Easily, the "Best Atmosphere" for a game I attended all year was "the Rumble in Brambleton" between Briar Woods and Broad Run back in late November 2010.
This week marks two crucial dates in this fine District we call home.
The first would obviously be the official beginning of summer (even though we have been dipping into the 90s since April) with all the pageantry of fireworks, cookouts and AAU tournaments.
The second would be that we could call a "wrap" of the 2010-2011 academic and athletic school year.
And what's more appropriate for the end of the year than awarding superlatives?! As the record holder of Ronald Regan Fundamental School in Yuma, Ariz. for winning the most consecutive "Most Creative" awards, I feel it's my honor and duty to recognize some players, teams and games.
Since dc.highschoolsports.net is a two-man operation, it's impossible for us to cover all games and sports. So for this exercise, I'm going to only recognize games that I personally attended (both for the sake of your time and my sanity).
I attended thirteen different contests over the course of the 2010-2011 school year. Whether that's commendable since it's just me and my co-producer covering all sports in D.C., Maryland and Virginia or embarrassing since I only attended 13 games, is up to you.
And now for the games:
- Stone Bridge/Hayfield football-Virginia Regional Championship
- Briar Woods/Broad Run football-Virginia Regional Championship
- Woodson/Dunbar football-DCIAA Championship
- Briar Woods/Courtland football-Virginia State Semi-finals
- Marshall/Jefferson boys basketball-W*USA 9 "Game of the Week"(and little brother's birthday gift)
- Woodson/Coolidge girls basketball-DCIAA Championship
- Theodore Roosevelt/Eastern boys basketball-DCIAA Championship
- Gaithersburg/Wise girls basketball-Maryland State Championship
- North Point/Magruder boys basketball-Maryland State Semifinal
- Montrose/John Carroll boys basketball-ESPN RISE National Championship Tourney 1st Round
- South Lakes/West Springfield baseball-W*USA 9 Campus Correspondent training session
- Langley/Chantilly boys lacrosse-Virginia State Championship
- Madison/Oakton girls lacrosse-Virginia State Championship
In my estimation, that's a pretty decent representation of big time games in multiple sports in each state, commonwealth and district.
Now, before I start dishing out awards, I'd like to make one point clear: these awards are 100 percent subjective. The reason--it's just no fun being cold and appropriately analyzing these games with categories I made up. There are no nominees for these categories. I thought of key superlatives like "Best Performance" and "Best Atmosphere" and slotted a game I saw in it.
Now that we got the rules out of the way, without further ado...let's go!
First up, "Best Atmosphere" goes to the....Rumble in Brambleton a.k.a. Broad Run at Briar Woods! Briar Woods' miracle run continued in the Virginia AA Region II final as two-time defending champ Broad Run had to play against "little brother" Briar Woods for a right to return to the state playoffs. I witnessed the over-caffeinated Briar Woods public address announcer shiver in the press box as each team traded haymakers to go with an old-fashioned cross-town rivalry. The great game with an even greater atmosphere ended with the Briar Woods Falcons bringing home their first region title with a 24-21 victory over Broad Run.
At the other side of the spectrum, "Biggest Mismatch" goes to the formality of a game that was Stone Bridge cruising to another regional title as they romped past over-matched and over-achieving Hayfield. Aside from a week-one hair raiser versus Westfield, Stone Bridge rolled through their schedule, eventually meeting a Hayfield team coming off of two upset wins. The game went according to script as Stone Bridge shook off early game mistakes to rip by Hayfield 35-7.
Now, I'd like to recognize "Best Team Performance" that I will award to Madison's surgical-dissection of Oakton in the Virginia girls lacrosse state final. It felt like Madison started with five goals as the Warhawks raced to a 5-0 lead early. Using speed, speed and more speed, Madison often found themselves on a three-or-more-on-one advantage versus an overmatched Oakton goalie. I could even stretch this award for the Warhawks season-wide as they beat their cross-town rivals 20-11 to cap off a 29-0 perfect season.
Now, before I recognize some more unique performances, I'm going to get on out of here and use the tried-and-true method/cop-out to tease audiences and leave you now with a "to be continued."