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County Sports

SoftballThe Fluvanna Girls’ Softball League plays its games at the fields at Carysbrook, which were once regarded as nearly unplayable rock fields. However, over the years, the league has been responsible for significant upgrades to the facilities there. In 2012 the league erected a substantial concession stand that included the fields’ first real bathroom. Then in 2016 it installed substantial dugouts.

Now the infield is being renovated and redesigned and the 40-year-old backstop is being replaced. With some assistance from Fluvanna County, the league plans to level the outfield and install a new fence at the standard distance of 180 feet from home plate.

The league is self-financed, raising its funds from an annual golf tournament and a raffle. The 21st annual golf tournament will be held May 6 at the Lake Monticello golf course. League president Chris Fairchild said that all the money collected in player fees goes to equipment and umpires. Money for the field upgrades came through the league’s fundraising.

The league will hold an in person sign-up session Saturday (Feb. 17) at Dick’s Sporting Goods in 5th Street Station from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Players may also sign up online at any time by visiting www.fluvannagirlssoftball.com. The league is for girls ages 5-18. It has four age divisions and normally has about 150 participants. Players are required to be Fluvanna County residents and must present a birth certificate for proof of age.

After a brief tryout to assess skills, scheduled for March 10, players are normally organized into 12 teams. The teams play each other from March to June. After the season ends, all-star teams are selected from each age group and those teams play in the year-end Dixie Youth District tournament. The District is geographically different from Fluvanna County High School’s Jefferson District. It includes teams from Buckingham, Goochland, Powhatan, Cumberland and Amelia counties. The District tournament winner moves on to the State tournament. 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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Disc golfWatch your back, pickleball, there’s a new sport in town. Disc golf has finally come to Pleasant Grove.

The first nine holes of an 18-hole course have been staked out and are ready for play. Aaron Spitzer, director of Fluvanna County parks and recreation, said the full course should be completed by spring.

Disc golf follows the basic rules of traditional golf, except instead of trying to sink a ball into a hole, players try to hit an elevated metal basket with a Frisbee or flying disc. The goal is to complete each “hole” in the fewest throws.

The course was first proposed about three years ago. Until now, local disc golfers had to go to Charlottesville or Richmond.   

Players here in Fluvanna will wind their way through the woods behind the Pleasant Grove playground, facing low-hanging branches, dense underbrush, and challenging “dog-leg” throws around bends.

The course was laid out by a professional disc golfer who blazed a path through the trees. Then Spitzer and his father went to work, clearing trees and brush and building small bridges across watery areas. Volunteers, including Eagle Scouts and students, also assisted with trail-building. Add a comment

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Nine hole honoreesEach year, the Lake Monticello Golf Course senior men’s Gray Foxes organization holds a year-end banquet. This year the event was held for the first time at the new pub facility in the Bunker clubhouse. The senior golfers were offered a choice between beef and chicken, and both choices were well received by those in attendance. In addition, the beer was included.

The Gray Foxes have an 18-hole men’s group that plays Thursday mornings and a nine-hole group that plays Friday mornings. Participants may play with both groups, but most players choose one group or the other.

The coordinator for the 18-hole group for the 2017 season was Dan Atkinson. He runs multiple competitions during the season, which stretches from April to October. The year-round competition that keeps the attention of all the players is known as ringers. There is a ringers competition once a month. The idea of this competition is to keep track of each player’s best gross and net scores on each hole for the entire year.

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FASTThe Fluvanna Aquatic Sports Team (FAST) has undergone a major transition in 2017. Long-time head Coach Cos DiFazio has passed the reins on to a young triumvirate of co-head coaches. This season, Cosmo DiFazio, Jr., Nathan Johnson and Ben Nalle are at the helm for the Makos.

The FAST team this year has 68 swimmers, ranging in age from 6-18. The team has been practicing at the pool at Camp Friendship, but that pool is not equipped to handle the crowds that appear for a full-blown Jefferson Swim League swim meet. Therefore, the Makos host their home meets at other venues. On Wednesday night (June 28) the Makos were the home team for a meet at the Fairview Swim and Tennis Club in Charlottesville, where they hosted a team named after a different breed of shark: the Hammerheads from Hollymead.  

Unfortunately for the FAST squad, the meet started with a series of relay races in which the Hammerheads excelled. In each relay race the winning team gains 10 points, while the losing team gains five. The Hammerheads won the first eight of these relays and led early by a comfortable score of 80-40. FAST took the boys’ age 15-18 200-meter medley relay , winning by 0.15 seconds. Add a comment

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Scrimmage Play: Fluvanna County Headlines