When the James Monroe football team holds practice on Thanksgiving, veteran head coach Rich Serbay plans to give thanks for Dennis Dodson.

The former JM four-sport star died on Friday at age 67.

Serbay said he’ll remind his players of the legacy of Dodson, who remained a faithful JM supporter, until his death. He’s hopeful that gives them an extra push in Saturday’s Region 3B title contest at No. 1 seed Goochland.

“He’s definitely an icon,” Serbay said of Dodson. “He’s probably one of the most popular players to ever graduate from James Monroe High School.”

Dodson’s No. 13 was retired at JM in 2010. He was an all-district and all-region quarterback. He was named honorable mention all-state and all-American. He was the captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams. He scored the game-winning points in the 1969 basketball state championship game. He was a three-year starter for Virginia Tech’s football team.

He was named to The Free Lance–Star’s all-century team in 1999. In 2012, he was one of the first members inducted into JM’s sports Hall of Fame.

He was a State Farm insurance agent for 41 years and used part of his earnings to donate to JM’s athletic programs. He stayed in constant contact with Serbay, offering encouragement.

Serbay said he’s seeking permission to name an award at the team’s banquet in Dodson’s honor.

“He’s done so much for our football program and our school,” Serbay said. “He’s going to be missed very much. It’s a tough loss for our program, our school and our city.”

JONES PACING HERSELF

Colonial Forge volleyball standout Joselyn Jones has orally committed to continue her career at Pace University in New York.

Jones was a first-team all-Commonwealth District and first-team all-Region 6B selection this past season.

“I think it’s a beautiful campus. I love the coaches and I love the team,” Jones said of her decision. “I just thought it was the perfect fit for me.”

Jones began her high school career as a track and field and volleyball standout at Chancellor. As a jumper and sprinter, she earned three Free Lance–Star track and field athlete of the year honors in winter and spring combined while with the Chargers.

She transferred to Colonial Forge after her sophomore season. She took a hiatus from track and turned her attention exclusively to volleyball and became a force.

She plans to jump for the Colonial Forge track and field team this year to help her leaping ability on the court. She plans to play only volleyball in college.

“I’m just grateful to be able to play for Pace at that level,” Jones said.

BARRETT BREAKS MARKS

North Stafford senior volleyball star Victoria Barrett ended her career Friday as the Virginia High School League’s all-time leader in kills. Barrett finished with 2,031 career kills, Wolverines head coach Nicole Candelora said.

Megan Good of Fort Defiance held the previous record of 1,716 kills. Good played for Fort Defiance from 2010–13.

When the VHSL record book is updated with Barrett’s stats, she will also be atop the single-season kills list. Linsey Bailey of James River–Buchanan is currently listed at the top with 629 kills in 2018. Barrett recorded 721 in 2018 and 744 this season, but the Wolverines have yet to submit her statistics. Candelora plans to do so soon.

Barrett helped lead North Stafford to back-to-back appearances in the Class 5 state title match. The Wolverines fell to Frank Cox 3–2 in the championship on Friday despite 34 kills and 30 digs from Barrett, who will continue her career at New Mexico State University.

SOFTBALL STANDOUTS SIGN

Three Fredericksburg-area softball standouts signed national letters of intent recently. Chancellor’s Samantha Tillman inked with Fairmont State (W.Va.) while teammate Tessa Dodson signed with La Salle University in Philadelphia. Stafford’s Ashely Elliott signed with Alderson–Broaddus (W.Va.).

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Taft Coghill Jr: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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