The Potomac School (File Photo courtesy of Potomac School athletics)
The Potomac School Has Playoff Aspirations
by Jim McGrath, recruitNoVA
Team: Potomac School (McLean, VA)
Classification/Conference – VISAA Division I/MAC (Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference)
2016 Record – 4-6
Head Coach – Blake Henry
Mascot – Panthers
Last year, the Potomac School Panthers were close to reaching their desired plateau, but faltered in the final two weeks with losses to Boys’ Latin (56-21) and MAC rival Maret 43-15.
“We were right in the Division I playoff mix going into the last two weeks of the season,” said coach Blake Henry. “We are looking to take the next step this year as a program and compete for the MAC title and a Division I playoff spot.”
The MAC title might be a lofty goal, as Flint Hill returns its last two rushing leaders (Jordan Houston and Mark Lewis), while adding Woodberry Forest transfer Miles Thompson at quarterback to a squad that finished 7-3 last season.
On the other hand, the Division I playoff berth could be reachable. The Panthers got as high as a #7 ranking in Week 9, and four teams qualify. However, Henry’s team will need to improve in order to leapfrog over a few teams, while holding off the challenges from the four state Catholic teams in Division I, none of which qualified for VISAA post-season play in 2016.
“We have experience at QB (Carter Bosch), offensive line and wide receiver coming back this year on offense,” added Henry.
However, the Panthers will need a new go-to man at running back. Gone is Ricardo Facey (Div. 3 – Stevenson University), and his 1,349 rushing yards and 17 TD’s will not be automatically replaceable, a fact not lost on their coach.
“(Last year) we were more of a run-based spread with Facey. We will look to throw the ball more this season.
Henry feels more secure about the defense.
We have experience at all three levels, and will be employing a lot more five and six man pressures, whereas last year we were more vanilla.”
The Panthers’ special teams will also remain solid with the return of kicker Tyler Logue and returner Noah Lougee, who both did “a good job last season,” according to Henry.
Others to Watch: Preston Bacon (6-1, 190, WR/DB, Jr.), Jake Logue (6-1, 235, LB/G, Sr.), Tristan Nelson (5-10, 280, OL/DL, Jr.), Sam Lu (6-3, 230, OL/DL, Sr.), Phil Dereje (5-11, 230, OL/DL, Sr.), Bryce Kearney (5-10, 195, LB, Jr.), Michael Valentine (5-11, 180, DB, Jr.), Zach Roeder (6-1, 210, DL, Sr.), Nathan Evans (5-10, 310, DL, Jr.).
– Jim McGrath