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Front Royal 11-U Wildcats rally from first deficit to win league crown



Front Royal’s undefeated 11-U Wildcats celebrate a league title following their toughest game of the season. Courtesy Photos/FR 11-U Wildcats

Undefeated and unscored-upon heading into a league title game with momentum on the line after qualifying for the Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championships – but nobody ever said it was going to be easy.

On Sunday, November 4 in Fauquier County, Front Royal’s 11-Under Youth Football Wildcats rallied from their first deficit of the season – well, it’s hard to be behind when your defense has never been scored on – to win the Apple Valley Youth Football League Championship 15-6 over the Fauquier Cougars.  The game was delayed a day due to poor field conditions from the most recent heavy rains.

It didn’t take long for the Wildcats to have their will tested by a team they defeated 21-0 on September 15.  Fauquier took the opening kickoff and drove 81 yards to take a 6-0 lead.  The conversion play failed.  The Cougar drive was highlighted by a 50-yard run on a pitch right and a 25-yard touchdown run, again to the right on a 4th and 15 play.

“I told the coaches one of two things would happen if we got scored on, they will either hang their heads or get mad – they got mad,” Wildcat Coach Chris Ballard told us.  In addition to the defense getting riled up, a change from a 5-3 defensive scheme to a 4-4 up front by defensive coordinator Bobby Vorous helped the Wildcats shut down the Cougar offense the remainder of the game.

But the Cougars held their lead till late in the first half.  A Wildcat punt pinned the host Cougars deep leading to a change of possession at the Fauquier 40-yard line.  The Wildcats moved the ball to the Cougar 20 with 24 seconds left in the half.

Quarterback Nathan Ballard first gave the ball to Kobe Mason for a sweep right that netted 11 yards.  The first down at the nine-yard line was crucial as it stopped the clock to move the chains with Front Royal out of timeouts and just 2.8 seconds remaining in the half.

Ballard got his team to the line and a snap from center with one second left on the clock.  Cole Britton and the offensive line did the rest for a 9-yard score to tie the game with no time showing on the clock.  A conversion run gave Front Royal a 7-6 halftime lead (league rules give 1 point for run or pass play PAT’s, 2 points for kicks).

“That was HUGE,” Coach Ballard told Royal Examiner of his team’s late offensive surge to take a lead into the locker room.

Front Royal was on the receiving end of the second-half kickoff but Fauquier pulled on onside kick out of their bag of tricks recovering the ball near midfield.  However, they could do nothing with the possession, or any other for the remainder of the game.

“After that opening score, the rest of the game our defense was on fire,” Coach Ballard observed.

Wildcats lineup in a classic T-formation for Kobe Mason’s third-quarter, 25-yard touchdown run

Front Royal added their second score late in the third quarter on a 60-yard drive.  The workhorse for much of that drive was fullback Landon Bryant.  His coach pointed out of the Cougar defense, “They did a good job shutting down what usually works for us – slants off tackle and outside sweeps.  So we put a lot on Landon – he probably carried the ball about 65% of the game – and he came through for us.”

With fullback Bryant drawing more of the defense’s attention to the middle of the field, Kobe Mason got the Wildcats second touchdown on a 25-yard run.  A 2-point conversion kick by Marcus Smith made it a 15-6 game with the Cougars needing two scores to take a lead.

Marcus Smith prepares to make it a 2-possession lead with a 2-point conversion kick and a 15-6 lead that would hold.

It was a task an aroused Wildcat defense would not allow.

Coach Ballard says his team will get a week off before returning for 2-1/2 weeks of practice in preparation for the trip to Richmond for the Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championships Regional showdown with three other Virginia teams. See Related Story

Congratulations Front Royal 11-U Wildcats – and we’ll add a special nod to the starting defense that has helped its team compile an 11-0 record on their way to the Apple Valley Youth Football League title with a combined season and playoffs score of 345-6.

The Wildcat starting defense is: Cody Saloman-DE; Lance Dodson-NG; Michael Hooper-DT; Marcus Smith-DT; Josiah Sutphin-DE; TyRay Taylor-LB; Cole Britton-LB; Landon Bryant-LB; Kobe Mason-Corner; Andre Ford-Corner; and Trey Washington-Safety.

Now it’s on to Richmond November 29 to December 2, with a ticket to Canton, Ohio on the line – GO WILDCATS!!!  And always remember – scores win games; DEFENSE wins championships…


The MORE Program presents a video in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.



Photo and video by MORE students and Jennifer Avery, Jenspirations. Behind the scenes as the MORE Program students gather to film the next portion of their MLK video.

On Wednesdays, the MORE Program students work on their video and photography skills. Some students have shown natural talent in the director position, some as a manager organizing behind the scenes. There are students who love to ask interview questions and prompt thoughts, and others who love to be on camera.

Jennifer Avery, Jenspiration LLC helps students edit video footage on Movie Maker to prepare for the final product.

This week our project was to organize and present a video on Martin Luther King, Jr. Grab a cup of tea, sit back, and enjoy this 6 minute presentation on MLK. The students organized, directed, and filmed it all!

Some famous MLK quotes the students included:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”


The MORE Program provides afternoon care to middle school students in Warren County. We provide healthy snacks, reinforce skills required for academic success, and provide hands-on enrichment activities that teach important lessons about future employment, health, and wellness. We provide all of this at no cost to parents, thanks to state and federal grants, the Warren Coalition, and Warren County Public Schools.

Jennifer Avery, Jenspiration LLC
540-683-0790 |
1. Behind the scenes as the MORE Program students gather to film the next portion of their MLK video.
2. Jennifer Avery, Jenspiration LLC helps students edit video footage on Movie Maker to prepare for the final product.

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Local News

Skyline High School’s Environmental Science, Ecology, and Green Team is taking on another Action Project



Conservation Greetings!

We are learning to be compassionate, global-minded, Earth stewards in Environmental Science, Ecology, and Green Team at Skyline High School. That means, taking what we learn about in class and using it to better the world. One of our Action Projects is to help clean up our waterways… from narrow streams that flow into the Shenandoah River, to the Potomac River, to the Chesapeake Bay, and on into the Atlantic Ocean. We have been horrified to see pictures of aquatic organisms suffering and dying after consuming and becoming entangled in plastics. How sad it is to learn that soon our oceans will have more plastic particles in them than fish!

Please help us change this! We want to raise awareness in a meaningful and ethical way through a “Buy One, Give One” fundraiser. We are selling cotton, organic, fair trade, reusable grocery bags along with an autographed copy of one of Ellie Jackson’s storybooks, “Duffy’s Lucky Escape!,” “Nelson’s Dangerous Dive,” or “Marli’s Tangled Tale.” Each story is based on the true story of a sea animal who has suffered because of human waste. Our goal is to not only bring awareness through the selling of the products, but also to educate our Warren County Kindergartners (almost 400) by “giving” one bag/book combo to each of them at an educational assembly that SHS students will present. We want to educate the children about the benefits to people and the Earth of using “organic,” “fair trade,” and “reusable” products. We hope the gifts and education will help motivate them and their families to carry it forward.

“Buy One, Give One”
Pick 1 Bag & Pick 1 Book = $35.00

CLICK HERE to download and fill out the order form. Drop off or mail the form to Kara Lewallen at Skyline High School. You can also contact Kara with any questions you may have by emailing or calling (540) 631-0366.

If you do not feel you can buy a bag and book, there are other ways to help…

  1. Reduce your plastic use.
  2. Recycle the recyclable plastics.
  3. Vote at the grocery store by choosing biodegradable packaging when possible.
  4. Educate others for the good of our Earth.

A tremendous THANK YOU to Rappahannock Electric Cooperative ($500), Walmart ($1,000), Gallant International, and Ellie Jackson for helping us make a positive difference!

With love for Earth and Organisms,
SHS Environmental Science, Ecology, & Green Team

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Local News

Iwo Jima, the iconic battle and legacy



Staff Sergeant Louis R. Lowery, USMC, staff photographer for "Leatherneck" magazine [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. First Iwo Jima Flag Raising. Small flag carried ashore by the 2d Battalion, 28th Marines is planted atop Mount Suribachi at 1020, 23 February 1945 This picture is usually captioned as: 1st Lieutenant Harold G. Schrier with Platoon Sergeant Ernest I. Thomas, Jr. (both seated), PFC James Michels (in foreground with carbine), Sergeant Henry O. Hansen (standing, wearing soft cap), Corporal Charles W. Lindberg (standing, extreme right), on Mount Suribachi at the first flag raising. However, PFC Raymond Jacobs disputed these identifications,[1] and asserted that it should be: PFC James Robeson (lower left corner; not visible in this cropped version of the photo), Lieutenant Harold Schrier (sitting behind his legs), PFC Raymond Jacobs (carrying radio), Sergeant Henry Hansen (cloth cap), unknown (lower hand on pole), Sergeant Ernest Thomas (back to camera), Phm2c John Bradley (helmet above Thomas), PFC James Michels (with carbine), Cpl Charles Lindberg (above Michels).

On Wednesday, January 16th at 2:15 pm, Randolph-Macon Academy hosted a free presentation entitled, “Iwo Jima, the iconic battle and legacy,” presented by Shayne Jarosz.

In addition to serving as the Director of Special Events for the Iwo Jima Association of America, Inc., Jarosz is a Marine Corps veteran and taught history for 28 years in Fairfax County. In his current position, he provides military historical tours to battlefield sites around the world, including Guadalcanal, Guam, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima, Korea and Vietnam. Jarosz’s presentation on Iwo Jima took place in Melton Memorial Gymnasium on the R-MA campus.

For more information, visit the Iwo Jima Association of America’s website.

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Local News

Why is my electric bill so high?



Photo and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

Front Royal Town Manager Joe Waltz spoke today (January 17th) with Mike McCool, Publisher of the Royal Examiner about the very question.

See related story.


The Department of Energy Services provides electrical services for almost 8,000 customers in the Town of Front Royal and Warren County. The Town has been providing this service for over 123 years while providing the best reliable service in the Shenandoah Valley.

The Town of Front Royal is one of sixteen municipal electric systems in Virginia and is one of over 2,000 municipal-owned systems in the United States. The Energy Resource Department is a self supported enterprise fund, with their total costs for operation derived through the electric rate structure.

The Town is also actively participating in both Federal and State legislation to maintain the safest, most reliable and economical cost available for our customers to keep rates low. They are active members in the following organizations:

Municipal Electric Power Association of Virginia (MEPAV).
American Municipal Power – Ohio (AMP-Ohio).
American Public Power Association (APPA).
International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA).

The operation of an electrical system is a twenty-four hour, 365 day a year job. The Town of Front Royal Electric Department strives to keep your lights on and your power outages to a minimum. Even during the worst conditions be assured that your friends and neighbors at the Energy Services Department will be working hard to restore your power.

Their mission is to provide the best quality power and customer service while keeping the price low and service interruptions to a minimum. If you have suggestions or questions, please do not hesitate to contact them.

Online contact form.

1101 Manassas Avenue
Front RoyalVA 22630
Phone: 540-635-3027
Fax: 540-631-3620
Monday – Friday
7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
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Local News

Citizens speak out about high electric bills



Photo and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

On January 14, 2019,  Front Royal Town Council held a public hearing to amend Front Royal Municipal Town Code Chapter 70 pertaining to Electricity to bring it up-to-date and consistent with other areas of the Town Code, as presented. Several citizen spoke to the the Council about their utility bills and why their electric bills are so high.

See related story here.

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Local News

Pedestrian struck near Rural King in Front Royal



FRONT ROYAL – A pedestrian was struck by a pickup truck Tuesday afternoon in front of Rural King Front Royal Police say.

According to a press release from the office of Chief Kahle Magalis, a call came in around 3 p.m. regarding a pedestrian struck in front of the retail store, located at 465 South Street in the Royal Plaza Shopping Center.

Responding officers found the pedestrian, Jeffrey Richardson, 40, of Reliance, lying in the parking lot.  The release states that “it was determined that Richardson was struck by a 2011 Ford F-150 operated by Thomas Clark, 83, of Front Royal.”

Clark stated to officers that his foot had slipped off the brake while going over a speed bump and his foot made contact with the accelerator, which caused him to accidentally strike Richardson.

Richardson was transported to Warren Memorial Hospital and then transferred to Winchester Medical Centers Trauma Unit for observation.

No charges have been placed against the driver at this time.

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