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Prince William News

Pioneer swim team goes deep

- Sometimes, Lisa Bussian plays around with her swim team's lineup the way some people fiddle with their fantasy football lineup. Not because she has to, but -- with 36 male swimmers and 37 female -- because she can.

Custom clothier comes to Occoquan

- Capital Custom Clothiers opened its doors in Occoquan on Jan. 2. The husband-and-wife run clothing boutique is the second location in a franchise based out of Annapolis, Md. Pamela and Marcus Reed, who founded the Occoquan store, have been in the custom clothing business for a long time.

Murphy takes spot on Dumfries Council

- With less than three months remaining before the April 14 special election to complete the term of former council member Kristin Forrester, the Dumfries Town Council seated a new member who will also have a head start campaigning for the three-year post before election day. After a swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20, William "Bill" Murphy officially took his spot on the council.

After brief scare against OP, Stonewall girls stay perfect

- "We expected to beat them from the start." At face value, it's hard to justify why eighth-year Osbourn Park varsity girls basketball head coach Clifton Gorham set defeating undefeated Stonewall Jackson as his 7-10 team's expectation rather than just as a lofty goal.

Hot and cold

- When the Woodbridge varsity boys basketball team won 54-51 on Jan. 16 at home over Conference 4 rival Forest Park, the final score somehow didn't seem reflective of Woodbridge leading from the first quarter all the way through the end of the game.

Bobcat boys stay perfect in district

- From senior Kameron Hedgepeth's opening dunk to junior Jakin Thorne's hoop-and-harm classic three point play with 19 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the Battlefield varsity boys basketball team on Friday night kept control of a hectic, wildly fast-paced game against host Osbourn to stay undefeated on top of the Conference 8 standings.

May focuses on oversight in Commonwealth’s Attorney race

- With his December announcement to run for Commonwealth's Attorney, outgoing Occoquan District Supervisor Mike May (R) became the first candidate in decades to actually challenge 47-year incumbent Paul Ebert (D) for the office serving Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

PWCS evening activities cancelled

- Evening activities cancelled at 5 p.m. for Prince William County Schools - SACC will remain open.

Recycling reports due Feb. 16

- The Prince William County Solid Waste Division has issued a reminder to businesses in the county that annual recycling reports are due soon. Completed reports need to be filed with the Department of Public Works no later than Feb. 16.

LETTER:Who’s to blame?

- I read the article entitled "Residential development is still out of control in PW" with interest. I drew two conclusions from this article and others regarding county, state and federal politicians. 1. They should stop using the word "politician" and replace it with the words "Tax Raisers and Big Spenders."

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Pioneer swim team goes deep

Sometimes, Lisa Bussian plays around with her swim team's lineup the way some people fiddle with their fantasy football lineup.

Not because she has to, but -- with 36 male swimmers and 37 female -- because she can.

"We're incredibly deep. I am so fortunate to have the number of quality swimmers that we do," said the head swimming coach of Patriot High School in Nokesville, a school and a program that started in 2011.

"It makes doing lineups really easy, because I can change it around so much."

Despite the Pioneers' relatively recent entry into the Virginia High School League, Bussian's teams have consistently been among the strongest in Conference 8 and beyond.

That trend continued Jan. 23 in Patriot's dual meet versus Osbourn Park at the Freedom Aquatic Center in Manassas.

The Pioneer boys triumphed 187-99 and the girls won with a 181.5-132.5 decision, all to the coach's relief.

"[Osbourn Park] was our challenge meet for this season," said Bussian, whose boys and girls are a combined 12-0 in duals.

"Teams are going through their cyclical up-and-downs, so at the moment they're our most competitive rival."

She called the sweep of the Yellow Jackets "gratifying."

"We worked hard all season to make sure we were in the right place to succeed at that meet."

The compliment is especially resonant considering the rigorous schedule many high school swimmers already endured, with club championships in December preceding the ramped-up high school campaign in January -- a period Bussian called "the dog days."

"The year-round coaches are working the guys and girls pretty hard, so they're very tired when they come to our meets," said Bussian, who herself was a year-round coach before taking the Patriot job.

"Right now times aren't dropping the way we'd like them to, but we hope to see that as we get into our postseason meets."

Bussian and assistant coach Kristin Weber are set to see a plethora of individual Pioneers racing in the postseason.

Will Cumberland, younger brother of senior captain Luke Cumberland, has already punched not one, but four tickets to the state meet Feb. 19-21 at Collegiate School Aquatic Center in Richmond.

The sophomore, deemed by Bussian "one of our top performers for the boys," recorded state-qualifying times in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle, the 100-yard backstroke and the 200-yard individual medley.

He belongs to a family of swimmers, as older brother Ben was a major part of Brentsville District's state titles in 2010 and 2011.

Senior Andrew Proper and sophomore Spencer Rowe are likewise contributing strong seasons for the Pioneers. Proper, said Bussian, is reliable for a first- or second-place finish almost anywhere she puts him.

Rowe qualified for states in the breaststroke and individual medley events, just as he did last year as a freshman.

Freshman Michael Blake earned the right to swim the 500-yard freestyle at the 6A North region meet, set for Feb. 3-7 at Oak Marr Recreation Center in Fairfax.

First-time Pioneer Cole Cooper, a sophomore new to the area, earned his state bid in the butterfly and will race several more events at the regional meet.

"We're really looking forward to having him on the team for the next couple years," Bussian said.

She'll need those re-enforcements, she noted, as "top-quality" seniors like Proper, Cumberland, Jeffrey Pfannenstein, Coulter Morrill and Thomas Hall are due to graduate in June.

Before that though, they have some swimming to do.

"Our boys team is incredibly powerful," Bussian boasted.

The Pioneers girls' team skews younger, as the roster is heavy with sophomores and freshmen. There will be at least one senior leaving this summer though in top-talent Samantha Baird.

"We'll definitely be sad to see her go," said the coach.

Baird, owner of a handful of school records, is punctuating a strong career with a strong senior season. She earned region-qualifying times in three events and expects to qualify in her favorite event: the backstroke.

"We expect her to succeed at regionals and move on to states," said Bussian of Baird.

Mary Claire Tansill, a junior who last year placed fourth in the region for the 100-yard breaststroke, now has a state-qualifying mark in that event this year.

She also has a regional cut in the 200-yard individual medley.

Bussian said she anticipates sophomore Kelly Morgan and freshman Megan Roloff will grow into their potentials.

Morgan made states in the butterfly.

"I see our girls' team building in strength," Bussian assessed.

In recent history, Group 6A North Region teams like Robinson, Oakton, Madison and Westfield have dominated the Group 6A state swim championships.

However, Bussian is not shy about putting her Pioneers out of Conference 8 into the same pool with such stalwarts.

"We had quite a strong, deep team last year, but I think we're even stronger and deeper this year," she stated.

"I think we're going to be one of the teams everyone else is looking at."
More Local News

Pioneer swim team goes deep

Custom clothier comes to Occoquan

Murphy takes spot on Dumfries Council

After brief scare against OP, Stonewall girls stay perfect

Hot and cold

Bobcat boys stay perfect in district

May focuses on oversight in Commonwealth’s Attorney race

PWCS evening activities cancelled

Recycling reports due Feb. 16

LETTER:Who’s to blame?

Police Reports; 01-16-15

LETTER:Dominion has a grip on General Assembly

Prince William Guide

seal Click here to see Prince William voters' favorite things to do this winter!


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