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High School Notebook: Foster’s skills, smarts sway Harvard



Massaponax football coach Eric Ludden can recall a conversation he had with senior standout Joey Foster’s father. Rob Foster explained to Ludden that he was concerned about his son.

“He said he was a little worried about Joey, and I’m thinking it’s something bad,” Ludden said. “He said, ‘On Saturday nights, he wants to work out and study.’ I’m like. ‘That’s not a bad thing.’”

All the hard work on the field and in the classroom proved worthwhile on Saturday when Foster was accepted into Harvard University.

Earlier this week, he orally committed to the Crimson’s football team, which finished 8–2 in 2012. Foster said he has a 3.9 cumulative GPA (4.1 as a junior) and he scored 1,600 on his SAT.

“It was a great feeling just knowing I have the ability to go to that school,” Foster said of receiving word of his acceptance. “I’m definitely blessed. I can’t thank God enough for this opportunity He’s given me to attend a school like that. It means a lot to me.”

Foster (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) was a first-team All-Area performer for the Panthers as a utility player. He excelled as a big-play receiver on offense and he was assigned to the opponent’s top receiver as a cornerback.

He was receiving interest from other Ivy League schools as well as William & Mary. Ludden said Foster’s admission into Harvard is a “best-of-both-worlds type of deal.”

“If you think about the stuff you try to impress upon these players, it’s that we want to excel academically and on the football field,” Ludden said. “And to go to a place like that just embodies the whole spirit of what we’re trying to get across.”


Brooke Point senior football standout Aaron Sanders has orally committed to Virginia Military Institute, Black–Hawks head coach Jeff Berry said.

Sanders was a second-team all-Commonwealth District selection at wide receiver and linebacker. Berry said because of Sanders’ size (6-foot-3, 180 pounds) and athleticism, he should help the Keydets right away.

“He’s going to have a good opportunity to play his freshman year,” Berry said.

Berry said Sanders’ leadership skills were a key reason Brooke Point rebounded from a 1–4 start to reach the Northwest Region, Division 5 semifinals. And on the field, he said Sanders played a variety of positions unlike any player he’s coached before.

“He’s the most versatile player I’ve ever coached,” Berry said. “He was able to do so many different things for our team that went unnoticed. He played inside receiver, outside receiver, he was a wildcat quarterback, he played safety and outside linebacker. He could do so many things. He’s a rare kid.”


Culpeper athletic director Michael Wills said the Blue Devils are still searching for a head coach to replace Mike Williams, who mutually parted ways with the program earlier this month after four seasons.

Wills said the Blue Devils plan to submit the name of a new coach to the Culpeper County School Board at its March meeting.

“We’re looking for someone that is going to be a leader for these young men, that will set the tone for an exciting offense and defense and be someone that will get us back to the point that we ought to be,” Wills said.

Williams’ assistant coaches are currently working with the players on conditioning, but many are playing other sports this winter, Wills said.


Two Colonial Forge baseball players have decided where they’re going to play collegiately, Eagles coach Shawn Szakelyhidi said.

Senior catcher Drew Mikula will play for Roanoke College. Mikula appeared in all 25 games last season. He batted .262 with eight RBIs.

Senior outfielder Ronald Maniece will play for Averett University. Maniece played in 23 games in 2012 and tied for second on the team with three stolen bases.

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526