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Photos: VCU Draws with National Champion Georgetown in Exhibition Match

The Rams earned a 1-1 draw. The Rams regular season opens up this Saturday against UNCW.

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There is no official summary since this was an exhibition game. Georgetown scored on a penalty kick in the 34th minute of the first half. The two teams came out and played a 15 minute second half. Simon Fitch tied it up in the 60th minute.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

Community

Kickers Announce Initial Roster Decisions

The Richmond Kickers announced initial contract decisions for the 2023 season, Wednesday, with three exercised options and four option declines as the club prepares to defend its 2022 USL League One regular-season title.

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The Richmond Kickers announced initial contract decisions for the 2023 season, Wednesday, with three exercised options and four option declines as the club prepares to defend its 2022 USL League One regular-season title.

“We worked very hard over the past few years to develop our culture here in Richmond, and this past season we put together a great run to win the regular season Championship,” Kickers’ Chief Sporting Officer and Head Coach, Darren Sawatzky said. “With that success, we didn’t win the games we needed to in the playoffs.

“We have some great young players chasing higher-level opportunities, and we have some players heading to new opportunities. We are adding some good players and at the same time, we are bringing back the backbone of the culture the guys have created.”

Forwards Matthew Bentley and Owayne Gordon and midfielder Chandler O’Dwyer return to the Roos after their contract options for 2023 were picked up by the club.

Bentley finished his first professional season tied for second on the team with six goals and tied for fifth with three assists while starting 18 of 26 league matches. Gordon, a midseason signing, tied for fourth on the team with five goals while also making three assists in 22 league appearances. O’Dwyer made his professional debut in the Kickers’ second US Open Cup match and finished with three appearances across all competitions.

Reigning back-to-back-to-back USL League One MVP and Golden Boot winner Emiliano Terzaghi and 2022 USL League One Goalkeeper of the Year Nominee and Kickers’ goalkeeping coach Akira Fitzgerald have existing contracts for 2023.

The contract options for midfielders Matthew Bolduc, Leonardo Baima, and Christian Molina and goalkeeper Austin Causey were declined by the club.

The 2023 season will be here before you know it! Kickers fans can get ready now by placing a $100 deposit for a 2023 season ticket. With one additional regular season match and two new opponents joining USL League One, City Stadium will be the place to be. Additional information can be found at richmondkickers.com/seasontickets.

Stay up to date with all of the Kickers news at RichmondKickers.com and on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

Rostered Players for 2023 as of December 7, 2022 

GOALKEEPERS: Akira Fitzgerald

DEFENDERS: 

MIDFIELDERS: Chandler O’Dwyer

FORWARDS: Emiliano Terzaghi, Matthew Bentley, Owayne Gordon

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Northside

Richmond Flying Squirrels win MiLB Community Champion Award for local activism

The Richmond Flying Squirrels have been named the recipient of the 2022 Minor League Baseball CommUNITY Champion Award, MiLB announced on Sunday night.

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The Richmond Flying Squirrels have been named the recipient of the 2022 Minor League Baseball CommUNITY Champion Award, MiLB announced on Sunday night.

The CommUNITY Champion Award recognizes a Club that demonstrates an outstanding, ongoing commitment to charitable service, support and leadership within their local community and the baseball industry. The award was presented during the Opening Night Reception and Awards Program of the Baseball Winter Meetings at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

“Making an impact in the community is a pillar of our organization,” Flying Squirrels CEO Todd “Parney” Parnell said. “We strive to be a valuable community partner and aim to use our platform to make positive impacts in the Richmond region. We are grateful for this recognition from Minor League Baseball and for our community.”

In 2022, Flying Squirrels Charities expanded its areas of focus in an effort to fully encompass all the ways the Flying Squirrels impact the greater Richmond community. The newly rebranded Flying Squirrels Charities focuses on four pillars: Education, Athletics, Social Determinants and Inclusion. Flying Squirrels Charities raises funds through a number of avenues including in-stadium initiatives during the season and events around the region all year.

With Flying Squirrels Charities this year, the team has partnered to support local organizations including Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Richmond, Friendship Circle of Virginia (FCVA), Metropolitan Junior Baseball League (MJBL), Fox Elementary School and more.

The Flying Squirrels are visible in the greater Richmond community well beyond the baseball months. Mascots Nutzy and Nutasha have made more than 400 community appearances this year around the Commonwealth of Virginia. Additionally, Flying Squirrels front office staff, players and coaches have volunteered this year with organizations and events including children’s hospitals, Miracle Leagues, Feed More, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Salvation Army and others.

The Flying Squirrels continue to promote educational causes in schools around the Richmond region, including the “Go Nuts for Reading Program,” which challenges elementary and middle school students to read eight books over a two-month span to receive a free ticket to a Flying Squirrels game. This year, more than 10,000 students from 68 participating schools completed the challenge.

The Flying Squirrels launched their Executive Trainee Program, offering opportunities to students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities the opportunity to gain hands-on, professional experience working in various capacities with the team. The program is designed to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce with the goal of elevating more minorities into leadership positions throughout the professional baseball industry.

Through these and many other initiatives, the Flying Squirrels aim to make Richmond a better, more inclusive place, while simultaneously helping grow the game of baseball.

The Flying Squirrels open the 2023 season on Friday, April 7 at The Diamond against the Reading Fightin Phils. Ticket packages for the 2023 season are available now at SquirrelsBaseball.com.

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Community

PHOTOS & GAME SUMMARY: Fouls Give VCU the Win Against Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt got within three at 54-51 before it was assessed three technical fouls, one to Robbins and two to Head Coach Jerry Stackhouse. Stackhouse was ejected.

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Official VCU Game Summary

Score: VCU 70, Vanderbilt 65
Location: Richmond, Va. (Stuart C. Siegel Center)
Records: VCU 5-2, Vanderbilt 3-4

The short story: Sophomore guard Ace Baldwin Jr. erupted for a career-high 28 points as VCU built an 11-point second-half lead and held on for a nail-biting win Wednesday at the Siegel Center.

OPENING TIP

  • Baldwin knocked down 7-of-14 from the floor and connected on 10-of-12 free throws in his first game back since suffering a right wrist injury on Nov. 12
  • Redshirt sophomore forward Jamir Watkins joined Baldwin Jr. in double figures with 13 points, just two off of his career-high 15. Watkins got a majority of his points via free throws, shooting 7-of-11 from the line
  • Freshman forward Tobi Lawal added a career-high four points and put in a solid defensive effort in 12 minutes of action for the Rams
  • Sophomore forward Jalen DeLoach led the Rams with six rebounds, while graduate student forward Brandon Johns Jr. added seven points and five rebounds
  • Vanderbilt saw three players score in double figures, led by Myle Stute’s 20 points, who hit 6-of-9 from beyond the 3-point arc. Liam Robbins and Ezra Manjon added 14 and 12 points, respectively

THE DIFFERENCE

  • In a game that featured 15 ties and eight lead changes, Baldwin pushed the Rams in front for the final time with a pair of free throws with 3:14 remaining. Vanderbilt pulled within 66-64, but Baldwin answered again, driving left of the lane for bucket with 51 ticks on the clock. Watkins helped salt away the win with a fadeaway jumper to beat the shot clock with 16.8 second remaining
  • Vanderbilt got within three at 54-51 before it was assessed three technical fouls, one to Robbins and two to Head Coach Jerry Stackhouse. Stackhouse was ejected, and Baldwin made 4-of-6 free throws to give VCU a 58-51 lead with 7:59 on the clock
  • The Commodores later put together a 9-0 run to tie the game at 61 with 3:56 remaining. The Rams responded by outscoring Vanderbilt 9-4 the rest of the way to seal the victory
  • VCU made 37 trips to the free throw line and connected on 25
  • VCU went on a 6-0 run in the final 1:11 of the first half to open up a 35-28 halftime lead. They then built that lead up to 11 with 18:23 left, allowing them to play with the lead for most of the second half

QUOTABLE
He’s a competitive freak. And I say that with unbelievable respect. You got to kill him to beat him. He loves competition. He’s not afraid of the spotlight, he’s not afraid of pressure situations. He’s very hard on himself and even harder on his teammates but it’s because he wants to win so bad and he gives other guys competitive confidence and he has always been like that, that’s why I liked him so much in high school. And he’s just tough, he’s just really tough. He made plays on both ends of the court and kept our guys calm.” – Head Coach Mike Rhoades on Ace Baldwin

NOTABLE

  • VCU has won 10 straight games at the Siegel Center
  • The Rams have won three straight games against SEC foes and are now 2-2 all-time against Vanderbilt

UP NEXT
The Rams travel to Philadelphia, Pa. on Saturday, Dec. 3 to take on the Temple Owls out of the American Athletic Conference. Tip-off from the Liacouras Center is scheduled for 1 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

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