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An aerial view of Courtland High School’s blue turf football stadium. New turf fields are currently being installed at Riverbend and Massaponax High Schools.  

Two more Spotsylvania County schools are in the process of getting artificial turf installed.

Massaponax broke ground on its new turf field on Tuesday and is aiming to open play in late March. Riverbend began the process in December and is four weeks ahead of the Panthers’ pace.

Massaponax athletic director Stan Clements said that if weather cooperates, there should be minimal impact to the schools’ spring sports schedules.

He said the Panthers may have to schedule a few away doubleheaders and have their opponents return the favor later or play off-site early on in the season.

“It’s very exciting for us and for all our student-athletes,” Clements said. “The county is putting a high-class facility in our stadium so we’re thoroughly looking forward to it.”

Courtland was the first school to get artificial turf in the county. The Cougars began play on their blue turf field in the fall.

After Riverbend and Massaponax, Chancellor and Spotsylvania will follow.

The fields will cost an estimated $800,000 each.

The funds to pay for the artificial turf come from the proceeds of a bond approved by county voters in a referendum.

Riverbend AD Tim Stimmell said workers on the school’s campus have done all the dirt removal and are now covering drains with rock.

He expects the fields to be ready for the start of spring sports.

He said feedback has been “100 percent positive.”

“I think the benefits far outweigh any kind of concerns,” Stimmell said. “Any safety concerns about turf in the past have really gone away with a lot of the steps they’re taking now. I’m excited about it. It’s going to benefit our kids in so many ways.”

BEARS HIRE RECORE

Riverbend has a new boys soccer coach to go with its brand new field.

The Bears have hired Mike Recore to replace Brian Cannavo.

Recore is a teacher at Freedom Middle School in the county. Stimmell said Recore’s familiarity with the school system made him an attractive candidate.

“He just had a really good plan coming in,” Stimmell said. “He’s fired up and ready to go. He had relationships with a lot of the kids over the years. He has a pretty extensive coaching history. He’s been with the school district for several years and has a really good feel for the way things go on … It was really a positive experience from the beginning with him.”

JACKET APPROACHING SCORING RECORD

When North Stafford hosted James Monroe Wednesday night, it was a matchup of two 1,000-point scorers that will end their careers as the school’s all-time leaders in points.

North Stafford senior guard Javon Swinton eclipsed former Wolverines’ forward Chris Darnell as the school’s all-time leading scorer in a loss to Riverbend on Friday.

Swinton had 1,504 points entering the JM game, surpassing Darnell’s mark of 1,464.

James Monroe junior guard Ricky Goode-Wright topped the 1,000-point mark in a 61-60 win over Caroline on Friday and is eight points shy of breaking Alvin Williams’ 41 year-old school record of 1,070 career points following a 58-50 loss to North Stafford on Wednesday night.

HEATHERMAN A HUSKY

Brendan Heatherman graduated from Mountain View early and is now enrolled at the University of Connecticut.

Heatherman was a standout tight end for the Wildcats. He missed all of the 2019 season with a torn ACL.

He’s recovered and is available to participate in spring practice at UConn. Heatherman signed a national letter of intent with the Huskies in December and is one of 11 early enrollees in the football program.

ROBINSON PICKS EAGLES

Former Fredericksburg Christian basketball and track and field standout Kendrick Robinson will continue his hoops career at Bridgewater College.

Robinson has played the past two seasons at Trinity Episcopal School in Richmond after transferring from FCS.

The 6-foot-4, 180-pound Robinson is a four-year starter. He started two years at FCS and the past two at Trinity, where he plays alongside Duke commit Henry Coleman.

Taft Coghill Jr: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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