Rochard follows state softball title win with repeat 3A player of year

mobrien@vagazette.com

Keely Rochard, who capped Warhill's run to a second consecutive Group 3A softball state championship with an 18-inning shutout in the final, has repeated as the 3A State Player of the Year.

Rochard went 26-0 pitching while striking out an area-record 364 batters. She batted for a .333 average and drove in a team-high 39 runs.

She is joined on the all-state first team by two Warhill teammates, shortstop Taylor Nicholson and outfielder Olivia Schulz. Kieran McClure, who batted a team-high .472, made the second team.

Group 3A state semifinalist York put second baseman Katie Russell and utility player Hayley Winfree on the first team. Falcons pitcher Chelsea Evans and outfielder Lyndsey Scarborough were picked to the second team.

Tabb outfielder Amber Verstynen was selected to the all-state first team. Tigers catcher Sydney Jacobsen is on the second team.

Girls soccer

The Bay Rivers District put lots of players on the Virginia High School League all-state soccer teams announced on Thursday. The girls teams at Jamestown and Tabb high schools led the way by putting three players each on their respective all-state first teams.

Jamestown girls selections to the Group 4A All-State first team are forward Sofie Fox, midfielder Kennedy Mills and defender Page Frantz. Eagles midfielder Kylie Devine was picked to the all-state second team.

Jamestown forward Michael Meese, who tallied 29 goals and 12 assists as a freshman, was the lone Bay Rivers boy selected to the 4A All-State first team. Jamestown forward Kevin Tripp and Lafayette defender Justin Wilson made the second team.

Page Frantz, who helped Jametown defend its conference title, has been selected the Conference 18 Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Lafayette's Kellie Ernst was voted Coach of the Year.

Jamestown players joining Frantz on the first team are Sofie Fox, Madeline Allburn, Kennedy Mills, Kylie Devine and Summer Haag.

Lafayette players on the first team are Hannah Potter, Taylor Gubler and Alaina McKnight.

Second Team

Lafayette: Baylie Gentry, Kirstie Peterson, Iliana Tua, Megan Roberts.

Jamestown: Alex Lewis, Keara Cavanaugh, Haley Mardis, Natalie Reed and Anya Keurajian.

Honorable Mention: Emma Hudson, Jamestown; Julia Allison, Jamestown; Devin Lucas, Lafayette; Maya Canaday, Lafayette.

New Jamestown coaches

Jamestown filled two head coaching vacancies this past week, hiring Shawn Preston to coach the girls basketball team and Tabitha Hunt to coach the field hockey team. Hunt was promoted from junior varsity to varsity coach.

"She brings a lot of energy and passion for the sport," Jamestown Athletic Director Ken Edwards said. "She'll be a good mentor and we're happy to have her on board."

Preston comes to Jamestown after sharing head coaching duties on the girls basketball team at Bruton this past season with Bobby Warner. The Panthers finished with a 13-12 record and finished just a win short of reaching the 2A state tournament.

"Shawn also brings a lot of energy to the program," Edwards said. "He really believes in player improvement and helping the players improve on and off of the court."

Preston said, "I couldn't pass up a chance to coach at one of the historic programs and be part of the legacy and maybe add my own chapter."

Jamestown is the only Bay Rivers District school to win a girls basketball state title since the league's inception in 1990, accomplishing the feat in the 2005-06 season. Preston said that working with the administration (principal Anita Swinton and athletic director Richard Onesty) and basketball coaches (Warner and Terrence Green) at Bruton has prepared him for his new position at Jamestown.

O'Brien can be reached by phone at 757-247-4963.

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