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Celebrating 500 - Black & Gold tradition built on Drifter pride

In spite of being the fifth smallest high school in the state of Virginia, Colonial Beach head varsity boys’ basketball coach Steve Swope, continues to beat the odds by the simple act of winning. Most recently, Swope celebrated his 500th career basketball win by crushing King & Queen 91-60.
“Whether its teaching elementary physical education, coaching the James Madison University summer basketball camp, coordinating the youth basketball program or coaching varsity basketball and varsity baseball, Steve has been the right man in the right place, and at the right time,” said former Colonial Beach High School athletic director, Wayne Kennedy as he reflected on the legendary legacy of coach Swope.
Swopes’ commitment to the sports community of Colonial can never be overstated, because the formula for defeating schools often times twice or three times the size of Colonial Beach can found in the off season sports camps that he continues to develop. “Our success is attributed to building good programs and being surrounded by lots of quality kids,” said coach Swope while reflecting on the hundreds of players that have earned the right to wear the colors associated with the “Black & Gold.”
The option of retirement and leaving on a high note while his programs are flourishing is not his primary focus. Instead, Swope’s goal is to finally bring a state championship to his beloved community. “I am at a time in my career that I am taking it one day at a time,” Swope said. “Once you reach the milestone of coaching 30 years, you have that luxury—however you never say never to anything, what you’re going to do or what you’re not going to do.”
The Drifters are presently atop the Tidewater-A conference with a 11-3 overall record and a 5-0 District record. If they win their five remaining District games, the will be the number one seed in the upcoming Regional championships.
Two of their losses were attributed to double-A schools [Chancellor, King George], while Lancaster, the number four-ranked single-A school in the state, narrowly defeated them 62-21 in the first game of the season. The Beach will have a chance at Red Devil redemption, this Wednesday, when Lancasters travel to the Drifterdome. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
“Our goal from this day forward is make it to the state championship at Virginia Commonwealth University, and do something historic in this town that has never been done,” Swope said. “We have a great team in place, with two players [TT Carey and Dylan Farinet] playing at the highest level you can compete at for single-A basketball.”
There is no room for excuses in Swopes’ programs, and maybe that is why, regardless of size, any team never takes the Drifters lightly. “Anything that Steve does, he will be totally committed,” Kennedy said. “Whether it’s the first or the fifteenth player, he believes in preparation so that they will have an opportunity to play.”
Along with the numerous standout basketball players that ran on the hallowed floors of the Drifterdome during Swope’s coaching tenure, are his sons, Joey, Tyler and Kevin. Like their father, each of them possessed a talent for shooting the long-rang score.
Throughout the years, Swopes’ dedication has rubbed off on his coaching staff and fellow Drifter head coaches, which consists Jonathan Parker, Randy Jones, Keith Dickerson, Joe Jones, Earl Payton and Paul Miles.
Swopes’ coaching three-decade career spans three Districts, [Tri-State, Delaney Athletic Conference and Tidewater-A] and a litany of District championships. He is a living tradition of competitive excellence, which continues to touch the competitive-lives of the surrounding counties, and the Fredericksburg metropolitan area.

Leonard Banks

 

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