Area high schools open practices for fall athletic seasons

Published 8:25 am Friday, August 6, 2010

Area high schools, both private and public, are gearing up for the fall athletic seasons. The following is a bit of what’s going on:


Franklin High School’s football team will open on Sept. 2 at home against Northampton High School. The football team, along with the Broncos’ other fall sports, started practices this week, said Principal Rodney Berry.

The coaching staff, except for the junior varsity cheerleaders, is set. Berry didn’t predict expectations for the teams. The varsity football team made it to the playoffs last year before losing to West Point.

Berry said he wants students athletes to focus on “academics first and sports second.”

“We’re focusing on improving student achievement all across the board,” he said.

Other fall sports include cross country, golf and volleyball.


Athletic Director and Principal Littleton Parker said practices for football, volleyball and golf started this week.

“Cross country and field hockey won’t start before next Monday,” Parker said Wednesday.

No sports were added or dropped from the previous year.

Wes Griffith, a 2000 Southampton High School graduate, will replace Parker as the Indians’ head football coach. Parker retired in November after 22 years as head coach.

Griffith was last year’s head junior varsity coach. He teaches history at his alma mater. During his five years with the school, Griffith has also served as assistant girls’ basketball coach and head varsity baseball coach.

The Indians football team was 4-6 last fall in the Virginia High School League’s AA Southside District.

The Indians will open their football season at home on Sept. 3 when they take on Bruton.



Southampton Academy Athletic Director Dale Marks said the school’s varsity football program, which began practice on Monday, should be a very competitive squad this year.

“We will be having the largest number of seniors return since I’ve been at the school,” Marks said Wednesday. “We graduated three seniors last year, so we had three holes to fill. Hopefully we will have guys step in. We’ve got a lot of returning starters. I’m expecting to have a very competitive team this year.”

The Raiders’ varsity football season starts Friday, Aug. 27, with a contest at home against Hampton Christian.

The academy also has girls’ volleyball.


Practices for fall sports started Monday, said Chuck Parrish, the school’s athletic director.

“All the fall sports are up and going now,” Parrish said. “We’ve got to see how things go from there.”

He said it’s too early to say what the expectations are for the Dukes’ fall sports teams.

“Everybody’s early into the season; everybody’s still getting things lined up, getting the players in their spots and everything for all the fall sports,” Parrish said.

There have been no adjustments in the coaching staff this year. The football team’s season opens Sept. 3 at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy.

Other fall sports include golf and volleyball.


The Isle of Wight Academy Chargers’ football season opener is Aug. 27 at home against Catholic High School.

The Chargers were last year’s runner-up in the Virginia Independent Schools Division III state playoffs.

Athletic Director Dale Chapman could not be reached for comment.

Other fall sports include girls’ volleyball.


The varsity football camp began this week, and the Warriors will be practicing to prepare for their first opponent, Portsmouth Christian, on Friday, Aug. 27.

Robyn Croft, admissions director for Tidewater Academy, said the school would have all of the same sports and coaches, including varsity head football coach David Rodgers, as last year.

Others sports include volleyball.


Varsity football practice at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy will begin Monday, Aug. 9. The Saints will host Windsor High School to kick off the football season on Friday, Sept. 3. Athletic Director Betty Ann Riddick could not be reached for comment.