Denzell Palmer warms up before the game.

Denzell Palmer warms up before the game.

It wasn’t the best of weeks the first week in March for Northumberland athletics but it certainly wasn’t the worst. The Lady Indians volleyball team opened with a loss to Rappahannock, 3-0, and the football was tripped up at West Point on Friday, 14-8. On the winning side the golf team opened with a win on Wednesday against Rappahannock on the Indian’s new home course. The indoor track team participated at Liberty University in the Class 1&2 indoor state meet with some pretty nifty individual results including a new school record in the four by four meter relay. Coach Trinity Bea was full of both excitement and pride for this year’s indoor season, and the results of the meet at Liberty. 

Last week was a very busy one for Northumberland athletics. The revamped fall sports season kicked off Tuesday with a visit from the Rappahannock Lady Raiders volleyball team. In recent years Rappahannock has fielded a very strong team and this year was no different. A well prepared Lady Raider squad took it to the Indians in three straight games, 18-25, 20-25 and 11-25. It was in part first-game jitters and with it came the reality, “They have some work to do,” according to Coach Anjelica Scott. She added, “The girls realize how fortunate they are to get to play at all with the season so messed up.” The JV girls did a little better, losing 2-1 on 17-25, 25-23 and 8-15 scores. 

The Lady Indians will be back in action on the 15th with a trip to West Point, and Tuesday with a visit to Lancaster.

The indoor track team took off Tuesday to compete on Wednesday at Liberty in the state meet. To show how competitive this year’s meet was, both the girls (Glenvar) and guy’s (Parry McCleur) team championships went to Class 1 schools. Coach Bea made the following observation: “Everybody’s times and distances improved with several recording personal bests.” Sophomore Camden Sisk took seventh in the mile (6:41.56) and ninth in the two mile (14:34.33). Grant Biddlecomb took ninth in the 500 meters (1:17.51); Jay Bea a ninth in the shot put (37’3”); Tegan Mullins tenth in the 55 meter hurdles (11:22.4); and Judah Perez a twelfth in the shot (28’1”). The 4 X 400 meter relay team finished eleventh with a new school record of 4:27.81. Relay members were Tom Neale, Malik Hickman, Tegan Mullins and Grant Biddlecomb. Indoor track is over but cross country opens this Wednesday with Northumberland  hosting King and Queen Central, King William and West Point. 

Wednesday was the Indians day to break into the win column when the golf team topped Rappahannock by the close score of 196-203. Freshman Luke Pickett for the Indians was the medalist with a 39. Varsity team members for this season are freshman Luke Pickett, juniors  Bailey Lewis (captain) and Chase Fisher with senior John Vanlandingham making up the squad. The match was considered an away one as both Northumberland and Rappahannock share the course at Quinton Oaks. The golf picks up play again on Tuesday, the 24th, hosting Rappahannock at Quinton Oaks.

On Friday, the Indians opened their football season with a cold visit to West Point. The  Pointers had a game already played but neither were effective in the first half. West Point drew eight first half flags for illegal procedure, and the Indians were shut down by turnovers losing six of eight fumbles and throwing a pass interception. The bright spot for Northumberland was the play of the defensive unit stopping the Pointers several times within the ten yard line to keep the ball game at a scoreless tie by half-time.

Opening the second half, West Point kicked off using an onside kick and they recovered the ball on the 48 yard line. They mounted a drive going the distance on the ground with Brady Ezell pushing it over on a three yard run. He also scored the two point conversion on a run. That lit the smoldering Indian offense. They marched 54 yards in ten plays with Denzell Palmer skirting his right side untouched from the three yard line. Kevin Edwards tied the game when he bulled over for the two-point conversion.

Northumberland stopped the next Pointer drive resulting in a punt which was promptly fumbled back to them. Driving into Indian territory they once again were stopped. A fourth twenty-five yard desperation pass put them on the one yard line and Ezell scored again. The try for the two points was stopped short.

The Indians drove into Pointer territory but were stopped and West Point was in business. They did not score but picked up enough first downs to run out the clock. Coach Aaron Lewis said, “It’s a learning process; without those turnovers that game would be very different. Our defense played great.”

Kevin Edwards led the ground attack with 32 tough yards up the middle in eight carries. Cameron seldom ran for 22 on two attempts. Denzell Palmer threw seven passes, completed two with one interception for 43 yards. Antione Mills caught both passes. Unofficially, Seldon led the tacklers with six from his end slot. Trenton Linear had four stops and Mills three.

Friday the Indians will be home for their only home game scheduled thus far. Game time is 7 p.m. and will be both Senior Night and Homecoming. The opposition will be St. Michael’s the Archangel from Fredericksburg. St. Michael’s has already played six games with a 4-2 record and some big numbers offensively.

Thursday, the Lady Indian’s field hockey team hosts Caroline High. It will be Senior Night for the Northumberland girls. They have two more games scheduled.