Updated at 2:45 p.m. New posters are lampooning the recent announcement that the Washington Capitals and Wizards are moving to Potomac Yard by demanding one more thing — for the Washington Commanders to also move to the neighborhood.
“BUILD THE STADIUM COMPLEX,” headlines the five posters, which say, “We must act fast! This mega complex will be suitable for (football, basketball and hockey stick emojis) and T Swift concerts. The streets of Del Ray will become sanctuary for riotous celebrations of multiple championships. We must not lose out to suburban Maryland!! Let’s make our suburb great again!”
This week’s announcement was met with dismay by some Potomac Yard residents who say that moving the Capitals and Wizards will destroy the fabric of the neighborhood.
The poster’s creator, known by the X handle @ArlingtonAF, also created a number of other humorous work in Arlington, most recently with a pro-pickleball posters.
“My official position is, I’m glad Potomac Yard is in Alexandria and not Arlington, and it’s not like Jeff Bezos trying to put a football team in Pentagon City..err.. I mean Nala (National Landing),” @ArlingtonAF told us. “That said, I believe Alexandria is holding a royal flush of trump cards, they should be demanding Leonsis pay for solid gold libraries, and flying school buses, the city has the leverage.”
The Wizards/Capitals move also inspired an AI-generated parody of the proposed $2 billion complex’s transportation infrastructure.
While the whole team @DDOTDC is sad to see the Wizards/Capitals move across the river, as transportation professionals we were excited to see these updated renderings of the arena and surrounding infrastructure from @VaDOTNOVA @GovernorVA: https://t.co/R4sFGTBsYR pic.twitter.com/ovNuNJDZ31
— DDOT Director (Parody) (@DDOTDCDirector) December 15, 2023
You might say Tiffany Matthews wears a lot of hats.
Matthews is a senior instructor at the Alexandria Fire Department’s academy, training the city’s freshest recruits how to run into burning buildings and save lives. In her off-duty hours, though, she’s the founding owner of the Washington Prodigy women’s pro-football team. In fact, she’s been involved in professional football just as long as she’s been with AFD — 19 years.
An Alexandria native, Matthews joined the U.S. Army after graduating in 1998 from T.C. Williams High School, where she played varsity basketball. Watching Sunday football was a special event for her family, she said, and her interest in the game started by watching her brother play on the George Washington Middle School football team. The team’s coach was impressed enough to make her his assistant.
“I’d be watching my brother playing and I was just observing to the point where I was calling out plays,” Matthews recalled. “The coach noticed and asked me if I wanted to hold his clipboard…. Once I had that clipboard, I was kind of motivated on the sideline.”
Matthews, now 43, was a U.S. Army private stationed in Germany when she started playing flag football. In 2004, after being discharged, she started working as an Alexandria firefighter. That same year she was also recruited as a running back for the D.C. Divas.
The season runs every year from April to June, In 2012, she broke away from the Divas to found the Washington Prodigy. She had just 14 athletes, including herself as a player/owner/head coach. Now the team is one of 16 teams in the Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC). She stopped playing in 2018, and the team now boasts 40 players in the six-game season, which runs from April to June. Home games are played at Anacostia High School in D.C., and as far away as Texas, Florida and Tennessee.
None of the players are paid, and Matthews says she wants the WNFC to have the same name recognition and popularity as the Women’s National Basketball Association.
“I think we deserve it,” she said. “The coaches plan and meet weekly, and the players come to practice two or three times a week.”
She also said she’s on-board with the WNFC incorporating flag football into its offerings.
“The league is going in a great direction,” Matthews said. “And I think they do a very good job of making sure we’re (team owners are) on the same page by bringing in large endorsements and sponsorships like Adidas, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.”
Matthews plans on retiring from the fire department in six years, after which she says she will focus on the team.
If asked, Matthews describes herself as a firefighter first, and a pro-sports team owner second.
“It depends on the environment,” she said “I’m a firefighter. That’s pretty much my response, unless I’m in a sporting environment and they already kind of know that I’m involved with footballers in some sort of fashion.”
Noah Lyles, the world champion sprinter and Olympic bronze medalist can add another trophy to his collection, as he and his speedster brother Josephus Lyles have been chosen for induction into the 2022 ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame.
“Noah Lyles is a world record holder, world champion, bronze medal winner and a great ambassador for our city,” Aly Khan Johnson, chair of the ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame Advisory Committee Meeting, told the School Board last Thursday night (May 19).
The impressive list of 26 inductees also includes Alexandria’s Shirley Marshall-Lee, the world’s first African American female scuba diver; educator Naomi L. Brooks, who played basketball at Parker-Gray High School and has a school named after her; and Fred Borchelt, a 1972 T.C. Williams High School grad who won the silver medal in the 1984 Olympics.
“We are blessed in this community to have wonderful athletes that come through our school system,” said Alexandria School Board Vice Chair Jacinta Greene. “So many of which that we have thousands of (ACPS Athletic Hall Of Fame) applications that come in each year.”
There are 26 inductees this year — more than usual due to a backlog of nominees. The Hall of Fame started in 2014, and previous winners include members of the 1971 T.C. Williams High School varsity football team, which gained worldwide recognition in the 2000 movie Remember The Titans.
The induction ceremony will be held in the Alexandria City High School auditorium at 2 p.m. on October 8.
The 2022 ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame
- 1945 George Washington High School Boys Basketball Team — State champions
- 1977 T.C. Williams High School Boys Basketballs Team — State champions
- DeArcey “Dee” Campbell, George Washington High School Class of 1944, Crew Coach 1975-2005
- Robert Garda, George Washington High School Class of 1957 — Football, Basketball, Track
- Joe Hensley, George Washington High School Class of 1944 — Basketball
- Bobby Jones, George Washington High School Class of 1949 — Track
- Naomi Lewis-Brooks, Parker-Gray High School Class of 1951 — Basketball
- Shirley Marshall-Lee, Parker-Gray High School Class of 1956 — Scuba Diving
- Doug Yates, George Washington High School Class of 1955 — Basketball, Track
- Fred Borchelt, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1972 — Crew
- Yolanda Brown, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1994 — Track/Field
- Lesa Diggs-Moore, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1981 — Track
- Sherri Funn, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1978 — Track
- John Johnson, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1973 — Track/ Field
- Rodney Johnson, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1997 — Football, Track/Field, Track Coach
- Missy Anne Kilkpatrick, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1991 — Track
- Kathy James Lorton, T.C. Williams High School Class of 2000 — Cheerleading
- Josephus Lyles, T.C. Williams High School Class of 2016 — Track/ Field
- Noah Lyles, T.C. Williams High School Class of 2016 — Track/ Field
- Marie McKeon Zack, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1983 — Soccer/Field Hockey
- Barry Mountain, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1979 — Track/Field
- Stephanie O’Toole Whalen, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1990 — Field Hockey, Basketball, Softball
- Lydell Scott, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1987 — Football
- Carl Turner, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1974 — Football, Basketball
- Ezra Whorley, T.C. Williams High School Class of 1992 — Track/Field, Football
- Eryk Williamson, T.C. Williams High School Class of 2015 — Soccer
Alexandria City High School rallied in the final moments to send their homecoming game into overtime Friday night, but it just wasn’t enough. The West Potomac Wolverines edged their way to a 22-21 win.
The evening included an unexpected appearance by world champion sprinters Noah and Josephus Lyles, who watched the game from the sidelines with ACHS Principal Peter Balas and Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr.
The Titans now have a record of 4-4 and will play this Friday at home against the West Springfield Spartans.
OT loss to West Potomac 22-21. Hurts to lose homecoming, but it was a great game. Congrats to the cross-town rival Wolverines. West Springfield vists Parker-Gray next Friday night. #titansforever#fridaynightlights
— Alexandria City HS Football Boosters (@ACTitanFootball) October 16, 2021
The Alexandria Police Department confirmed that a firecracker, not gunshots, prematurely ended a football game Saturday between Herndon High School and Alexandria City High School (ACHS).
“The game was called with less than three minutes remaining,” said Claire Going, a spokesperson for Alexandria City Public Schools. “Fans began self-evacuation. Once the source of the noise was determined, an announcement was made to let people in the stadium know what had caused it.”
[1/2] Multiple sources have confirmed to The Stinger that the Herndon- Alexandria City High School football game tonight ended abruptly in the last 4 minutes of the game. a loud bang was heard from the ACHS bleachers side. pic.twitter.com/HI7ZX3Kzgn
— Herndon High Newspaper (@StingerHhs) September 26, 2021
The incident occurred less than a week after a shooting just a few blocks from the school. Police confirmed that the source of the sound was a firecracker, not gunshots.
“There was a loud bang which turned out to be a firecracker,” said Senior Public Information Officer Amanda Paga. “The game was stopped and the stadium was evacuated.”
The ACHS Titans won the game 41-7 over Herndon, according to the Alexandria City High School Football Boosters.
Alexandria ranks ninth in Virginia for small businesses — “Alexandria ranked ninth overall among Virginia localities with a small business index score of 39.17. The city was seventh for percentage of small business income — 10.11 percent.” [Patch]
Alexandria ranked by CDC as third best city in U.S. for surviving zombie apocalypse — “It seems the CDC-yes, the Centers for Disease Control were kind of bored a while back and actually posted a Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness Guide which recently inspired a company called Lawn Love to dig into a bunch of data and develop 2021’s Best Cities for Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse and Alexandria, Virginia turns out to be a good spot to be in such an event.” [Zebra]
Senior Services gets $12,500 from Meals on Wheels and Petsmart — “Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA) is proud to announce that it has received a $12,500 Meals on Wheels Loves Pets grant for its pet support program, AniMeals on Wheels. Funding will be used to provide expanded access to needed veterinary care, grooming services, and other support as needed for the pets of Meals on Wheels and current AniMeals clients, which can often be a financial and physical challenge for older adults to manage on their own.” [Senior Services of Alexandria]
The Italian Place opens second location — “The Italian Place is proud to announce it has officially opened it’s 2nd location in Fairfax! Thank you for your love & support! We are very excited to welcome you to visit our new Fairfax location! See QR code below for ordering from our website! Skip the line and scan the below QR code from your camera & order online in Old Town or Fairfax!” [Facebook]
Today’s weather — “Sunny skies during the morning hours. Scattered showers and thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. Hot and humid. High 96F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%… Considerable clouds early (in the evening). Some decrease in clouds late. Low around 75F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New job: Basketball, flag football and soccer coaches — “Kids in Motion is hiring sports coaches to teach super fun, fitness based, classes for kids ages 5-8 years. Classes are M-F 3:30-4:30 and the time can vary based on individual schools. Teachers can work 1-5 week days.” [Indeed]
It was another busy week in Alexandria. Here are some of the highlights.
This week, ALXnow profiled Mayor Justin Wilson and his opponent, former Mayor Allison Silberberg. The pair are facing off in the June 8 Democratic primary, and have vastly different ideas on city governance.
Alexandria Police released its 2020 crime data this week, revealing a 19% increase in Part 1 crime and 15% reduction in Nuisance crimes. ALXnow also reported a number of noteworthy crime stories, including the release of a video showing a chase suspect who died after his arrest in D.C. on April 12, and the indictment of a West End murder suspect.
This week also brought the unbelievable story of locals chasing down suspected shoplifters in Del Ray.
On the vaccine front, the Alexandria Health Department paused Johnson & Johnson vaccinations, following new concerns about potential side effects.
In school news, Alexandria City Public Schools will shift to three feet distancing in classrooms on April 26. Additionally, the School Board has started a conversation on reducing the number of members from nine to six.
- ‘Dogs Of Del Ray’ mural to be finished next month
- Bullet strikes 7-Eleven door near Braddock Road Metro station
- JUST IN: Gubernatorial candidate Sen. Jennifer McClellan highlights race, women issues in Old Town
- T.C. Senior Sara Abbas surprised with $40,000 Titans In Tech Scholarship
- Spring2ACTion fundraiser sets $2.5 million goal for Alexandria nonprofits
- ACPS will go to 3 feet distancing in classrooms on April 26
- BREAKING: ‘Alexandria City High School’ chosen as replacement name for T.C. Williams High School
- JUST IN: Dr. Stephen Haering suddenly retires as director of Alexandria Health Department
- Southern Towers residents nervous as landlord steps up eviction proceedings
- Man stabbed at Old Town intersection
- NEW: Locals chase down suspected shoplifters in Del Ray
- JUST IN: T.C. Williams JV football team walks off field after alleged racial slur, spitting incident
- Man faces 10 years for DWI in horrific West End crash in Safeway parking lot
- Planning Commission approves controversial subdivision, plants potential loophole for future denial
- JUST IN: Video released of police arresting chase suspect who died in D.C.
- JUST IN: Six Alexandria Police officers put on administrative duties after chase suspect dies
- JUST IN: West End murder suspect faces life plus 13 years in prison
Have a safe weekend!
Photo via ACPS/Facebook
(Updated at 1:45 p.m.) Alexandria City Public Schools and Fairfax County Public Schools are investigating allegations that members of the Robinson Rams junior varsity football team spit at and made a racial slur against T.C. Williams High School football players in a game on Monday, April 5.
“Yes, I am aware of these reports,” Mayor Justin Wilson told ALXnow. “It is horrifying that our students were the victims of this abuse and assault. I have been in contact with the School Board Chair, Vice Chair and Superintendent about this incident. I have also connected with my counterpart in Fairfax County, Jeff McKay. I believe it is being investigated by both school systems and I hope it will be addressed promptly.”
The game was played at James W Robinson, Jr. Secondary School, and the Rams won 20-6, although T.C. players reportedly walked off the field in protest before the end of the fourth quarter.
ACPS Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. said that he is working with Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand and his team to “collaborate with the leadership of the Virginia High School League (VHSL) to address this issue and support our students.”
“I want everyone to know that we are taking this matter seriously and have been in communication with our students and coaching staff who were involved or who witnessed the incident,” Hutchings said in an email.
Hutchings continued, “These events in our schools continue to shine a light on the importance of our antiracism work at ACPS and across the nation and the need for an open dialogue about how this impacts our students and their social, emotional and academic learning. To that end, once we have developed next steps with VHSL, we will share additional communications with the ACPS community.”
The incident is the second of its kind in Fairfax County Public Schools in recent days. On March 5, members of the Marshall High School Varsity Football Team allegedly spat at and made racial slurs against their Wakefield High School opponents.
FCPS released the following statement to ALXnow:
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is aware of a number of allegations regarding the use of racially charged language and racial slurs in the past few weeks.
Our school division embraces diversity and strongly condemns hate speech and offensive, hateful language or racial intolerance of any kind on the sports fields, in school buildings or anywhere on or off school premises. We will hold anyone found to have used such language while representing any of our schools accountable for their words and actions.
FCPS will investigate any incidents thoroughly and will be taking swift and appropriate action if deemed necessary. Per Virginia High School League (VHSL) rules, players heard using such language will be ejected and suspended for additional game(s). Unsportsmanlike conduct will result in an immediate review of the game by officials and coaches.
The primary responsibilities of schools are to foster an open, respectful and inclusive learning environment for all students. We recognize that we have much work to do in our schools and will continue to strive to promote equity, sportsmanship, respect, and fair play on and off the field.
FCPS will be holding a “stand-down” meeting for all athletic teams and coaches to begin this important conversation to support student-athletes in demonstrating appropriate behaviors required to play sports in FCPS. This is not about one team versus another; it is about our responsibilities to one another as members of a community. We will do the work to come together in fair treatment and take necessary actions to ensure these efforts support inclusion both in the classrooms as well as across our athletic programs. We value each and every student and staff member, and we are committed to doing the work to ensure all are treated in this regard.
T.C. Williams High School Principal Peter Balas emailed students about the incident. He wrote that Titan Athletics Director, James Parker, and he met with the student athletes and coaches of both the varsity and junior varsity football teams. He also said that T.C. has contacted the Robinson athletics staff.
“These discussions were in response to allegations of inappropriate interactions between athletes on opposing teams at Monday night’s junior varsity football game,” Balas wrote. “Specifically, we were collecting information and statements to learn more about what happened regarding the allegations that one of our students was spat on during the game and called a racial slur.”
Balas continued, “Please rest assured that we will continue to work with our staff and students regarding this situation and that we will make sure our students are supported and protected. The work that we have been doing in our school division on becoming an anti-racist school division means that we must confront these issues head-on and be unapologetic in addressing matters around racism and racial equity.”
Beyer Asks for Pause After 500,000 COVID-19 Deaths — “500,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19. Every one of them was a person with a story, friends, a family. It’s a tragedy that’s too large to comprehend, but we should take time today to think about them, and strengthen our resolve to do all we can to end this awful pandemic.” [Twitter]
Eviction Moratorium Extended to March 31 — “The CDC moratorium on residential evictions has been extended thru March 31. If you received an eviction notice, call the Office of Housing at 703.746.4990.” [Twitter]
T.C. Williams High School Kicks Off Football Season — “Watch the Titans kick-off their football season under first year Head Coach Rodney Hughey vs. the Robinson Rams LIVE tonight (Monday night) streaming online. Show your support and post online to Facebook or Twitter. Let us hear from you Titans Fans – Students – Alumni – Parents – Friends!” [Facebook]
Howard Hughes CEO Excited About Landmark Mall Future — “O’Reilly broke his silence about Landmark in an interview with the Washington Business Journal after being named the company’s permanent chief executive in December. He stopped short of calling the project a done deal, but he believes Howard Hughes has assembled a strong team with Inova, developer Foulger-Pratt, architect Cooper Carry, and Seritage Growth Properties (NYSE: SRG), the real estate entity spun out from Sears Holdings Co. that owns the old Sears store at Landmark.” [Washington Business Journal]
Community Group Hosting Taylor Run Stream Presentation — “Learn more about stream restoration from environmental experts and residents who have been studying the Taylor Run project for more than a year and hear what we think should be done to restore Taylor Run, protect Chinquapin Park, and help the Bay.” [Environmental Council of Alexandria]
The Chamber ALX Women’s Forum is March 11 — “After almost a year full of the unexpected and the unprecedented, this forum will bring together women at all stages of their careers for an interactive discussion filled with inspiration and insight, centered around this year’s theme of resiliency, and learning how to find the opportunities amidst the challenges.” [The Chamber ALX]
Today’s Weather — “Partly cloudy skies (during the day). High 53F. Winds WSW at 15 to 25 mph. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph… Mainly clear early (in the evening), then a few clouds later on. Low 32F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.” [Weather.com]
New Job: Front Office Agent — “And just like our hotels, no two colleagues are the same. So we’re curious about you. How will you inspire the eclectic rhythm in our hotels? How will you bring the local neighborhood story to life? At Hotel Indigo® hotels, we’re excited to meet spirited characters who can delight the most curious guests.” [Indeed]
Fall sports are back at ACPS starting next week.
Superintendent Gregory Hutchings made the announcement official at a School Board meeting last Thursday, but said that students and parents shouldn’t expect it to look like it used to.
“Fall season of athletics will begin on February 15, just so that everybody is aware,” Hutchings said. “We will be following CDC guidelines, so it won’t look exactly the same as it used to.”
Fall sports starting Monday, Feb. 15, include:
- Cross country
- Field hockey
Hutchings clarified later that precautions include masks and limiting spectators at sporting events after School Board member Margaret Lorber expressed concerns about jumping into reopening with an activity that requires physical contact and students breathing on each other.
“Students will have to wear masks at all times for the sports being played, it’s not optional,” Hutchings said, “and we’re not going to be able to have spectators at all of the events.”
Hutchings said next week will mark the beginning of the fall sports season after ACPS canceled plans for winter sports in November.
“We withdrew from participating in winter sports, which I still stand behind, but as you saw with community health metrics now we’re not at the highest risk level,” Hutchings said. “We never intended to not be a part of the fall sports season.”
Practicing begins as ACPS begins phasing students into in-person classes, starting with K-5 special education programs and English learner programs in early March. Hutchings said initially, only students whose families selected the hybrid option on a survey sent to parents will attend school in-person. Throughout March, ACPS will begin to transition the rest of the hybrid students into the schools in phases.
The T.C. Williams High School Football Boosters expressed enthusiasm about the planned opening on Facebook.
“If you haven’t heard the football season is on!” the group said. “Practice starts Monday and then a shortened 8 game season will begin Monday night February 22.”