Reports From The VHSL Championships

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Last Saturday, the University of Virginia played host to the Virginia 5A state championship contest between L.C. Bird (Chesterfield) and Briar Woods (Ashburn) as well as the 6A state championship between Centreville (Clifton) and Oscar Smith (Chesapeake). Centreville spoiled 5-star defensive lineman Andrew Brown‘s first game in Scott Stadium with a sound defeat of Oscar Smith, while Bird captured its second straight state crown with a comeback win over the Falcons. was on hand for the 5A and 6A contests, but first lets begin with the Virginia 1A state title game, which featured Virginia-bound junior Juan Thornhill.

Altavista Claims 1A State Title

As a sophomore, Juan Thornhill helped the Altavista Combined School’s (VA) varsity basketball squad to a state championship. He is now a state champion in football, the sport he plans to play at the University of Virginia beginning in the 2015 season. As his team’s starting quarterback and free safety, Thornhill totaled 243 yards of offense (160 passing, 83 rushing) and threw for one touchdown in helping Altavista to the 2013 1A state title by defeating Essex, 21-0, last Saturday at Salem High School in Salem, Virginia.

Discussing his team’s performance, Altavista head coach Mike Scharnus said: “This team was locked in. They zoned in pretty good. Once the playoffs started, the competition got really good, and they zoned in. We had a great defensive plan [against Essex] and offensively we did some good things.”

Thornhill impressed his coach with tough performances in the state semis and finals.

“In the [34-22 state semifinal win over Haysi] we played on a muddy turf. Cuts were at a minimum. He ran 34 times (for 153 yards). He ran downhill and was physical. He can be physical when he wants to be,” Scharnus said of the 6’1″, 175-pound Thornhill. “Against an Essex defense that is good, he did the same thing. There weren’t big plays to be had, running-wise. Also, he actually had his best two passing games in our last two games. Defensively, as always he played a steady game.”

Thornhill is currently Virginia’s lone commitment in the class of 2015. The Altavista star is being recruited by the Cavaliers to play in the defensive backfield.