Loudoun boys’ basketball: Young Champe, Rock Ridge gear up for an early rematch

By Jason Butt




Boys Basketball: Rock Ridge Takes Down the Pride

Steve Tunney

Leesburg, VA (January 9, 2015) The Rock Ridge Boys Basketball team took down the Pride of Heritage by a score of 63-52. The victory improves Rock Ridge’s overall record to 7-4 and 1-2 in Conference. The loss drops Heritage to 1-10 overall and 0-3 in conference.

After being down by as many as 12 points in the first half, the Phoenix used a 20-4 run in the 3rd quarter to take control of the game. Rock Ridge was led by Tony Goodwin who had 15 points. Ayush Mayur and Monteral Jackson added 13 and 12 points respectively. Morris Robinson paced the Pride with 21 points. Rock Ridge moves to 7-4 on the year and will look to take on Skyline HS on Monday in a Conference 28 matchup.



Monteral Jackson

Junior Forward

Rock Ridge Basketball

By Owen Gotimer

In the month of December, Rock Ridge High School junior forward Monteral Jackson led the first year Phoenix program to a 5-4 record including an appearance in the championship game of the first ever Explosive Performance Holiday Tournament hosted by Rock Ridge.

Throughout December, Jackson averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds per game and was named to the all-tournament team following his effort at the EP Holiday Tournament.

“He is a great leader.  We saw this when he first arrived with us.  Monteral set the tone for the program early on as he never missed a workout, summer league game, fall league game, training at Explosive performance,” Rock Ridge head coach Jay Geyer said. “Monteral is someone you can truly count on.  He hasn’t missed a practice and continues to play through injuries and sickness as the season goes on.  He’s early for every practice.  He’s early for every team meeting.  He comes in and is always wanting to watch film.  Those are things go a long way for our program.”

On Dec. 3, Jackson helped the Phoenix to the school’s first ever win in boys varsity basketball in the school’s first ever boys varsity basketball game ousting the Freedom High School Eagles, 63-50, in front of a home crowd. For all the Phoenix boys except Jackson – who transferred to Rock Ridge from Park View High School – it was the first varsity basketball games in their career.

“He knows there is more to leadership than leading by example. Monteral takes the time on and off the court to help the younger guys.  He is learning when to put his arm around guys and when to get on guys,” Geyer said. “So far this season he has been Mr. Consistent.”

FEB. 3, 2015- NV DAILY.COM

Slow start proves costly for Skyline



Boys Basketball: Rock Ridge Knocks Off Top Seeded Champe

February 6, 2015 (Aldie, VA) – The Rock Ridge Boys Basketball team took down John Champe by a score of 73-63 in a highly competitive Conference 28 match up on Thursday night.

Coming into tonight, Rock Ridge knew they had their work cut out for them against the top seeded Knights in Aldie, VA.  This match up came nearly two months after the Knights knocked off the first year school by four-points in Ashburn. The Knights, who were undefeated in Conference 28, are also ranked #8 in the 3A state rankings by VApreps.com.

After the first 16-minutes, both teams went into the locker room with just two points separating them. A three point shot at the end of the half by Junior Monteral Jackson helped the Phoenix start the second half with momentum. Jackson finished the game with 18-points.  

The Phoenix took control of the game in the 4th quarter by draining 11 free throws to seal the game.  Sophomore guard, Deontay Compton, had two of those free throws for the Phoenix while contributing 14-points for the game.  Rock Ridge moves to 10-8 on the season and will face Dominion at home on Friday night. John Champe will head to Sterling on Friday to take on the Patriots of Park View.



Rock Ridge producing record-breaking season for first-year program

Ben Trittipoe

When a new high school opens, there are generally many obstacles to athletic teams being successful right away. The limited time available for the coaching staff and players to come together as a team can be a large issue, and with no senior class, a lack of experienced leadership can be a challenge.

The boys basketball team at newly opened Rock Ridge High School is proving to be an exception to the rule. The Phoenix have produced a record-breaking inaugural campaign and are looking to accomplish even more.

Rock Ridge – classified in Group 3A this season – improved to 12-8 overall Monday with a 49-43 home victory against Park View (a 4A school). The victory enabled the Phoenix to surpass the 2010-11 Woodgrove boys for the most wins in a season for a first-year Loudoun program.

In addition, the victory gave Rock Ridge a 6-3 record in the Dulles District (a combination of the county’s Group 4A and 3A teams) and an opportunity to capture the district title outright when it played at Woodgrove Wednesday (results not available at press time). “[Getting to 12 wins was] something that was kind of a goal, and another was to get to the regional tournament,” Rock Ridge head coach Jay Geyer said. “The idea of winning the district regular season was never even in our minds. To have an opportunity to do that is pretty special in our first year.”

Geyer is no stranger to building a program from scratch. He was the freshman coach at Freedom the year that school opened in 2005-06, then he joined former head coach Mike Benson at Briar Woods the next season after the Falcons won zero games in their inaugural season. After four years there, Geyer became the head coach at Dominion in 2010-11.

Taking over a program that won two games the year before, Geyer built the Titans into a contender in the Dulles District and Group 4A’s Conference 21. The hard work came to fruition last season as Dominion reached the Conference 21 championship game and won in the region quarterfinals.


Geyer said there were many factors that attracted him to Rock Ridge. “It was close to home and an opportunity to teach and coach in the same building, which is something I really wanted to do,” Geyer said. “I have experience starting from the bottom, so I was never concerned [with the negatives]. It’s great to build relationships with the guys all day and be around them more. It’s really been helping a lot.”

Named the coach at Rock Ridge last spring, Geyer was able to get a head start on developing his team. He started workouts with his potential players, who were still students at Briar Woods and Broad Run at the time, and the Phoenix went to a team camp and began play in a summer league in June. Rock Ridge went to another team camp at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg in the fall, and by the time the Phoenix started their season in December, they had played over 40 games together. “That helped a lot because we had guys coming together from different schools,” Geyer said. “It’s brand new for everybody, so building chemistry was really important for us. We wouldn’t have won a game like [vs. Park View] if we didn’t have that chemistry and trust in each other. “I always knew we just had to be patient and do the right things,” he added. “I think we’re a little ahead of where I thought we would be, and that’s great.”

Junior Monteral Jackson – a 6-foot-2 guard – scored 16 points and added six rebounds to lead Rock Ridge past Park View Monday. Junior 5-6 guard Justyn Tate added 10 points, 6-4 freshman forward Ayush Mayur had seven points and 6-2 junior forward Tommy Caldwell had six points and seven rebounds. Jackson leads the Phoenix with 13.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game for the season, while Mayur adds 9.2 ppg, Tate averages 6.4 ppg, and Caldwell averages 7.2 points and 5.6 boards per contest.


“We’re learning how to win close games, something we weren’t doing all summer, all fall and into the season,” Geyer said. “If we shoot the ball well, we’re really good. If we don’t, we have to scrap, make plays and cause turnovers. Rebounding is something we’re constantly working on to get better. Even when we have a size advantage, we tend to stand and watch sometimes.

“We’re starting to make plays at the right time, which is good,” he added. “Winning ugly is better than losing ugly.”

Geyer believes his team will be ready for the Conference 28 tournament, which begins Monday, and feels the opportunity is there to advance to the 3A East Region playoffs. But if not, he is pleased with Rock Ridge’s outlook for the future.

“The season has put us ahead of schedule,” Geyer said. “I’m just proud of where we are and how coachable the players are. I think that will help us grow for next year. We don’t lose anybody, so we have a chance to be really good next year. We’re ahead of schedule, but we haven’t done anything yet. We have to keep going.”


MAR. 2, 2015- NV DAILY.COM

All-Conference 28 Boys Basketball team


First team

Name School Year
Kuony Deng John Champe Jr.
Jeff Early William Monroe Sr.
Zach Burdick John Champe Jr.
Trey McDyre Loudoun Valley Jr.
Monteral Jackson Rock Ridge Jr.
Keegan Woolford William Monroe Sr.
Nick Ball Loudoun Valley So.
Brandon Walters Skyline Sr.