Oscar Smith brought home their second title in four years last year. They now have their eyes set on a repeat. August practices and scrimmages have them looking primed for a return to the title game, but the work they’re putting in now is only the latest of the many steps they’ve taken to get here.
The I.C. Norcom Greyhounds were a team capable of winning a state championship last year. Coach Larry Archie’s team had a great run, falling in the Division 5 Eastern Region Final to eventual State Champion Phoebus. Now it’s time to restart. Does the coach have the winning formula again?
The region’s number one player from the Class of 2013 has made his college commitment. Taquan “Smoke” Mizzell saw his stock rise in the off-season with MVP performance at a series of high profile regional and national events. Now he’s verbally locked in his college destination.
Ocean Lakes is not far removed from winning the Beach District. In fact, over the past several years, it’s been Ocean Lakes, Bayside then Salem winning it all. Last year, the three teams took turns upending each other before Salem prevailed. The 2012 Dolphins look like a force to be reckoned with. One could estimate that they currently have somewhere around 25 legitimate college prospects on their roster, and many more will bubble to the surface.
By all measures, Woodside had an unforgettable year in 2011. They went undefeated in the regular season. They won their first District Championship. They topped rivals Phoebus and Hampton. The Wolverines may have fallen in the first round of the playoffs, but they found their way to new heights. Now Head Coach Danny Dodson wants to catch lightning in a bottle again.
Last year’s Green Run team managed to earn a playoff berth last year with a 5-5 record in Division 5. The season was hot and cold for the Stallions, but they finished on a high note and managed to play a close game against the Hampton Crabbers before falling in the first round of the playoffs. Like every team, they lose a few key players. Coach Shawn Wilson is still working out the details, but the rubber hits the road on Friday night when the Stallions open against Princess Anne.
The Granby Comets are ready to make a run at the Eastern District title this year. That may make some fans do a double take, but after an overwhelmingly positive performance against First Colonial in their first scrimmage, the Comets have a lot to look forward to. Head Coach Curt Brown is proud of what his team is acheiving in the preseason, and he’s confident in their prospects for reaching the playoffs this year.
2011 was the first year of the Melvin Moore regime at Menchville. While there was some progress in the program, the win total didn’t change from 2010. In fact, the Monarchs have had only two wins for six years in a row. Coach Moore is out to change that this year.
The Poquoson Bull Islanders have a tradition of playing great football. They’re only a season removed from a State Championship and the program is looking to fill holes left by graduation. There are a lot of JV players moving into varsity roles. Now they’ll have to pick up the pace.
Bayside athlete Quin Blanding is building a legacy of his own at Bayside. His Dad, Kevin, was quite the football player himself. Quin is writing his own story for the Marlins and colleges have taken notice.