Changes are coming to Rappahannock High School as one school year ends and another slowly emerges. From its leadership to new attractions, the Raiders will be starting 2013 much differently than in years past.
With the departure of retired coach and teacher, Jerry Parrish, he will be succeeded by Jason Strong. The successor will continue to serve as the high school assistant principal while also serving as the new athletic director.
“We’re all definitely going to miss him a lot, not just in terms of his knowledge and experience, but his demeanor,” Strong said.
How Parrish handled the demands of the position was what impressed Strong, in addition to the respect he had developed from his peers.
Rappahannock High School Principal Jesse Boyd said Strong has already started his new job by encouraging more interaction with the community.
“I think Jason is very energetic and very well known in the community,” Boyd said. “That’s what I’m really excited about.”
Strong said he is looking forward to beginning work as the school athletic director as he will be one of three new athletic directors in the Northern Neck. Michael Patierno will replace retired coach and teacher Steve Swope. No director has been named yet to succeed retired coach and teacher Fred Birchett at Lancaster.
The Rappahannock Booster Club and school board member Ken Blackley announced the first 10 individuals including two contributors that will be inducted into the high school sports hall of fame.
Retired coach, principal and superintendent Fred Pitman highlights the inductees along with the first school division superintendent, the late Jim Stover.
The 10 individuals to be inducted include Brian Wilkins (1982), Stanley Sanders (1969), Nancy Wilson (1977), Erica Carey (1982), Danny Pierson (1976), Jack Walker (1981), Sally Smith (1974), Susan Powell Headley (1976), Otis Jackson (1976) and Rocky Newton (1974).
Blackley hopes to return the graduates and school spirit with the hall of fame induction set for the Oct. 18 football game against Lancaster.
“I want to bring back the old Raider spirit. We used to be the best traveling team and traveled everywhere with huge crowds and somehow we’ve lost that in the last few years,” Blackley said.
Booster Club President Kathy Morse Clarke is thrilled about the direction of the hall of fame and organization.
“One of the main goals of the Booster’s Club is to bridge the gap between the community and the school. Past, present, and future alumni play a critical role in achieving that goal,” Clarke said. “The Hall of Fame initiative is aimed at recognizing and honoring those past graduates that excelled in the athletic programs at Rappahannock High School. We want them to know that their efforts and achievements did not go unnoticed and will be formally commemorated.”
Blackley said those that are considered by the induction board have been out of high school for 25 years or more.
At halftime, the induction ceremony will take place at halftime. Friday is also the chili coo-off beginning at 6 p.m. All you can eat for $5.