Friday, November 28, 2008

Before the was Strasburg Volleyball, there was Stonewall Jackson Girls Basketball


The poster from the SJHS team
in 2006-2007.

Monacan Head Coach Larry Starr



Action from the free throw line


The wall at Stonewall



The other end of the wall...




Whitney Wilkins on defense


QUICKSBURG - I spent the winter of 2006-2007 covering the Lady Generals Basketball team and was fortunate enough to become familiar with Head Coach Jeff Burner and his extended family.
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You have to start by stating that the extended family is rather large due to Burner and his ability to make you feel right at home. The Stonewall Jackson team advanced to the State Tournament behind the talents of 4 year seniors Kallie Hovatter and Britany Kuntz. While Hovatter and Kuntz were talented they were not playing 2 on 5. There were 5 sophomores and a freshman that were a big part of the Lady Generals attack and now those young ladies are taking their turn at providing Senior leadership for Burner.
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Jessica "Bull" Richardson, Brittany Smith, Molly Beall, Jessica Shenk and Megan Lutz are all playing their third season of varsity basketball for Burner. Junior Heather Stout makes it a six pack of players that bring a load of experience to the gym each and every night. Lutz is still wearing a brace on her leg from her surgery but appears to be back at full speed.
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Following the adventures of Stonewall that season allowed me a seat inside the circle that is the Burner family. You can't go to a game, home or away and not see Mama & Mr.Burner near the action. The other thing you will notice is that once you are a part of the Stonewall family you don't wander far the team.
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BK is attending James Madison University and Hovatter is down at Elon College after one season at St.Joseph's University in Philadelphia. The 2,085 points she netted while wearing the red & black stands as the highest point total scored by a male or female in the history of Shenandoah County. Hovatter will have to sit out this season after transferring to Elon but will have three years of eligibility remaining. BK's younger twin sisters will be playing on the JV team this season so you should be seeing her around the gym as well.
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Burner is entering his 13TH season as the Head Coach at the Quicksburg school and he is always trying to find ways to improve his team on the court while being supportive of them off the court. That was the case once again this morning when Stonewall scrimmaged with Class AAA Monacan Chiefs. The Chiefs are not only a Class AAA team from the Richmond area but they are ranked in the pre-season poll for 2008-2009.
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Big City team meets small town team... 163 miles separate the two schools but once again it is a family relationship that had Head Coach Larry Starr pack his varsity and junior varsity on a bus for a 3+ hour trip each way. Starr and Burner go way back and the comfort level is one that allows the coaches to offer tips to players from both sides during the "situation" drills.
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There will be some pics to come from the scrimmage/practice and some other odds and ends from the day in Quicksburg to follow. Stonewall begins their regular season on Tuesday December 2ND at Clarke County in Berryville.
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