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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

 

Drifters run a clinic on Cavaliers

The Beach lose heartbreaker at King George 

 

King George and Colonial Beach restored an age old rivalry last week when they defeated Colonial Beach 70-69. The Drifters defeated King George on their home court earlier in the season

   The Drifters fortunes went in different directions last week. After running a textbook clinic on host and Tidewater District power King William last week, the Beach narrowly lost to archrival King George in a classic thriller by one point at the buzzer. Before the holiday break, Colonial Beach defeated King George on their home floor. Last season, the results were the same when the Foxes and Drifters split victories on the opponent’s home court.
   “Our team is coming together nicely—we played our best fundamental game of the year against King William, and then played our guts out in a 32-minute war over at King George,” said Drifter head coach Steve Swope. “We have a couple of kids [TT Carey and Dylan Farinet] playing as well as any kids at the single-A level in the entire state. Our role players are feeding off them and the total scheme is coming together.”
Drifter 67 – King William 48
   The Drifters and Cavaliers both came into game undefeated, with first place at stake for the victor. The Beach used a fast start to take the Cavaliers out of their game early, making them focus on playing catch-up ball for the remainder of the night.
   Five Drifters scored in the opening period to help set the tone and push the Drifter lead to `18-6. The same intensity on both ends of the court allowed the Beach to blitz their Tidewater rivals again in the second quarter—taking a commanding 38-13 lead into the halftime break.
In the second half, the Drifters withstood a Cavalier 25-11 run, to cut the Drifter deficit to 12 points late in the fourth quarter. Towards the end, free throws and solid time management spelled victory for the Drifters.
   TT Carey led the Drifters with 21-points [9-18], seven rebounds, six assists, 13 deflections, one blocked shot, one defensive charge taken, and 10 steals.
Dylan Farinet combined 19 points on seven of 15 shooting [46%], nice rebounds, 11 assists, seven deflections, and five steals.
   Other Drifter stats: Kevin Swope – 3 three-pointers totaling nine points, three rebounds, three assists, three steals, and 11 deflections; Jamel Dickerson – seven points [3-5], three rebounds; Thomas Peery – five points including a 3-pointser; Paul Roberson – seven rebounds, solid defense; Thomas Hayward – seven rebounds, solid defense; Alex Gorfida – two points; Jeremy Robinson – two points.
   Foxes 70 – Drifters 69
The stage was set for the big grudge re-match game between the Drifters and the Foxes with the gym chocked full.
   The Foxes used physical pressure defense to slow the Drifters fast break down to take a 35 – 28 lead into halftime. The Foxes four 3-pointers and crashed the offensive glass to keep the Beach within arm’s length.
The second half was a different story as the Drifters finally applied their game plan of driving the ball to the basket. Carey and Farinet constantly broke down the Foxes defenders as the talented duo scored 39 of their team’s second half points for a courageous comeback.
   The Drifters went on a 19-1 run throughout the third quarter, taking a 50-43 lead into the money quarter. The Foxes rallied back to answer the bell with a 8-0 run, keeping the game and fans on edge the rest of the way.
   The game came down to the last possession, after Carey scored a stick-back, giving the Drifters a 69-67 lead with 14 seconds to play. After missing a shot, the Foxes were rescued with a foul, sending Antwane Lewis to the foul line. Lewis made one out of two shots, but the Foxes got the ball back on a turnover with 3.4 seconds left. Lewis subsequently drove through the Drifters defense with a off-balance score at the buzzer.
Drifter stats: TT Carey – 33 points [12-21, 57%], 11 rebounds, 15 deflections, three blocked shots, defensive charge taken, five steals. Carey is one of the most sought after players in Virginia. Currently he is being recruited by Christopher Newport, Virginia Wesleyan College, Towson University, Radford University, and the University of Mary Washington.
   Farinet also had a big night, making seven of 12 shots from the field, 10 of 14 from the foul line, scoring 24 points. He also hauled in seven rebounds, two assists, eight passes and two steals.
Other Drifter stats: Kevin Swope – eight points, two 3-pointers; Paul Roberson – eight rebounds, solid defense; Thomas Hayward – four points.
   The Drifters are now 4-0 in the Tidewater District and 10-3 overall as they head towards exam week. The Beach will resume action on the Friday, January 23 when they travel to King & Queen for another crucial District contest. Follow the Drifters as they head into the second half of the season!

The Beach loses heartbreaker at King George

The Drifters fortunes went in different directions last week. After running a textbook clinic on host and Tidewater District power King William last week, the Beach narrowly lost to archrival King George in a classic thriller by one point at the buzzer. Before the holiday break, Colonial Beach defeated King George on their home floor. Last season, the results were the same when the Foxes and Drifters split victories on the opponent’s home court.
“Our team is coming together nicely—we played our best fundamental game of the year against King William, and then played our guts out in a 32-minute war over at King George,” said Drifter head coach Steve Swope. “We have a couple of kids [TT Carey and Dylan Farinet] playing as well as any kids at the single-A level in the entire state. Our role players are feeding off them and the total scheme is coming together.”
Drifter 67 – King William 48
The Drifters and Cavaliers both came into game undefeated, with first place at stake for the victor. The Beach used a fast start to take the Cavaliers out of their game early, making them focus on playing catch-up ball for the remainder of the night.
Five Drifters scored in the opening period to help set the tone and push the Drifter lead to `18-6. The same intensity on both ends of the court allowed the Beach to blitz their Tidewater rivals again in the second quarter—taking a commanding 38-13 lead into the halftime break.
In the second half, the Drifters withstood a Cavalier 25-11 run, to cut the Drifter deficit to 12 points late in the fourth quarter. Towards the end, free throws and solid time management spelled victory for the Drifters.
TT Carey led the Drifters with 21-points [9-18], seven rebounds, six assists, 13 deflections, one blocked shot, one defensive charge taken, and 10 steals.
Dylan Farinet combined 19 points on seven of 15 shooting [46%], nice rebounds, 11 assists, seven deflections, and five steals.
Other Drifter stats: Kevin Swope – 3 three-pointers totaling nine points, three rebounds, three assists, three steals, and 11 deflections; Jamel Dickerson – seven points [3-5], three rebounds; Thomas Peery – five points including a 3-pointser; Paul Roberson – seven rebounds, solid defense; Thomas Hayward – seven rebounds, solid defense; Alex Gorfida – two points; Jeremy Robinson – two points.
Foxes 70 – Drifters 69
The stage was set for the big grudge re-match game between the Drifters and the Foxes with the gym chocked full.
The Foxes used physical pressure defense to slow the Drifters fast break down to take a 35 – 28 lead into halftime. The Foxes four 3-pointers and crashed the offensive glass to keep the Beach within arm’s length.
The second half was a different story as the Drifters finally applied their game plan of driving the ball to the basket. Carey and Farinet constantly broke down the Foxes defenders as the talented duo scored 39 of their team’s second half points for a courageous comeback.
The Drifters went on a 19-1 run throughout the third quarter, taking a 50-43 lead into the money quarter. The Foxes rallied back to answer the bell with a 8-0 run, keeping the game and fans on edge the rest of the way.
The game came down to the last possession, after Carey scored a stick-back, giving the Drifters a 69-67 lead with 14 seconds to play. After missing a shot, the Foxes were rescued with a foul, sending Antwane Lewis to the foul line. Lewis made one out of two shots, but the Foxes got the ball back on a turnover with 3.4 seconds left. Lewis subsequently drove through the Drifters defense with a off-balance score at the buzzer.
Drifter stats: TT Carey – 33 points [12-21, 57%], 11 rebounds, 15 deflections, three blocked shots, defensive charge taken, five steals. Carey is one of the most sought after players in Virginia. Currently he is being recruited by Christopher Newport, Virginia Wesleyan College, Towson University, Radford University, and the University of Mary Washington.
Farinet also had a big night, making seven of 12 shots from the field, 10 of 14 from the foul line, scoring 24 points. He also hauled in seven rebounds, two assists, eight passes and two steals.
Other Drifter stats: Kevin Swope – eight points, two 3-pointers; Paul Roberson – eight rebounds, solid defense; Thomas Hayward – four points.
The Drifters are now 4-0 in the Tidewater District and 10-3 overall as they head towards exam week. The Beach will resume action on the Friday, January 23 when they travel to King & Queen for another crucial District contest. Follow the Drifters as they head into the second half of the season!

King George and Colonial Beach restored an age old rivalry last week when they defeated Colonial Beach 70-69. The Drifters defeated King George on their home court earlier in the season.

 

Drifters win three.......Drifters remain undefeated in Tidewater

The Drifters varsity basketball team [9-2, 3-0] produced a three-win week last week, as they maneuvered through the Tidewater district, while winning a non-district game at home. The Beach rolled over opponents with an average of 14 points per game. Using a half-court zone defense and role players coming off the bench, the Drifters are now beginning to assert themselves. “We battled hard this past week—we are starting to see some productivity from more guys on our roster—and we are slowly embarking on the team toughness it takes to win big road games” Drifters boys varsity head coach Steve Swope said.

CB 51 – Middlesex 43
The Beach opened the game slowly as they fell behind 13-3 in the first quarter. After making some adjustments in defense, the Drifters rallied to take control of the game. Drifter point guard, T.T. Carey took over the second quarter by scoring 12 of his game high 22 points in the second quarter. Carey would later finish the game by scoring eight additional points in the third quarter; giving the Drifters a 42-36 lead. Carey had a banner day as he pulled down 12 rebounds, deflected 11 passes, one blocked shot and four steals.

Drifter stats: Dylan Farinet – 16 points [6-7], 6-7 free throws, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, deflected 11 passes, three blocked shots and produced four steals; Kevin “K-Dog” Swope – 11 points, 3 three-pointers, 8 deflections, 2 steals; Thomas Perry: solid defense.

CB 62 – Essex 55
The crowd got their money’s worth when Region A powers, Drifters and Eagles battled for court supremacy last week. Drifters pounded the Trojans with a 21-13 lead in first quarter. Thanks to their six foot five foward, John Dille, the Trojans cut the lead to 34-28 at the half.

In the second half the Drifter guard Thomas Peery gave the crowd a show as he held the Trojan Division I prospect scoreless. Peery would later finish the game with 2 three-pointers. With college scouts watching, Farinet and Carey gave the Trojans fits with an abundance of court heroics. Carey dazzled the crowd with four steals that turned into dunks. He later finished with 23 points, including 8 field goals, 7-11 from the foul line, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 9 deflections and at total of 5 steals.

Farinet matched Carey’s court prowess with 23 total points, 43% shooting from the field, 4 of 5 from the free throw line, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 11 deflections, and six steals.
Other Drifter stats included: Jamel Dickerson, 4 points, solid defense; K-Dog Swope, three-pointer; Jeremy Robinson, three-pointer.

CB 89 – Matthews 63
The Blue Devils came into the Drifterdome last week hungry for a win, but would soon receive a rude awakening. After a battling the Drifters to a 16-16 to end the first quarter, the Beach lit up the scoreboard by outscoring the Blue Devils 73-47 in the final three quarters.

Drifter stats: TT Carey, 28 points [13-22]; 2 three-pointers, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 14 deflections, 4 steals; Dylan Farinet, 18 points, 1 three-pointer, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 6 deflections, 2 blocked shots and 2 steals; Thomas Peery, 14 points, 2 three-pointers; Thomas Hayward, 8 points, 4 rebounds, solid low post defense; K-Dog Swope, 9 points, 1 three-pointers, two assists, 2 deflections; Jeremy Robinson, 4 points, 4 steals; Joe Slater, 2 points; Travis Cundiff, solid defense; Ken Devers, solid defense; Alex Gorfida, solid defense.

Results of the King William versus Colonial Beach game were not available due to press deadlines. The Drifters will also travel to play to play arch-rival King George on Thursday, January 15. The Drifters will return home to face Middlesex on Tuesday,  January 27.
 

A rite of Drifter passage

The Drifter machine never stops churning! Thanks to the ongoing efforts of long-time Drifter junior varsity head coach Randy Jones, the boys’ varsity basketball program at Colonial Beach High School will continue to reap the rewards of a polished feeder system.
While winning is important, the aspect that Jones has focused on during his tenure with the Drifters is the development of competitive players who will one day bring another championship banner to the “Black & Gold.” “After another year or two the underclassmen will, the necessary experience and gel together so that they will qualify for the varsity level,” coach Jones said.
A potential Drifter star that will be added to the varsity roster next year is forward Randy Ruczynski. Ruczynski is the Drifter junior varsity’s top scorer. “He is taking on a leadership role to help the Drifters in every area that we need,” Jones said. “He is one of our better offensive players—we look to him for a lot of our scoring, especially when teams try to press us.”
Presently the Drifters starting five are: Mike Phillips [center]; Randy Ruczynski [small forward]; Brandon Robey [power forward]; Kiante Dickerson [point guard]; Josh Sanford [shooting guard].
Since moving to Tidewater-A conference competition has risen to the next level. So far this season the Drifters junior varsity is still searching for their first win; their depth squad continues to get valuable experience learning all aspects of the Drifters patented pressure and two-on-three defense. “One through 15, they are all interchangeable,” Jones said. “At any time we can go to any player on the roster and the drop really isn’t a lot.”­
As a rite of passage for potential Drifter basketball players must pass through the Colonial Beach Youth Basketball League, and the Colonial Beach Junior High School basketball program before ascending to the ranks of the junior varsity and varsity basketball programs.
Two years ago, the Drifters came within one point of winning the Delaney Athletic Conference junior varsity championship. Notable members from that team that went on to achieve fame in other Drifter sports were Chad Inscoe, Will Trivett and Nick Peterson.
The Drifters return to action on January 2, 2009 when they host double-A giant Chancellor.
Colonial Beach 2008-2009 boys’ junior varsity basketball roster: #1 Derrick Turner; #2 Josh Sanford; #3 Timmy Jackson; #4 Ethan Harbin; #Sidney Horton; #10 Kiante Dickerson; #20 Michael Jackson; #22 Brandon Robey; #23 Dion Gonzalez; #30 Randy Ruczynski; #32 Travis Irvine; #33 Josh Thomas; #44 Tim McDowney; #52 Andrew Seaman; #54 Mikey Phillips.

Leonard M. Banks, Sports Editor

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