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Ring Season: Round Two


 The fall sports teams had one of the school’s most successful seasons last year. While every one of these teams made it to the state championship, volleyball and girls cross country are looking to repeat as state champions; whereas football, cheerleading, and golf’s Michael Brennan are looking to bounce back this season and become champions.

   After a state championship season, the girls volleyball team faces a difficult road ahead of them after losing four seniors and the coaching staff to town rival Loudoun County High School. There are a lot of new faces on the volleyball team, but winning and having a good year is still their main goal.


   This year, volleyball brought up four freshman, Ava Filipponi, Shelby Wilson, Kaitlyn Dunningan, and Sofia Hardesty to the varsity team to replace the four seniors they lost from last year. Dunnigan, plays the libero position. The libero is the best passer on the team and wears a different color shirt.  While these girls have big shoes to fill, they are ready to take on the challenge.

   Losing an entire coaching staff, and starting from scratch with a new group can be difficult, but the girls have stayed positive in this transition. Megan Dunningan, a junior, is excited about the new coaches; she says, “ Our coaches are very special to us and they have experience with playing volleyball, so their criticism and adjustments make sense and we listen.”

   Girl’s Volleyball has had a lot of obstacles to face this season but they want to pick up right where they left off, which is to be the final team standing, holding up the State Championship trophy.  “I believe this team has potential to be better than last year’s team and there is no doubt that we can still compete for the State Championship,” said Senior Ashton Dunningan.

   The football team is also coming off a great year from last year, finishing 2nd in the state championship game.  This year the team will be coached by Brandon Wheelbarger and many other new assistant coaches. The team also lost some key players on the defensive and offensive side of the football. Players like Chris Broad and Adam Thorne, whom received all-state honors.  Tuscarora football is used to being a winning program every year and this year looks ready to be no different even with the loss of good players and a great coach.

   The team may have lost a great coach in Coach Burnett, but a lot of guys seem happy that Coach Wheelbarger is the head guy. Senior Mikey Ortega says, “Coach Wheels knows his football and has experience coaching this team and there is no doubt in my mind he will do a great job.”

   Coach Wheels will be under a lot of pressure this year as all first year coaches do, trying to be on the winning end, holding a State Championship trophy. Although, with the support of his players, it seems like he will do a great job.

   Like every year, there will be some new faces out on the offensive and defensive side of football.  The team, however, does not seemed phased by the challenges facing them. Senior Ben Pauly says, “We lose good players every year, it’s all about guys stepping up and doing their jobs to fill the starting spots that we lost.”

   With the new coach and new faces, the team still has their spirit and hope to make it back to States.  After speaking with players and coaches, it seems like this year could be the year that football wins it all.

   Girl’s cross country is coming off another dominate state championship season, going back-to-back.  The girls team has been dominate these past two years and hope to keep it up going forward. The team will face a lot of pressure since they are expected to win states again, but the team is confident and they work very hard.

   “We work very hard during practice and for us seniors, we want another state championship victory before we graduate,” said senior Alyssa Longo.

   While the goal is getting back to states, the team knows it is going to take a lot of hard work. However,  this is one of the most dominant sports teams here and they want to keep it up, but with expectation comes a lot of pressure.

   “People expect us to win and that has its pressure, but we know we will win,” says senior Maria Schense.

   That confidence is one of the big reasons why our girls cross country team is so successful, and with all the work they are putting in to win and be champions.  A third state championship in a row is very likely.


   Cheerleading finished 2nd in the state last year and this year they hope to see a different outcome.  They have been working very hard in practice and there seems to be a different mentality going into this season.

  “We are working very hard on our routines so they are perfect and we increase the difficulty on each routine as we go forward in our competition and hopefully we will make it back to states,” said Senior Taylor Nodland.  

   Cheerleading has many senior girls on the team, and when talking to them, they seem very determined and focused to win states this year.

   When talking to Senior Bree Puterio, she seemed really disappointed in the loss last year but is confident about this year.  

   “Going all the way to Richmond to lose was very disappointing since we worked so hard last year.  However, I am really excited about this year and I really want a state championship win before I graduate.

   After talking to the girls, a state championship is on the minds of everyone involved in the program and a goal they believe is attainable.  

   Junior Michael Brennan from the golf team is back in sports news this year, he finished 4th in the state last year and hopes this year’s outcome will be different.  Michael Brennan recently committed to Wake Forest to continue his golf career. While he is only a junior and already committed, he still believes he needs to work hard to be a state champion.

   “I work hard everyday on my shots, specifically my short game.  My putts and chipping always needs work if I want to not only win states but be a successful pro golfer.”

   While the golf team was eliminated in playoff play during conference play, Brennan won conference in solo play and is moving on to the region tournament and hopefully to states.

   Most of the fall sports teams had great seasons last year and hope to keep it up and improve this year.  After talking to a lot of players, a state championship victory is the main goal and it is a goal all teams are willing to put in the work for.


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