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High school notebook: Champion coaches lead Chancellor's first hall of fame class

High school notebook: Champion coaches lead Chancellor's first hall of fame class

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The inaugural Chancellor High School athletics Hall of Fame class features two coaches that have won multiple state championships.

Chancellor field hockey coach Jim Larkin, who has also been inducted into the Virginia High School League Hall of Fame, is part of the nine-person initial class.

Larkin’s teams have won more than 360 games and five state championships in his 24 years at the helm. The Chargers have been state runners-up on five occasions, including this past season. Four other times they reached the state semifinals.

Chancellor boys soccer coach Mike Webb was also selected for the inaugural class. Webb has amassed more than 500 career victories and two state championships.

Webb and Larkin are joined by former football coach Bob Oliver, who died on Monday at age 65 after suffering a heart attack.

Oliver guided Chancellor to 116 career victories. He was the second coach in school history. His tenure lasted 19 years before he retired in 2016. He also had a stint as the Chargers’ baseball coach.

Oliver’s run on the gridiron included a trip to the Group AA, Division 4 state semifinals in 2008.

That team was led by running back and linebacker Dominique Wallace who is also one of the school’s first Hall of Fame inductees.

After a stellar career with the Chargers, Wallace went on to play at Virginia where an injury derailed a promising start before he eventually transferred to junior college Arizona Western and later stopped playing. Wallace rushed for 4,957 yards in his Chancellor career.

Former field hockey standout Lara (Cariker) Bradshaw was also selected for the class. Bradshaw later went on to play for Radford. Volleyballs standouts Katie (Synan) Allen and Dana Jones were also selected.

Allen was chosen for the Virginia High School Coaches Association all-star game as a senior and Jones helped lead the Chargers to the Group AAA state semifinals in 1999 with 390 kills and 129 blocks.

Three-sport standout Ken Manahan, who excelled in football, basketball and soccer, is also included in the class, as is former baseball star Matt Halloran.

Manahan went on to play goalkeeper for the James Madison soccer team. Halloran, a former shortstop, was a first-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres (15th overall) in 1996.

The induction ceremony will take place at a banquet Oct. 2. The class will be honored at halftime of a home football game against Spotsylvania Oct. 1.

WASHINGTON HONORS LUDDEN

The Washington Football Team has selected Massaponax coach Eric Ludden as its Coach of the Year. The Washington Football Community announced on Twitter that Ludden was chosen for his commitment to student-athletes on and off the field and for building a sense of family among his players.

Ludden also earned Commonwealth District coach of the year honors this past season after he directed the Panthers to the Class 6 state semifinals, where they dropped a hard-fought 21-14 game to eventual state champion Oscar Smith.

PANTHERS ON THE PROWL

Five seniors on the Massaponax softball team have decided where they’ll play at the next level. Outfielder and lead-off hitter Brenna Morefield is headed to Christopher Newport. Morefield, a 2019 all-Commonwealth District performer, has been the team’s leader in steals and on-base percentage for the last three seasons.

Pitcher Payton Kilmer will play for Pensacola State, a Division I junior college in Florida. Kilmer has been the Panthers’ pitcher since she was a freshman. She’s thrown a perfect game and a no-hitter in her career.

Third baseman Brooke Vaillancourt will play for Shenandoah University. Vaillancourt is a three-year starter who has also played golf for Massaponax.

Outfielder Nia Hall is headed to Northern Vermont University. Hall has been a versatile performer for the Panthers for three seasons.

Outfielder Savannah Birdsong is moving on to Brunswick Community College, a Division II junior college program in Wilmington, N.C. Birdsong is in her first year at Massaponax after transferring from North Carolina.

WRIGHT PICKS LOUISBURG

Stafford High senior football standout Joel “Jojo” Wright Jr. will continue his career at Louisburg College, a junior college program in North Carolina.

Wright played linebacker for the Indians.

Taft Coghill Jr: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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