February 24 FUMA Athletics Newsletter

The Blue Devil Report from Fork Union Military Academy's Athletic Department is your source for weekly updates on the Fork Union Blue Devils. Here's the latest from @FUMAathletics.


  • Athlete of the Week - Anthony Gemma III (Swimming & Diving)
  • Weekly Recap
  • Featured Stories: Swimming & Diving, Wrestling, Indoor Track & Field, PG Basketball
  • Michael Thomas, Class of 2011, Earns NFL All-Rookie Honors
  • ACC Joins Triple-Double Trend in College Basketball
  • Spring Has Sprung!
  • Next week's schedule

Athlete of the Week

Anthony Gemma III -- Swimming & Diving

Swimming and diving's Anthony Gemma III has been named this week's Athlete of the Week. Gemma led the team to a fourth-place showing at the VISAA State Meet with one state championship and three runner-up performances.

The York, Pa., native won the 50 freestyle with a time of 21.23, placed second in the 100 freestyle with a time of 46.29 and helped two relay teams, the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, to second-place showings.

"Anthony had a breakout performance dropping major amounts of time in both the 50 and 100 free to become one of the fastest sprint freestylers in program history. As a result, he was the VISAA state champion in the 50 free, runner up in the 100, and a major contributor to two second-place relay finishes - one of which went the All America Consideration Time. I am proud of him and look forward to seeing what another year of hard work brings for him," said head coach Ryan Campbell.

Weekly Recap

  • Fri., Feb. 17 -- PG Basketball at Navy -- WIN, 71-59
  • Fri., Feb. 17 -- Swimming & Diving at VISAA State Championship -- 4th
  • Fri., Feb. 17 -- Wrestling at VISAA State Championship -- 8th
  • Sat., Feb. 18 -- PG Basketball vs. Navy Prep -- WIN, 72-63
  • Sat., Feb. 18 -- Indoor Track & Field at VISAA State Championships -- 2nd
  • Tues., Feb. 21 -- Prep Basketball at St. Christopher's (VLP) -- LOSS, 77-80

Swimming & Diving Wins Two State Championships En Route to a 4th Place Finish at States

Friday, February 17, 2017 -- Meet Recap

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. -- Fork Union Swimming and Diving finished the high school season with a fourth-place finish at the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association State Championship meet this past weekend at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. In total, the team posted two event wins, four runner-ups, and five more top-eight finishes.

Those top-eight finishes are as follows:

  • 200 Medley Relay: 6th (Smith, Youssef, Warren, Gustafson) 1:43.18
  • 200 Free: Pitts 2nd (1:44.27)
  • 200 IM: Youssef 7th (2:01.96)
  • 50 FR: Gemma 1st (21.23)
  • 100 Fly: Khalil 1st (51.63)
  • Diving: Fowler 15th
  • 100 FR: Gemma 2nd (46.29), Pitts 5th
  • 500 FR: Khalil 4th (4:52.53)
  • 200 Free Relay: 2nd (Pitts, Gemma, Youssef, Khalil) 1:25.96
  • 100 Breast: Youssef 5th (1:00.19)
  • 400 Free Relay: 2nd (Gemma, Warren, Khalil, Pitts) 3:13.70

In addition to the top-eight finishes, the team managed to post a total of 23 personal-best times, one school record, three new NCSA Junior National cuts, and two All America Consideration times, which led to a fourth-place team finish behind St. Christopher's, Trinity Episcopal and St. Stephens & St. Agnes.

"The team had an incredible meet," says head coach Ryan Campbell. "They showed up in every event and swam as a team and as a result they posted some incredible times. I am proud of them to say the least!"

This meet concluded the high school portion of the swim season, however the Fork Union swimming season will still go on for a few weeks as several swimmers have qualified to swim at following meets: Virginia Senior Championships, NCSA's, and Sectionals.

Dean Hall Named VISAA Coach of the Year as Wrestling Places 8th at States

Friday, February 17, 2017 -- Meet Recap

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Fork Union wrestling program finished eighth out of 29 teams at the 2017 VISAA Wrestling State Championships this past weekend. The eighth-place showing was the program's highest finish since 1992 as head coach Dean Hall was named VISAA Wrestling Head Coach of the Year.

"I am extremely honored to have received this award," commented Hall. "I could not be the coach I am without my amazing assistant, Bennett Radinovic, and the support from my team, FUMA, and my family. I thank everyone who had a part in this season. I am not a coach without those people. Each of them deserve an award."

All seven Blue Devils placed eighth or higher with four sixth-place finishes. Below is the list of Fork Union's finishes:

  • Alec Schlink (138) 7th
  • Jonathan Muniz (145) 8th
  • Zion Phifer (152) 6th
  • Tim Bolton (170) 6th
  • Corey Jameson (195) 8th
  • Cameron Wheelhouse (220) 6th (National Qualifier)
  • Jacob Marks (285) 6th

All seven Blue Devils received All-State honorees, which marks the most in program history.

In addition to Wheelhouse's honors, the senior qualified for the National Prep Wrestling Championship and will compete this weekend starting Thursday, Feb. 24 at 8:30 a.m.

Indoor Track & Field Places Second at VISAA State Championships

Saturday, February 18, 2017 -- Meet Recap

RICHMOND, Va. – The Fork Union indoor track and field program completed its 2016-17 season with a second-place finish at the VISAA State Championships this past weekend. The Blue Devils scored 107 points, just 10 points behind St. Christopher's.

Fork Union recorded 13 top-five showings, including four State Championships. Ebruba Etta won the 300-meter dash, Julian Yescas won the 1000-meter run and the Blue Devils won the 4x200 and 4x400 meter relays.

"When I look at all of the adversity this team withstood in January, I can't feel anything but proud of their effort on Saturday. Obviously, we wanted to win but everyone can rest easy that the track team left nothing out there. It was a great effort by our athletes and coaches," said head coach Winston Brown.

Fork Union's top-five performances are as follows:

  • 55-M Dash: Reynold Walbrook, 5th (6.66)
  • 300-M Dash: Ebruba Etta, 1st (35.52), Logan Justice, 3rd (36.29), Nathan Disbrow, 4th (36.60)
  • 500-M Dash: Ebruba Etta, 2nd (1:06.52)
  • 1000-M Run: Julian Yescas, 1st (2:40.55)
  • 1600-M Run: Julian Yescas, 2nd (4:30.19)
  • 3200-M Run: Blaine Marrs, 5th (10:22.24)
  • 4x200-M Relay: Disbrow, Justice, Brockington, Walbrook, 1st (1:31.66)
  • 4x400-M Relay: Stupalsky, Justice, Desgrottes, Etta, 1st (3:34.30)
  • Pole Vault: Will Stupalsky, 3rd (14-00.00)
  • Long Jump: Will Stupalsky, 4th (21-01.25)
  • Triple Jump: Will Stupalsky, 2nd (44-06.00)

PG Basketball Sweeps Navy Trip

Saturday, February 18, 2017 -- Game Recaps

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The PG basketball squad traveled to Annapolis, Md., to face Navy's JV squad and Navy Prep Academy at Alumni Hall. The Blue Devils defeated Navy, 71-59, on Friday, while cruising past Navy Prep, 72-63, on Saturday.

"The Navy trip was a great weekend for the team and for us coaches. We played two very good teams and were able to get quality wins. The Army vs. Navy basketball game was a great atmosphere and I'm glad the team and myself got to experience it," said assistant coach Ryan Borzager.

Fork Union was led by Blake Burdack with 14 points and eight rebounds on Friday, while Darian Peterson led the squad with 10 points and Jasiah Perry crashed the boards with eight rebounds on Saturday.

Following Saturday's game, the Blue Devils were invited to the Army vs. Navy game at Alumni Hall. In a sold-out contest, Army defeated Navy, 71-68.

The Blue Devils continue on the road this weekend with a crucial matchup against Massanutten Military Academy on Friday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m., which kicks off the Hargrave Military Tournament.

ACC Joins Triple-Double Trend in College Basketball

Bill Miller (FUMA Class of 1953) Recorded First Triple-Double in the ACC

College players over the past two seasons also have been aided by the rules change a season ago that reduced the shot clock. As a result, according to kenpom.com, possessions per a 40-minute game, have increased from 65.4 prior to the rule change to 69.5 a season ago to 70.4 this season.

Rules changes have had a direct impact on scoring in college basketball. Scoring had dipped to 69.4 points per game for a team during the 1986 season, then jumped to 72.8 points the following season with the introduction of the 3-point basket. It dropped again to 67.7 points during the 2015 season, then surged to 72.8 points a season ago with the reduction in the shot clock and to 73.0 this season.

“Maybe ... Freedom of movement and higher scoring has allowed more possessions, shorter shot clock, maybe more possessions,” Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said. “So there’s more opportunities for guys to have triple-doubles.”

The game has come a long way from when Virginia’s Bill Miller recorded the ACC’s first triple-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in 1955 against N.C. State. Heck, they were not even referred to as triple-doubles then, nor recognized in any way. Certainly, fans could not closely monitor a player’s quest for a triple-double like we do today via scoreboards and telecasts that provide that up-to-the-play information.

“I think with the triple-double thing going on in the NBA, it’s become real fashionable, and it’s something that’s really cool for kids now,” Pittsburgh coach Kevin Stallings said. “It used to be the double-double was a big deal.”

Now it is a fad.

Miller, who was inducted to Fork Union's Sports Hall of Fame in 2000, graduated from Fork Union in 1953. After a standout career at the University of Virginia, Miller returned to Fork Union and served as the varsity basketball coach for 13 years and the Assistant Athletic Director of the Academy for 30 years.

Michael Thomas, Class of 2011 , Earns NFL All-Rookie Team Honors

Wide receiver: Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints (FUMA PG Class of 2011)

Draft position: Round 2, No. 47 overall.

Thomas was one of the steals of the draft, and he's going to be a star. He's a big target, has great hands and runs fabulous routes, especially for someone who was a three-year college player. Thomas had 92 catches -- second-most by a rookie in NFL history -- on 121 targets and just two drops. Compare that to Julio Jones, who had 83 catches on 129 targets and three drops.

Fork Union Basketball School

Voted Area's Best for over 30 Years!

Make sure you sign up for this year's Fork Union Basketball School!

July 9-13, 2017 • Grades 2-12

Fork Union Basketball School (FUBS) was established in 1985 under the direction of Coach Fletcher Arritt. Coach Arritt will again be present at this year’s basketball school, but the camp will continue to be under the guidance of Fork Union Postgraduate Basketball Coach Matt Donohue.

Over the past four decades, more than 200 of FUMA’s players have gone on to play Division I basketball. Throughout Thomas Gymnasium, one can view an impressive display of college jerseys donated by former players. These athletes, along with other well-respected players, are the core of the teaching staff at Fork Union Basketball School.

Spring has Sprung!

Baseball & Lacrosse Officially Begin Practice

The Fork Union baseball and lacrosse programs officially began practice this past Monday. The two programs will have a Prep and Junior Prep squad.

Baseball is under the direction of head coach Rodney Carter and is assisted by assistant coach Tripp Jones. Junior Prep baseball will be run by head coach Steve Friski and assistant coach Bill Hitchcock.

Lacrosse is under the direction of head coach Nate Thiel and is assisted by Bennett Radinovic. Junior Prep lacrosse will be run by head coach Jon Greenspon and assistant coach Joe Howard.

Baseball kicks off the season in under a week when it travels to Herndon, Va., on Tuesday, Feb. 28, while Lacrosse starts Monday, March 6 with a scrimmage against Covenant at 4 p.m.

Up Next in FUMA Athletics

  • Fri., Feb. 24 -- Wrestling (Cameron Wheelhouse) at National Prep Championship -- 8:30 AM
  • Fri., Feb. 24-- PG Basketball vs. Massanutten Military (at Hargrave) -- 6:00 PM
  • Sat., Feb. 25 -- PG Basketball vs. Hargrave Military - or - Mount Zion -- 1:30 PM - or - 3:30 PM
  • Tues., Feb. 28 -- Prep Baseball at Virginia Patriots -- 4:00 PM
  • Thurs., Mar. 2 -- Swimming at VSI SC Senior Championships -- TBA

Bold and Italics denote home contests.

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