2006 Year in Review: Top Six Stories

2006 Year in Review: Top Six Stories

1. Meggie Meidlinger

Dominion pitcher Meidlinger became the first female baseball pitcher to throw a perfect game in Virginia history last spring, retiring 15 Briar Woods batters in shortened five-inning game. The senior threw 55 pitches, striking out five in the 10-0 victory.

"I just love to play baseball," said Meidlinger, who was selected as a member of the 2006 USA women's national team. In 2004, Meidlinger joined the record books by becoming the first female to record a win in a VHSL game.

2. Briar Woods and Freedom Football

Nobody expected first-year varsity football programs Briar Woods and Freedom to be able to compete last fall. Not only did they compete, the Falcons and Eagles both finished with impressive seasons. The Falcons finished with a 6-4 overall record while the Eagles finished at 4-6. Freedom running back Ron Hill and Briar Woods quarterback Alex Munro each came into their own as stars, while head coaches Charlie Pierce and Tom McIntyre showed that both schools have bright futures.

3. Potomac Falls Boys Soccer

The Potomac Falls boys soccer team became the class team of AA with their 2-1 victory over Blacksburg in the state championship game. The Panthers got revenge on the Bruins for last year’s final seconds' semifinal loss that weighted heavily on the team.

“All the guys were determined to not let that happen again,” said Potomac Falls head coach Dave Gryder after the game.

The Panthers got into the championship game with a 2-1 victory over district rival Heritage, the fourth victory of the year over the Pride.

Much like the 2005 semifinal match, the Panthers took a 2-1 lead into the final minutes of the game. Unlike last year, however, the Panthers were able to hold off the Bruins to get Potomac Falls its first ever state boys soccer championship.

“It just showed that they would do whatever they had to do to win,” said Gryder.

4. Stone Bridge and Park View Football

Stone Bridge was all but anointed the Group AAA Division 5 state champion after a preseason that featured their star lineman Andrew Nuss signing with Notre Dame and three key transfers heading to the squad, including running back Devon Brown. Nuss and Brown, along with senior quarterback Terence Glenn, led the 2005 state runners-up to a perfect regular season and an impressive 49-28 win over Madison in the regional semifinal. But then the seemingly impossible happened in the form of a 17-31 loss to Edison in the regional final. Key injuries and a determined Eagles team sent the shocked Bulldogs home early with dreams of a state title on hold until next year.

As for the Patriots, a 44-yard field goal by Louisa kicker Eric Church in the closing seconds ended their season in the first round of the Region II playoffs. The Patriots finished the regular season with a 9-1 record and easily won the Dulles District title outright. “We had a core group of seniors who don’t deserve to end like this,” said Park View head coach Andy Hill after the game.

5. Briar Woods Golf

With only freshmen and sophomores on the two-year-old squad, the Briar Woods boys golf team won the school’s first ever district title with the Dulles District tournament win.

“Most people probably didn’t believe that we could win,” said sophomore Robbie Mitchell. The Falcons finished with a combined score 327, one stroke ahead of runner-up Loudoun County (328) and two over Heritage (329). The Falcons also placed an impressive fourth out of 32 teams at the Region II tournament.

“It feels good,” said sophomore Mike Birmingham after the tournament win. “There is a lot of emphasis on football in the school but golf got a little bit of recognition and we can put that first trophy in the case.”

6. Park View and Broad Run Softball Game

Broad Run’s 1-0 squeaker over Park View to decide the Dulles district softball title was a 14-inning nail-biter. The Spartans’ sophomore pitcher Caitlyn Delahaba and the Patriots senior Brittany Gardner combined for 29 strikeouts, eight hits and 25 scoreless innings. The Spartans Andrea Beach drove in pinch-runner Theresa Brooks in the 14th inning to give the Spartans the win and the district title.