Here’s a peek at Dinwiddie and the other local teams in the 4A Region
by Brandon Mitchell, recruit804
Team: Dinwiddie High School
Record (Regular Season): 10-0
Power Wins: 48-10 (James Monroe), 63-21 (Hopewell), 28-19 Thomas Dale
First-Round Opponent: Courtland (5-5)
In a sense you have to be impressed with how Dinwiddie carried themselves throughout the regular season. On the other hand, going 10-0 and finishing the season without a blemish just won’t mean much to their everyday followers. Those that don’t follow much of Coach Billy Mills and the Generals see this as an immaculate feat as they were one of the only teams in the region to finish with an undefeated record. At the same time, to the followers of Dinwiddie this season was just a walk in the park. This is because expectations are high for the men on 11501 Boisseau Road. They understand their goal and although going undefeated looks good on paper, it’s what you do in the playoffs that really define the purpose of a season. However, the Generals did face resistance this season. Their closest margin of victory this season came against Thomas Dale and the return of Matt Lawton. Courtland awaits this on the back half of the week and the playoffs present fresh blood in the water for the Generals.
The Generals playoff resume is remarkable within itself. Dinwiddie has made it to postseason play for the 10th consecutive season and always seems to be a lock to at least be invited to the party. Over the last three years Coach Mills has had his men playing football well into the second-round so they’re already battle tested as they bring a lot of experience back from last year’s bunch. Questions come into play in terms of durability. The Generals have displayed a nonstop motor over the course of the entire season. Dinwiddie averaged over 50 points per game during the regular season and allowed only 11 points per game.
Defensively the Generals had one of their best seasons in the history of their program. Will the Generals be able to keep up the historic pace their on? Tye Freeland may take offense to that question and that’s why we think they can. Look out for Bryce Witt to continue to lead the Generals through the air alongside All-Conference 20 Defensive Player of the Year K’Vaughan Pope and Zyan Sturdivant. Also look for Timothy Fields and Omar Tyson to anchor the defense alongside Tye Freeland, K’Vaughan Pope, and Juanye Pitt. The Generals field a very treacherous and unforgiving team on all sides of the ball. It’ll take a near perfect game to upend them.
Team: Monacan High School
Record (Regular Season): 8-2
Power Wins: None
First-Round Opponent: Louisa (8-2)
Let’s get straight to the point with the Chiefs. Clearly the Chiefs pass the eye test. They come into the playoffs 8-2 dropping losses to only L.C. Bird and Manchester. That within itself is very respectable. Every other opponent on their schedule they handled well hence them winning every other game other than the aforementioned two. The concern for Monacan is with their inability to win big-time games when they matter the most. The Chiefs started out the regular season on a five-game winning streak beating their opponents on average by 37 points. Week six against L.C. Bird was a chance for the Chiefs to show everyone they were a team ready to elevate their play. Monacan was dropped by the Skyhawks 42-7. The Chiefs then won their next three games by an average of 47 points before meeting Manchester to end the season. Once again they were faced with another big game situation and were dropped 36-35.
This is the Chiefs fourth consecutive season making it to the playoffs. However; two of the last three years they were washed away in the first-round. Their best finish came in 2014 where they finished within a game of a 4A state championship berth before losing to Lake Taylor 19-14. This season they start off with Louisa in the first-round which is not a favorable matchup for the Chiefs. Monacan will lean heavily on their plethora of All-Conference 20 players in order to take out a strong Louisa team. Leading the way for the Chiefs will be Syour Fludd, Korey Bridy, and Austin Snellings. On defense the Chiefs will rely on a combination of Marteise Phipps, T.J. Jones, DeAndre Williams, and Austin Snellings to will them over the Lions. In order for the Chiefs to avoid their third first-round upset in the last four seasons they’ll really need a strong effort from the men who got them where they are today.
Team: Louisa County
Record (Regular Season): 8-2
Power Wins: 41-13 (Albemarle), 28-20 (Powhatan)
First-Round Opponent: Monacan (8-2)
Louisa has definitely been one of the stronger teams in the region this season. The Lions haven’t had the easiest of schedules this season but they’ve managed to go 8-2 ending up with a four seed in Conference 19/20. 8-2 is their best finish since they finished 13-1 back in 2006. The Lions started out winning their first six games on the season before finally suffering a loss Western Albemarle. This is a loss that stung because the Lion posed a bigger threat than Western Albemarle. However, on any given day any team can become victorious with the right mindset. What’s amazing about the top half of their schedule is that five out of their six straight wins were over teams that possessed a record of .500 or better. Louisa went 2-2 in their last four games losing to Charlottesville 54-42. This is exactly why games at the end of the season matter regardless of how well your record is heading in.
A win could’ve possibly flopped Louisa with Chancellor giving the Lions a first round match up with Powhatan instead of Monacan. Needless to say there’s not much of a difference in terms of competition between Monacan and Powhatan. The rankings are as accurate as can be; however, Conference 19/20 within 4A South presents top competition this season. Louisa presents the same type of problem a lot of other teams are historically faced with. Getting out of the first-round has been extremely difficult for the Lions over the last three years. Since 2011 the Lions are 0-3 and have been outscored 103-35 in postseason play. Louisa must remain the same team they’ve been all season in order to advance out of the first-round this year. Monacan is a very tough team to defeat; however, they’ve proven ineffective against teams that can match the type of intensity they bring.
Team: Powhatan High School
Record (Regular Season): 8-2
Power Wins: (29-28) Hopewell
First-Round Opponent: Chancellor (8-2)
The Indians proved this season that last season wasn’t a complete throw away season. Powhatan finished 4-6 last season and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2002. You’d have to imagine last season was a humbling experience and it allowed the Indians to know what it felt like to play from the bottom. This year Powhatan opened the season on a five-game winning streak taking out every opponent in their way. By week six of the regular season the Indians had already surpassed last season’s win total and were on their way to locking up a playoff berth. The back half of the schedule gave Powhatan a lot of trouble. However, the Indians finished 3-2 losing games to both Louisa and Albemarle. The question of strength of schedule comes into play when looking at the seasonal resume of Powhatan.
Their strongest win of the season came against Hopewell and the margin of victory was only one point. The Indians have a strong win over Orange near the end of the season but is it enough? Is the combination of two strong wins enough to overlook a schedule that just hasn’t seen enough competition to compete within their side of the bracket? Gameplay outside of Conference 19/20 gets a lot harder when you factor in Lafayette, Lake Taylor, or even Heritage. However, we’re talking about the here and now. In order to get past Chancellor the Indians will need to rely on a combination of Jacoby Oglesby and Johnathon Arnold across the offensive side of the ball. Look for Will Schwartz and Channing Ward to provide the protection up front from a strong Chancellor interior. On defense, Jeremy Arnold and Lamont Henderson have tapped into major potential as they’re expected to the lead the defense to a much needed postseason victory.
– Brandon Mitchell