"Moments" are defined in many ways. They could last seconds or months, depending upon the circumstances. The 2017-18 high school sports season certainly gave us moments to remember, moments which surprised us, took our breath away, and helped us find the positive, and what's good in life, reminders we all need.
We begin a week-long look back at our Top 10 Moments of 2017-18 with numbers eight to ten.
#10: NEW FIELDS, NEW ERA: This "moment" actually began in November, 2016 when the voters of Henrico County approved a bond referendum which included new synthetic turf football fields for all nine high schools. This past spring, construction began on the first three fields, at Hermitage, Douglas Freeman, and Varina. When fans arrive to watch the new-look Panthers christen the new field August 24th against three-time defending champion Highland Springs, they will see one of three new fields in the county. New fields will come to J.R. Tucker, Highland Springs, and Henrico in the fall of 2019, with Deep Run, Glen Allen, and Mills Godwin completing the task, with fields set to be ready by August, 2020. The move will save countless man hours for the county and many volunteers, and make it easier to use the fields for multiple sports all year long.
#9: TODD V. BACOT: The Arthur Ashe Center was packed February 3rd for the final game of the annual Coaches 4 The Cure day-long basketball classic. John Marshall, led by top national 2020 recruit Isaiah Todd, bested Trinity Episcopal, featuring top national 2019 recruit Armando Bacot, 67-62. The hoopla surrounded the fact that both Todd and Bacot are big men, talented and both extremely versatile. And now with Todd departed to Trinity Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina to continue his high school career, it looks like this will be the only meeting, at least at this level, between two of the most promising players in Richmond in a long, long time.
#8: LEGENDS STEP ASIDE: Step by step, announcement by announcement, 2017-18 saw the end of several extremely important eras in high school coaching. We said thank you and farewell to:
Patrick Kane: 17 seasons at Hermitage High School, the all-time winningest coach at the school, surpassing the legendary Chester Fritz. Kane's Panthers reached the Group AAA, Division 6 State Championship Game in 2010.
Joe Fowler: 17 seasons at Goochland High School with 148 wins and state championships for the Bulldogs in both 2006 and 2012.
Charlie Dragum: The only head coach in Hanover High School baseball history. Dragum was an assistant coach for the 1997 Lee-Davis Baseball State Group AAA Championship, moved to become head coach first at Atlee, then Hanover in 2003. He led the Hawks to the state title in 2013, 2014 and 2016, appearing in the state final in 2017.
Larry Parpart: The man whose name graces the court in the Douglas Freeman gymnasium, Parpart announced his retirement just this week after 33 years as the head coach, and a total of 40 seasons with the Rebels.
The countdown, and the walk down memory lane, continues Monday.