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The Fluvanna Fluco football team played well in the first half of its Homecoming game against a strong team from a much bigger school Friday (Oct. 20). The score was tied 0-0 after the first quarter, and although the Albemarle High School Patriots took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter, the teams still appeared to be evenly matched throughout the first half.

The biggest offensive play in the first half was a 63-yard run from scrimmage by Fluco senior halfback Trevor O’Dell. Starting on his own 19-yard line, he ran off-tackle, broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and another tackle in the defensive backfield, and was not brought down until he reached the Albemarle 18-yard line.

After that run, the Flucos made a first down for first and goal, but the Patriots defense stiffened and their goal line stand was successful, forcing a turnover on downs.

The Patriot offense started a drive that carried into the second quarter. However, Fluco sophomore defensive back Prophett Harris made an interception on a rare long pass by the Patriots and the Flucos took over at their own 29. Three consecutive five-yard penalties on the Flucos put them in a deep hole, forcing them to punt. The Patriots then drove for the only score in the first half. A key play took place when the Patriot quarterback fumbled the snap, but scooped it up and ran for eight yards. Albemarle ultimately scored on a two-yard run and converted the PAT for a 7-0 lead.

The Patriots received the second half kick-off and made a return to their own 42. Despite a fine defensive play by Fluco sophomore Walter Stribling on a run up the middle, the Patriots marched 68 yards, entirely on the ground, for their second touchdown. The PAT was good and the Patriots led 14-0, with 7:29 remaining in the quarter.

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Libbey Hartung and Drew WrightHomecoming took over Fluvanna County High School (FCHS) Oct. 16-20 as Flucos prepared for their Homecoming game against Albemarle Oct. 20.

The Student Government Association created a Homecoming-themed spirit week, with days such as “home away from home” and “home run.” Although the sophomore class won a window-decorating competition, the senior class won the overall Spirit Week competition with 792 points.

The Homecoming parade on Oct. 20 featured some outstanding floats as judged by the Fluvanna Education Foundation. The junior class won best class float, Future Farmers of America won best club float, and the Interact Club won best illuminated float.

After the parade, FCHS took on Albemarle in RJ Searcy Stadium. Albemarle proved to be a tough opponent, defeating the Flucos 35-6. Fans were excited to see fireworks shot off after the national anthem and throughout the game. The Homecoming court was announced at halftime with seniors Libbey Hartung and Drew Wright as Homecoming Queen and King.

Capping off the Homecoming weekend was the dance, which took place Oct. 21 in the cafeteria. With a theme of Hawaiian luau, the dance had one of the biggest turnouts in recent years and featured FCHS junior Matthew Snead as the DJ.

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CandidatesThe Columbia District seat on the Fluvanna County School Board is up for grabs in the upcoming Nov. 7 election. Andrew Pullen and Linda Staiger are competing for the seat being vacated by Camilla Washington.

Pullen will appear on the ballot. Staiger’s candidacy was originally certified but Registrar Joyce Pace later discovered that Staiger had filed an incorrect financial form. Staiger then submitted the correct form but the State Board of Elections denied her appeal. She is running a write-in campaign.

In an effort to get to know the candidates, the Fluvanna Review asked the following questions.

Tell us about yourself: where you grew up, your education, your family and how long you’ve lived in Fluvanna.

Pullen: I grew up in Fluvanna and graduated from Fluvanna County High School in 2004. I have been a career fireman for 12 years. My wife Sarah and I live in Kents Store with our daughter Emmalyn. 

Staiger: My father was a Navy pilot so when I was little we moved around. When he retired, we finally settled down in beautiful Fluvanna. I was just starting high school and eventually graduated   from high school at Carysbrook. I went on to Virginia Tech for two years; then I worked and later went to the University of Virginia, where I paid my way and graduated cum laude. After I finished medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School on loans and scholarships, I did training to become an orthopedic surgeon at the University of California in San Francisco. I moved back to Virginia in the mid ’90s to help my family. I practiced surgery in Farmville and then at the University of Virginia. I live on land from my family farm near the village of Palmyra.

What three words best describe you?  

Staiger: Compassionate, determined and problem solver.

Pullen: Passionate, determined and empathetic.

Before your candidacy, how many School Board meetings did you attend? 

Pullen: I’m not sure how many to be exact. I’ve been attending School Board and Board of Supervisors meetings for many years.

Staiger: None. Add a comment

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PanelWay back in October 1788, Fluvanna County became part of the first case of gerrymandering in U.S. history when Patrick Henry led a movement to draw the lines of what would become the 5th District in such a way as to keep his political enemy, James Madison, out of office.

The effort failed, but the principle of creating voting districts that favor one political party is alive and well 229 years later. 

Last week, about two dozen Fluvannians assembled at the Historic Courthouse in Palmyra for a day-long look at the issue of redistricting.

Organized by artist Lindsay Nolting and author and historian Mac Griswold, with the assistance of the non-partisan advocacy group OneVirginia2021, the conference brought together activists, politicians, and academics who talked about everything from the moral and ethical aspects of the practice down to the nitty-gritty of algorithms that make gerrymandering so effective and so often damaging.

Most states look at redrawing voting districts in the year following the decennial census, ostensibly to readjust political representation based on whether the population has increased or decreased over the previous 10 years.
The problem is that the politicians themselves draw the lines, and the party in power of a state’s legislature at the time of redistricting controls much of the process. The incentive to draw the map to favor their own party, or “gerrymander,” is strong. Add a comment

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The Fluco girls’ cross country team made a very strong showing on Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Albemarle Invitational. A total of 29 teams ran in the girls’ varsity event. The Flucos finished in fourth place. The Flucos were led by freshman Emily Smeds who finished in fourth place overall. She completed the course in a very impressive time of 19:09.

Also turning in excellent times for the Fluco girls were Saige Haney, Emily Beckman and Hattie Lintecum, who all finished in under 21 minutes. The other varsity runners for the Flucos were Kristen Cabrera, Brianna Parker and Anja Vernatter. This was the last regularly scheduled event of the Fluco season. The District meet is scheduled for Oct. 25, while the Regional meet will be held Nov. 1.

Girls’ Coach Rose Brogan said that in their Oct. 6 meet at Pocahantas State Park, the girls’ team finished in second place and that Smeds set a school record in the 5K, running the cross country distance of approximately three miles in under 19 minutes.

The future looks especially promising for the Fluco girls, based on the performance of the JV team and the middle school team at the Albemarle Invitational. The JV team was sixth out of 17 teams at the Invitational. Maryann

Chittenden led the way for the JV team with a 19th place finish. The middle school team finished first, with five runners in the top 15. Ellie Kennedy finished second for the middle schoolers.

Coach Tom Casto said that the Fluco boys’ varsity squad did not compete at the Albemarle Invitational. However, the Fluvanna middle school boys’ team turned in a stellar performance, taking second place. The team had five runners finish in the top 25. James White led the way, finishing second. Casto said that virtually every middle school runner had a season best time in the two-mile middle school event.

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