RCHS Dedicates the Field


Baileigh Ramsey

The monument in front of the stadium honoring Drew Ross and Chase Prasnicki .

Baileigh Ramsey, Reporter


On Friday, Aug. 26, the school board of Rockbridge County Public Schools changed the name of RCHS’ football stadium to Prasnicki-Ross Field at Veteran Stadium. The field was named after these brave men because they were not only Rockbridge County High School graduates and athletes, but they were both killed in the line of duty defending our country. 

First Lieutenant Sergeant Chase Prasnicki graduated from RCHS in 2006, where he was a star quarterback. After graduation, Chase went on to the United States Military Academy at West Point where he also played football as quarterback and free safety. After graduating West Point in 2010, Chase completed FA BOLC (Field Artillery Basic Officers Leaders Course), Ranger, Airborne and Pathfinder school before taking his PLT (Platoon Leader Training). Chase served as a Platoon in Bull. 

In the summer of 2012, he was deployed to Maidan Shahr, Wardak Province, Afghanistan. On his third day in Afghanistan, June 27, 2012, Chase volunteered to go out on patrol where he was killed by an IED (improvised explosive device). 

Captain Andrew (Drew) P. Ross graduated from RCHS in 2007, where he was an excellent soccer player.

 “He could play with both feet. He had good training in Roanoke,” said Stephen Ross, Drew’s father. 

After graduation, Drew went to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Drew was assigned to Third Special Forces Group (Airborne), where he was a Special Forces detachment commander. Drew spent more than seven years in the Army. Drew was on his second overseas tour of duty on Nov. 27, 2018 when he was killed by an IED in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. Drew’s awards include Bronze Star Medal (OLC), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Combat Action Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, and Military FreeFall Parachutist Badge. After his death, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Combat Infantry Badge. 

Prior to kickoff, Superintendent of Rockbridge County Public Schools, Dr. Philip Thompson, greeted fans, students, and athletes. The families of the two fallen soldiers stood in center field as Chase Prasnicki and Drew Ross were remembered and honored by the playing of the National Anthem. 

Chase Prasnicki’s father, David Prasnicki, spoke about his experiences growing up in Rockbridge County. Prasnicki thanked the community for all the love and support shown to him and his family after Chase passed away. There were four things Prasnicki talked about that he learned from Chase. 

First, was to remain flexible, “This carried forward to him playing football at West Point, where at one point he had hoped to play quarterback,” said Prasnicki. “But by remaining flexible, he was open to the coach’s decision to move to free safety, a position that gave him playing time his senior year.” 

Second, was to support the whole team. “During some of his Rockbridge County High School celebrations, Chase would make sure all of his teammates felt as if they were part of the victory,” said Prasnicki. 

Prasnicki continued to say that Chase felt everyone in the community should celebrate their victories. The third lesson he learned from Chase was “leading from the front,” and the fourth lesson was “never second-guess yourself,” said David Prasnicki. 

“Chase loved Rockbridge County High School, football and this stadium, these were some of our best times spent here. So it means a lot to us.” said Arthur. 

Drew Ross’s sister Sarah Geisen spoke about Drew’s legacy and his love for Rockbridge County High School. She also requested a moment of silence for the 13 US troops killed in Afghanistan one year prior on August 26, 2021. 

“The biggest thing I want everybody to get out of seeing those names at the field every time is to know what perseverance is and to know what fortitude is,” said Geisen. 

In conclusion, Dr. Philip Thompson dedicated and renamed the Rockbridge County High School football field, “Prasnicki-Ross Field at Veterans Stadium.” VMI cadets raised the American Flag, Rockbridge County High School flag, and the Virginia State Flag as the National Anthem played.