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The best of 2011-2012: FCS continues rise into basketball spotlight
Editor’s note: All this week, The Free Lance-Star is recapping the top five sports stories of the school year, starting with our No. 5 story: The rise of Fredericksburg Christian’s basketball team.
By ADAM HIMMELSBACH
The Fredericksburg Christian boys basketball team quietly created a powerhouse.
The transformation was put in motion during the 2010–11 school year, when Seth Allen, Taylor Danaher and Justin Hempe teamed up to guide the Eagles to the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association state tournament.
Allen was a talented transfer from Hylton High in Woodbridge, and Danaher, a 6-foot-10 center, had been home-schooled.
But this year, the Eagles’ new influx of talent impacted this area’s public schools.
Fredericksburg Christian’s roster included five players who attended area public schools the previous year.
The two biggest arrivals were DeLante’ Victory, who arrived from Chancellor, and Eric Shaw, who transferred from North Stafford.
And the team’s headliner remained Allen, the freakishly athletic guard who has signed to play for the University of Maryland this fall.
With a roster that overflowed with talent, FCS entered elite tournaments and scheduled games against top-tier private schools.
“It wasn’t an easy thing,” Eagles coach Darren Berkley said, “because a lot of these guys were the guy at their previous schools, and bringing them together was a challenge.”
Allen dealt with several injuries, and the team lost seven games, including its season-ending loss to Virginia Episcopal in the state semifinals.
But FCS still had plenty of moments in which it flaunted a breathless, athletic attack that often left teams wondering what hit them.
The Eagles won 24 games and stretched their home record over the last two years to 24–0.
“These kids had a singular goal and wanted to win a sate championship,” Berkley said, “but it was a really good season.”
The Eagles will be hard-pressed to continue their run of success next year.
Berkley said that Shaw and point guard Trey Rowser plan to transfer to Middleburg Academy. And, of course, Allen is moving on to Maryland.
“I’ve never seen a player around here that’s better than Seth,” Berkley said. “He put us on the basketball map.”
Adam Himmelsbach: 540/374-5442