College sports roundup: A look at how area athletes fared in 2019-20

The following is a glance at area high school graduates who participated in men’s soccer, swimming, golf, tennis, lacrosse and women’s acrobatics & tumbling at the college level in 2019-20. Names were provided by high school coaches.

Men’s Soccer


Max Polio, Gardner-Webb: A freshman midfielder, Polio did not see any game action. The NCAA Division I Runnin’ Bulldogs went 9-8-2 overall and 5-2-1 in the Big South Conference.

Spencer Scott, Emory & Henry: A freshman goalkeeper/midfielder, Scott played in 12 games, including seven in goal (six starts). Scott averaged 6.4 saves per game, including 16 against No. 12 Washington and Lee on Oct. 5. Scott had one goal and two shots as a field player. The NCAA Division III Wasps went 6-10-2 overall and 0-8 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

Clarke County

Ian Smith, Pennsylvania College of Technology: A sophomore forward, Smith played in five games and made one start. Smith had two shots on goal. The NCAA Division III Wildcats went 3-13-3 overall and 3-5-3 in the North Eastern Athletic Conference.


Joel Romero, Potomac State: A freshman goalkeeper/midfielder, Romero played in nine games and made eight starts as a field player. He had one goal, two assists and eight shots. In goal, Romero started in the two games that he played and had a 2.50 goals allowed average and a .706 save percentage. The National Junior College Athletic Association Catamounts went 5-8.


Darin Douglas, Ferrum: A sophomore midfielder, Douglas played in five games. He had two goals, one assist and two shots. The NCAA Division III Panthers went 10-7 overall and 3-5 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

Jake Hansbrough, Virginia Wesleyan: A freshman midfielder, Hansbrough played in eight games and had one assist and one shot. The NCAA Division III Marlins went 7-11 overall and 4-4 in the ODAC.

Robby Watts, Ferrum: A sophomore forward, Watts played in three games and had one shot.

Women’s Swimming

Clarke County

Tess Whalen, Norwich: A freshman, Whalen posted a team-best time in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:53.19), the team’s No. 2 times in the 1,000 freestyle (12:01.04), the 50 breast (36.12), the 100 breast (1:18.62) and the No. 3 time in the 500 free (5:52.98). The NCAA Division III Cadets placed fifth at the Great Northeast Athletic Conference meet and 10th at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championships.

James Wood

Zoe Schopick, Macalester: A junior, Schopick beat her previous personal record by almost 40 seconds with a 19:42.91 in the 1,650-yard freestyle to take second at the Roger Ahlman Invitational in Minnesota. At the same meet, Schopick posted season-best times in the 100 butterfly (1:04.16) and 200 butterfly (2:20.55) to take third place in both events. The NCAA Division III Scots placed seventh in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference meet.


Rachel Stange, Bethany: A freshman, Stange placed 17th in the 100-yard back (1:32.62), 22nd in the 50 free (34.05) and also swam a 42.67 in the 50 back at the Presidents Athletics Conference meet. The NCAA Division III Bison placed sixth in the PAC meet.

Men’s Golf


Josh Bianco, Shenandoah: A junior, Bianco played 15 rounds in the abbreviated season and had a stroke average of 78.7, third on the team. His low round of 72 (even par) at the Tom Kinder Memorial at Lakeview Golf Club in Harrisonburg was tied for third-best in relation to par on the team for a single-season round (Bianco tied for 11th in the tournament with a two-over 146 over two rounds). As a sophomore in 2018-19, Bianco played 24 rounds and had a stroke average of 80.0. His low round of 71 tied for the best on the team. The NCAA Division III Hornets placed seventh in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships.

Women’s Golf


Maddi Neff, Bridgewater: A freshman, Neff played in five rounds and had a scoring average of 87.0 for the NCAA Division III Eagles of the ODAC. Her best round was an 84 in the second round of the Bridgewater Invitational at Lakeview Golf Club in Harrisonburg and she had two top-10 finishes.

Men’s Tennis


Nick Mueller, Richmond: A freshman, Mueller was 4-3 overall and 1-0 in spring singles matches. Mueller was 0-4 in fall doubles. The NCAA Division I Spiders went 4-6 overall and 1-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference during the abbreviated spring season.

Will Niessner, Salisbury: A senior, Niessner did not see any action in the abbreviated spring season, in which the NCAA Division III Seagulls of the Capital Athletic Conference went 6-1.

As a junior in 2019, Niessner went 4-1 in singles and 2-0 in doubles for a Seagulls team that went 17-6 (6-1 CAC).

James Wood

Evan Dokken, Shepherd: A junior, Dokken went 1-3 in singles and 1-3 in doubles in the abbreviated season, in which the NCAA Division II Rams of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference went 1-3. As a sophomore in 2019, Dokken appeared in all 15 matches, going 3-11 in singles and 7-8 in doubles. Shepherd went 3-12 (2-5 Mountain East Conference).


Tanner Jones, Shepherd: A freshman, Jones went 1-1 in singles.

Hayden Wilfong, Methodist: A junior, Wilfong went 1-9 in singles and 4-3 in doubles (4-1 at No. 2) in the abbreviated season, in which the NCAA Division III Monarchs of the USA South Conference went 1-12. As a sophomore in 2019, Wilfong went 12-6 in doubles (1-0 at No. 1, 3-1 at No. 2, 8-5 at No. 3) and 7-7 in singles (1-0 at No. 1, 2-2 at No. 3, 4-5 at No. 4). Wilfong was named the USA South Men’s Player of the Week on April 22, 2019. Methodist went 14-12 (6-2 USA South).

Women’s Tennis

James Wood

Morgan Burner, Shepherd: A freshman, Burner went 3-2 in singles and doubles in the abbreviated season, in which the Rams went 2-3.

Lily Kimble, Shenandoah: A freshman, Kimble went 7-2 in singles and had a 5-1 record at the No. 2 position in dual matches. She went 8-1 in doubles (7-0 at the No. 1 position in duals) for the Hornets, who went 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the ODAC in the abbreviated season.


Cecilia Cress, Washington College: A sophomore, Cress went 2-0 in singles (tournament competition) and 6-3 in doubles (2-2 at No. 1, 3-0 at No. 2, 1-1 tournament) for the NCAA Division III Shorewomen, which went 6-1 in the abbreviated season. As a freshman in 2019, Cress went 8-11 in singles (including 7-7 at No. 3) and 10-10 in doubles (including 7-7 at No. 2). Washington went 7-8 overall and 5-5 in the Centennial Conference.


Alexa Venturato, Washington College: A freshman, Venturato went 4-0 at No. 6 singles and 1-1 at No. 3 doubles.

Men’s Lacrosse

(all members of Handley club team)

James Wood

Robbie Holmes, Shenandoah: A junior midfielder, Holmes played in three games in the abbreviated season and recorded one ground ball for the Hornets, who went 4-2 (0-1 ODAC). As a sophomore in 2019, Holmes played in seven games and recorded six caused turnovers and five ground balls. Shenandoah went 7-9 (3-7 ODAC).

Gabriel O’Neil, Shenandoah: A freshman defender, O’Neil played in one game and recorded one ground ball in the abbreviated season.

George Sfarnas, Davis & Elkins: A sophomore midfielder, Sfarnas played in all seven games in the abbreviated season. He recorded 17 shots (nine on goal), seven ground balls and caused one turnover for the NCAA Division II Senators, who went 0-7 overall and 0-1 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. As a freshman in 2019, Sfarnas played in all 11 games and made two starts. He recorded two goals, two assists, picked up 13 ground balls and forced 21 turnovers. D&E went 2-9 overall (1-4 G-MAC).


Dylan Loomis, Potomac State: A sophomore defender, Loomis played in both games of the abbreviated season and caused one turnover for the Catamounts, who went 0-2. As a sophomore in 2019, Loomis played in all 10 games and recorded nine ground balls and caused five turnovers. Potomac State went 5-5.


Cannon Varnau, Randolph-Macon: A freshman midfielder, Varnau played in four games in the abbreviated season and had one goal, two ground balls and forced one turnover for the NCAA Division III Yellow Jackets, who went 7-0 (1-0 ODAC).

Acrobatics & Tumbling


Caitlyn Faint, Fairmont State: A junior top/tumbler, Faint helped the Fighting Falcons to a 4-0 overall and Mountain East Conference record before the rest of the season was canceled due to COVID-19. In 2019, Fairmont State went 8-2 (4-0 MEC), won the MEC Championship Meet, and advanced to the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association quarterfinals.

Note: The Winchester Star will publish college roundup stories dealing with track & field, baseball and softball at future dates.

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