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HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK: Cougars will roam around Big South

The Courtland girls soccer team has won nine straight games to open the season. A quick look at the Cougars’ recent college commitments shows why they’ve been such a formidable opponent.

Four Courtland players recently orally committed to Division I colleges, including three who will play for Longwood University. A fourth, senior forward Marybeth McBroom, has committed to the Lancers’ Big South Conference foe Coastal Carolina.

McBroom said when fellow Courtland senior Halle Parker joins Longwood next fall and juniors Paige Robertson and Sydney Wallace come aboard in 2015, it should make for some memorable matches.

“It’s definitely going to be huge competition, but it’s going to be weird,” said McBroom, the 2013 Battlefield District Player of the Year. “I think it’ll be nice being able to play against them, but I just wish we were playing together.”

McBroom had an opportunity to play for Longwood, as well. But she chose the Chanticleers who are located in Conway, S.C. She also received interest from North Carolina–Wilmington, Delaware State and Virginia Military Institute.

“I just loved the [Coastal Carolina] coaches and I love the area,” McBroom said.

The other three Cougars were equally swayed by Longwood. The opportunity to remain together didn’t hurt, either. Wallace, a defender, said remaining together wasn’t a previously agreed upon package deal, but it’s something the girls are looking forward to.

“It kind of makes me feel more comfortable going in with people that I know,” Wallace said.


Caroline football coach Antron Yates has barely begun his offseason conditioning program, but he’s already dealing with significant challenges.

The Cavaliers lost their second key transfer since Yates was hired in February when second-leading returning receiver Darius Leacock recently transferred to James Monroe.

Leacock, who recorded 31 receptions for 374 yards as a sophomore in 2013, has joined former Caroline all-state wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson with the Yellow Jackets. Both participated with JM in a 7-on-7 contest last Thursday at Colonial Forge.

Yates said he’s not overly concerned about the departures because family moves are out of his control.

“The bottom line is these transitions are just happening too fast that the process had to be in the making before I got there,” Yates said. “For people to uproot and get a new residence that fast it doesn’t normally happen. I’ve got to believe with them getting residences in another area that fast it’s something that was way out of my control.”

Yates, who will continue to teach at Freedom High School in Woodbridge until the end of the school year, said he’s unaware of any more impending transfers. He trains the Cavaliers three days per week and the team will begin 7-on-7 competitions next month. Yates said he’s told his remaining players that “winning and stability cures a lot of things.”

“At the end of the day a parent wants to put their kid in the best situation possible for them to succeed,” Yates said. “So if that’s what this is going to turn into, then so be it. I can’t force parents to keep their kids in the [county].”


King George girls soccer standout Gabi Caron will play for Division II Shippensburg (Pa.) University. Caron is a four-year starter for the Foxes, splitting time at forward and midfielder.


Brooke Point girls soccer standout Katie House will continue her career at Division III Lynchburg College. House is a key midfielder for the Black–Hawks, and she also participated with the Fredericksburg Area Soccer Association.

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526