Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving is the time to say Thanks for the journey!

The past four years we have searched for ways to bring the positive to the fore front in the Shenandoah Valley. The search was not for the biggest story but for folks that believed in doing things the right way. Armed with a sense of purpose and an average digital camera the goal was a very simple one: Make People Smile!

We hope that we have accomplished just that through our time & efforts. Please help yourself to any photo on the site, they are yours for the taking.

Happy Thanksgiving & God Bless to All !

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gate City Escapes with a 3-2 Victory over Rams

Strasburg fell to defending state champion Gate City 16-14 in Game 5. __________________________________________________

The amazing run by the 2009-2010 Strasburg Rams came to an end shortly before 2:00 P.M. Friday. The effort that this group of student athletes gave their Head Coach Suzanne Mathias all season was nothing less than superb. These 14 young ladies have done their school and their community proud.

The final record will go in the books at 25-2 for the campaign. The Senior Class will be missed by all that are proud to wear Purple!
It has been an honor to be a small part of the Strasburg Rams Volleyball family over the past four years. The amount of class and dedication shown from the likes of Kaitlin Smoot, Katie Baker, Bethany Doman, Jenna Smoot, Jaclyn Ayers, Stephanie Conde- just to name a few- has been amazing. It was my hope to create smiles along the way for the athletes, parents, students and coaching staff.
Congrats to the Class of 2009-2010 and best of luck in your future plans and Thanks for sharing something magical with us all!

Gate City Rallies to Force Game 5

Gate City evened the match at two sets a piece with a 25-22 victory. Game 5 is in progress.

Strasburg Storms Back from Early Deficit to Win Game 3

Strasburg trailed early but rallied back to win 25-23 and are now one game away from playing for the state championship!

Strasburg Pulls Even with Game 2 Victory

The Rams bounce back and win game two 25-15. More to come.

Gate City takes opener 30-28. Game 2 under way @ VCU

Gate City edged Strasburg 30-28 in Game 1 of the State semi-finals. Game 2 is being played now.

Jeremy Stafford's Friday Column on Rams

Thursday, November 19, 2009

'Twas the Night Before Richmond...

All 4 VB Region Champions Advance - Set for Noon on Friday

4 Matches were played Tuesday night and in each case the home team (Region Champs) captured the victory without playing a fifth game.

Strasburg 3, Nortumberland 0
Gate City 3, Radford 1
Mathews 3, Altavista 0
Bath County 3, John Battle 1
Strasburg and Gate City will square off at Noon on Friday while Mathews & Bath County will get started at 2:00 P.M. The winners are set to meet at 9:30 A.M. on Saturday morning.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

All Aboard the Strasburg Express - Next stop : V-C-U !

On the road again - Rams are set to return to the Siegel Center.
Right after a jump serve Ace from Stephanie Conde ended the 3RD set and the match!

Casey Spiker celebrates a kill with Jenna, Jacyln & Lauran.
Notes from the match Tuesday night:
Stephanie Conde- 7 kills,14 service points & 6 Aces
Jenna Smoot- 7 kills & 6 blocks
Jaclyn Ayers - 6 kills & 2 Aces
Lauren Agnew - 4 kills
Samantha St. Clair - 3 kills, 2 Aces
Casey Spiker - 4 kills
Ally Kauffman - 5 Aces
Meghan Gum - 5 service points

More from the QF vs. Northumberland Indians

The Stuff Block ...
Samantha, Jenna & Jacyln defending the net.

Showing some seriuos hops at the net!

Pics & Notes from Tuesday Night vs. Northumberland

Rams advance to Final 4 !
The thrill of victory - Right after the final point.

The student body did a wonderful job supporting the Rams in their final home match.

TV-3 Winchester interviewing Coach Suzanne Mathias after the match

Four very Happy ladies!

The coaching staff enjoying a group hug.
Yes that is all 3 of them!
Friday at Noon the Rams will face Gate City in the semi-finals. The two teams have met in the State Championship the past two seasons with the Rams winning in 2007 and the Blue Devils capturing the crown in 2008.

Both TV-3 Winchester and Dennis from the Northern Virginia Daily were getting footage of the match Tuesday night. You can check out the pica and the gamer by Jeremy Stafford at around 5:30 Wednesday morning.

Waiting for the action to begin...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

High Noon : Gate City vs. Strasburg in Final Four on Friday

Strasburg needed 3 games Tuesday night to advance to the Siegel Center for the third straight year. When they arrive on Friday for the Noon match they will find a familiar foe waiting for them in the Gate City Blue Devils.
Gate City defeated Radford High School 3-1 at home Tuesday night to advance and set up the rematch of last two years Championship contests. Strasburg won the title in 2007 while Gate City captured the 2008 crown.
More to come later !

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Elite Eight is set - Rams return home for Tuesday's Quarter-Final

Elite Eight Fun Facts:

Strasburg (24-1) has joined the Elite Eight in Class A Volleyball for the third straight season and will play their Quarter-Final match at home on Tuesday night at 7:00 P.M. As Champions of Region B the Rams will host the Region A runner-up (Northumberland 19-3) while Region B runner-up Altavista will make the trek over to play the Region A Champion (Mathews).
The other two matches will pit the Region C Champion (Bath County 23-1) vs. Region D runner-up( John Battle High 20-4) & Region D Champion & defending State Champion(Gate City Blue Devils 22-1) vs. Region C runner-up(Radford 16-8). All four matches will take place on Tuesday night with the four winners advancing to Virginia Commonwealth University on Friday.
The semi-finals are set for Noon and 2:00 P.M. on Friday and the Championship game will be played at 9:30 A.M. on Saturday.
Gate City captured the State Championship in 2004, 2005 & 2008 with the victory last season coming over Strasburg. The Blue Devils split their season series with Sullivan Central (Blountville, Tenn.) with both matches going 5 sets. Otherwise Gate City has seldom seen a Game 4 this season, let alone more game 5's.
Strasburg carries a 73-14 record (sets) for the season and is currently riding a 24 match winning streak. The Rams swept the Region B tournament without dropping a set to Stonewall Jackson, Nelson County or Altavista.
So where exactly is Northumberland located ? The school has 434 students and is located in Heathsville, Virginia. The bus ride over will cover 156 miles and should take 3+ hours. If you are planning to attend the match Tuesday night...

Date Posted: Sunday Nov 15, 2009
If Strasburg wins on Tuesday they will play the winner of Gate City vs. Radford at Noon on Friday. The second semi-final will follow.
John Battle High School is 20-4 on the season but all 4 losses have come at the hands of the Blue Devils.If you would like to learn more about Gate City you can click on the link below for their Region D Finals match. The coverage is from the Bristol newspaper.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Strasburg 2-day !

Yes we can !
2ND Region B Trophy in 3 Years.

The lighter side of the ceremony !

Quite a Day for the Ayers family!

The Senior Class enjoying their moment.

Rams Girls Cross Country places 2ND at the State Championship !

Rams Cheer Squad places 2ND at their State Championship !


Rams Volleyball captures 2ND Region B Championship in 3 years !


Katlyn Ayers brings home the Gold with her individual Cross Country effort !

More from Altavista - Heading Home for Tuesday

Home of the Colonels
Look what I won !!!

2009 Region B Champions!

Just a moment for a Father & a Daughter.
Ready to get started ? Rams score first 7 points of match after intro's.

Images from Altavista - Rams 3-0 sweep is in the Books

Greg Brill of the NVD and Head Coach Suzanne Mathias.
Check out Greg's gamer @
Smile for the camera!

Matt & Suzanne enjoying the moment!
Lauren at the service line.

Samantha preparing to serve.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Next Stop for the Strasburg Express - Altavista on a Saturday Night

STRASBURG - Madison County was up 2-1 at Altavitsa Thursday night but the home team rallied back to win games four & five so Strasburg will make the trek down US-29 on Saturday night for the Region B Championship.
Strasburg (23-1) earned their third consecutive trip to the State Tournament at home tonight by sweeping the Governors of Nelson County 3-0 (25-21, 25-11 & 25-21). Bull Run District Player of the Year Jenna Smoot led the attack for Head Coach Suzanne Mathias with a rare double-double. The senior collected 10 kills and 10 blocks in one of her more dominating performances of the season.
Smoot hit the court running by collecting 3 kills and 1 block in the first 2 minutes of action as the Rams raced out to a 7-0 lead. Nelson County (19-6) would rally back throughout the opener and cut the lead to 22-19 on an Ace from Keona Loving. Strasburg closed out the first game 25-21 behind a back row kill from Ally Kaufman and a service point from Meghan Gum.
"Jenna played tonight like she has in the last two matches," Mathias said. "The momentum continued in to the match tonight and that allowed us to get out to a quick start."
Strasburg raced out to a big lead at the start of the second game at 13-4 and this time they would not allow the Govenors back into the contest. The Rams stayed aggressive until the final point and closed out the game with two kills from Jacyln Ayers and two blocks from Smoot. The 25-11 defeat and 0-2 hole would of been enough to crack most opponents but Nelson County answered the bell for Game 3.
NCHS took its only lead of the match at 3-2 in game 3 and tried to match points with Strasburg. The score was 11-8 when Smoot went on yet another tear by scoring two kills and a block inside of a minute to push the lead out to 15-9 but the Governors continued to battle back.
Strasburg led 19-12 when Stephanie Conde made the play of the night by stretching out to get her right arm on a 3 ball while running away from the net. The senior was able to not only track the ball down but send it to the back row and this allowed Smoot to blast a kill to finish the point. The noise in the gym resembled an airplane taking off after the play and the point pushed the lead to 20-12.
NVHS made one more push by scoring five straight points to pull within 20-17 and force Mathias to call a time out in an effort to settle her team down. The team traded points until the score was 23-21 and Mathias subbed Smoot back in one rotation early. Samantha St. Clair answered with a cross court kill and then Smoot closed out the match the same way she started it, by slamming a set to the gym floor.
"We came out tonight and played with a great deal of excitement and we were ready to go," Mathias added. "I told them before the match to have fun and enjoy their ride."
The match Saturday night will serve dual purposes in that the winner will be crowned Region B Champions and play their next game at home on Tuesday night. The team that comes up on the short end of the score board will take a road trip to the Eastern portion of the State in their next match. While punching their third straight ticket to States Mathias hopes that each team is treated individually.
"I want it to be about this team this season," Mathias noted. "It is their ride and I want them to be able to enjoy it."
Brian Eller was in the gym for the Northern Virginia Daily and you can check out his gamer Friday morning around 5:30 at

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How tough ? Ram tough.

Bull Run Player of the Year - Ms. Jenna Smoot in action versus Stonewall Jackson Tuesday night.
Side Note- If you look out the window in the space between Jenna and Stephanie you will notice Jenna's father taking in the action.

Pics from the Inbox - More coverage from the Strasburg Express

I believe it was Cyndi Lauper that said "Girls Just wanta have fun" but it is in the pre-game pep talk that Coach Mathias gives her squad before every match- "Play Hard and Have Fun"
Here is the celebration after the Region B QF win over Stonewall Jackson. Next up is Nelson County on Thursday Night.
11 on 11 Volleyball

In the Land of Purple & White

Bull Run Tournament Champions Once Again !


Always happy to share photos that have been sent in to us and the ones above are a few from Saturday & Tuesday night!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Step 4 in the Books - Strasburg Express rolls on to Regional Semi-Final

Strasburg hosted Stonewall Jackson Tuesday night in a Region B Quarter-Final Volleyball match and it is safe to say that the Express is running right on time. The Rams (22-1) followed up their impressive Bull Run District Championship victory over Madison County with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-15 & 25-14) sweep of their county rival SJHS.

Next up for the Rams is a home match in the semi-finals versus Nelson County. The match is slated for a 7:00 start and the winner of that match locks in a spot in the State tournament. The Region B finals will be a road contest for Strasburg if they advance past Thursday night. Madison County will travel to Altavista for the other semi-final match on Thursday.
Stats from the match:
Jenna Smoot - 13 Kills, 3 Blocks
Stephanie Conde - 13 Kills
Jaclyn Ayers - 8 Kills
Lauran Agnew - 5 kills
Ally Kaufman - 5 Aces