There was a lot to cheer about in Prince George County in 2016-17.
It began in the fall as the varsity field hockey team, who had been knocking on the door of the 5A State Tournament for years, first tested themselves in September, hosting powerhouse Deep Run, the team that kept them out of the 2015 5A State Tournament. The Wildcats would escape their trip south with an overtime victory. The Royals would not forget.
Prince George blew through the remainder of their schedule, the Conference 12 Tournament, finding themselves back in the 5A South Region Tournament, back within a win of the State Tournament, and back on the same field as Deep Run.
This time, though, at River City SportsPlex, it would be the Royals who would finally prevail over the Wildcats, sending Prince George to the final four in Virginia Beach. Though their season ended with defeats in the 5A South Region Final and 5A State Semifinal, this group of Royals had taken their program to new heights, and set the bar at its ultimate point: to bring home a state championship.
The baseball team was ready to make unprecedented noise as well, opening the 2017 campaign on a 19-game winning streak before falling in a regular season finale at home in a game scheduled late in the season with defending 4A state champion Hanover, who had to come from behind to hand the Royals their first defeat.
Prince George breezed through Conference 12, and, ironically, found themselves on Deep Run's home field facing the Cinderella Wildcats, who won Conference 11 as the #5 seed, in the 5A South Region Semis with a state tournament bid at stake. There, Cole Spain served the Royals well on the mound with ten strikeouts as the Royals clinched their state tourney bid defeating the Wildcats 5-3, then moving on to win the 5A South Region crown blasting Menchville.
Though their season ended in Chantilly a game short of the state final, thanks in part to the pitching of Halifax's Andrew Abbott, a consensus choice as the best baseball player in Virginia in 2017, coach Mickey Roberts' crew had made history, and, as well, set the bar high for future teams.
Congratulations to both Prince George field hockey and baseball, tying for #10 in our countdown on Teams of The Year!
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