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Front Royal 11-U Wildcats tabbed for NFL Hall of Fame tournament



Front Royal’s 11-U Wildcats celebrate an undefeated 8-0 regular season; then added 32-0 and 47-0 post-season wins over Clarke County’s Cowboys and Winchester’s Redskins, respectively. Their Apple Valley League championship matchup against Fauquier’s Cougars is Saturday – and then … Courtesy Photos & Graphics/FR 11-U Wildcats

The Front Royal 11-and-under Youth Football Wildcats have had a season to remember – not only going undefeated into this Saturday’s Apple Valley Youth Football League Championship matchup in Warrenton, but unscored upon in an eight-game regular season and two-game postseason thus far.

That 10-0 record with a combined score of 330-0 (251-0 regular season; 79-0 postseason) was compiled against teams from Winchester City, Clarke and Fauquier Counties and Capon Bridge, West Virginia.  Saturday’s league championship game in Warrenton is against the Fauquier Cougars, a team the Wildcat defeated 21-0 on September 15.

However, Wildcat coach Chris Ballard said Fauquier has showed continued improvement through the season, so his team will not take this matchup lightly.

Of the astonishing accomplishment of going unscored upon through 10 games, Ballard said, “We didn’t get scored on in the first couple of weeks, and then the kids got hungry to keep that scoreless streak going.”  Of his 25-player roster, Ballard said seven, sometimes eight players regularly go both ways on offense and defense.

“Our team is actually undersized but they are VERY disciplined,” Ballard said of his Wildcats.

While the Wildcat defense is unscored upon, you need points to win – here the Wildcats offense takes care of business.

Front Royal’s 11-U Wildcat’s remarkable season has not only caught the attention of league opponents, but the Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championship scouts.

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championship is excited to extend your team this official invitation to the biggest and best youth championship in the country,” Rich Notillo of Legacy Global Sports wrote Wildcat team representatives in mid-October.  Notillo notes that the tournament selection committee is “overseen by College Scout Gary Howard and former NFL General Manager Ray Farmer and his staff of former NFL coaches, national scouts and regional scouts.”

The criteria for selection includes, not only a tracking of the team history from the 2017 season, but live or game film evaluation of the current 2018 season, the team’s “big play ability” and “Team Character” – the latter defined through a “showcasing of values, teamwork and respect for the game, each other and coaches.”

And that, yesterday, today or tomorrow is a winning combination.

Wildcat Coach Ballard told Royal Examiner that win, lose or draw this Saturday his team will travel to Richmond for a chance to qualify for a trip to the Canton, Ohio site of the Pro-Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championships in December.  It will be a four-team, winners advance to the championship-game tournament.  First round losers will play for third place; while the Richmond regional champion goes to Canton where winners of 14 regional matchups in various divisions will compete for titles in December.

The team is seeking donations to help defer travel expenses. Information may be obtained from Coach Ballard’s wife, Brooke, at (540) 428-9079.

A season to remember going into Saturday’s league title game

Of the Canton site for those youth football championships, Legacy Global Sports Notillo wrote that they will be held “at the emerging $800-million Johnson Controls Pro Football Hall of Fame Village – the new home for youth football and the Most Inspirational Place on Earth.”  Okay, perhaps a “slight” example of NFL promotional hyperbole, but certainly enough to get a youth football team and coaches’ curiosity and motivation up – as if the opportunity to continue an undefeated, unscored-upon season and chance to play for a “world youth championship” needs additional motivation.

So good luck Front Royal 11-U Wildcats; keep it up and remember, if you get scored on, it is just that – a score, not the end of the game.  And always remember: win, lose or draw down the stretch, you Wildcats have been singled out, not only for your record, but for your team character, values and respect for the game. – And in this old sportswriter’s book THAT makes you champions forever in an era too often collectively lacking in values and respect.

Players on the 2018 Front Royal 11-U Wildcats are: Cody Saloman (G-DE), Nathan Ballard (QB), Lance Dodson (NG), Josiah Sutphin (TE-DE), Damien Thompson (G-LB), Carmello Copeland (TE-DE), Aiden Boyles (C), Gideon Fusaro (TE), Brady Kaufman (RB), Brandon Phillips (G), Kobe Mason (RB-CB), Nicholas DeSantis (LB), Michael Hooper (RB-S), TyRay Taylor (TE-LB), Adrian Craig (G-DE), Cameron Kent (G), Colton Talley (T), Treyvonne Washington (RB-S), Landon Bryant (RB-LB), Cole Britton (RB-LB), Daniel Athey (T-DT), Liam Spurlock (T-DT), Marcus Smith (T-DT), Andre Ford (TE-CB), and Tyler Hyers (G).


Some Wildcats celebrate a 10-0 season – NOW it’s time to get down to business.


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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