The Beach District is a battlefield for football teams. The Princess Anne Cavaliers are on a multi-season losing streak that’s reached 40 games now over four seasons. Head Coach Ray Gatlin is out to bring that to a stop, and it starts with positive attitude.
In the rough and tumble Southeastern District, Hickory High School Football has been something of an “almost have”. There are always haves and have nots. The state of football is somewhat cyclical, but Hickory has been on the edge of success for years now. Head Coach Jupiter Wilson is an alum of the school and was brought in to get the Hawks over the hump. Could this be the year they get there?
2011 was momentous for Warhill. The newly minted Williamsburg school has only five seasons under their belt and experienced their first winning season and first playoff season last year. What’s in store for 2012?
Wayne Lance has seen more highs than lows while coaching at Atlantic Shores. Though the Seahawks failed to make the VISAA playoffs last year, Lance has seen success in many seasons. So much so that opponents have been reluctant to schedule his team. Because of that, the Shores program has hit the road looking for games. They’re doing a lot of traveling again this year, but Coach Lance expects that his bunch is coming in ready to compete in a big way.
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.