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Grant Nominated for Player of the Year

Hermitage High School senior linebacker Curtis Grant was named one of 16 nominees for the 2011 U.S. Army Player of the Year Award, considered high school football’s highest honor.  The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee made the announcement today.The award is given to the nation’s most outstanding high school football player.
 
Six finalists for the award will be announced on Dec. 1. The U.S. Army Player of the Year will be crowned during the U.S. Army Awards Dinner on Jan. 7, 2011, in San Antonio, where the winner will be presented with the Ken Hall Trophy, modeled after Ken “Sugar Land Express” Hall, high school football’s all-time leading rusher.

“Every U.S. Army All-American reflects the characteristics found in the Army Strong Soldier and possesses a mental, emotional and physical strength like no other,” said Col. Derik Crotts, Director of Strategic Communications, Marketing and Outreach, U.S. Army Accessions Command. “These 16 finalists have distinguished themselves even further through their on-field leadership.  We are proud to have them wear our Army Strong colors and to recognize them as U.S. Army Player of the Year Award nominees.”

Past winners include: 2001-Kevin Jones; 2002-Lorenzo Booker; 2003-Chris Leak; 2004-Adrian Peterson; 2005-Ryan Perrilloux; 2006-Mitch Mustain; 2007-Jimmy Clausen; 2008-Terrelle Pryor; 2009-Bryce Brown; and 2010-Dillon Baxter.

Grant will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the premier high school football game in the country held each January in the Alamodome in San Antonio. The game features the best high school football players in the nation and has helped launch the careers of Adrian Peterson, Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Michael Oher (from the movie “The Blind Side”), and many other college and NFL stars since its inception in 2001. Last year the U.S. Army All-American Bowl drew more than 34,000 fans to the Alamodome along with being the most watched sporting event on television over the weekend, besides the NFL Playoffs.
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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The Shepherd’s Center will begin its Open University four-week fall lecture series “Lunch and Life” at 12:30 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, 9505 Gayton Rd. Bill Lohmann, columnist for… Full text

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