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HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK: ’Hawks unsure of field situation

One Stafford County school has installed an artificial turf football field, but another remains in flux as the season gets underway this week.

Stafford will host James Monroe on Friday. But Brooke Point was forced to move its junior varsity and freshman team games against Briar Woods Wednesday to Potomac High in Woodbridge.

Black–Hawks athletic director Roger Pierce said he’s unsure if the field will be ready for the Sept. 5 varsity home opener against Highland Springs.

Pierce said the school hopes it won’t have to find an alternative site for the Highland Springs game, but “obviously there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done to finish the field. That’s still a question mark right now.”

A few miles away, however, the Indians are giddy. They’ve practiced all summer at Gayle Middle School but are scheduled for their first walk-through at the new field today.

“We’re excited to be out there,” Stafford first-year athletic director Cessy Mallory said. “The football team is champing at the bit to get back.”

Brooke Point’s varsity team opens its season on the road Friday at Briar Woods. Pierce said he anticipates an answer on if the field will be ready for the home opener by early next week.

FALCONS FLOCK TOGETHER

Two Fredericksburg Academy junior field hockey standouts have orally committed to the University of Virginia. Colleen Norair and Carolyn Topps both recently pledged to the Cavaliers.

Norair chose Virginia over North Carolina, while Topps also considered Temple and Longwood.

Norair’s older sister, Meghan, is a freshman on Duke’s field hockey team. Colleen Norair said she was lightly recruited by the Blue Devils, but never seriously considered joining their program.

“I went to their camp and we talked, but I kind of knew off the bat that I wanted to do my own thing,” Colleen Norair said. “I wanted to grow as my own individual player. And now I get to play her, so that’s good.”

Topps has family ties to the Cavaliers. Both of her parents attended Virginia. Her brother is a student there and her aunt competed on the Cavaliers’ track and field team.

Still, Topps said it wasn’t an easy decision.

“I kind of had to go through the recruiting process to see if U.Va. was the right fit not just for my family, but for me,” Topps said. “Once it got down to it, U.Va. has the whole package from academics to athletics. I just had to make sure my heart and mind wanted the same thing.”

Colleen Norair was named first-team all-conference and all-state last season as the Falcons won their second straight state championship. Topps was injured most of 2013 before returning for the postseason run.

CARLSON STEPS DOWN

Spotsylvania boys basketball coach Len Carlson has resigned after three seasons. Carlson said he wants to spend more time with his wife and 3-year-old daughter.

Carlson is also the Knights girls soccer coach and the defensive coordinator for the football team.

“I knew eventually I would have to start giving something up,” Carlson said. “I just didn’t know what it was going to be.”

Carlson said his decision wasn’t influenced by the transfer of leading scorer Darius Carter, who recently enrolled in Fredericksburg Christian School. Carter was a first-team all-Conference 27 selection last season and a second-team All-Area choice.

“Darius is a wonderful player. You couldn’t ask for a better basketball player,” Carlson said. “But that really didn’t impact my decision at all.”

The Knights were winless in Carlson’s first season, but advanced to the regional playoffs his final two years.

CHARGERS SEEK COACHES

Chancellor baseball coach J.P. Gibbons recently resigned after three seasons to spend more time with his family. The Chargers improved by five victories each season under Gibbons culminating with an 11–11 campaign last spring.

“For me, the biggest thing that drove me to make a decision was my family,” Gibbons said. “I have a 5-year-old starting kindergarten and a 2-year-old.”

Chancellor athletic director Rod Crooks said the Chargers aim to conduct interviews to find Gibbons’ replacement next week. He said Chancellor is also seeking a girls soccer coach and boys and girls tennis coaches.

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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