by Andy Hilton, recruit757
With the VHSL reclassification, Lafayette stands head and shoulders over a lot of teams. They’re playing a Bay Rivers District schedule, but as a Division 3 team that’s likely headed to the postseason, Andy Linn’s biggest concern has to be readying his team for November. No coach is going to admit that they’re looking ahead, but who could blame him.
The Rams finished last season as co-champions of the BRD. This year, there will be no such title to claim. Conference 25 has some familiar foes in it, so it might feel a lot like the BRD in the future. York, Poquoson, Warhill, New Kent, Southampton, Park View, and Colonial Heights round out the conference.
Many of last year’s stars are back, including University of Richmond commit Jahlil Green. At tailback, Green (SR RB 5-11 185) tallied 1555 yards and 20 touchdowns last year. Coach Linn won’t be pressed to lean on him more, but it’s highly likely that he’ll yield even bigger numbers in his senior season. Green is hard to stop.
At quarterback, the Rams have Brendan McGinty (JR QB 6-2 215). McGinty is the younger brother of former Lafayette signal caller Connor, and he’s already sporting the build to be a big time prospect. McGinty threw for 12 touchdowns and rushed for nine last year, making him equally adept at scoring with his legs and arm.
The bruising fullback leading the way for Green is Schekel Wallace (SR FB 5-10 225). Wallace piled up 783 yards and 8 touchdowns last year and will be used for tough to get yards. His presence also takes some of the pressure off of Green. Darren Patton (SR RB 6-2 215) will see some carries as well. That will give the Rams some impressive weapons in the running game.
Brandon Villanueva-Pernell (JR WR/DB 5-10 160) will return kicks and punts, play defensive back, and provide a top target for McGinty. Villanueva-Pernell has a knack for finding a seam, as he returned four punts for a touchdown last season.
On the offense line, the stars will be Tyler New (SR OT 6-3 230), Coleman Goad (JR OG 6-1 235) and Anthony Thorn (JR OG 5-10 235). The line will get plenty of work with Linn’s schemes.
Defensively, most of the names are the same. New and Thorn will hold down the interior of the defensive line, Wallace and Patton are the key linebackers, Green and Villanueva-Pernell play the corners, McGinty holds down the safety spot, and Blake Guminsky (SR ILB 6-0 205) plays inside linebacker.
Coach Linn is a pretty no-nonsense guy. He’s not one to provide bulletin board material. When asked about the plan for the season, he simply stated,”we want to compete every week.” He’ll have plenty of opportunities to do that, perhaps for many, many weeks this season.
– Andy Hilton