Matoaca’s baseball team and Dale’s girls’ soccer team both advanced to their respective state tournaments by virtue of reaching the finals in region play last week. Both teams will travel to meet Eastern Region champions in quarterfinal action.
Meanwhile, several local athletes turned in all-state performances in the AAA meet held this past weekend at Sports Backers Stadium.
The Knight’s Quintin Fulghum placed in all four of his events, coming in second in the long jump and 100 meter, fourth in the triple jump and fifth in the 200 meter. Teammate Lorenzo Fields took eighth in the 100 meter to join Fulghum as an all-state performer. The pair scored all 26 Dale points, good for fifth place in the team standings. Kristen Greene placed fourth in the discus for the Knights.
Meadowbrook High School turned in some of the finest area performances, as DuShaun Thompson took second in the discus, Garrett Tyler cleared 6 feet, 10 inches in taking second in the high jump, Torie Cunningham sprinted to third in the 100 meter and 200 meter and Domico Phillips took fourth in the long jump. Cunningham also led the Monarchs to a fourth place finish in the 400-meter relay. Jamarian Bates was the only Warrior to make all-state with a third-place finish in the long jump. Jake Zimmerman was the only Skyhawk to place, taking eighth in the 800 meter.
Dale’s girls fell to Cosby in the region finals, but will take their 16-2 record to Virginia Beach to take on Frank Cox. The Knights advanced to the finals with thrilling victories over Midlothian and Deep Run. In the Midlothian game, Sarah Schrader tallied both goals in a 2-1 win. In the semis, keeper Chrissy Dowlen was nothing short of spectacular in carrying the Knights to a 1-0 win.
Matoaca had been ranked No. 1 or No. 2 for much of the season, but has struggled in the season’s final weeks. The Warriors looked to be in trouble when they fell behind top-ranked Manchester 3-0 after three innings in the quarterfinals. The game was suspended due to a thunderstorm, and play resumed the following day. Bryan Bierlein took the mound and shut Manchester down the rest of the way. The Warrior bats came alive in the sixth, which was highlighted by Nathan Chamberlin’s grand slam that gave Matoaca the final 6-4 margin.
Matoaca hung on 8-6 to defeat Mills Godwin in the semis. In the finals, Matoaca trailed 6-1 after three, but battled back to take the game into extra frames before falling to Cosby 8-7 in eight innings. The Warriors will travel to Old Dominion to challenge Eastern Region champion Western Branch.