virginia in the annual and prestigious Ben Hair swim meet. Thirteen teams competed on the girls’ side while there were 15 teams in the boys’ competition. The girls finished third and the boys were sixth, but third among public schools.

Three girls broke school records in this event. Abby Harlow broke the Fluco school record in the 50-meter free sprint. Her time was 25.52, which was 0.07 seconds faster than the previous record held by Fefe Nardone. Harlow’s time was good enough to qualify her for the year-end State meet.

Swimming the 100-meter freestyle event, Abby Fuller finished in 54.67, cutting 0.85 seconds off her own school record. Caylyn McNaul also bested her own school record. She completed the long distance 500-meter freestyle event in 5:40.00. Her prior best was 5:42.67.

Harlow, Fuller and McNaul were not done with their record-breaking swims. Harlow also finished first in the 100-meter breaststroke, and sixth in the 100-meter butterfly. Fuller took fourth place in the 400-meter individual medley, and McNaul was fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke.
There were also a number of other top performances for the Flucos.

Emma DiFazio took third in the 100-meter backstroke. Zoe Moore was seventh in the 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter freestyle. The girls also did well in relay events. The 200-meter medley team, consisting of DiFazio, McNaul, Harlow and Fuller, took second. The 200-meter free relay team, made up of Harlow, Moore, McNaul and Fuller, took third.

The top swimmer for the boys was Hunter Strickland. He finished fifth in the 100-meter butterfly and sixth in the 200-meter individual medley – both difficult events. The boys also had two relay teams finish in the point count. The 200-meter free relay team was eighth, as was the 400-meter free relay team. The 200-meter team consisted of Owen Strickland, Joshua Rocklien, Jack Kershner and Hunter Strickland. The 400-meter relay team consisted of Rhett Jones, Matthew Snead, Gabriel Nardone and Kershner.

The swim teams participated in a Jan. 13 meet at Spotswood High and will travel there again for a Jan. 20 meet. There will be dive competitions at Woodberry Forest and at Harrisonburg on Jan. 20 and Jan. 26. The last swim meet before the District, Region and State meets in February will be Jan. 27 at Harrisonburg.


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Arts Faces2017 saw some big changes for many of the performing and visual arts in Fluvanna County, beginning with the departure of Warren Johnson, who stepped down as president of the Persimmon Tree Players (PTP) after nearly 13 years. Beth Sherk took his place and at first was reluctant in her new role, but has emerged stronger with a vision for a new destination for the group that builds on its successes. Always an optimist with a goal, she has teamed up with other PTP members who are looking out for PTP’s best interests in the coming year.

Sherk brings a fresh, energetic perspective to PTP, whereas Johnson was a stabilizing force who helped build the group back up to the well-respected community theater group it once had been. Sherk and fellow PTP member George Gaige are keeping the engine going.

PTP and the Fluvanna County Arts Council (FCAC) have also forged an alliance with 18-year-old theater wunderkind, Jessica Harris, who started the children’s theater group Empowered Players. Both PTP and FCAC see this as a milestone, encouraging young people and training them in the theater arts. PTP is hoping to eventually have some of her students join them and cut their teeth on a larger, more intense production.

Gaige, Sherk and Sharon Harris are working with FCAC on future projects to bring people in and introduce them to the magic of theater and music. With this addition of newcomers and innovative ideas, President Adele Schaefer feels the future is looking brighter for the performing arts.

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Christopher WhiteThe Fork Union Volunteer Fire Department voted Christopher White, 27, its newest fire chief.

White, who has volunteered with the department for more than nine years, said he’s happy to have the responsibility, but he’s not sure it’s worth a story.
White is uncomfortable tooting his own horn.

A surgical technician at University of Virginia Medical Center, White is the first black person to hold the title of chief in the Fluvanna Volunteer Fire Department. The position came open when Frankie Hackett stepped down.

As a black woman, Fluvanna County Supervisor Mozell Booker has broken a few boundaries herself. The most recent was when she was voted to serve as the chair of the Board of Supervisors.

Booker said she’s known White’s family for years.

“He’s just a fine young man and comes from a wonderful family,” she said. ”He was raised by a single mom. He was an usher at our church. He’s a typical, all-American young man.”

Mike Brent is the chief over the entire Fluvanna County Volunteer Fire Department.

“He’s a good man. I think the guys and girls follow him. He’s well respected and he has the training and credentials to be the chief,” Brent said, offering his thoughts on why White’s peers elected him.

Brent said the position of chief comes with no pay or perks. “There’s no pay, just more responsibility,” he said.

More than 150 firefighters volunteer in Fluvanna, which includes Palmyra, Fork Union, Kents Store and Lake Monticello. Brent said Lake Monticello has its own charter, but operationally he includes them in the numbers.

“We could always use more” volunteers, he said. “As is typical of a volunteer department, people are in and out.”

Brent said his organization is polling the volunteers to see what incentives they could be offered that would help attract and keep members.

Right now, the only incentive offered is that the county pays the personal property tax of the vehicle the volunteer uses to drive to and from the station or fire.

“We’re looking down the road – looking at financial stipends or educational opportunities,” Brent said.

But right now, he’s happy White stepped up and agreed to serve in Fork Union’s top spot.

The Fluvanna Review asked White about his role as Fork Union chief. Add a comment

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It was an up and down year in sports at the high school level in Fluvanna County in 2017.

The girls’ sports teams led the way for the Flucos.

The winter sports season is already underway when the new year begins. Basketball is the winter sport that draws the most fans. Coach Chad White’s girls’ basketball team was successful in 2017 as the squad reached the Conference semi-finals behind senior Chaniya Brown and freshman Navaeh Ivory, who was a first team All-Conference selection.

The boys’ team had less success as they went through a building year under new Coach Jason Davis. Junior AJ Gregory was the team’s top player and he was an All-Conference honorable mention selection.
The winter sport with the most athletes participating is indoor track and field. The girls’ squad under Coach Rose Brogan finished second in the Conference meet and sent five individual athletes and a relay team to the State meet. The boys’ team was not quite as successful, but it had standouts in the shot put and in the jumping events.

In the spring the sports calendar at Fluvanna County High School is chock-a-block full; there is activity everywhere. The school fields teams in boys’ and girls’ soccer, boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, boys’ and girls’ tennis, boys’ and girls’ track and field, and of course baseball and softball. The most prominent spectator sports are baseball for the boys and softball for the girls, which are the sports that draw county residents who are not relatives of the participants.

The softball team under Coach Tre Smith went to the Regional tournament and won its first game there. Katie Morris and Gracie Walton were named to the All-Conference second team. The baseball team under Coach Mike Sheridan was young but it had what Sheridan described as a “solid season.” Brant Wood and DeShon Carter were second team All-Conference.

Spring and summer also bring activity on the golf course. The annual Faulconer golf tournament comes to the Lake Monticello Golf Course in May. This is a prestigious event that attracts many of the top amateur golfers from around central Virginia. In 2017 Brian Bassett won the tournament with an impressive two-day score of 142. He had finished second in the event in 2015 and 2016.

In June the Lake Monticello Golf Course holds its Men’s member guest tournament. The 2017 winners of this event were the team of Claude Williamson and Richard Condray. Add a comment

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Marianne HillA renewed interest in the needle arts, particularly knitting and crocheting, has taken a younger generation by storm. Less in vogue but still practiced by many is the art of cross stitch. Ladies learned cross stitch to strengthen sewing skills, create tapestries and young women used it as a learning tool. Some have a tapestry their grandmother or great-grandmother made, often one of an alphabet with symbolism. These were less elaborate than the detailed crewel work or needlework.

Cross stitch has come a long way over the centuries and women today are experimenting with different ways to express themselves through this art form. Marianne Hill is one of them and has a passion for cross stitch. At the age of 18 she started doing crewel work, then discovered cross stitch and liked its uniformity and layout with its charts.

“The repetitious motion of pulling the thread through the canvas is soothing. I can’t draw, I can’t paint, so thread and canvas are my art,” she said. Her sister has joined her in her enthusiasm for the art. But now she has connected her passion with her Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) position as regent of the Point of Fork chapter.

“Virginia State Regent Judy Surber had to come up with a project so all the chapters are finding ways to support the building of the Claude Moore Hall at Montpelier, James Madison’s home,” Hill said. She described the project and how it fits in with their mission of promoting patriotism, preserving American history and its future through education.

The Claude Moore Hall is to become part of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at Montpelier. The $4.7 million project will include classrooms, conference rooms, offices for center staff, a media center, and will be equipped for interactive learning. This will allow the center to expand its audience of adult learners, program alumni and constitutional leaders, creating an online community and sharing expertise and information around the globe. Add a comment

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