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scrımmageplay THE CENTRAL VIRGINIA SPORTS AUTHORITY

VOL 8. ISSUE 1 :: AUGUST 24, 2016

Let. It. Rain. The 2016 Football Preview PAGE 7


Success stories begin here.

Success Story: John Dorsey Getting knocked down and getting back up is one of the great signs of success. A Fork Union graduate in 1980, John Dorsey went on to start at linebacker at Connecticut before becoming a fourth round pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 1984 NFL Draft. However, a freak injury to his knee while warming up for the Packers’ season opener in 1989 ended his playing days well short of where they should have been. Dorsey stayed on his path to have a career in the NFL though. He started anew as a college scout for the Packers and within six years was the head of the department. In 1999 he took the job as Director of Player Personnel for the Seattle Seahawks. A year later he returned to his old post at Green Bay. It was Dorsey who played an instrumental role in landing future star quarterback

Aaron Rodgers with the 24th pick in the 2005 draft. Dorsey built a name for himself by helping on that selection and other notable picks such as Greg Jennings out of Western Michigan, B.J. Raji out of Boston College and USC’s Clay Mathews. In 2013 Dorsey reunited with Andy Reid who he worked with when he first got started in Green Bay. Dorsey was named the just the sixth General Manager in Kansas City Chiefs history with Reid getting tabbed as the head coach. This summer, Dorsey was inducted into the Fork Union Sports Hall of Fame, celebrating an already tremendous career for the NFL executive. It’s been a long road for Dorsey since his time at Fork Union, but through persistence and hard work, his life in the NFL is still thriving almost 30 years after it began.

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scrımmageplay the central virginia sports authority

x’s and o’s

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06

COLLEGE UPDATE WFS’s Martini thriving at Notre Dame

07

RAIN MAKERS Our annual football preview for 2016

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WOULD YOU RATHER A game tackling the dilemma’s this fall presents

Let. It. Rain. VOL 8 . ISSUE 1 :: AUGUST 24, 2016

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THE PRIVATE PITCH Covenant and STAB soccer on the rise

vol 8. issue 1 :: August 24, 2016

The 2016 Football Preview page 7

S TA F F Bart Isley, Creative Director Bob Isley, Infrastructure Director Ryan Yemen, Creative Editor O N T H E COV E R Left to right: Joe Stephenson, Job Whalen, Noah Crutchfield, Tyquan Rose, Isiah Smith M I S S I O N S TAT E M E N T Local sports are the lifeblood of every community in America, and we’re here to reach beyond the basics and give compelling accounts about Central Virginia athletes to our readers. CO N TAC T U S [ e ] info@scrimmageplay.com [ p ] 434-202-0553

Community Partnership

Working hand in hand with Red Shoes Cville to support the Ronald McDonald House of Charlottesville. Choose the Red Shoes Cville special at www.papajohns.com


PREGAME

Checking in

Western Albemarle receiver Victor Becerra sets up at the line of scrimmage and checks with an official during the Warriors’ benefit exhibition game with Culpeper. With just a few days before kickoff, the scrimmages and exhibition games on August 19 marked the end of most training camps with the season starting on August 26. To read about each and every team’s prospects in 2016, flip over to our annual football preview on page 7 which features in-depth looks at all 17 squads. ✖ (Photo by Bart Isley)

03 :: @scrimmageplay


TEAM SPOTLIGHT LUCIA HOERR BACKPACK BUDDIES A junior at St. Anne’s-Belfield who plays squash, Lucia Hoerr founded “Backpack Buddies” seven years ago. Her non-profit organization provides school supplies for underprivileged children in Central Virginia. In 2010 she started with 61 backpacks. This year she filled 477. She’s stuffed 1,479 of them since she started. Be proud Lucia! “Backpack Buddies” is a fantastic charity and one that’s clearly just hitting its stride. Keep up the good work!

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BEST OF LUCK

to our 2016 student athletes as they embark on their college careers. Pierce Bower Zach Caton Annie Cory Javin DeLaurier Caroline DiGiacomo Jalen Harrison Maddie Hunter Brian Hynes Kareem Johnson George Marshall Matt McHugh Polly McNeely Bobby Nicholson Samuel Piller Kaitlin Reese Josh Reiss Phillip Robertson Mailynn Steppe Ashley Taylor Fitz Woodrow John Woodson

Men’s Lacrosse Men’s Lacrosse Women’s Lacrosse Men’s Basketball Women’s Lacrosse Baseball Women’s Lacrosse and Cross Country Swimming Football Men’s Lacrosse Swimming Track & Field Baseball Men’s Squash Women’s Squash Men’s Lacrosse Men’s Lacrosse Women’s Lacrosse Women’s Basketball Golf Football

Lynchburg College Mary Washington Princeton University Duke University University of Denver University of Virginia Davidson College Davidson College William & Mary Elizabethtown College Denison University Colorado College University of Virginia Connecticut College Haverford College Lehigh University Princeton University Virginia Tech William & Mary College of Charleston Shenandoah University

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First Quarter

The private pitch

STAB and Covenant soccer look to build on 2015 By Bart Isley

S

Covenant’s Alex Wilcox celebrates a goal. (Ashley Thornton)

{ OFFENSIVE SPARK } Alex Wilcox’s numbers from 2015.

10

9

05 :: @scrimmageplay

K AR A EL DER

AS S ISTS

G OAL S

GAMES PL AYED

5

ometimes a season that ends in the state quarterfinals can serve as a catapult to bigger and better things. Often a program is just a year away from taking things up a notch.

Last season both St. Anne’s-Belfield and Covenant’s boys soccer programs wedged their way into the state tournament quarterfinals, with the Saints reeling off a strong 11-3-4 campaign while the Eagles played a tough schedule and finished 8-9-4, which was good enough to face Eastern Mennonite where they fell. For both teams, there’s reason to think that could be a springboard into 2016. Each squad has some impressive returners and some new faces that could also make a difference. Covenant brings back a pack of players after starting five sophomores at times last year and that gives head coach Bryan Verbrugge reason to believe the Eagles could put together a strong run. Senior Noah Hollis returns as the Eagles holding center mid while junior Alex Wilcox slots back in as the attacking center mid. That’s a huge boost for the Eagles right out of the gate, giving them serious stability in the midfield as they try and replace Michael Colberg and Clark Gathright, two players who contributed to the 2013 state championship team as sophomores. Hollis and Wilcox should be strong, however, and could give Covenant the kind of control and possession it needs to be successful. Micah Scott, a junior, returns as a wing midfielder and senior Craig Van Dyke will be back in net for Covenant. Lacrosse standout Okleigh Archer also joins the team as a senior, and his athleticism could be a factor. The Eagles have struggled at times the last couple of years to put the ball in net and this

year, finding a striker or two is crucial. A go-to scorer hasn’t emerged just yet, but it’s one of the few missing pieces. STAB, under the direction of Rob Lane who is in his sixth season, brings back 12 varsity players including seven starters, led by the Saints’ striker Alex Bertone, who earned first team All-Scrimmage Play honors last season as a junior while scoring 16 goals and six assists. Bertone is a particularly dangerous forward, and he could cause problems for opposing back lines all season long, particularly if the Saints are able to establish a second attacking option to keep defenses honest. The Saints’ experience rests largely in the midfield where senior central midfielder Evan Trebour returns after scoring five goals and notching six assists a year ago. Trebour’s return should boost the Saints ability to possess and control the midfield. The Saints’ central defender in 2015, Jacob Hegemier, graduated along with outside midfielder Hank Gregg and two other defenders. That’ll leave a big gap in the back line. Freshman Gianni Maltese and junior Michael Babbott could play defensive roles to help shore things up, but if the Saints can get the attack going early in the year with Bertone, that could be a huge lift for the defense that’ll just be settling in. Both STAB and Covenant are looking to build on last year and while they’ll face different challenges as the Saints rebuild the defense and the Eagles look for an attack, there’s a lot of reason to be intrigued by both Covenant and STAB’s potential in 2016. ✖

go online »

For more boy’s soccer coverage head over to our website at: www.scrimmageplay.com.


College Update

We’ve gone digital But you can have it in print too!

Woodberry graduate finding form at Notre Dame By Bart Isley Greer Martini isn’t an athlete who plays football. He is a football player. Sure he’s got a lot of the raw athletic tools, that was obvious when the Woodberry Forest alum earned allstate honors as just a sophomore and contributed to the baseball and basketball programs. But it has been Martini’s dedication to his craft and his unrelenting work ethic that have helped turn a player that absorbed some unfair, baseless criticism from recruiting outlets when he signed with the Irish (one analyst said he would be most helpful in bringing along some of his teammates) into the squad’s starting weakside linebacker. Martini has played his way into a starting linebacker spot for the Irish a year after starting two games while splitting time at the strongside slot. He finished with 35 tackles last year for the nation’s 10th-ranked squad that went 10-3, most of them against the option where he’s emerged as a specialist against teams like Georgia Tech and Navy (his two starts). Now he’ll move over to the “Will” where he faced some more doubts from program outsiders who said he wasn’t as strong or fast as

teammates competing for the same spot. Still, heading into the season, it’s Martini that’s at the top of the depth chart replacing AllAmerican and second round Dallas Cowboys selection Jaylon Smith. Being versatile is sometimes an underrated virtue. It’s a sort of bias against becoming a jack of all trades, master of none. Martini is proof that versatility, which springs from an in-depth knowledge of the game, an understanding of how football works, is a big-time advantage. It’s why teammate Nyles Morgan apparently calls Martini The Plumber according to the South Bend Tribune. “You can stick Greer anywhere, he’ll do the job,” Morgan told the Tribune. In the process he’s proven exactly what Notre Dame’s coaching staff saw in him as the first commitment in the class of 2014 to be true. Martini’s instincts and approach can overcome whatever perceived shortcomings he’s faced with. He’s made a habit of proving outsiders wrong and coaches right in South Bend and now he’s got a chance to make a huge impact this season as part of the starting lineup. ✖

BELOW » Woodberry almunus Greer Martini has earned a starting role as a linebacker for the Fighting Irish. (Notre Dame sports information)

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06


rain makers

the 2016 football preview STORIES BY BART ISLEY AND RYAN YEMEN — PORTRAITS BY JOHN BERRY 7 :: @scrimmageplay


WA SHE DA WA Y, T H

E SL

ATE OF 20

15 I S

BLA NK

= IN 2016

EVERYONE

IS STARTING

FRESH. THERE

ARE NO RECORDS.

EACH TEAM AND FAN

BASE BEGINS THE YEAR

WITH THE SAME MINDSET — TO

MAKE THIS CAMPAIGN, THIS SEASON

STAND OUT FROM THE REST. BUT TALK

IS CHEAP. IT TAKES PLAYMAKERS. IT TAKES ROLE PLAYERS. IT TAKES LUCKY BOUNCES. IT

TAKES CHEMISTRY. ALL THE CATCHY CLICHES ABOUT FOOTBALL EXIST FOR A REASON, AND IT IS BECAUSE

ALL TOO MANY OF THEM ARE TRUE. BUT WHEN YOUR TEAM

IS IN DIRE STRAITS, SOMETIMES THERE’S A PLAYER THAT RISES

ABOVE, SOMEONE WHO CREATES A STORM AND DOES SOMETHING THAT SHOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE, SOMETHING THAT SHOULD NOT BE

HAPPENING IN THIS GAME. THOSE ARE THE RAIN MAKERS. THOSE ARE THE SPOILERS. THEY BREAK UP THE PARTY AND RAIN ON THE PARADE. THEY BRING THEIR TEAMS BACK TO WIN GAMES THEIR TEAM SHOULD NOT, AND THEY MAKE THE PLAYS THAT PUT GAMES AWAY. THEY WIN. CALL THEM BY ANY NAME YOU WANT. WHAT THEY ARE IS THE REASON YOU PLAY EVERY SECOND OF EVERY GAME.

www.scrimmageplay.com :: 08


ALBEMARLE

PATRIOTS

JEFFERSON DISTRICT, 2015 RECORD: 6-5 8/26 9/2 9/16 9/23 9/30 10/7 10/14 10/21 10/28 11/4

vs. @ @ @ vs. @ vs. @ vs. vs.

Brookville Kettle Run Patrick Henry Louisa County Orange County Charlottesville Fluvanna County Powhatan Monticello Western Albemarle

WHO’S GONE: NEMO LESESANE (DT), ETHAN BLUNDIN (WR), JESUS LAZO (OL), ROONEY TURAY (RB), J.T. SHORTEN (LB) WHO’S BACK: J’QUAN ANDERSON (QB, PICTURED BELOW), TYQUAN ROSE (WR/KR), BROCK SHORTEN (LB), ZYKAL FOSTER (LB), JA’KEL JOHNSON (OL/DL), KHARI WYNN (LB) WHO’S NEW: STEPHEN YODER (RB), MARQUAN JONES (DB), KRIS ANDERSON (DB)

BUCKINGHAM COUNTY

KNIGHTS

JAMES RIVER DISTRICT, 2015 RECORD: 10-2 8/29 9/5 9/12 9/19 9/26 10/3 10/17 10/24 10/31 11/7

@ vs. @ vs. @ vs. @ vs. vs. @

Appomattox Chatham William Campbell Nottoway Central Lunenburg Bluestone Goochland Amelia County Randolph-Henry Prince Edward

WHO’S GONE: MICHAEL MABRY (TE/DL), LEON RAGLAND (RB/DB), DYZHAWN PERKINS (OL/DL) WHO’S BACK: RAJHEEM HOLMAN (RB/DB, PITCTURED BELOW), TYRESE AYRES (QB/WR/ DB), DANIEL BRICKHILL (QB/WR), BRYCEN NEWBY (OL/DL), NICHOLAS HARTWELL (OL/DL) WHO’S NEW: TYLER GROOMS (DB), KYAIRE CHAMBERS (RB/LB)

9 :: @scrimmageplay

Patriots set to spread it around It’s year three for coach Brandon Isaiah and it’s clear that he expects the Patriots to take the next step. The improvement from 2014 to 2015 was substantial. Albemarle had its moments last year, but struggled down the stretch. With so many playmakers back in the mix, the Patriots are ready to make some noise in the Jefferson District. This team is at a bit of a crossroads where it’s time to ante up. The strength out of the gates for Albemarle is the shear number of talented skill position players. There’s depth at running back between slasher Jamal Thompson and pounder Brock Shorten, and Steven Yoder fits in to make a difference at either back or slot receiver. The big name back on this offense is Tyquan Rose, who might have had the biggest breakout year in all of Central Virginia in 2015. Lacrosse standout Lorenz Brown, who’s back playing football again as a receiver gives this corps yet another flyer on the outside. With a long roster, Isaiah and his staff plan on distributing both reps and production as far as they can to take advantage of the depth they have. This won’t be a one or two trick show. In charge of pulling it off is J’Quan Anderson.

The second-year starter at quarterback is a dual threat and a year wiser now as a junior. He’ll be protected by Ja’Kel Johnson and a group of juniors and sophomores, four of whom saw substantial playing time last year. Look for Ricky Zeller, a 6-foot-4 sophomore to make a big impact as a newcomer up front. On the other side of the ball, the loss of Nemo Lesasane is tough, but Zykal Foster was a revelation as an every down linebacker lst sesaon. Look for Jamonte Howze to make a difference in the middle on the defensive line. At middle linebacker, the Patriots have a solid presence with Teshawn Massie and David Tomlin and Khari Wynn round out the corps. Unsurprisingly, the Albemarle secondary is gifted with potential newcomers in sophomore Marquan Jones and junior Kris Anderson highlighting things early in camp. This is an interesting year for Albemarle as it’s poised to be one of the toughest matchups in the Jefferson District. For Isaiah, it’s about this group of playmakers’ potential being realized. The Patriots have a little bit of experimenting to do early on, but all the pieces to be very dangerous come October and November. ✖

Knights ready to move forward No team, and we mean no team, faced the adversity that Buckingham did this past offseason. The deaths of former player Dyzhawn Perkins and former coach Craig Gill in February and July respectively, cannot be overstated in a tight knit community like the one in Dillwyn. As such, first-year coach Josh Wallace faces quite the challenge in getting things back to normal in what has been a football town for a long time. Of course, building that community back up is made even tougher when you have three returning starters and a group of young talent trying to replace some very, very skilled athletes who graduated. In his pistol offense, Wallace is looking at Daniel Brickhill at quarterback as he got a number of reps at that position last year. However, Tyrese Ayres, younger brother of former Knights celebrated quarterback Tarian Ayres, also remains an option. But if things go to plan, it will be Brickhill throwing to Ayres who has the speed and athleticism this receiving corps needs. Jarvis Bowles will add depth at receiver. Replacing Leon Ragland at running back is huge. Rajheem Holman is one of the returnees and the Knights are counting on him to tote the ball. He’ll

get help from Kyaire Chambers who’s new at running back. With a roster that is a bit smaller numbers than usual thanks to void left by the Class of 2016, the offensive and defensive line are big focal points. With All-State talent Michael Mabry gone, Buckingham will lean on Sean Ayres, Nicholas Hartwell and Brycen Newby to lead the way on both sides of the ball in the trenches. The secondary should be solid with Tyrese Ayres, Bowles, Daquarius Holman and William Davis. Tyler Grooms, another newcomer for Buckingham, has had a solid camp and will make a difference at safety. Chambers and Ray Monroe will lead the linebacking corps with help from Javon Jones and Malik Rollis. At the end of the day, this is a rebuild in so many ways from a new coach coming in to so many new players taking over starting positions. The Knights will look to start on getting back to the family mentality that made the last seven seasons so successful. After that, the chips will fall one by one for a school that’s been one of the most consistent in Central Virginia. ✖

CHARLOTTESVILLE FOOTBALL


TYQ UAN ALB EM ROSE ARL E, S R.

= Sometimes when you look to the sky as a storm rolls in, you can just tell that lightning is about to strike. When Albemarle football’s Tyquan Rose gets the ball in his hands, there’s a similar electricity in the air. It just seems like something is going to happen. It seems like the rain, the thunder, the lightning is there. Rose is a fascinating player because he’s incredibly fast and he has a nose for the end zone. You see those pure instincts in the kicking game, where he’s six points waiting to happen on the return (three return touchdowns last year). You see it when Albemarle tries to get it in his hands on end arounds or reverses or slip screens. The faster the ball travels from the center’s hand to the quarterback’s hand to Rose’s fingertips the better because that’s when the lightning starts flashing. ✖

www.scrimmageplay.com :: 10


ACADEMIC EDGE

S P O N S O R E D

B Y

H A R G R AV E

M I L I TA R Y

A C A D E M Y

MONTICELLO’S SARAH ALBERTS

Monticello field hockey’s Sarah Alberts has a knack for prioritizing, and when you’re trying to keep as many balls in the air as Alberts is, that’s a necessity. “She utilizes down time before games to get as much work done as possible and has a good grasp on when she needs to put being a student first,” said Monticello coach Katie Martin. That prioritizing has helped Alberts put together a 4.7 GPA in MHS’s Health and Medical Sciences Academy while also playing a role as a key defender and senior leader for the Mustangs. She’s also a member of the Key Club, Monticello Mentors as well as the the Spanish, Math and National Honor Societies. She works at the Glenmore Tennis Shop, participates inYoungLife and is involved in her church youth group. Like we said, she has to prioritize, and that’s allowed her to maximize her potential as a student athlete.

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1-800-432-2480 | WWW.HARGRAVE.EDU I M P R O V E D G R A D E S / 1 0 0 % C O L L E G E A C C E P TA N C E F I N D U S O N FA C E B O O K


Black Knights set to run hard Eric Sherry loves the triple option, and this year, given he returns his entire starting offensive line from last year and has the horses in the stall to tote the ball, it looks like he’ll finally have Charlottesville running the version of the offense that worked so well when Sherry was a part of the program at Massaponax. It starts up front. Seniors J.D. Buchholz and Zavion Johnson lead an experienced line that has two years worth of starters at all five positions. If this unit stays healthy, the Black Knights usual bevy of playmakers are going to have breakout seasons. At quarterback the Knights have a duo of Rakeem Davis and Sam Neale who are both great at making reads. Davis adds an extra element of athleticism, but having two capable quarterbacks is huge for a team that’s been bitten by injuries at the position in years past. It’ll be up to them to decide when to use the most physically intimidating running back that Sherry’s ever had since he arrived. Sophomore Sabias Folley is 5-foot-10, 250 pounds and runs hard and fast. Pairing him with Lorenzo Louderback who also returns at running back give the Black Knights the trio they need to pull off the

option and a more than capable offensive line to make the holes. Should the Black Knights turn to the air, Tre Durrett and Cam Brown return at receiver and are joined by sophomore newcomer Tyree Carter. Davis and Neal will round out the receiving corps depending on how things play out at quarterback. Defensively, Charlottesville has a lot of its offensive line playing both sides of the ball along with Larry Henderson and Tajon Bryant. Sadarius Folley leads the linebacking corps. The Knights have a strong secondary with Durrett, Neil, Brown helping out Carter and Mitchell Temple, another newcomer. Also look for X’Zavier Stinnie to play a big role. Over the last two seasons, the Black Knights defense has been a team strength and if it can find the same form it had previously — which is entirely possible given how many returning starters are back — then things should be looking up given the improvements on offense. Turnovers were costly last year and the Black Knights played in a lot of close games, but just could not get over the hump. This roster has the talent, if they stay mostly healthy, to make some serious noise this year. At the very least, they’re certainly going to be a tough out all year. ✖

Flucos look to end drought Fluvanna County’s football program needs a spark. The Flucos have been searching for a jolt of energy for years and have mostly come up empty, with occasional smolderings like a 4-6 record in 2010 and Dashon Tibbs giving the offense life in 2012 never carrying over. They need something after a winless 2015. Could this be the year that the spark happens? The Flucos are certainly hoping so and they’ve got a bunch of experienced starters back in the mix hoping to be the group that turns that tide. A host of seniors will line up for the Flucos led by Mark Grooms, who has been a fixture in the lineup for the Flucos the last four years, moving back and forth between running back and quarterback. He’ll play quarterback again this season, running a newlyinstalled, multiple-set offense that puts him in the pistol or gun a lot. Grooms is a strong, rugged runner and a capable passer. When paired with sophomore Nate Smith and senior Craig Russo at tailback, it’s a potentially formidable two-man backfield. The Flucos are still searching for go-to wideouts for Grooms, though Antonio Washington is an explosive athlete and Michael Mondragon has shown potential. When

the Flucos use a tight end, Joey VanDyke will likely get a chance to catch passes from Grooms. A wellseasoned offensive line will protect those skill position players, with center Jake Searcy, tackles Jake Morris and Chase Payne part of a group that returns intact from last year. Defense has been an Achilles’ heel for the Flucos even in years where the offense has produced, but Fluvanna has a solid core back in the mix on that side of the ball. In addition to his duties at tailback, Russo will also play a big role defensively, calling strength and signals for Fluvanna while Ian Dillan and Jordan Melton will look to handle things at safety. Washington and Mondragon will try to clamp down on opposing wideouts at corner. Cole Craig and Zach Hartzog, who round out that offensive line group, will look to anchor the edge as outside linebackers who often play right up on the line of scrimmage. Searcy, Morris and Payne will factor into the defensive line mix. Maybe that spark is coming this year. Or sometime in the near future. The Flucos are certainly working to make it happen each day. It’s only a matter of time. ✖

CHARLOTTESVILLE

BLACK KNIGHTS JEFFERSON DISTRICT, 2015 RECORD: 3-7 8/26 9/9 9/16 9/23 9/30 10/7 10/14 10/21 10/28 11/4

vs. @ vs. @ @ vs. vs. @ @ vs.

Dominion Harrisonburg William Monroe Fluvanna County Monticello Albemarle Powhatan Orange County Western Albemarle Louisa County

WHO’S GONE: RASHAD BROCK (RB) WHO’S BACK: SABIAS FOLLEY (RB, PICTURED BELOW), ZAVION JOHNSON (OL/DL), J.D. BUCKHOLZ (OL/DL), RAKEEM DAVIS (QB/DB), SAM NEALE (QB), SADARIUS FOLLEY (LB), TRE DURRETT (WR/DB), LORENZO LOUDERBACK (RB/LB), X’ZAVIER STINNIE (DB) WHO’S NEW: TYREE CARTER (WR/DB)

FLUVANNA COUNTY

FLYIN’ FLUCOS JEFFERSON DISTRICT, 2015 RECORD: 0-10 8/26 9/2 9/16 9/23 9/30 10/7 10/14 10/21 10/28 11/4

@ vs. @ vs. @ vs. @ vs. vs. @

Freedom Spotsylvania Culpeper Charlottesville Louisa County Monticello Albemarle Western Albemarle Powhatan Orange County

WHO’S GONE: JAY AMOS (WR/DB/KR), GAVIN PATRICK (QB) WHO’S BACK: MARK GROOMS, (QB, PICTURED BELOW), JUD SEARCY (OL/DL), CRAIG RUSSO (RB/LB), ANTONIO WASHINGTON (WR/DB/KR), COLE CRAIG (OL/LB), ZACH HARTZOG (OL/LB) WHO’S NEW: NATE SMITH (RB)

www.scrimmageplay.com :: 12


GOOCHLAND

BULLDOGS JAMES RIVER DISTRICT, 2015 RECORD: 8-4 8/26 9/2 9/9 9/16 9/23 9/30 10/7 10/14 10/21 10/28

vs. vs. @ vs. @ vs. vs. @ vs. @

Essex Fork Union Amelia County R.E. Lee Randolph Henry Prince Edward Buckingham County Nottoway Central Lunenburg Bluestone

WHO’S GONE: REID CHENAULT (QB), AKIA TIMBERLAKE (DL) WHO’S BACK: CLAY BROOKS, (DL, PICTURED BELOW), CORDELL MATTOX (RB/ DB), MARCUS BURTON (RB/LB), RICKY MAYFIELD (DL), CALVIN MARTIN (RB/DB) WHO’S NEW: TANNER BRADSHAW (QB), MARQUALL CHENNAULT (DL)

LOUISA COUNTY

LIONS

JEFFERSON DISTRICT, 2015 RECORD: 6-5 8/26 9/9 9/16 9/23 9/30 10/7 10/14 10/21 10/28 11/4

@ vs. vs. vs. vs. @ @ @ vs. @

Sherando Courtland King George Albemarle Fluvanna County Powhatan Western Albemarle Monticello Orange County Charlottesville

WHO’S GONE: BRANDON TOWNES (OL/DL), NOAH VERLING (OL/DL), MALIK JOHNSON (OL/DL) WHO’S BACK: MALIK MINOR (DB, PICTURED BELOW), JOB WHALEN (RB), MALIK BELL (QB), QUINTON RAGLAND (OL/DL) WHO’S NEW: BRANDON SMITH (WR/DB), AUSTIN SIMS (LB)

13 :: @scrimmageplay

Bulldogs getting back to their roots Goochland hasn’t looked exactly like itself the last couple of years. It hasn’t shown up in the win column — the traditional powerhouse went 9-3 and 8-4 in 2014 and 2015, but Goochland’s offense has been tailored more around quarterback Reid Chenault, a signal-caller that earned that kind of adjustment and reset all the program’s passing records. This year it’s back to business for the Bulldogs as they’re poised to return to a more typical wing-T attack with an array of running backs all capable of making opposing defenses pay. Cordell Mattox, Marcus Burton (559 yards and seven TDs in 2015) and Calvin Martin (847 yards and three TDs in 2015) should headline while Cole Nuckols and John King could provide a spark as well. Mattox is moving over from wideout, where he averaged nearly 40 yards per catch last year. He’s a gamebreaker that the Bulldogs want to find more touches for, hence the move. That group of playmakers and returning starters Josh Clarke and Ethan Kopczynski on the offensive line should ease the transition of first-year starting quarterback Tanner Bradshaw. Bradshaw emerged as a tough-minded all-state pitcher during the spring and at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds should be up for the rigors of running the Bulldogs’ attack.

While the Bulldogs return seven starters on defense, there’s no doubt that Ricky Mayfield and Clay Brooks are the key pieces. The two standout defensive ends help Goochland set the edge on both sides of the formation, making life tough for opponents who want to get to the outside and into open space. A pair of unknowns enter the mix at defensive tackle, but Christian Drumheller and Marquall Chennault have shown promise and could develop into big-time run-stoppers. Matt Marks also returns at linebacker, but it’s the secondary that’s packed with other returners as Mattox, King, Nuckols and Martin all can fly around in the passing game and make stops against the run. Joining them is a freshman Devin McCray at safety who appears set to become a household name over the next few years. It’s obviously too early for Jordan Jefferson comparisons, but the Virginia Tech wideout was the last freshman that played a huge role in the Bulldogs’ secondary. The question now becomes can this version of the Bulldogs put together a playoff run? That’s something that’s the expectation at a program that hasn’t missed the playoffs since 2003. If they stay healthy, the Bulldogs could well be playing deep into the fall. ✖

Lions ready to slash and grind Jordan Cherry is a tremendous, selfless leader. The Louisa County senior is shifting over to a slot back role this year after starting much of 2015 as a quarterback. Cherry hasn’t sulked about that change, and his teammates have noticed, making him a unanimous choice for one of the squad’s team captains. That’s exactly the mix of approach, attitude and ability that has the coaching staff excited about the 2016 campaign. Louisa is blending together a huge crop of talented juniors and sophomores with a solid, heady group of seniors. That’s opening the door for a potentially huge campaign for the Lions. Louisa should be stout defensively where head coach Mark Fischer will be calling the shots after years coordinating the offense. The graduation of Noah Verling, Brandon Townes and Malik Johnson will be felt, but Quinton Ragland and Anthony Thurston appear set to slot in as defensive ends. Ragland moves over from nose tackle and checking in at 6-foot-5, 278 pounds while Thurston is 6-foot-6, 260 pounds. Behind them they’ve got a tremendous middle linebacker in Devante Shelton who’s got bigtime range and a nose for the ball and freshman Austin Sims was making a push at weakside linebacker

early in camp. On the back end, Malik Minor is one of the area’s best cornerbacks capable of locking down opposing wideouts or shutting off an entire side of the field in the aerial attack. Cherry should also play a key role in the secondary. On offense the Lions will likely employ a heavy dose of Job Whalen who rushed for more than 1,400 yards as a junior. He’ll run behind a smaller, but quicker offensive line that Fischer said is packed with technicians, including junior Cody Henline. That kind of unit has been a hallmark of successful ground games before in Mineral. The Lions can also turn to Malik Bell who takes over at quarterback and is a 6-foot-1, 243-pound wrecking ball as well as Raquan Jones and Shelton, who has worked his way into the opportunity to snag some carries this year. Cherry is also a potential runner out of the slot and along with sophomore newcomer Brandon Smith should provide Bell with options in the passing game. Smith is tall and could develop into the kind of deep threat that helps open up the ground game. Louisa has a lot of the right pieces and the right mentality to make 2016 a memorable campaign. Now comes the hard part — making it happen. ✖


JOB W LOU HALE N ISA COU NTY ,

JR.

= Louisa County’s Job Whalen is a hurricane force wind when he runs the ball — he starts fast and he doesn’t stop until he’s knocked down or blown past everything in his path. He’s exactly the kind of one-cut-and-go back that thrives in the Lions’ single wing system. There’s a lot to live up to over the last decade and a half if you’re the running back at Louisa County from Todd Shelton on up to Andre Mealy. Whalen proved he was worthy of that mantle as just a sophomore, rushing for nearly 1,500 yards at a clip of 6.6 yards per carry. He’s nearly crossed the 2,000-yard career mark after contributing as a freshman and he hasn’t made a single carry as a junior. Louisa is going to put the ball in his capable hands this year early and often, and Whalen is ready to make landfall. ✖

www.scrimmageplay.com :: 14


M A D I S O N CO U N T Y

MOUNTAINEERS BULL RUN DISTRICT, 2015 RECORD: 2-8

8/26 9/2 9/9 9/23 9/30 10/7 10/14 10/21 10/28 11/4

@ vs. vs. vs. @ @ vs. @ vs. @

King William Luray East Rockingham Warren County Riverside Central Woodstock William Monroe Strasburg George Mason Clarke County

WHO’S GONE: GABE FARMER (RB) WHO’S BACK: CHRIS SMITH (QB, PICTURED BELOW), ISIAH SMITH (RB/DB), CHRIS SMITH (QB), DYLAN BREEDEN (TE/DL), DRE TWYMAN (WR/DB) ISAIAH BRECKENRIDGE (LB) WHO’S NEW: MICHAEL JONES (OL/DL), WILLIAM GRAVES (OL/DL), DALTON DODSON (OL/DL)

MONTICELLO

MUSTANGS

JEFFERSON DISTRICT, 2015 RECORD: 8-4 8/26 9/9 9/16 9/23 9/30 10/7 10/14 10/21 10/28 11/4

vs. vs. vs. @ vs. @ @ vs. @ vs.

Cesar Shaves Turner Ashby Spotswood Western Albemarle Charlottesville Fluvanna County Orange County Louisa County Albemarle Powhatan

WHO’S GONE: TONY TALBERT (LB), BRYCE MCGLOTHLIN (DL), DARIAN BATES (RB), MICHAEL CRENSHAW (DB) WHO’S BACK: KEVIN JARRELL (QB, PICTURED BELOW), TREVOR HAISLIP (OL), JERRICK AYERS (RB/DB), AUSTIN HAVERSTROM (WR/DB), EVAN COLEMAN (WR/DB) WHO’S NEW: IOSEFA PAU’AULI (RB/LB)

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Mountaineers ready to climb up The final results of the 2015 season were hardly what Madison County is used to. The Mountaineers struggled to close out games. With five of the team’s eight losses coming in the last three minutes of play, a roster that returns nearly everyone from last season has the Mountaineers looking to have a breakout campaign in 2016. The talent that’s made Madison dangerous is all back. Chris Smith enters his senior year as secondyear starter at quarterback, and the athletic quarterback should be substantially more effective getting the ball down the field now that he’s more comfortable in the offense. He has a dynamic running back behind him in Isiah Smith. Dre Twyman is no longer a shifty young receiver but a tall and physically gifted one who can burn secondaries with his legs but has the frame and strength to be effective all over the field. Dylan Breeden is a safety valve as a large, senior tight end. So the tools are there. Of course, the biggest thing for Madison is giving Smith and Smith the blocking up front to make things happen. With Michael Jones, a transfer from Maryland, William Graves and Dalton Dodson, the Mountaineers have a young offensive line with a lot of potential going forward.

As is always the case with a small school, Madison will play a lot of starters on both sides of the ball. With Twyman and Isiah Smith and Jamar Turner all back in the secondary and newcomer Matt Lewis, they are in great shape there. Breeden and Jake Price lead the way on the defensive line with slew of young talent looking to fill in. At linebacker, Isaiah Breckenridge returns and anchors the middle of the defense. The Mountaineers will have to lean on youth to round out their tacklers as they graduated Bernard Wise and Bradley Merryman. Should this defense take strides forward this year, it will make a huge difference down the stretch as physical running teams found a way to wear the Mountaineers down. But this group has all the pieces to be much better. The bottom line for Madison is that they have a group of playmakers to be quite competitive in the Bull Run District and return to playoff form. This offense has always been dangerous with Isiah Smith and Twyman. Should Chris Smith have a big year and the defense rise to the occasion, this team could earn a solid seed in the the playoffs come November. That’s a big improvement from last year and the kind of production that the Madison faithful is more accustomed to seeing in fall. ✖

Mustangs saddle up new talent The first year is often the hardest for an incoming coach. But with Monticello getting over some early and mid-season struggles to finish the regular season strong before beating Waynesboro in the Region 3A playoffs, well Jeff Lloyd is just getting warmed. Which begs the question, what does he have in plan for year two after a full offseason to prepare? With the loss of 12 seniors from last year’s team, the task looks tall, but a group of seniors and juniors have been waiting for this opportunity. Having junior Kevin Jarrell back in this offseason as a second-year starting quarterback is huge. The most polished passing quarterback in the Jefferson District is now well-acquainted with Lloyd’s spread offense and he showed a lot of potential last season. With an anchor at left tackle in Trevor Haislip, Caleb Bouw and Danny Talbert, the Mustangs have a solid unit up front to protect Jarrell. Jarrell has an agile, shifty receiver in Austin Haverstrom that will allow the Mustangs to stretch the field. With Jerrick Ayers taking over for Darian Bates in the backfield, Monticello will look to continue its history of cranking out one productive running back after another,

a lineage that stretches deep into MHS history with Takeem Hedgeman, Isaac Robinson, TJ Tillery and Kyree Koonce among the luminaries. Fork Union transfer Iosefa Pau’Auli could provide a big jolt as well as a sophomore running back. Defensively, the loss of defensive lineman Bryce McGlothlin is a big void to fill, but Talbert should play a large role by causing havoc up front along with Christian Means and Elliot Curry. Look for Pau’Auli to provide depth at linebacker for unit led by William Pistulka and Ben Riley. The biggest task defensively is in the secondary where Haverstrom is the lone returning starter with Michael Crenshaw and company graduating. Look for a breakout year by senior Evan Coleman who’s been waiting patiently for a starting role at corner. Yes Monticello has a lot of different pieces this year, but they are solid additions. And Lloyd’s coaching record doesn’t sit at .643 with 134 wins by accident. Considering he built Kettle Run from the ground up before coming to Monticello, it’s clear that reworking systems is his forte, and in this case, Monticello could well be steps ahead of last year despite so many losses from the 2015 roster. ✖


ISIA HS M MA DIS ITH ON COU NTY ,

SR.

= A storm cell doesn’t have to be big to do a lot of damage. A playmaker doesn’t have to be 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds to wreak havoc either. Isiah Smith checks in at 5-foot-8, 165 pounds, but when you’ve got the wheels and shake that he does, that doesn’t matter much at all. Smith defies a traditional position really, as last year he led the Mountaineers in rushing with 801 yards and posted another 454 yards receiving on just 24 catches scoring 15 times with a pair of defensive touchdowns thrown in for good measure. He was the Mountaineers’ second leading-tackler on that side of the ball, making an impact in every phase of the game. His unpredictability and knack for popping up out of nowhere is part of his effectiveness. Smith is a sudden severe storm warning waiting to happen, and the entire Bull Run District should be on alert. ✖

www.scrimmageplay.com :: 16


NELSON COUNTY

GOVERNORS DOGWOOD DISTRICT, 2015 RECORD: 1-9 8/26 9/2 9/9 9/16 9/23 9/30 10/14 10/21 10/28 11/4

@ @ vs. @ @ vs. @ vs. @ vs.

Luray Page County Covington McLuer Dan River Altavista Chatham Appomattox William Campbell Gretna

WHO’S GONE: TYLER BAKER (OL), COREY MAYS (RB/LB) WHO’S BACK: BRYCE ADKINS (OL/DL, PICTURED BELOW), DEVANTE ROSE (QB/DB), DRAI TAYLOR (RB/LB), CAMERON VAUGHN (WR/DB), CHARLES TIBBS (OL/DL) WHO’S NEW: K.J. VAUGHN (RB)

ORANGE COUNTY

HORNETS

JEFFERSON DISTRICT, 2015 RECORD: 6-5 8/26 9/2 9/16 9/23 9/30 10/7 10/14 10/21 10/28 11/4

@ vs. @ @ @ vs. vs. vs. @ vs.

Culpeper County Eastern View Spotsylvania Powhatan Albemarle Western Albemarle Monticello Charlottesville Louisa County Fluvanna County

WHO’S GONE: JON PRINZ (OL/DL), TAREIK HUMES (OL/DL), KEITH ELLIS (QB/RB)/DB) WHO’S BACK: DEANGELO HUNT (RB/LB, PICTURED BELOW), TRE’VON SMITH (RB/ LB), JAY LEWIS-NIXON (DB), ALIZE’ JOHNSON (OL/DL), BREEZE FRETWELL (LB), CAMERON RICKETT (OL), RYAN HORTON (LB) WHO’S NEW: SHEVON ELLIS (RB), KENYON CARTER (QB)

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Governors start fresh with Hicks Nelson County coach Matt Hicks has a pretty good grasp on what he’s walked into at Nelson County. The Governors’ program is full of untapped potential that’s been yearning for the right kind of infrastructure to take advantage of it. In his recent stint as head coach, Mark Poston made some strides, getting a middle school program that’s now thriving off the ground. There have been facility upgrades too and the cupboard isn’t bare with a returning starter at quarterback and a group of big, potential maulers on the offensive line. But this season is about something much more than wins and losses. Hicks and his staff are taking the long road with Nelson, focusing on restoring pride and injecting some excitement into the Governors’ program. That starts with finding the right system and sticking with the plan over the long haul. Poston’s spread attack sputtered with a small roster and a lack of experience, leading him to try the single wing and triple option over a two-year stretch. Hicks is more likely to employ and stay with an adaptable zone read scheme, with Devante Rose, that returning starter at quarterback, pulling the trigger. Rose, who is cat quick and capable of putting the ball downfield is well-suited to run it. He’ll have help in the back-

field with senior and fellow captain Drai Taylor, an experienced, speedy back who has the size to break tackles. They’ll operate behind a Bryce Adkins-led offensive line with Charles Tibbs and Cole Campbell also playing big roles in the trenches. If that group can give Rose time, he can connect with Cameron Vaughn, a 6-foot-4 deep threat who is one of the squad’s best athletes. He hauled in several touchdowns last year despite not getting many targets with the Governors committed to the triple option. If Vaughn can take the top off the defense, it’ll obviously open things up in a big way for Rose and Taylor, both of whom could have productive years on the ground. Nelson will lean on most of those players on defense too, with the 6-foot-2, 290-pound Adkins on the defensive line while Ellis, Taylor and Vaughn operate on the back end. Tibbs has pass rushing potential, which would go a long way toward helping the Governors chances against another challenging Dogwood District slate. Of course, this year is much more about establishing a routine and a system. If Nelson can scratch out some victories too, that’ll be a huge boost as Hicks attempts to rebuild the Governors. ✖

Hornets ready for more in Orange The feel-good story of the 2015 season was undoubtedly Orange County’s return to the playoffs and the success that Jessie Lohr had in his first season with his alma mater. But the secondyear coach and his players are hell-bent now on letting the rest of the Jefferson District know that 2015 was not a fluke, just the beginning of something bigger. When you return a 1-2 punch at running back like Tre’von Smith and DeAngelo Hunt, you’re already in a good position. The two split carries evenly and their physical presence and style wore down defenses. But don’t look past Shevon Ellis, who should factor in as a change of pace back. Cameron Rickett will lead the offensive line after missing most of 2015 to injury, and the return of Devon Washington and Dustin Shifflett will bolster the unit. The Hornets are in great shape to run the ball downhill again with five seniors on the line. Kenyon Carter has been a big story for the Hornets in camp. The newcomer at quarterback has impressed and earned the starting job. The sophomore will look to distribute the ball to Dayvon Greene, Tyrone Warren and Chris Washington, who

is a promising new talent at receiver. Defensively, Orange has a fantastic senior leader in Ryan Horton back at linebacker. With Smith, Hunt and Breeze Fretwell also playing at linebacker, the Hornets have great physicality and leadership in the middle of their defense. Up front, Alize Johnson leads the defensive line along with help from senior transfer Chris Dickerson. The secondary is an area of strength as well with Jay Lewis-Nixon back at corner. Darius Minor, Jordan Shook and Warren round out a truly athletic unit. The experience from last year on the d-line and in the secondary should make his defense much improved and it’s not like the unit struggled last year. The blend of size and speed at the various positions make this Orange defense the best looking group in years. Physical on offense and well-rounded on defense, the Hornets look like a team with something to prove and the talent and depth to do so. And with Lohr’s proven ability to inspire this group, Orange is poised to go from a breakout season to attempting to make a playoff run. What a difference from 2014. ✖


NOA H CR WE STE UTCHF RN ALB IELD EMA RLE , SR .

= Out on America’s Great Plains, you can see a thunderhead gathering strength and building height before it hits, but there’s not a lot you can do to stop it. Opposing quarterbacks will likely experience a similar sensation when Noah Crutchfield lines up at defensive end for Western Albemarle. Crutchfield managed 3.5 sacks and seven tackles for a loss last season despite playing on a defense that included his brother, speed rusher Osiris Crutchfield who is now at UVa. Noah checks in at 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds and has the potential to terrorize backfields up and down the Warriors’ schedule. The Warriors will need him to do exactly that, taking some pressure off an offense that is going to be learning on the job at a lot of positions. Crutchfield is poised to bring a storm’s fury this season, and there may not be many offensive linemen who can find a way to stop him. ✖

www.scrimmageplay.com :: 18


WESTERN ALBEMARLE

WARRIORS

JEFFERSON DISTRICT, 2015 RECORD: 10-2 8/26 9/2 9/9 9/23 9/30 10/7 10/13 10/20 10/27 11/4

vs. @ @ vs. vs. @ vs. @ vs. @

Broadway Brookville Spotswood Monticello Powhatan Orange County Louisa County Fluvanna County Charlottesville Albemarle

WHO’S GONE: OSIRIS CRUTCHFIELD (DL), SAM HEARN (QB/DB), OLIVER HERNDON (RB), MATHEW MULLIN (OL/DL) WHO’S BACK: DARREN KLEIN (QB/DB, PICTURED BELOW), DEREK DOMECQ (QB/DB), ROBERT SIMS (WR/DB), NOAH CRUTCHFIELD (OL/DL), LUKE TENUTA (OL/ DL), JARRETT SMITH (OL/LB) WHO’S NEW: TAI ATUAIA (LB)

W WILLIAM MONROE M GREENE DRAGONS BULL RUN DISTRICT, 2015 RECORD: 6-5

9/2 9/9 9/16 9/23 9/30 10/7 10/14 10/21 10/38 11/4

@ vs. @ vs. @ vs. @ vs. vs. @

Brentsville Broadway Charlottesville George Mason Clarke County Warren County Madison County Central Woodstock Culpeper Strasburg

WHO’S GONE: NIC HAYES (WR/DB), MALIK MALLORY (RB/LB), TYLER TREVILLIAN (RB/DB) WHO’S BACK: MALIQUE SHACKLEFORD (QB, PICTURED BELOW), GREG SIZEMORE (RB/ DL), JORDAN GRAY (WR/DB), TYLER BUNYEA (OL/DL), KYLE KRUSZEWSKI (TE/DL), WHO’S NEW: JALEN MCKINNE (RB)

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Warriors re-tool skill positions Western has been far from a plug and play squad the last four years. Like any other staff, each season Ed Redmond and his assistants have had to remake certain aspects of the squad nearly from whole cloth. It’s just that this season, they’ve got a lot of work to do, especially on offense. Western graduated prolific two-year starting quarterback Sam Hearn who was also a big-time defensive back as a senior, 1,000-yard rusher Oliver Herndon and Jefferson District defensive player of the year Osiris Crutchfield and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. That senior class which went to the state semifinals as juniors also included key linebacker Stephen Kuzjak, starting center Sam Carey and twoway lineman Michael Mullin. That’s a lot of talent that had been in the lineup for awhile. That means a lot of new faces this season, with just a handful of holdovers, mostly concentrated in the defensive front with Luke Tenuta and Noah Crutchfield. Crutchfield finished with 33.5 tackles and 3.5 sacks last year. Those twin towers at defensive end combine with Jarrett Smith, a solid linebacker and ironman type that also plays offensive line, to give the Warriors a solid foundation in the front seven. They’ll be looking for some answers on the back end

where Robert Sims will slot in as a corner. Western has benefited the last few years in the secondary from Osiris Crutchfield’s pass rush ability that forced opposing quarterbacks to either look for something early in their progression or pay the price. If Noah Crutchfield and Tenuta can collapse the pocket in similar fashion, that’ll ease up the pressure on the defensive backs. Last year, Western was solid against the run in the regular season but in the playoffs the defense came unraveled against Staunton River. Crutchfield, Tenuta and Smith will play a big role in shoring up that run defense. That defense will need to be on point too as the offense breaks in a new quarterback in Derek Domecq, a new starter at running back in Darren Klein and a host of receivers including the experienced Sims and potential playmakers Noah Yourkavitch and Victor Beccerra. Domecq was a big-time receiver and makes the most sense as the quarterback, but it obviously opens up a hole on the outside. The offensive line will look to fill openings with Joey Bowen, Ryan Adcock and others to surround Smith. Still, expect Western to steadily improve over the next few months. The staff has proven they can coach players up in the past, this year is yet another test for them with a young new group of playmakers. ✖

Dragons locked and reloaded Programs go through cycles, which can create the idea that a certain year is the year. Back in 2014 William Monroe had one of those where a ton of seniors were ready to carry the load after starting as sophomores. The Dragons made the most of that potential with a 6-5 campaign and a playoff berth, winning two more games in one season than they had the previous two years combined. Monroe appears to have stumbled on another one of those years. A rash of injuries last season forced a ton of inexperienced players into key roles for the Dragons, and that entire group is now that much more ready for the challenge of varsity football. Throw in a strong offseason in the weight room and last season’s rediscovery of the Dragons’ offensive identity and there’s excitement in Stanardsville. That productivity on offense will start with a seasoned line led by Tyler Bunyea and tight end Kyle Kruszewski. While Kruszewski is technically a tight end, he’s a huge presence at 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds that could really change the dynamic for opposing defenses who have to account for his ability to block and flare out for passes. That offensive line that returns entirely intact

from last year will protect returning starter Malique Shackleford at quarterback. The squad’s shift from a planned triple option to a more traditional I-formation attacked helped Shackleford the most as he finished the regular season on a tear last year. He has the size, arm and speed to be a dangerous weapon for the Dragons again. He’ll likely draw more attention with the graduation of Malik Mallory, but a fleet of tailbacks in Austin Young, Austin Morris and potential rising star Jalen McKinne are poised to step in behind bulldozing fullback Greg Sizemore in what should be a well-oiled run game. Shackleford will be throwing to several established targets, including Kruszewski and Jordan Gray, who both earned second team All-Bull Run honors last year. Defensively, Rayquone Wayne is the kind of tackling machine every team wants at linebacker, and he’ll get help from Sizemore at defensive end and Kruszewski along the line. That Dragons should be tough to run against with that core and Young and Gray should be factors in the secondary. After last year’s injury-plagued start, Monroe is due for some good luck and they’ve got the personnel and experience to take advantage of it in 2016. ✖


BLUE RIDGE

Barons counting on experience

BARONS

It’s not often that a Blue Ridge squad enters a season with perhaps one of the area’s most established, stable rosters. The nature of a boarding school usually prevents that, with players often joining later in their high school career. But this year a strong cadre of players that came on board as sophomores have Blue Ridge entering the season with a senior-laden lineup with known entities all over the lineup. Eight seniors who started or played big roles on both sides of the ball are back in the mix, headlined by Jahlil Puryear and Justin Armwood. Puryear is a top-notch linebacker and has carried the load for the Barons on offensive line the last two seasons. This season Blue Ridge plans to give their leader a chance to carry the ball on offense. That’s a big back as Puryear checks in at 6-feet-0 and 225 pounds, and if he proves to be as adept at carrying the ball as he was at paving the way, it’ll be a big step toward replacing star playmaker Malik Johnson. Armwood was the Barons’ quarterback most of last season and was an All-ODFC linebacker, bringing pressure from the outside while also helping Blue Ridge contain opposing rushing attacks on the edge. He’ll likely fill a similar role this year, though Blue

9/10 9/17 9/24 9/29 10/8 10/14 10/22 10/29 11/5

Ridge is also adding sophomore athlete Xavier Kane, who’s a capable, potentially gamebreaking quarterback or will play a role at wideout. No matter what role Kane plays, Armwood will be a major factor. The Barons will also have a wealth of targets in the passing game with wideouts Nazir Hopson, Aaron Aldridge and Josh Colon back as well as junior tight end Juan Mareco. Hopson, Aldridge and Mareco all had solid years in 2015 and can make big-time plays. Throw in newcomers Tariq Gough, Jamison Harrison, Icesys Lewis and there are tons of options for the Barons. Clearing the way up front will be Oscar Palin, Jarad Chouai and James Forbes, a trio of seniors who’ll be bolstered by the additions of Tyler Wills, Jack McLiney and Tramelle Thompson. Hopson, Colon and Aldridge form the foundation of a potentially formidable secondary, a unit that’ll benefit from those linemen, Puryear and Armwood putting pressure on the opposing offense. With much of this same roster, Blue Ridge went 7-3 last season, losing in the state semifinals. With just about everyone but Johnson and Jemeil King back and some exciting new additions, the Barons have the potential to be particularly tough in 2016. ✖

Eagles hoping for playoff return In its second year of a triple option attack and with a young cast of characters, Covenant broke through in 2015, ending a playoff drought that stretched back three coaches and seven years. Now, they’re about to figure out how much tougher it is to make that a regular part of the equation. That process starts with a revamped roster. The Eagles graduated a lot of critical pieces and things got more complicated when 2015 Scrimmage Play newcomer of the year Rick Weaver and John Huemme got knocked out of the lineup with knee injuries. That leaves holes at running back and quarterback, with Donovan Jackson and Nick Sanker preparing to step into those spots. Jackson is a powerful young runner, well-suited to handle the dive portion of the Eagles’ offense and Sanker is a solid, smart athlete who should pick up the nuances of the position as the year progresses. He’ll benefit from a pack of returning linemen that helped pave the way last season including seniors Joseph Payne and Ben Arrington as well as juniors Cole Harvey, Walker Hutter and David Szatkowski. In the slot handling end-around and option duties will be Jacob Smith, Chris Newton and Con-

nor Poindexter. If one or more of those players can find ways to get loose, it’ll open things up for Jackson inside as defenses won’t be able to load up to stop the dive. Cort Durham and Wesley Arrington return as potential fits at wide receiver. Covenant will have to play some ironman football, with Payne, Ben Arrington, Harvey and Hutter filling roles on the defensive line while Szatkowski, Jackson, Newton and Poindexter factoring in as linebackers. The secondary will be a work in in progress as Stephen Wilder, Josh Klein, Ty Hendrick and Sam Lepage won’t be easy to replace, but Wesley Arrington, Sanker, Smith and freshman Brice Wilson should be athletic enough to hold their own from the start and develop into a solid unit. Covenant’s schedule starts with a quartet of road games against manageable opponents, and if the Eagles can sort their way through that early stretch of travel and stay healthy, Weaver could potentially return and give them an added dimension. In the meantime, it’s all about development and some trial by fire for the Eagles to start the year as they look to pick up a second-straight state playoff berth. ✖

OLD DOMINION, 2015 RECORD: 7-3 vs. vs. vs. @ vs. @ vs. @ @

Hargrave Flint Hill North Cross Covenant Nansemond-Suffolk St. Anne’s-Belfield Virginia Episcopal Randolph-Macon Trinity Episcopal

WHO’S GONE: MALIK JOHNSON (RB/DB, JEMEIL KING (WR/DB), TAE WATTS (RB) WHO’S BACK: JUSTIN ARMWOOD (QB/RB), JAHLIL PURYEAR (RB/OL/LB), PICTURED BELOW), NAZIR HOPSON (WR/DB), OSCAR PALIN (OL/DL) WHO’S NEW: XAVIER KANE (WR/DB/QB), TARIQ GOUGH (WR/DB), TYLER WILLS (OL/DL)

COVENANT

EAGLES

OLD DOMINION, 2015 RECORD: 5-6 8/27 9/3 9/10 9/17 9/29 10/7 10/21 10/28 11/3

@ @ @ @ vs. vs. vs. vs. @

Blessed Sacrament Christchurch Virginia Episcopal Hargrave Blue Ridge Fishburne St. Anne’s-Belfield North Cross Randolph-Macon

WHO’S GONE: STEPHEN WILDER (RB/DB), JOSH KLEIN (WR/DB), JAMISON STELJES (OL/LB) WHO’S BACK: JOSEPH PAYNE (OL/DL, PICTURED BELOW), BEN ARRINGTON (OL/DL), JOHN HUEMME (QB), RICK WEAVER (RB) WHO’S NEW: DONOVAN JACKSON (RB/LB), CONNOR POINDEXTER (WR/RB/LB), NICK SANKER (QB/DB)

www.scrimmageplay.com :: 20


FORK UNION

BLUE DEVILS PREP LEAGUE 2015 RECORD: 4-6 9/2 9/9 9/17 9/23 9/30 10/8 10/14 10/21 10/29 11/4

@ @ vs. @ vs. @ vs. @ vs. vs.

Goochland Georgetown Prep Bishop O’Connell Trinity Episcopal Paul VI St. Christopher’s Liberty Christian Collegiate Benedictine Woodberry Forest

WHO’S GONE: JOSH NEVERS (OL/DL), TAURUS CARROLL (WR/DB), ADAM HACKENBERG (LB), IOSEFA PUA’AULI (RB) WHO’S BACK: BRANDON GARRISON (OL/ DL, PICTURED BELOW), LOGAN JUSTICE (WR/DB), ZACK PACE (OL/DL) WHO’S NEW: DONOVAN BENOIT (RB/LB), SCOTT TASSIR (RB/LB), LUKE WILSON (QB), HAYDEN MILES (QB)

ST. ANNE ’S -BELFIELD

SAINTS

OLD DOMINION, 2015 RECORD: 9-3 9/2 9/9 9/17 9/30 10/8 10/14 10/21 10/29 11/4

vs. vs. @ @ @ vs. @ @ vs.

Hargrave Randolph-Macon St. Christopher’s Nansemond-Suffolk North Cross Blue Ridge Covenant Virginia Episcopal Norfolk

WHO’S GONE: KAREEM JOHNSON (WR/ DB), JALEN HARRISON (QB/DB), CAMPBELL MILLER (TE/DB) WHO’S BACK: JUWAN WOODSON (RB/LB, PICTURED BELOW), ISAIAH KILBY-SHARP (DE/TE) WILL EDELSON (OL/DL), GABE SANOK (OL/DL) WHO’S NEW: CHASE HOLDEN (OL/DL), CHRISTIAN SMITH (OL/DL)

21 :: @scrimmageplay

Blue Devils start from scratch A new Athletic Director in Brooks Berry and a new football coach with Mike Hooper taking over for Brian Hurlocker. The times are ‘a changin’ as they say when it comes to Fork Union. As such, at a school where the roster turnover is higher than any other in Central Virginia on a yearly basis, Hooper knows that 2016 is going to be a year of adjustment, figuring things out. For starters, Hooper’s only got a few names returning from last year’s varsity squad, making this a rebuild from both a coaching and personnel stand point. It’s going to take time for both to settle in. The biggest area of issue for the Blue Devils is developing depth on the offensive and defensive line. This Fork Union roster isn’t as deep as it has been in years past and so it’s going to require a number of athletes playing on both sides of the ball. Zach Pace and Brandon Garrison are two of the handful of returnees from 2015 and they’ll anchor both units. At running back the Blue Devils have Donovan Benoit and Scott Tassir splitting carries. Offensively, Logan Justice is the top returning playmaker. The 6-foot-3 junior will be the

Blue Devils biggest weapon in the passing attack. However, who’s throwing him the ball is still a question being ironed out before the September 2 opener with Goochland. Quarterbacks Luke Wilson and Hayden Miles have been in a camp battle and Fork Union has never been a stranger to awarding snaps to multiple quarterbacks. Defensively Jacob Wood, Seth Robinson and Nickolas Farrar anchor a revamped linebacking unit that will have help out Pace and Garrison on the defensive line. FUMA has size and depth at linebacker and so that unit should excell as the season rolls along. In the secondary, an area of strength for this team, are Justice, Larry Elder, William Stupalsky and Henry Thomas. With a tough schedule and so many new starters, the Blue Devils face an uphill battle. But Hooper has been at Fork Union 28 years so he understands the culture. He’s been the junior varsity coach and worked with former coaching legend Micky Sullivan for a long time. Yes this might be an adjustment year, but this is a team that will be vastly better by the end of the season than the start. And that’s how programs like Fork Union rediscover their former glory years. ✖

Saints shuffle things around St. Anne’s-Belfield’s lineup has been one of the area’s most fluid over the years. The Saints have a knack for moving players around, whether it’s Quincey September’s cameo as a running back in a 2008 semifinal or Jalen Harrison’s move to quarterback last season. This season though, the fluidity will start before the first kickoff. STAB graduated 20 seniors, many of which played key parts in two straight state final appearances and the Saints’ staff is already shifting returners and newcomers alike around to fill those roles and create a squad that can compete. It’s clear STAB has a lot of pieces and a lot of parts. The question really is how the puzzle fits together. Isaiah Kilby-Sharp is one of those pieces. An important part of the defense last year, he’ll return in that role as a defensive end, but he’s also poised to see some time at tight end, which is a crucial position in the Saints’ offense. The tight end is the key blocker on STAB’s off tackle bread and butter, and Kilby-Sharp has the kind of physicality to clear the way. He might be clearing the way for Juwan Woodson who’s being shifted into the backfield along with

fullback Chris Barry and according to head coach John Blake has looked capable in the role early in camp. He’ll have help in the form of a solid crop of linemen, with Will Edelson and Gabe Sanok back to anchor things up front. Throw in Chase Holden, Christian Smith and Mitch Stamp and there’s reason to think this might be the deepest group of linemen the Saints have had in awhile. They’ll be protecting a completely new look passing attack with one of two sophomores -- Chase Emmert or Thomas Harry at quarterback and new targets like Kilby-Sharp and Myles Ward, a wideout who has shown a lot of potential. Defensively there’s a similar retooling happening. Most players will take on a two-way role as is often the case at STAB, with Woodson and Kilby-Sharp providing some needed continuity and experience. The Saints will adapt to however the talent shakes out system-wise early on as they figure things out. STAB is riding two straight state championship game appearances, but the core of those two teams is gone. It falls to the newest generation to try and keep the newest string of three-straight playoff appearances going. ✖


JOE S WO TEPHO ODB N ERR SON Y FO RES T, S R.

= While a violent thunderstorm may be more entertaining, any farmer knows that it’s the steady, solid rain that leads to a bumper crop. Woodberry Forest linebacker Joe Stephenson is always in the right place at the right time, a steady, reliable rain that brings a pop when he arrives. Stephenson, who committed Army this summer, had 33 solo stops last season (3.3 per game) and was involved in a total of 146 tackles. In fact, on 256 plays in the last two years, Stephenson has had a hand in stopping the ball-carrier. That’s an incredibly productive stretch. He’s a true tackling machine, the kind of rock a team can build a defense around and the Tigers have done that, putting together one of the most talented units in a few years. At the heart of that group will be Stephenson, always in the right place at the right time, making sure Woodberry Forest has another strong season. ✖

www.scrimmageplay.com :: 22


WOODBERRY FOREST

TIGERS

PREP LEAGUE 2015 RECORD: 9-1-1 9/3 9/10 9/17 9/24 10/1 10/7 10/15 10/22 10/29 11/4 11/12

vs. @ vs. vs. @ vs. @ vs. @ @ vs.

Bishop McNamara Pinecrest Bullis Liberty Christian Avalon Collegiate Trinity Benedictine St. Christopher’s Fork Union Episcopal

WHO’S GONE: ZACK RODERICK (WR), CLARK YARBROUGH (OL), LOGI PORTUGAL (DB), MICHAEL DAVENPORT (DB) WHO’S BACK: TERRELL JANA (WR, PICTURED BELOW), LINDELL STONE (QB), JOE STEPHENSON (LB), JOHN KIRVEN (TE/LB), KHALID THOMAS (WR/DB) WHO’S NEW: THOMAS BLEDSOE (OL), WILL WIDEMAN (DB)

Tigers prepare for gauntlet It only took three weeks into last year for Woodberry to realize just how difficult of a schedule they lined up, reaching out to play top programs from out of state to give their top talent a substantial stage to play on. As has been the case since the 2007 season, the Tigers simply rose to the occasion with an 9-1-1 campaign. Now repeating or besting that, there rests another challenge. The good news is the area’s most prolific passer from last year is back for his senior year. UVa-bound Lindell Stone broke every Tigers aerial record that exists last year. And the better news is that one of his favorite targets, another UVa commit, Terrell Jana is also back from last year after a 62-catch season which featured 1,082 of Stone’s 3,496 passing yards and 13 of Stone’s 39 touchdown passes. Throw in junior Khalid Thomas and big tight end John Kirven and you’ve got a wonderfully gifted receiving corps with a deadly accurate veteran quarterback. The Tigers will once again be brutal to secondaries. Of course, trying to replace Clark Yarbrough who’s now at Stanford is the big challenge. But the offensive line has Darius MacKay, Bill Solms and Josh Diaz back as seniors, and newcomer Thomas Bledsoe looks to lead things at left tackle. So this is a pretty

strong group to protect Stone and also pave the way for the ground game. There it will be Jameel Wilson who takes the lead at running back. The shifty junior is quick and has a way of getting lost behind the line before he explodes. He’s also a big receiving threat. But as good as the offense should be, perhaps the big change for this team is the maturation of this defense. The secondary is a bit young compared to the previous two seasons, but the addition of Will Wideman with Thomas’ ability to play at defensive back makes things manageable. In the middle of the defense, the Tigers have a stalwart in Joe Stephenson. The Army bound tackling machine gets quite the addition to his linebacking corps with the 6-foot-5 Kirven, yet another UVa commit, joining the ranks. However, it’s the grit and size up front that has coach Clint Alexander, ever the defensive mind, most excited. Derek Lora and Solms are both 6-foot2 and just under 300 pounds. Connor Koch bulked up to 232 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame to give the unit depth and great athleticism. Yes this is a tough schedule once again. But this is one of the most talented teams Woodberry has put together since Alexander arrived. ✖

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See a photograph you like? Defensive stand Warriors goalie has more than one trick | By Ryan Yemen

At Scrimmage Play we pride ourselves on offering best possible graphics Two years ago the the Western Albemarle boys to Shin, who doubles as a Junior National Judo soccer team get was fueled its underclassmen medalist, we can our byhands on, in both our but has developed into one of the with sophomores and freshman bearing the area’s most versatile goalkeepers. magazine well as at our website at brunt of the workas load. The netminder has shown he’s capable of Now two years later, forwards Aaron Myers making big saves, particularly in the team’s www.scrimmageplay.com and Alex Nolet, as well as senior defender two ties. In the first game of the season, Tom Rogers are all in their senior seasons and looking to earn a Region II bid, something that Orange County snatched away from them in the Jefferson District semifinals last season. After the first month of play, the Warriors seem to have the defensive side of the equation figured out and junior goalkeeper Kai Shin is a big part of that. Before Western went on its spring break, none of its four opponents were able to score more than once, a testament to the team’s play in the middle of the field, but also a nod

Shin endured wave after wave of Albemarle attack, but stood tall and showed no rust in the 1-1- tie. But while Shin’s on the field because he can make stops, his strong leg has also been of great use as he’s able to easily clear the zone but also spark fast breaks all by himself. The Warriors averaged a little over two goals per contest before the break, but if that average starts to increase, don’t be surprised if it’s because of Shin’s ability to contribute to the transition game. ✖

We want to make sure that our readers have the same opportunity to have these photos. If something catches your eye in either the magazine or on the web, you can order the photograph for yourself.

Whether it’s a 4x6 glossy print or a 13x11 mounted photo, we’ve got a full range of possibilities for you to choose from.

Western Albemarle’s Kai Shin hauls in a shot during his team’s 1-1 tie with Albemarle that kicked off the soccer season for both squads. (Frank Crocker)

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18


Overtime

Would you rather? Some choices are more dangerous than others in this game

M

y brother-in-law has a fascination with posing “would you rather?” questions at just absurd times. Not in the framework of the organized game, but just when he shows up, instead of saying hello. And they’re horrible, no-win choices, often with disgusting, overthought back stories. He’s a real blast at parties, especially if someone hasn’t heard him do this bit before is around, it’s great to watch them squirm. In that spirit, I’m posing a few “would you rather?” questions about the fall sports season. I’m going to try and make them a little more palatable than my brother in law’s imagined situations. Would you rather try and tackle Orange County’s Deangelo Hunt or Tre’von Smith? Okay we’re not off to a great start for finding ones with actual answers. Get out of here, I’m not tackling either of these guys. Orange’s two feature running backs are too big, too fast. I want no part of either of these guys. Hunt and Smith are poised to terrorize opposing defenses this year, and tackling either in the open field is going to be a tall task, especially since their dual existence makes them both more fresh every time they touch the ball. My only advice? Go low, keep your head up because they’re shifty too and good luck. Would you rather try and block against Western Albemarle volleyball’s Courtney Berry or Val Kilmer’s IceMan in Top Gun? Now we’re getting somewhere. Look, to be clear, I’m not putting up much of a block against anyone. I’m not short, but my vertical leaves a lot to be desired. Though, after watching Brazil’s Alison Cerutti, nicknamed the Woolly Mammoth, win gold in the Olympics, perhaps I should’ve focused on volleyball early in life, there’s clearly a place for burly dudes on the beach. But either way, I’m trying to block Kilmer. For one, in Top Gun (this movie came out when I was three, but it’s a classic, stream it soon if you’ve somehow never seen it), Kilmer wore jeans while playing, so I’m guessing that’s restrictive. Berry, on the other hand, was a first team All-Scrimmage Play pick last year with 130 kills in an offense that got more than 300 kills out of Kelsey Grove. To get to 130 with Grove so locked in, you’ve got to make the most of your chances. I don’t stand a chance against Berry. Would you rather try and stop Charlottesville’s Sabias Folley for a loss or tackle a Charlottesville Area Transit System bus? Considering the Hunt/Smith question, did this column just become a chance to talk about some of my favorite big running backs in the area? Yeah a little bit. Folley, who is just a sophomore, looked like a runaway freight train against Brookville in the Black Knights’ final preseason tuneup. On just two of his big runs he broke somewhere around nine tackles, finishing one with a dive into the end zone. I’m taking my chances with the bus.

26 :: @scrimmageplay

“I guess I’m stuck drinking the milk which is insane because I grew up with a milk allergy.” Would you rather prevent Covenant field hockey’s Lizzy Shim, Madison Fagan and Ivy Allen from scoring a goal or try and chug a gallon of milk in an hour? Qualifying questions are important here. Do I get help against Shim/Fagan/Allen and company or am I at it alone. If it’s me versus the Covenant team, I’m not interested. We’ll assume I get teammates, and...yeah, no, I’m still not interested. This is one of the deepest, most potent lineups we’ve ever seen on a local field hockey team. I guess I’m stuck drinking the milk which is insane because I grew up with a milk allergy. Still, better than the alternative of trying to stop that crew. Okay, so to recap what we’ve learned: So I’m now going to get hit by a bus, play volleyball against a fictional character and try to drink a gallon of milk in an hour. This is why I hate when my brotherin-law starts asking me these questions. It Bart Isley, never ends well. ✖

CRE ATIVE DIRECTOR

back talk »

What’s your “would your rather” for this season? Let me know at: bart@scrimmageplay.com


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Volume 8, Issue 1