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Longtime York coach honored
The Peninsula Sports Club honored Sam Jackson on Wednesday with its "Milestone" Award. The PSC gives the award annually to coaches who have served at length and with distinction.
Jackson has been the head track and field coach at York for 37 years and the head cross country coach for the past 35 years. He has worked as the school's athletic director for 28 years.
Jackson has guided the Falcons to more than 30 district and regional titles in cross country and track. He ranks in the top five in the state in dual-meet victories in both sports.
He coached the York boys to the 1996 and '97 Group AA state cross country titles, making him the only Bay Rivers coach ever to win more than one. His York girls track teams have finished second three times in the AA state meet.
Individual awards include being selected the district, regional and state athletic director of the year. Jackson said his top memories as coach and AD include: the two cross country state titles; York's 1988 football regional championship win over a Tabb team that included future NFL players Terry Kirby and Chris Slade; the girls basketball team's 1986 and '87 state titles; and the football team's comeback from a 28-point deficit to beat Tabb 49-48 in triple overtime earlier this season.
"That kind of comeback is something you don't see very often," he said.
"That was an exceptional Tabb team that York beat in football 20 years ago. But, of course, the number-one memories for me were the cross country state championships."
Jackson said that the baseball team's 1989 state title was a big moment, too. Rusty Ingram, coach of that team, introduced Jackson at the PSC event.
"Sam Jackson has been outstanding for York High School," said Ingram, who will return to the school's head baseball coaching position for the first time since 1990. "He put us in a financially stable situation and kept us there.
"He's one of the most supportive people York High School has ever had."
Jackson, who taught electronics and basic architectural drawing, said such personal relationships are his biggest highlight.
"Knowing that I made a positive difference in a lot of students' lives is the most important thing to me," he said.
FIRST WINWarhill is still looking for its first varsity football win. But the program did experience the thrill of victory for the first time earlier this month, when the junior varsity defeated Jamestown 32-6.
The Lions received a boost when quarterback Shawn Cvengros returned from a knee injury suffered while playing for the varsity earlier in the season. Rodney Lee has been solid at running back for the JV team.
Wide receiver Jules Clayton made a big play in the Jamestown game by passing to quarterback Dotrea Davis for a touchdown on a trick play. Lee, Clayton and Davis all are freshmen.
"We only have five sophomores on the JV," said coach Mike McIntire. "We're very pleased with what they're doing. The key was getting them to focus on fundamentals in practice, then becoming more competitive in games."
STILL THE ONEJamestown High's boys cross country team maintained its No. 1 spot in the Group AA rankings released Thursday by MileStat.com. The Eagles, third in last year's state meet, are ranked ahead of Potomac Falls, 2007 runner-up Western Albemarle, Blacksburg and defending champion Brentsville.
The Eagles' Andrew Colley, second in the state meet a year ago, is ranked No. 1 on the AA list. Jamestown's Colin Mearns (third) and John Holt (seventh) also were ranked in the top 10.
The Eagles are favored to win their first AA state crown since 2001. The AA state meet is set for Nov. 8 at the Great Meadow course near Warrenton.
Marty O'Brien can be reached at email@example.com or 247-4963. For more from O'Brien, read his blog at HRVarsity.com/insidethebrd.