Football camps open
Published 10:16 am Friday, August 3, 2012
BY GWEN ALBERS/MANAGING EDITOR
BRIAN WHITT/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
WAKEFIELD—After taking a one-year hiatus from varsity play, Tidewater Academy has dropped its football program, Athletic Director Walter Westbrook said Wednesday.
“We have the numbers; it’s the commitment,” said Westbrook, noting the school is considering adding cross country and soccer.
Due to low numbers, the Warriors cancelled their varsity football season in 2011 and opted for a middle school and junior varsity team with players in sixth through 10th grades. The varsity squad had not won a game in eight years.
The middle school and junior varsity football team finished the season 2-3. A number of kids were playing football for the first time and the hope was to build on the fundamentals with a core group of players for this year.
Windsor High School
A little over 40 players on Monday turned out for football camp at Windsor High School. Eighth-graders will join practices on Monday, Aug. 13.
Coach Chuck Parrish lost 11 seniors and has five returning starters including the quarterback and a few offensive linemen.
“The guys are working hard and getting better each day,” Parrish said. “We’ve got a lot of young players. They’re doing well.”
The Dukes finished 7-4 overall last year and 3-1 in the Tri-Rivers District. They lost 24-8 to Central Woodstock in the first round of the Virginia High School League playoffs.
Windsor will travel to Arcadia for its first game at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24. The Dukes’ first district game will be homecoming against Charles City at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5.
ISLE OF WIGHT ACADEMY
Isle of Wight Academy, which placed fourth in the state last year, hopes to see continued success despite losing 11 seniors, including quarterback Ben Epps, running back and defensive tackle Corey Wells, and linebacker and fullback Greg Chaffer.
A member of the Virginia Commonwealth Conference, the Chargers have 32 players this year. They include two eighth-graders, 13 freshmen, seven sophomores, five juniors and five seniors.
Returning starters include seniors Zed Warnick, a linebacker and running back; Jackson Goodman, a wide receiver and defensive end; Matt Brummett, a running back and defensive back; Josh Regula, an offensive and defensive lineman; Brandon Saxby, a quarterback and defensive back; Gage Rogers, a wide receiver and defensive back; and junior Will Milburn, an offensive and defensive lineman.
The Chargers at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, will host Catholic High School for their first game.
Southampton High School
The varsity Indians for Monday’s camp opening saw the return of several senior starters, including running and defensive back Jerry Wright, running back, fullback and tight end Cecil Lowe, defensive back and fullback Trevoris Evans, wide receiver and defensive back Jamal Johnson and lineman Mandel Featherston.
Fifty-five students turned out for camp compared to 45 for last season. Third-year Head Coach Wes Griffith believes it may be due to the Indians’ success in 2011.
The Indians last year finished 6-5 overall and got into the playoffs. Southampton lost 7-0 to Poquoson in the first round.
Things are looking good, Griffith said.
“Timing is getting there,” he said.
The Indians at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, will open against visiting Poquoson and play its first Southside District game at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 against Greensville for homecoming.
The varsity Raiders started practice Wednesday with 11 returning starters including two seniors, five juniors and four sophomores. New players include one senior, one junior and two freshman.
Southampton Academy lost senior quarterback and linebacker Wesley Barnes, defensive back Matt Nixon and linebacker and fullback Thomas Taylor.
Due to a low turnout of players, the Raiders last year joined the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association. Teams play eight-man ball instead of the traditional 11-man.
SA finished 7-1 last year, but was not eligible for the playoffs as a first-year member. This year, the team will be eligible.
The Raiders’ first game will be 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at St. David’s and the team will host Halifax at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24.
Franklin High School
The varsity Broncos will see the return of six freshman, five sophomores, four juniors and six seniors for the 2012 football season.
Coach Darrin Parker noted that 36 to 40 varsity players showed for camp on Monday. Junior varsity players will begin practicing on Monday, Aug. 6.
“They’ve been lifting weights and they’re hungry,” Parker said. “We are very excited about the season coming up.”
Parker also has seen the return of players who did not start last year.
“They are doing well for us,” he said.
The same coaching staff is on board, which Parker said provides for consistency in the program.
Franklin lost 20-12 to Bath County in the first round of the Division 1 Eastern Section playoffs last year. The No. 5 seeded Broncos could not stop the No. 12 Chargers, who scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to end the Bronco’s season at 6-4.
Franklin at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, will open the season by hosting Surry High School in a non-district game. The Broncos will play Surry later in the season in a Tri-Rivers District match.