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The Fluco girls’ cross country team made a very strong showing on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Albemarle Invitational. A total of 29 teams ran in the girls’ varsity event. The Flucos finished in fourth place. The Flucos were led by freshman Emily Smeds who finished in fourth place overall. She completed the course in a very impressive time of 19:09.

Also turning in excellent times for the Fluco girls were Saige Haney, Emily Beckman and Hattie Lintecum, who all finished in under 21 minutes. The other varsity runners for the Flucos were Kristen Cabrera, Brianna Parker and Anja Vernatter. This was the last regularly scheduled event of the Fluco season. The District meet is scheduled for Oct. 25, while the Regional meet will be held Nov. 1.

Girls’ Coach Rose Brogan said that in their Oct. 6 meet at Pocahantas State Park, the girls’ team finished in second place and that Smeds set a school record in the 5K, running the cross country distance of approximately three miles in under 19 minutes.

The future looks especially promising for the Fluco girls, based on the performance of the JV team and the middle school team at the Albemarle Invitational. The JV team was sixth out of 17 teams at the Invitational. Maryann

Chittenden led the way for the JV team with a 19th place finish. The middle school team finished first, with five runners in the top 15. Ellie Kennedy finished second for the middle schoolers.

Coach Tom Casto said that the Fluco boys’ varsity squad did not compete at the Albemarle Invitational. However, the Fluvanna middle school boys’ team turned in a stellar performance, taking second place. The team had five runners finish in the top 25. James White led the way, finishing second. Casto said that virtually every middle school runner had a season best time in the two-mile middle school event.

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Basketball TeamFor the second time in the last three years, the Fluvanna County girls’ middle school basketball team has completed its fall season with an undefeated 8-0 record. Coach Keith Brown said that although there is no formal league for the middle school teams, the girls match up with the usual Fluvanna opponents. This fall season the girls had their two closest games against the Louisa County middle schoolers, winning by five points and by two.

The sixth, seventh and eighth grade girls played a basic 2-3 zone on defense when they fell back, but Brown said that a full court 2-2-1 press was often utilized and it generated much of the team’s offense, creating turnovers that led to easy baskets.

Brown said that he had a 15-player squad this fall with Alana Carter-Johnston and Aniah Webb leading the team in scoring and 6-foot-tall Khamara Steppe as the top rebounder.

The Fluco varsity girls’ basketball Coach Chad White had a host of freshmen contributing on his team this past winter, so it looks like he may continue to have some top prospects in the pipeline.

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VolleyballIn a high school volleyball match, a team must win three games to prevail. Most matches end 3-0 or 3-1. It is unusual for teams to be so evenly matched that a fifth and deciding game is required. On Tuesday (Oct. 3) the Fluco volleyball team fought hard against a tough opponent to force a fifth game, but ultimately lost 3-2 to Albemarle.

The Patriots from Albemarle won games two and three relatively easily. However, the Flying Flucos did not fade away. In the first game of the match, the Patriots led 24-18 with the serve and seemingly had game one locked up. However, Albemarle lost the point on its serve making the score 24-19. Evynne Stafford took over serve for the Flucos and they ran off five points in a row to tie the score at 24-24. Christina Walker had two impressive kill shots at the net in this five-point run. Albemarle finally broke serve to go ahead 25-24.  Fluco Coach Christi Harlowe-Garrett called timeout.

After the timeout, another Walker kill shot tied the score. Walker took the serve and fired an ace to give the Flucos a one-point lead. Albemarle scored on Walker’s second serve and it was tied again. Albemarle’s serve was into the net and the Flucos were up by one again. Delaney Reed took over serve for Fluvanna and fired an ace for a 28-26 win. It was an impressive comeback win for the Flucos in game one.In game two, after 23 points, the Flucos trailed by only one at 11-12, but Albemarle followed with a four-point run and a five-point run. The Flucos trailed 14-21 when Albemarle ran off another four points in a row to win game two 25-14. Albemarle ended the game with an impressive 13-3 advantage in the final 16 points. Add a comment

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Charles PayneWhen we think of Fluvanna history, we think of people like “Texas” Jack Omohundro, the Timberlakes, and other notables who designed buildings, fought in battle and blazed trails. Few ever mention those who came after, growing up in humble beginnings in rural Fluvanna. They were trailblazers of a different kind, who made sacrifices, withstood trials and faced obstacles. A woman named Chris was one of those people who is rarely talked about, but who made a significant impact in the lives of those who knew her.

In his book titled Chris, Charles Payne talks about Chris and her unique journey through life as a single mother and a woman who made it in a male-dominated world when it was difficult to do so.

“Chris was an extraordinary woman – a product of the Great Depression who had unflagging determination to improve her life and a can-do attitude,” said Payne. This inspired him to write her story.

The book opens around 1910. Payne sets the scene with the innovations, economy and society of that time, and the marriage of Chris’ parents in 1911. Chris was related to the Perkins and Morris families in Fluvanna.
Payne would not give too much away about his story, including Chris’ last name, where in Fluvanna she lived, or his relationship to her, but he did say the family suffered many hardships during the Depression.

“Chris had several siblings and during those years they suffered life-shattering losses and deprivation. They lost everything they had, forever altering the paths of their lives, and death stalked them,” said Payne. “Remember also, in World War II women did many men’s jobs. Chris was tall, slender, pretty, outgoing and kind hearted, but she was also fiercely tenacious and brighter than she or anyone else realized until her accomplishments began to be noticed.” Add a comment

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Cheryl ElliottI blame my brother. He was the one who proclaimed: “May 2016 be a year of adventure and blessing!” I had no choice but to respond with “challenge accepted,” and treat last year’s unexpected breast cancer diagnosis as both adventure and blessing.

For me, his proclamation became: “May this breast cancer adventure bring unusual and exciting experiences, bursting with God’s favor, protection and well-being!” Although he also said I was going through a lot of trouble just for a boob job! Brothers!

As it turns out, my breast cancer journey – in which I experienced the whole gamut:  chemotherapy and its ugly side effects, breast surgery, immune system collapse, and reconstruction – has brought both adventure (and some misadventure) and blessing. I’m told I’ve handled the diagnosis and treatment a little differently than most women, and I pray that sharing my journey will bring hope and encouragement. Here are a few ponderings from my cancer adventure.

Facing fears

A breast cancer diagnosis unleashes a storm of fears. Fear of the unknown: Did I cause this? What’s going to happen to me?  Fear of pain: Will it hurt? Fear of losing control. Fear of dying and fear of a life unlived. Information is often the antidote for fear because I am most afraid of what I don’t know. If I’m going to buy a refrigerator, I have to learn everything I can about refrigerators before making a final choice. The same is true when dealing with a diagnosis. Make decisions based on the information available and advice of doctors. Sorry, but “Doctor Google” should not be a trusted advisor.
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