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Prep Notebook: McNeal to post up for Black Knights


Courtland senior girls basketball standout Janae McNeal has orally committed to Army.

McNeal was The Free Lance–Star’s player of the year last season after she averaged 21.1 points per game and helped lead the Cougars (30–1) to the Group AA, Division 4 state final.

McNeal is the second Courtland player to make a pledge in the past two months, joining forward Jessica Hairston (Tusculum).

She’s the fourth senior from the Battlefield District to make a college decision before the season starts. Spotsylvania senior forward Bria Carter (Appalachian State) and Caroline guard Shannon Mosby (Tusculum) are also expected to sign national letters of intent later this month.

“I think it’s big that both she and Jessica have made their college choices before the season,” Courtland coach J.T. Nino said. “It gives them a chance to relax and focus on doing a good job for us this winter. I couldn’t be happier for both of them.”

McNeal was also the Battlefield and Region I, Division 4 player of the year last season. In addition to her scoring, the 5-foot-9 guard averaged 7.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 5.4 steals per game.

“Physically, there’s not many girls like her at this level in high school,” Nino said. “She’s bigger, stronger and faster than everyone else. But what takes her game to the next level is that she’s extremely smart.”

Army (14–16, 8–6 Patriot League) finished fourth in its conference last season.


Veteran Chancellor football coach Bob Oliver will return when the Chargers (7–2, 5–1 Battlefield) host James Monroe (9–0, 6–0) Friday night with a share of the district championship on the line.

Oliver was hospitalized last week with a respiratory infection. He missed Chancellor’s 69–0 victory over Caroline. An assistant coach sent Oliver updates of the score via text message.

“That was the first ball game I’ve missed in my life,” Oliver said. “It sure wasn’t much fun.”

The Chargers set a school record for points scored in that game. Senior quarterback Darrin Jackson also set a school record with five touchdown passes.


Before Chancellor takes the field against JM, a brief ceremony will be held to present the Chargers’ new scoreboard.

Glenn Harper, the president of Sports Image in Midlothian, solicited Fredericksburg-area sponsors to pay for the scoreboard. Chancellor athletic director Rod Crooks said he’s thrilled Harper’s business chose to help the Chargers, who will also get two new scoreboards in their gymnasium.

“He approached me and asked me did we want a new scoreboard and I said, ‘Sure, what’s the catch?’” Crooks said. “He said there was no catch, and there wasn’t. It’s just a nice organization.”

Germanna Community College, Sonic and Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center sponsored the scoreboard for the Chargers.


North Stafford senior volleyball standout Abby Rosa has orally committed to Division II California University of Pennsylvania.

“I really liked the coaches and their volleyball program is fantastic,” Rosa said of why she chose the Vulcans over Stevenson (Md.) and Shepherd (W.Va). “I liked the fact it’s far away from home. It’s in the mountains and it’s pretty up there.”

Rosa was recruited by college coaches while competing with the Fredericksburg Junior Volleyball Club the past three years.


Two Spotsylvania County cross country standouts are finalists for the Virginia Wendy’s High School Heisman, which is based on academic and athletic achievements.

Spotsylvania senior Ted Bailey and Courtland senior Michael Amrhine are two of 20 finalists in Virginia. There were 935 applicants in the state. Winners will be announced starting Nov. 5.

Bailey won the Battlefield District championship last week. Amrhine finished ninth.

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526