Rod Branner was an outstanding tennis player for the Blue Streaks from 1986 through 1989. He was a starter all four years. As a freshman in 1986 he played #3 singles and #2 doubles on a team that won district and regional championships before losing to Blacksburg in the state semi-finals. As a junior, Rod played #1 singles and doubles and the team won the district championship, losing a tough 5 to 4 match to Handley in the regional finals. Rod ended his Blue Streak career in a blaze of glory, winning the state championship in both singles and doubles. He remains the only HHS boy’s tennis player to win the state singles championship since Jerry Wampler (HOF 2009) won his second title in 1973. In basketball, Rod was a key contributor as both a scorer and rebounder his junior and senior years. The 1989 team won the district and regional championships, losing in the state semi-finals.
After graduation from HHS, Rod attended the Technical College of the Low Country at Hilton Head, South Carolina, earning an Associate Degree in Business in 1992. He was a two year member of the school’s tennis team. Rod returned to Harrisonburg and has worked at Manheim Auto Auction for the past 20 years.