Best Local Dynasty: The Western Albemarle girl's cross country team becomes the first Central Virginia high school squad to win three consecutive state championships. The Lady Warriors made history at the VHSL Cross Country Championships Saturday, November 13, at the Great Meadows Course in Warrenton. WAHS alumna and current head coach Carin Ward contributed to three state championships while in high school, but not in consecutive years. Now in Ward's three years as coach, WAHS continues to fry the competition. "I don't think it has sunk in yet," Ward tells the Daily Progress, "but I care about these girls like they're my family."
Worst Job in Washington: Whether it's head coach Joe Gibbs or the inability of the Redskins to find any kind of offensive production from quarterbacks, the Skins (3-6) drop another home game Sunday, November 14. The Cincinnati Bengals (4-5) are the latest installment of Washington woes as they shut down a dormant offense 17-10. Coach Joe Gibbs finally benches struggling quarterback Mark Brunnell, but replacement Patrick Ramsey can't silence the boo-birds at Fed-Ex Field. "I'm not afraid to change anything," Gibbs tells the AP. "I'm committed to finding a way through it, trying to build a franchise.
Worst Pretenders: After a promising 2-0 start, the Washington Wizards lose four of their past five in the young NBA season. Even with four Washington players scoring over 20 points Sunday, November 14, the defense cannot contain the explosive Dallas Mavericks (7-1) en route to a 133-124 loss.
Worst Senior Spoiler: UVA seniors suffer a gut wrenching defeat in their final home game as the hungry No. 18 Miami Hurricanes (7-2) invade Hookville to spoil the Cavs' hopes for an ACC title. Despite a valiant effort, the Wahoos fall to the Canes' explosive playmakers in a 31-21 defeat.
Most Unexpected Transformations: The UVA men's and women's soccer teams pull direct 180s with respect to their positions last weekend. After the ladies capture the ACC championship with a dramatic victory over a top-rated Carolina Tar Heels squad, the Cavs falter at home Sunday, November 14 in the second round of NCAA tournament play. The Duke Blue Devils weather UVA's persistent attack, and take advantage of a few Cavalier defensive breakdowns to post a 3-0 upset victory. The men, meanwhile, halt a two-game losing streak by rallying to claim their second consecutive ACC championship, defeating the rival Maryland Terrapins 2-1 in Cary, North Carolina, Sunday, November 14.
Best Breakthrough: The Louisa County Lions (8-2, 6-0 in District play) may have fallen just shy of matching the school's best-ever record on the gridiron. Louisa's 28-21 triumph over Fluvanna (3-7, 1-5 in District play) Friday, November 12, clinches the Lions' first Jefferson District title in over three decades.
The Week Ahead
UVA FOOTBALL VS. GEORGIA TECH
Saturday, November 20 @ 1pm
In a sense, this may be Virginia's biggest test all season. Can the Cavs (7-2, 4-2 in ACC play) travel to rebound after a heartbreaking home setback, or is the team on the brink of an end-of-season death spiral? Don't expect to breeze through Atlanta and score this ticket if you're decked out in Orange and Blue.
REDSKINS VS. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Sunday, November 21 @ 4:15pm
Good news for Skins' fans is the team looks significantly sharper on the road away from hometown boos. Bad news is they travel to face the strongest team in the NFC. Philadelphia (8-1) fans will take no prisoners as this longtime rivalry is sold out.
WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. TORONTO RAPTORS
Tuesday, November 23 @ 7pm
Plenty of seats available for some weeknight hoops up 29 North.