Oakton region champs

The Oakton Cougars boys cross country team graduates four key seniors.(Photo by Dave Facinoli)

The fall high-school sports season (held in the spring because of the pandemic) overall was one of the most highly successful for teams and athletes from the Sun Gazette’s coverage areas of Arlington and Fairfax counties.

Winning state team championships were the Langley golf squad, Madison in girls field hockey and Oakton in boys cross country. All three also won district and region crowns.

In football and girls volleyball, Madison and Langley, respectively, reached the state semifinals after first winning district and region crowns. In boys cross country, Yorktown advanced to the state meet for the first time and placed third. That came after a second-place finish in the region and a first in the district.

The Washington-Liberty girls field hockey and volleyball teams finished second in region tournaments. The field hockey unit was first in the district. 

The Yorktown boys golf team was second in the region. Benjamin Newfield from that squad tied for second in the state. 

Other team champions were the Madison High golfers in the Concorde District and the Langley girls in Liberty District cross country.

Individually, McLean High sophomore runner Thais Rolly won the Class 6 girls state cross country crown, after first winning district and region titles in previous weeks. Oakton senior Garrett Woodhouse won the region meet and was second in the state meet.

Langley senior golfer Kelly Chinn won individual district, region and state titles, with his junior teammate Suneil Peruvemba tying for first-place region honors and finishing second in the state.

The next high-school fall sports season begins in just a few months – at different times in August for all teams – kind of a second 2021 fall campaign.

The big question is: Will those same teams, especially the state champions, enjoy big success again?

For the talented-deep Langley golf team, probably so. Chinn is the only player who will graduate in June. So expect the Saxons to be a strong favorite to win a sixth straight state title.

Oakton’s top four runners in cross country were seniors. So the Cougars have a tall task to repeat such success. Same with Madison in field hockey, another squad that was senior-loaded.

Rolly has to be the early favorite to successfully defend her three running titles.

Watch out for the Yorktown boys to be a state contender in cross country, and same with the Washington-Liberty girls field hockey team. Both were young squads this past season.

In football, Madison returns its starting quarterback and top running back, along with some top defensive players. So that’s a strong starting point for the Warhawks, who lost a close 29-22 seesaw showdown against South County in the state semifinals.

Newfield, who won the 2019 state title in golf, should be a contender in every tournament he enters, as should Peruvemba.

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