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VHSL REALIGNMENT KNOW YOUR

CONFERENCE CLASS 6A SOUTH • Conference 3: Varina, Thomas Dale, Cosby, James River, Franklin County, Patrick Henry-Roanoke CLASS 5A SOUTH • Conference 11: Atlee, Henrico, Highland Springs, Lee-Davis, Deep Run, Douglas Freeman, Mills Godwin, Hermitage • Conference 12: Matoaca, Meadowbrook, Prince George, L.C. Bird, Clover Hill, Manchester CLASS 5A NORTH • Conference 16: Albemarle, Patrick Henry-Ashland, Orange, Halifax CLASS 4A SOUTH • Conference 19: Grafton, Smithfield, Jamestown, Tabb, Powhatan • Conference 20: Caroline, Hanover, Dinwiddie, J.R. Tucker, Midlothian, Monacan, Glen Allen • Conference 23: Charlottesville, Fluvanna, Louisa County, Amherst County, Harrisonburg, Handley CLASS 3A EAST • Conference 25: Colonial Heights, Lafayette, New Kent, Poquoson, York, Southampton, Park View-South Hill, Warhill • Conference 26: Armstrong, Petersburg, Hopewell, Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, Huguenot, George Wythe CLASS 2A EAST • Conference 33: Arcadia, Nandua, King William, Windsor, Bruton, Maggie Walker GS • Conference 34: Brunswick, Greensville, Bluestone, Goochland, Nottoway, Prince Edward, Amelia County CLASS 2A WEST • Conference 37: Appomattox, Chatham, Dan River, Gretna, Buckingham, Randolph-Henry CLASS 1A EAST • Conference 41: Appomattox Regional GS, Chincoteague, Northampton, Franklin, Surry County, Sussex Central • Conference 42: King & Queen, Mathews, Middlesex, West Point, Charles City, Chesterfield Community • Conference 43: Rappahannock County, Colonial Beach, Essex, Lancaster, Northumberland, Rappahannock, Washington & Lee

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Teams must adjust to new conference system BY COURT WILLS STAFF WRITER

Out with the old, in with the new. That’s what the Virginia High School League decided to do last September as they voted to change the way schools are classified. In the old system, schools were divided amongst districts and into regions. That is no longer the case as the VHSL is putting enrollment over geography. Despite the teams that were part of the Central District in Petersburg, Prince Geoge, Hopewell, Colonial Heights, Thomas Dale, Matoaca, Dinwiddie and Meadowbrook, they will still play one another but will not be part of the same conference. Due to the fact that the contracts were already aligned, most schools will be playing the same teams they would in their past districts but will be re-divided once the regular season is over. For Petersburg athletic director and former head basketball coach Bill Lawson III, he is interested in how this new system will work out. “It’s hard to tell on how it’s going to fall because I have to say at first I wasn’t in favor of [the realignment], but as I looked more into it I think it’s going to help the progress of our non-traditional sports. I think with all of our sports, we will have a chance to become more competitive because even though we were a triple A school, we were a smaller school,” Lawson said. “But now with going by the numbers I think they are looking for more equality.” No longer will the schools be divided into groups such as they were before as Group A, Group AA and Group AAA. Instead the schools will be broken down into divisions and there will be six of them with 6A being the largest and 1A being the smallest. Then each division will be divided into four different conferences with a total of 48

with Conference 1 and so on. Also because there are no districts there will be no district championships like there were in the Capital, Central, Colonial and Dominion. With regards to football, some teams had a tough time making the playoffs due to the fact that they were broken down into certain divisions. For example, teams like Matoaca, Thomas Dale and Meadowbrook had to win the Central District out right because of being in Division 6 unlike Petersburg, Hopewell and Dinwiddie who had more wiggle room because of being in Division 5. That is no longer the case as in football due to the fact that 32 teams within each division will make the playoffs to eliminate that very problem. Each of those teams will receive a playoff berth and enter into a seeded bracket. It is going to be in the playoffs where schools will compete against schools with similar enrollment. Longtime Matoaca football coach Pat Manuel says regardless of this new realignment, each game will be just as tough as the next. “I don’t see this making a huge difference right now because we are basically playing the same teams but it’s going to be interesting once this contract ends because we might not be playing these same teams that we’ve been playing all these years. I don’t want to not be able to play teams like Petersburg or Dinwiddie because those have been great rivals for us,” Manuel said. “We just have to focus winning as many games as we can now.” There has been concern that because there are no district championships to compete for that big rivalry games will not mean as much since it will not hurt a team’s chances down the stretch a great deal. For second-year Petersburg coach Josh Wallace, he does not agree that the rivalry games will have less effect. “I’ve always felt if you want to play that team you should schedule them. The Please see VHSL, Page 18


PREVIEWING DINWIDDIE

PATRICK KANE/PROGRESS-INDEX PHOTO

The Dinwiddie High School football team faces high expectations as it enters the 2013 regular season.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Generals enter 2013 with more experience, deeper roster BY COURT WILLS STAFF WRITER

DINWIDDIE — At the end of last season, Dinwiddie coach Billy Mills, along with his football team, realized one important lesson: how valuable it is to have depth and experience on both sides of the football. However, it was a tough lesson to learn as the Generals lost some valuable players down the stretch causing them to switch up positions and put more responsibilities on younger players. As a result, Mills along with his coaches took a hard look at past film and realized that from now on it is important to have as many guys as they can know how to go both ways with the football. “We’ve got a lot of experience but we lost five pretty good players and a kicker that we will have to replace. Our depth is real good with Denzel Williams and Rashaad Goodwyn who will be playing both offense and defense,” Mills said. “We’ve got a ton of kids back with most being two to three year starters with the bonus of having Rashaad, Shawn [Gholson] and Sadarius [Williams] who are fourth year starters.” Since last season, practices have changed in that players are not just practicing one side of the football, they are doing what is called a “crossover.” “We have great numbers but last year, we lost three wide receivers and we stuck some of those guys in there that

didn’t know what to do at times,” Mills said. “I realized that “I told them that they must hold each other accountable if we have to give up some sharpness early on, I know hav- and that this is your team and it’s going to be what you are ing that depth in the long run will pay off.” going to put into it,” Mills said. Mills is excited that he has six different linebackers and Those seniors included the four chosen captains of the six defensive lineman that can play a 2013 football season in Sadarius Wilvariety of positions along with being liams RB/LB, Rashaad Goodwyn RB, three deep at wide receiver, four deep at Ronald Kear ney QB and Aaron running back and two deep at quarterVaughan T. back. “We make what is called a unity “It’s going to help us out when we get counsel and there are four captains tired. We plan on playing about 14 to 16 and four lieutenants and like I said we on offense and about 18 to 19 on defense started talking to the seniors in Januso that depth will be really important,” ary and said this is your team, what is Mills said. going to be your legacy with DinwidTo Mills, football is a 15-game season die football,” Mills said. “So they each — COACH BILLY MILLS and if you can make it all the way to the had to go through an application prolast game that’s pretty good. The Genercess where they had to apply with a als have had a couple chances at that resume and a letter of interest and reaching that last game and this year should be no differ- then have an interview amongst a four person panel. After ence. that we ranked the players and decided who was in.” “I want a 100-percent effort. We’ve told the guys that bad Along with the four captains, four lieutenants were stuff is going to happen but you have to prepared on what named in Wesley Reed [wide receiver/punter], Elijah Harto do when that happens and I think that we are taking bet- ris [wide receiver], Alan Lucy [guard] and Shawn Gholson ter steps to get ready for that,” Mills said. [tackle]. Mills started seeing that strong effort in early January “I was real pleased with how these players answered our when he went to his seniors to stress the importance of this upcoming season. Please see DINWIDDIE, Page 4

“We have a lot of talent. We just need to be a little more aggressive.”

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PATRICK KANE/PROGRESS-INDEX PHOTO

The Dinwiddie High School football team — and the Generals cheerleaders — have great expectations for the 2013 season.

DINWIDDIE

Continued from Page A3

questions, we got some very interesting answers,” Mills said. “I’m real pleased with the leadership we have this year on the team. We made them take a hard look and I think that they realized that maybe they didn’t take the weight room as seriously last year so I think that gave them insight into the big picture in that they want to have a better attitude and to win.” With those adjustments Mills is looking forward to having a big year on offense as the Generals will have a great deal of depth at wide receiver and running back with quarterback Kearney. “I expect big things out of Kearney, I think some colleges are missing the boat on him. He may not be the biggest kid but he’s so intelligent in that he can make a lot of decisions in a course of a 10 second span, he’s got several checks in that he can run so that’s good to have still in our toolbox,” Mills said. “I think that we will be balanced all around and will have great speed at our corners. We will be throwing a lot of stuff out there and see what’s the best for us, we’re all about trimming the fat this season.” Defensively, Mills likes what he sees out of his secondary where he thinks the Generals will be strong but may be a little lacking on the defensive line. Mills wants to be better in those third downs as well as causing more turnovers on defense. “We have a lot of different possibilities we just will have to see what is hot on that night. We got a really good secondary, but we’re getting there with our D-line,” Mills said. “We have a lot of talent. We just need to be a little more aggressive. We were not very good at getting at the passer, we’re going to mix that up this year in that I like for the offense not be able to predict what we’re going to do next.” With these new changes, Mills hopes and expects that his Generals will take into form as it will be the first year where Dinwiddie will not be competing for a Central District championship. Regardless of that factor, Mills says the goal is the same — to win every game. M4

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PREVIEWING HOPEWELL

PATRICK KANE/PROGRESS-INDEX PHOTO

The Hopewell High School football team is seeking a second consecutive postseason berth in 2013.

STAKES RAISED FOR BLUE DEVILS BY NEIL FULLER SPORTS EDITOR

The stakes have been raised. And that’s a very good thing for the Hopewell Blue Devils. Hopewell exceeded expectations in 2012, going 8-4 overall and advancing into the VHSL Group AAA Division 5 Central Region final. Were those Blue Devils one-hit wonders? Considering what coach Ricky Irby returns, the answer appears to be a resounding “no.” Second-team all-VHSL wide receiver Tabyus Taylor is back with a year of experience -- and a postseason berth — under his belt. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Taylor also earned first-team all-Central District honors as a defensive end in

2012. “[Taylor] is [an NCAA] Division I prospect for sure,” Irby said. “He’s on everyone’s radar.” Second-team all-Central Region defensive end Tyler Smith also returns. Smith has been offered a scholarship by NCAA Division I [FCS] Campbell. Also returning: second-team all-district running back Gabe Dupree and second-team all-district defensive back Jarvezz Brown-Taylor.

Irby compares Dupree to Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Not bad. “We are long and athletic. [Running back and wide receiver] play should be a strength,” Irby said. “I’ve been pleased with how the offense has performed thus far [in preseason]. Out [defensive line] should also be a strength as we are Please see HOPEWELL, Page 6

 WERE YOU AWARE? Mascot madness! The most VHSL football wins by mascot since 1999:

•Eagles 1288 •Bulldogs 886 •Cougars 801 •Cavaliers 799 •Warriors 729 •Indians 661, •Blue Devils 645 •Tigers 642. The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA Sunday, September 1, 2013

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 2013 HOPEWELL HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE: • SEPT. 6 at GRAFTON 7 p.m. • SEPT. 13 POWHATAN 7:30 p.m. • SEPT. 20 HANOVER 7:30 p.m. • SEPT. 27 at THOMAS DALE 7 p.m. • OCT. 4 at MEADOWBROOK 7 p.m. • OCT. 11 COLONIAL HEIGHTS 7:30 p.m. • OCT. 18 PETERSBURG 7:30 p.m. • OCT. 25 at DINWIDDIE 7 p.m. • NOV. 1 MATOACA 7:30 p.m. • NOV. 8 at PRINCE GEORGE 7:30 p.m.

HOPEWELL

Continued from Page 5

PROGRESS-INDEX FILE PHOTO strong and athletic at that position. Other returning team members looking to make an impact include: senior quarterback Hopewell standout wide receiver Tabyus Taylor, right, battles a Matoaca defender Brandon Scott; senior offensive lineman/linebacker Aaron Young; senior linebacker Taquan during a 2012 Central District matchup in Chesterfield. Lane; sophomore running back/cornerback Anthony Crawford; sophomore defensive lineman Jaray Allen; and junior wide receiver/defensive back Trent Scott. Hopewell has added senior lineman Nick Fant, a transfer from North Carolina -- where he finished sixth in the state wrestling championships. Irby believes the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Fant and Young will also find homes with college programs. The Blue Devils also added 6-foot-2, 176-pound wide receiver/outside linebacker Bruce Allen, a transfer from Salem. The 6-foot-5, 185-pound Malik Monds and 6-foot-2, 242-pound Eric McPherson added needed size. Irby says Monds is making an attempt to win the team’s starting quarterback job, but will “probably be moved to [wide receiver] soon.” “With so many new starters this year, experience is a major problem,” Irby said. “Depth could be an issue although we have numerous freshmen and sophomores competing hard for playing time.”

 KNOW YOUR COACH: RICKY IRBY, Hopewell. Age: 36. Family:

Nicole (wife), 10-year-old Campbell (daughter) and 7-year-old Jake (son). Honors: 2012 Central Region Division 5 Coach of the Year. College: Virginia Tech. Greatest moment from 2012: “Beating Dinwiddie in the playoffs and advancing to the regional finals.” M6

Sunday, September 1, 2013 The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA

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PROGRESS-INDEX FILE PHOTO

Hopewell kicker Zack Hipps is seen during a 2012 game.


PREVIEWING PETERSBURG

PATRICK KANE/PROGRESS-INDEX PHOTO

The 2013 Petersburg High School football team opened its season Aug. 23 with a 46-8 exhibition win over Sussex Central.

 2013 PETERSBURG HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE: • AUG. 30 at NORTH STAFFORD • SEPT. 6 HUGUENOT 7:30 p.m. • SEPT. 20 JAMES MONROE 7:30 p.m. • SEPT. 27 at PRINCE GEORGE 7:30 p.m. • OCT. 4 at DINWIDDIE 7 p.m. • OCT. 11 MATOACA 7:30 p.m. (HOMECOMING) • OCT. 18 at HOPEWELL 7:30 p.m. • OCT. 25 THOMAS DALE 7:30 p.m. (YOUTH NIGHT) • NOV. 1 MEADOWBROOK 7:30 p.m. (SENIOR NIGHT) • NOV. 8 at COLONIAL HEIGHTS 7 p.m.

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MATOACA PLAYS 5 HOME GAMES IN 2013

PROGRESS-INDEX FILE PHOTO

Matoaca fans will have five regular-season games to attend in 2013. The Warriors host Clover Hill (Sept. 13), Meadowbrook (Sept. 27), Colonial Heights (Oct. 4), Dinwiddie (Oct. 18) and Thomas Dale (Nov.8).

 WERE YOU AWARE? Since 1999, Highland Springs, Varina and L.C. Bird are 181-0 against teams with losing records. Highland Springs is 65-0; L.C. Bird is 620; and Varina is 54-0.

PROGRESS-INDEX.COM/SPORTS M8

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Numbers dip on football fields around nation BY SPENCER ISRAEL CAPITAL NEWS SERVICE

Eric Michael, supervisor of health athletics and physical education for Washington County, said his schools have also COLLEGE PARK, Md. — When the undefeated St. Fran- struggled to field multiple teams recently, noting that some ces Academy football team prepared to play Friends School teams have hovered around the “20-25 mark” the last three of Baltimore last October, they didn’t expect to win without years. “We’ve always fielded three teams, but because of our playing. smaller schools, at times it has been difficult to field a JV But that’s exactly what happened when Friends was and freshman team,” he said. “You’ve got to be smart about forced to forfeit after showing up with only 13 players. “I was very surprised,” said Maryland Interscholastic it. If our numbers are down, we’re not going to put a team Athletic Association Executive Director Rick Diggs of the out there.” Athletics officials said growing parental concerns about forfeit. “I’ve been director for 20 years and I can’t remember safety in football could explain part of the drop. the last forfeit.” In 2002, a study was published linking What happened to Friends is physical violence in football to long unusual, but not unheard of in Maryterm brain damage known as Chronic land. Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE. Football participation in Maryland To combat the growing concern over in the 2011-2012 season dropped by the safety of its players, the NFL has nearly 500 student-athletes from the initiated rule changes and new testing previous year, a 3.5 percent drop, protocols to limit hits to the head and according to the most recent data concussions. More than 2,000 former from the National Federation of State players are now suing the league for not High School Associations. warning them about the possible long It’s the largest decline the state has term ramifications of football. seen in seven years, and the third drop “The concussion thing is a concern,” in four years. said John Gillis, associate director for The MIAA, which oversees the publication and communications at the state’s private schools, has also seen National Federation of State High — BOB COLGATE, NFSHSA smaller schools like Friends consisSchool Associations. “There could be tently struggle to field full-sized footparents out there who have pulled their ball rosters. The Friends School forkids out [because of fear of concusfeit was the first of two this season in sions].” the MIAA. Michael, the Washington County athletics supervisor, is “You ideally want 35 kids to a roster, but there just aren’t one of those parents. enough kids to go around,” Diggs said. “I was a football player, I’ve been a coach and I’m a parTo cope with the decline, some schools have begun dropping their freshman or junior varsity squads in an effort to ent. And I’m not so sure about my son playing. I held him put more players on varsity. out this year because I don’t want him being improperly “If the freshman level drops, eventually it will have a taught at this young age.” larger effect on the varsity program,” said A.K. Johnson, But officials aren’t pointing to safety concerns as the sole student activities coordinator for Charles County. “It will be reason for the drop. interesting to see what happens this year.” “We aren’t drawing the line at concussions,” said Bob

“We aren’t drawing the line at concussions. There are many factors our states are looking at, like consolidation between schools.”

Colgate, the director of sports and sports medicine at the National Federation of State High School Associations. “There are many factors our states are looking at, like consolidation between schools.” “You can hypothesize on many things,” said Ned Sparks, executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association. “People not being able to afford the pay to play system because of the economy. Are students playing other sports? We’re offering more sports than ever, so that could be a factor.” The decline is also evident at the sport’s lowest levels. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, youth football experienced a nearly 20 percent drop in participation from 2008-2011, a decline second only to wrestling during that time. Maryland high school football officials said they will wait to see data from last season before they consider taking more drastic steps to increase participation. The downward trend of participation in football is being felt more drastically in other states. Arizona had 7,800 less high school football players in the 2011 season than the year before, about a 39 percent drop, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. Ohio has lost approximately 16 percent of its players in the last four years, and Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota have all experienced four straight years of decline. “2011 was probably our most substantial drop in terms of football,” Colgate said. “It wasn’t surprising. We’ve talked about this at rules committee meetings and will continue to bring it up at future meetings.” Like the NFL, the National Federation of State High School Associations has discussed making rule changes to prevent more concussions. “If we see another sharp decline, we’ll have to take a closer look at things,” Colgate said. But despite the safety concerns, there are still those who believe in high school football. “I’m a firm believer there are certain benefits and experiences to be had by playing sports at the high school level,” Gillis said. “It’s part of the high school experience. There’s nothing like it.”

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2012 FLASHBACK: DISBELIEF

PROGRESS-INDEX FILE PHOTO

Petersburg quarterback Khalid Morris attempts a pass during a 2012 game. PATRICK KANE/PROGRESS-INDEX FILE PHOTO

Prince George’s Dwayne Baucom, left, grabs his helmet in disbelief after he almost recording an interception against Petersburg’s Markice Street during a 2012 Central District matchup at Petersburg.

4

Dr. George P. Varkey, D.M.D. & Associates Now Serving 4 Locations

PETERSBURG SENIOR MARTIN SHORT M10

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PREVIEWING MATOACA

PATRICK KANE/PROGRESS-INDEX PHOTO

The 2013 Matoaca High School football team hopes to find itself in postseason contention.

Warriors look to push tempo with playmakers BY COURT WILLS STAFF WRITER

CHESTERFIELD — For longtime Matoaca football coach Pat Manuel, not much has changed over this past offseason except one thing — conditioning, conditioning and more conditioning. “The biggest thing this offseason was that we lacked in strength and my conditioning coach in Keith Chisolm did an unbelievable job getting these guys into shape and to be faster,” Manuel said. “It took a while to get there but we are going to play much more up-tempo than usual.” Similar to last year, the Warriors have good numbers for depth and experience but it will be a matter of staying healthy and improving upon each game.

“We’re real pleased with the progress we’ve made. We have a few more playmakers on this team and our defense has worked real hard,” Manuel said. “We played a lot of guys last year that were able to get experience and getting that game experience has been a valuable asset.” Offensively, Matoaca returns four of the five starting lineman with having at least two years of experience up front. Tackle Ardell Christian and center Joseph Cheetham will be leading the way for the Warriors. Senior Khalil Coleman who will be playing a variety of positions for the Warriors will take the place of quarterback and will be primary play caller. Due to injuries last year, Coleman was asked upon to take leadership and gained a great deal of experience.

“Khalil is kind of slash player he does a little bit of everything for us. He is definitely one of our biggest playmakers,” Manuel said. One of the Coleman’s biggest offensive weapons will be in junior Trevion Armstrong who is 6-4 and 210 pounds for the Warriors. With Armstrong’s long and lean build along with his speed and flexibility he expected to make big time plays down the stretch. Along with Coleman, Armstrong is getting a lot of college looks including James Madison, Old Dominion, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Duke and Wake Forest. “Anytime you can have that experience and depth it can Please see MATOACA, Page 12

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REMEMBERING COACH STEG

PROGRESS-INDEX FILE PHOTO

Matoaca High School students and supporters honored the memory of longtime Warriors assistant coach Richard Stegemerten at a 2012 game in Chesterfield. Stegemerten suffered a massive heart attack and died Oct. 29, 2012. He was 62.

KHALIL COLEMAN

TREVION ARMSTRONG

MATOACA Continued from Page 11

help you quite a bit. I look for Aaron Monts [running back], Khalil, Trevion and Blake Bowen,” Manuel said. “I look for our offensive line to be really tough, we’ve really looked good this off-season.” Defensively, Matoaca’s biggest concerns to not give up the big play. Manuel has stressed to his team that he wants cut down on the number of turnovers on offense and in return cause more turnovers defensively. Despite having lost four starters on defense this year, Manuel still expects big things from his linemen. Last season, the Warriors gave up an average of 27 points per game. The defense this season will be led by senior Christian Chisolm and sophomore Anthony Helm along with juniors Joshua Alston and Jordan Bouldin and seniors Winston Reed and Andrew Carroll. Over the course of the summer these four players have much improved and will be in charge of stopping the run and creating pressure in the passing game. “We want to avoid second and third down short yardage situations and to not give up the big plays (pass or run plays over 20 yards),” Manuel said. Even with the new realignment and not having a Central District to compete for, Manuel says every game is just as important as the next. “All the games are going to be tough, now you just to have to win as many games as you can,” Manuel said. “You might now have a better chance of getting into the playoffs but I enjoyed playing in the Central District and competing against those teams. To me nothing has changed because we are still playing those teams in the Central District but things will change after this next contract is up.” But for now, Manuel nor his team is worried about the realignment, they are focused on improving week in and week out in 2013. M12

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 2013 MATOACA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:

• AUG. 29 at MANCHESTER • SEPT. 6 at COSBY 7:30 p.m. • SEPT. 13 CLOVER HILL 7 p.m. • SEPT. 27 MEADOWBROOK 7 p.m. • OCT. 4 COLONIAL HEIGHTS 7 p.m. • OCT. 11 at PETERSBURG 7:30 p.m. • OCT. 18 DINWIDDIE 7 p.m. • OCT. 25 at PRINCE GEORGE 7:30 p.m. • NOV. 1 at HOPEWELL 7:30 p.m. • NOV. 8 THOMAS DALE 7 p.m.


TIME TO WORK

PATRICK KANE/PROGRESS-INDEX PHOTO

Dinwiddie coach Billy Mills looks on as Generals players exit the program’s new fieldhouse to begin practice.

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PREVIEWING COLONIAL HEIGHTS

PATRICK KANE/PROGRESS-INDEX PHOTO

The Colonial Heights High School football team joins the VHSL Class 3A ranks in 2013.

New season, new hope for Colonials BY NEIL FULLER SPORTS EDITOR

Coming of its first winless season in 29 years, the Colonial Heights High School football team has two reasons for optimism entering 2013. Isaiah Desima and Lamier T Thomas both posses NCAA Division I-level talent. Desima, a senior quarterback, has received looks from Army. And Thomas’ efforts on defense have not gone overlooked by college programs. Desima, who also plays cornerback, is a newcomer to Colonial Heights Still, there is one nagging concern for the Colonials. “Depth is always a concern for us,” coach M16

Remus James said. Colonial Heights is now a Class 3A Conference 25 member after years competing against bigger Central District programs in the hunt for a postseason berth. Is this another reason for optimism? James believes so. “If we can get through the year healthy, we feel that we can compete and be successful,” he said. “I think it’s important to mention that there is a high level of competition in 3A with Lafayette and War Hill, but the number of players available are closer to being equal. “With a good core group of kids returning, we feel like we have an excellent oppor-

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tunity to make the playoffs.” And end a streak of seven consecutive losing seasons. Among those returning are all-Central District special-teams player Kevin Loftus, lineman Zach Criswell and Brian Gwaltney. Gwaltney led the Colonials in interceptions last season — while averaging 10 tackles per game. Also returning are Brian Maloney [tight end/defensive end], Ted Hinojosa [lineman], Tyriq Anderson [running back/cornerback] and Brandon Dye [running back/wide receiver/linebacker]. James considers James Faison [wide receiver/cor nerback], Brian Madle Please see COLONIALS, Page 17

TED HINOJOSA


“With a good core group of kids returning, we feel like we have an excellect opportunity to make the playoffs.” — COLONIAL HEIGHTS COACH REMUS JAMES

COLONIALS Continued from Page 16

[lineman] and Jarrett Morgan [wide receiver/linebacker] to be promising newcomers to the program. “We feel we have great leadership with returning players like Kevin Loftus, Lamier Thomas, Zach Criswell and newcomer Isaiah Desima,” James said. James, who played at Virginia State University, knows the local football scene. He sees four teams standing out during the upcoming season. With one possible surprise — the Colonials. “As always, you have to contend with Meadowbrook, Dinwiddie and Thomas Dale,” James said. “But with the success Hopewell had last year [advancing into the VHSL Group AAA Division 5 Central Region final], they have returned to form. We feel with the improvements that we have made, we feel that we can contend with everyone this year.” Colonial Heights has six home dates on its schedule, including Dinwiddie [Sept. 27] and Thomas Dale [Oct. 18].

ZACHARY CRISWELL

LAMIER THOMAS

 2013 COLONIAL HEIGHTS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE: • AUG. 30 JEFFERSON • SEPT. 13 at PARK VIEW 7 p.m. • SEPT. 20 ARMSTRONG/KENNEDY 7 p.m. • SEPT. 27 DINWIDDIE 7 p.m. • OCT. 4 at MATOACA 7 p.m. • OCT. 18 THOMAS DALE 7 p.m. • OCT. 25 at MEADOWBROOK 7 p.m. • NOV. 1 PRINCE GEORGE 7 p.m. • NOV. 8 PETERSBURG 7 p.m. • NOV. 8 at COLONIAL HEIGHTS 7 p.m.

MANUEL RAMIREZ PATRICK KANE/PROGRESS-INDEX PHOTOS

 KNOW YOUR COACH: REMUS JAMES, Colonial Heights. Age: 41.

Family: Marcia (wife) and Taylor (daughter). Entering second season with the Colonials. College: Virginia State. Memorable moment from 2012: “We had a specialneeds player last year who kicked for us. We were able to get him in a game, and he kicked an extra point for us. The genuine joy I witnessed on that young man’s face was one of the most special moments I have ever experienced in my coaching career.” The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA Sunday, September 1, 2013 PI_PROGINDEX/SPECIAL_SECTION/PAGES [M17] | 08/29/13

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WERE YOU AWARE?

L.C. Bird’s seven losses over the past five years are to Meadowbrook (three), Hermitage (two), Manchester and Thomas Dale.

VHSL

Continued from Page 2

conferences may have changed but not the rivalries,” Wallace said. “But even if we don’t have these rivalry games with Hopewell and Dinwiddie anymore we will make different rivals down the road.” There has also been concern over what this new alignment will cost in terms of teams having to travel long distances if need be. For Lawson, that is not going to be a concern for Petersburg or Hopewell due to the conference that these schools have been placed in. “Because of our conference the only thing that we will be doing more of is going to Richmond for our conference tournaments which is not going to cost as much as other conferences would,” Lawson said. “We will still be playing teams that we have played in the past so that will be good as well.” Petersburg along with Hopewell will be in Class 3-A, Conference 26 with Armstrong, George Wythe, Huguenot, John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson. Colonial Heights will be in Class 3-A, Conference 25 with Lafayette, New Kent, Park View, Poquoson, Southampton, Warhill and York. Matoaca, Prince George and Meadowbrook will be in Class 5-A, Conference 12 with Clover Hill, Manchester and L.C. Bird. Dinwiddie will be in 4-A, Conference 20 with Hanover, Glen Allen, J.R. Tucker, Midlothian and Monacan. Thomas Dale will be in 6-A, Conference 3 with Cosby, Franklin County, James River, Patrick Henry and Varina.

2013 DINWIDDIE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:

• AUG. 29 at MONACAN • SEPT. 6 JAMESTOWN 7 p.m. • SEPT. 13 at CAROLINE 7:30 p.m. • SEPT. 27 at COLONIAL HEIGHTS 7 p.m. • OCT. 4 PETERSBURG 7 p.m. • OCT. 11 at PRINCE GEORGE 7:30 p.m. • OCT. 18 at MATOACA 7 p.m. • OCT. 25 HOPEWELL 7 p.m. • NOV. 1 at THOMAS DALE 7 p.m. • NOV. 8 MEADOWBROOK 7:30 p.m.

WERE YOU AWARE?

In 2012, VHSL football games averaged a record 48.8 points per game. 44 percent of all games are decided by 21 points or more — vs. only 15 percent of NFL games. Only 10 percent of all games were decided by three points or less — vs. 21 percent in the of NFL.

PROGRESS-INDEX.COM/ SPORTS

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GENERALS IN ACTION

PROGRESS-INDEX FILE PHOTO PROGRESS-INDEX FILE PHOTO

Dinwiddie quarterback Ronald Kearney (11) scrambles as he looks for an open receiver during a 2012 Central District matchup against Petersburg. The Generals opened their season Thursday at Monacan.

Dinwiddie’s Rashaad Goodwyn is seen during a 2012 Central District matchup against Petersburg. Goodwyn has committed to continue his football career at NCAA Division I (FCS) William and Mary following his senior season with the Generals. Dinwiddie advanced into the VHSL Group AAA Central Region Division 5 semifinals in 2012.

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M19


PREP FOOTBALL BRIEFS

REMATCH SEPT. 20

MHSAA suspends 26 for brawl TUPELO, Miss. — The Mississippi High School Activities Association has handed down 26 suspensions — 17 for Mooreville and nine for Tishomingo County — for a brawl in Friday night’s game. The MHSSA also Tuesday placed both schools on probation until the end of the regular season. Both teams are still eligible for the playoffs. As for suspensions, eight Tishomingo County players will miss this week’s game, while two other players will miss the next two. Thirteen Mooreville players will miss this week’s game, while four others will miss the next two. The MHSAA does not release the names of suspended players. MHSAA officials say both schools have accepted the suspensions. Mooreville was scheduled to visit Nettleton Friday while Tishomingo County hosted Alcorn Central.

State investigating death of Ga. player FAIRBURN, Ga. — The death of a suburban Atlanta high school player who suffered a spinal cord injury during a preseason football game has prompted an investigation by Georgia authorities. De’Antre Turman, a 16-year-old junior at Creekside High School in Fairburn, Ga., fractured a vertebrae in his upper spinal cord during a scrimmage Aug. 23, investigators in the Atlanta area’s Fulton County Medical Examiner’s officials have said. Georgia High School Association Executive Director Ralph Swearngin told CBS Atlanta on Monday that among other things, the agency will investigate what type of equipment Turman was wearing. “As we evolve our rules and policies, it’s good to have data driving those decisions, not just someone in a room saying this is what we need to do,” he told the television station. One of Turman’s coaches from an after-school college prep program told WXIATV that the teen appeared to go limp immediately after tackling the receiver from the opposing team. “It was a fundamental tackle,” Glenn Ford told the television station, adding that the teen’s head was up at the time of impact and nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary about Turman’s technique. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Turman — nicknamed “Tre Tre” — had already been offered a scholarship to the University of Kentucky. “His goal was to play pro football,” Turman’s former coach George Purvis told WXIA-TV. A vigil was held for the teen at a suburban Atlanta recreation center on Sunday night. “He lived by football, family, friends, and God,” one of Turman’s friends, Jamari Benning, told the Atlanta newspaper. “That’s all Tre Tre was thinking about. He always had a goal to always be great. He was never stingy, selfish; he was just a good person and a role model. He never had any doubt in God.” Another friend of Turman’s said he couldn’t be upset with the circumstances surrounding the teen’s death because he died doing something he loved. “God has a plan for us and the rest of the family,” Demarcus Morgan told the newspaper. “Maybe this is just what we need to bring us closer as a family.” — From Staff and Wire Reports

PROGRESS-INDEX FILE PHOTO

Hanover’s Lawrence Jones (4) makes contact with Hopewell’s Tabyus Taylor (22) during the 2012 Central Region championship game at Merner Field. The Blue Devils will get a chance to avenge their postseason loss when Hanover visits Merner Field once again on Sept. 20.

See updated NFL and NCAA football news 24 hours per day at PROGRESS-INDEX.COM/SPORTS. M20

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PATRICK KANE/PROGRESS-INDEX PHOTO

The 2013 Thomas Dale football team is looking to get back into postseason contention.

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M21


PREVIEWING THOMAS DALE

Knights seek to heal old wounds Injury bug bit TDHS hard in 2012 FROM STAFF REPORTS

CHESTER — The injury bug bit Thomas Dale in 2012. Hard. But a healthier group of Knights enter this season — with a renewed sense of purpose following a disappointing 4-6 finish one season after winning the Central District championship. Thomas Dale features Virginia Tech commit C.J. Reavis, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound safety. NCAA Division I prospect Marco Carrabotta, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound junior linebacker, should also help bolster the team’s defense. Carrabotta is also expected to start a tight end. Ron Hall and Darvin Taylor will also be looked to for leadership on defense. On offense, the Knights will rotate two seniors at quarterback — Trevor Luke and A.J. Holliday. Look for big rushing numbers from halfback Eric Finney, who rushed for over 500 yards and six touchdowns in limited duty last season. Senior Justin Cooper, who scored eight TDs in 2012, returns at fullback. Tevin Strozier and Will Esque, both seniors, are expected to lead the receiving corps. Strozier boasts a 37-inch vertical leap and has Division I [FCS] programs such as James Madison, Hampton and James Madison interested. Chris Dunford, Dean Lee, Justin Walstead and Josh Parker look to add energy to the team’s offensive line. Thomas Dale carries 17 seniors on its roster.

 2013 THOMAS DALE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:

• AUG. 29 COSBY • SEPT. 6 at L.C. BIRD 7:30 p.m. • SEPT. 13 at VARINA 7 p.m. • SEPT. 27 HOPEWELL 7 p.m. • OCT. 4 PRINCE GEORGE 7 p.m. • OCT. 11 MEADOWBROOK 7 p.m. • OCT. 18 at COLONIAL HEIGHTS 7 p.m. • OCT. 25 at PETERSBURG 7:30 p.m. • NOV. 1 DINWIDDIE 7 p.m. • NOV. 8 at MATOACA 7 p.m. M22

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PROGRESS-INDEX FILE PHOTO

Matoaca’s Khalil Coleman looks for a hole in the opposing offensive line during a 2012 Central District matchup against Prince George in Chesterfield.


THE SOUNDS OF GAME NIGHT

PROGRESS-INDEX FILE PHOTOS

Members of the Matoaca marching band entertain fans. The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA Sunday, September 1, 2013 PI_PROGINDEX/SPECIAL_SECTION/PAGES [M23] | 08/29/13

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M23


PREVIEWING PRINCE GEORGE

Royals have strength up front FROM STAFF REPORTS

Prince George limped to the finish line in 2012, losing seven of its final eight games — including a 42-7 loss to archrival Hopewell. The Royals opened with consecutive wins over Clover Hill [14-7] and Jefferson [21-0] at home, but failed to win a road game last season. Prince George has six home dates on its 2013 season as it enters the Class 5A ranks as a Conference 12 member. One thing is for certain: The Royals are ready to run. “Overall team speed is the best that it has been,” said coach Bruce Carroll, who is entering his fifth season at Prince George. “A strong commitment

was made during the offseason by the entire program.” The Royals return second-team all-Central District lineman Trevor Bembry, one of 10 seniors on the team roster. Other seniors expected to provide key leaderships roles include Devonte Fuller [defensive end]; Blake Bryant [linebacker]; Kyle Powroznick [linebacker]; Joey Runion [wide receiver]; Isaiah Mason [running back/linebacker]; Brian Weinz [offensive/ defensive line]; Brandon Yost [offensive/defensive line]; and D’andre Brown [defensive back]. The quarterback depth chart includes senior Please see ROYALS, Page 25

WERE YOU AWARE?

Central Region teams with the most wins over the past two seasons: •L.C. Bird 24 •Hermitage 22 •Hanover 19 •Varina 18 •Meadowbrook 18 •Cosby 17 •Highland Springs 16.

2013 PRINCE GEORGE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:

PATRICK KANE/PROGRESS-INDEX FILE PHOTO

Prince George takes the field before a 2012 Central District matchup against Dinwiddie at PGHS.

HAVE A GREAT SEASON, PRINCE GEORGE ROYALS! WILLIAM F. “BILL” GANDEL

• SEPT. 6 at CLOVER HILL 7:30 p.m. • SEPT. 13 JEFFERSON 7:30 p.m. • SEPT. 20 MARSHALL 7:30 p.m. • SEPT. 27 PETERSBURG 7:30 p.m. • OCT. 4 at THOMAS DALE 7 p.m. • OCT. 11 DINWIDDIE 7:30 p.m. • OCT. 18 at MEADOWBROOK 7 p.m. • OCT. 25 MATOACA 7:30 p.m. • NOV. 1 at COLONIAL HEIGHTS 7 p.m. • NOV. 8 HOPEWELL 7:30 p.m.

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Open 6 days a week, closed on Sundays


PATRICK KANE/PROGRESS-INDEX PHOTO

The 2013 Prince George football team is hoping to bounce back from a sub-.500 season.

ROYALS

Continued from Page 24

Kameron Smith, junior Keandre Souza and sophomore B.J. Knight. Carroll lists Caleb Johnson, Tyler Pyles and Drew Kennedy as key losses off last year’s team. “We will need to mix the returning experience up front with some newcomers in order to be successful,” Carroll said. Prince George averaged 12 points per game last season — and were shut out three times, including a 7-0 loss at Matoaca. The team’s defense recorded two shutouts of its own, a 36-0 win over Colonial Heights and an 18-0 victory over Jefferson.

KEANDRE SOUZA

BRANDON YOST The Progress-Index, Petersburg, VA Sunday, September 1, 2013

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KEEPING PREP PLAYERS SAFE

A COMMON GOAL

NFHS partners with USA Football in 8 states, including Virginia FROM STAFF REPORTS

INDIANAPOLIS — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has partnered with USA Football to advance high school football player safety on a national level by endorsing USA Football’s Heads Up FootballSM program. The NFHS leads the development of high school interscholastic sports and activities, serving its 50 member state high school athletic associations plus the District of Columbia. USA Football is the sport’s national governing body. The NFHS supports player safety-focused training programs for its membership, which includes more than 19,000 high schools. The NFHS encourages high schools to adopt training programs such as Heads Up Football as a means to minimize the inherent risk in the sport. Football, with 1.12 million high school student-athletes, is the No. 1 participatory sport of high school boys by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. In partnership with the NFHS and USA Football, 32 high schools spanning eight states — Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Virginia — will pilot Heads Up Football in 2013. All high schools across the U.S. will be eligible to adopt Heads Up Football in 2014. Each participating high school program will designate a Player Safety Coach. This individual is trained by USA Football to instruct fellow coaches, parents and players on Heads Up Football’s tackling mechanics that aim to reduce helmet contact, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concussion recognition and response protocols and proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting. Player Safety Coaches see that Heads Up Football’s protocols are put into practice throughout the season. In addition, all participating coaches complete the USA Football-NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching Football certification course. “The health and well-being of our student-athletes is our No. 1 priority,” said NFHS Executive Director Bob Gardner. “Rooted in education, Heads Up Football is advancing sound behaviors and techniques as to the manner in which football is taught and played. USA Football has melded needed insight and techniques from experts in medicine and sport for the benefit of our students.” “Heads Up Football is raising standards in how coaches are prepared to teach and how player safety is addressed to coaches, players and parents,” said USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck. “Nothing comes before the health and safety of our young athletes, and the NFHS shares that commitment with us. Our game is undergoing a significant behavior change for the better through the eduM26

cation and training Heads Up Football delivers.” In addition to benefiting approximately 4,000 high school student-athletes in 2013, Heads Up Football has been adopted this season by nearly 2,800 youth football programs representing nearly 600,000 youth players in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., this season. Five primary elements of USA Football’s Heads Up Football program for high schools: Heads Up Tackling • USA Football’s Heads Up Tackling technique, endorsed by medical and football experts, teaches players to keep their heads up and out of the line of contact. Coaching certification • All coaches will complete the USA Football-NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching Football certification course designed for NFHS membership. Concussion recognition and response • Coaches learn and are assessed on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concussion recognition and response protocols. • Coaches, parents and players are taught concussionrelated protocols. Player Safety Coach • Appointed by each participating Heads Up Football high school program. This individual is trained by USA Football to implement Heads Up Football’s player safety protocols, including coaching certification, and conducts safety clinics for fellow coaches, parents and players. Equipment fitting • Coaches, parents and players are taught proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting. In addition to the NFHS, organizations that support Heads Up Football include the American Football Coaches Association; the Atlantic Coast Conference; the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences; AAU Football; the Boys and Girls Clubs of America; the National Police Athletic League (P.A.L.); the NFL and NFL Foundation; Pop Warner Little Scholars; and the Sports and Fitness Industry Association. USA Football’s Heads Up Tackling technique was devel-

 ABOUT USA FOOTBALL:

PATRICK KANE/PROGRESS-INDEX FILE PHOTO

The evolution of football helmets continues on the youth and prep levels in an attempt to make the game safer for all players.

USA Football leads the game’s development, inspires participation and ensures a better and safer experience for all youth, prep and other amateur players. The independent nonprofit is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NCAA’s Atlantic Athletic Conference. USA Football (www.usafootball.com), endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002, provides more than $1 million annually in equipment grants and youth league volunteer background check subsidies.

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oped with contributions of USA Football’s Tackle Advisory Committee, which includes Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald, UCLA head coach Jim Mora, former NFL running back Merril Hoge, Miami Christopher Columbus High School head coach Chris Merritt and sports psychologist Dr. David Yukelson.

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Hs football 2013