New scoring mark at JF

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Cassidy Ratliff has put up more points than anyone else

By Mike Forster

Let's face it:  Jefferson Forest soccer is a powerhouse.

Indeed, the Cavs and Lady Cavs have been a major player in the state for a couple of decades.

During that time, a number of magnificent players have donned the black and red.

Guys like Jim and David Rochow, Adam Roscioli and Tim and Tyler Bullock.

On the ladies' side, you have notables such luminaries as Chelsea Hayes, Brittany Gallagher and Laura Golon.

But only one name can sit atop the list of most prolific scorers in Jefferson Forest soccer history.

And that name is Cassidy Ratliff, and she has posted 177 points for the varsity.

The scorin' senior notched three goals during last week's conference tournament win over Pulaski County.  That brought her even with, and then beyond, JF scoring legend DJ Jackson.

Jackson, who went on to star for the U.S. Naval Academy after racking up 175 points for Jefferson Forest, graduated from JF in 2009.

The girls' record had been held by Hayes, until Ratliff surmounted her total of 173 points.

Her 25 goals this season give her a career total of 75, to go along with 27 assists.  She now holds the school career marks in both goals and points.

Ratliff, who's as quick with a smile as she is with a dagger to her team's opponent, quickly brushed off any accolades associated with setting the school mark.

"It's great that I get a record," she noted.  "But it's not as important as advancing (in the playoffs)."

Indeed, this will be the last playoff run for the Radford-bound striker.  She seems to be having the most fun with this season.  "I like everything about the team," she said.  "Our energy is great, we get along and love playing with one another."

Speaking of energy, you'll see plenty of it as you watch number four make her patented, blistering dashes toward her foes' netting.  Speed has always been her trademark.  But that trait alone does not earn a player such a record.

Ratliff has grown into a superb ball control player and seems to sniff out opportunities to exploit weaknesses in opposition defenses.

She's on the field to score and she does plenty of it for JF.

And, even though Jefferson Forest has already had its graduation ceremony, Ratliff and her fellow seniors are still merrily teeing it up for the red and black despite classmates hitting the beach and getting ready for college.  "I stay focused by telling myself to play and help my friends succeed," she said.  "I don't want my senior year to end."

And who would, when there's a shot at a State title in the mix?