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High School Notebook: Late JM top athlete will be honored

BY TAFT COGHILL JR.

James “Hogie” Garnett was made so immobile by the rheumatoid arthritis he suffered from he didn’t make it to his James Monroe High School Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony in June.

Garnett’s daughter, Jamie Moran, accepted the honor in his place.

“I’ll always remember that,” Moran said earlier this week. “It was an honor of a lifetime.”

Garnett died last Wednesday at age 60. The former JM star athlete will have a celebration of life ceremony on Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Knights of Pythias in Fredericksburg.

Garnett, a 1969 JM graduate, was best known as a standout basketball player for the Yellow Jackets. He also held the school record in the high jump for the track and field program.

James Monroe athletic director Rich Serbay said he has recommended that former JM baseball standout Harry Tillman repeat his hall of fame induction speech for Garnett at the memorial service.

“I thought it was awesome,” Serbay said.

Moran said Garnett was passionate about JM sports throughout his illness. He no longer could make it to games, but he watched replays on television and was always sure to ask someone to read him a copy of The Free Lance–Star sports page the day after JM contests.

Moran said he proudly showed off his hall of fame plaque to nurses who cared for him. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to JM’s athletic program.

“He loved playing sports,” Moran said. “And he loved that school.”

FINAL HURDLE CLEARED

Virginia High School League principals gave the final approval to the new six-classification playoff system at their fall membership meeting Tuesday in Charlottesville. The system passed by a 189–110 vote.

The proposal was cleared by the VHSL’s executive committee last month. It would’ve taken a two-thirds vote to overturn it.

The new system will take effect for the 2013–14 school year. Eastern Region and Northern Region principals expressed concerns with how rapidly the system will be implemented. The new system is designed to have schools with similar enrollments playing against each other in the postseason.

KEY PANTHERS SAT OUT

Starting quarterback Alphonzo Trice was among three Massaponax football players who missed the Panthers’ 16–0 upset loss to Brooke Point last Friday.

Panthers coach Eric Ludden didn’t return calls seeking comment on the absences. Massaponax athletic director Stan Clements declined to comment, citing “instructions from the administration.” The Panthers (4–3, 2–3 Commonwealth District) host Riverbend Friday in a district clash.

RAVENEL SET TO RETURN

North Stafford standout senior wide receiver and defensive back Brandon Ravenel is expected to return after missing two games because of a leg injury, Wolverines coach Joe Mangano said.

Ravenel was injured in the Wolverines’ 7–0 loss to Colonial Forge, their lone defeat this year. The James Madison University recruit was an All-Area performer in 2011. North Stafford (6–1, 5–1) visits Stafford on Friday.

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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