Chargers change divisions, have championship aspirations
Published 1:32 pm Friday, September 2, 2022
By Niqko Marshall
The Isle of Wight Academy Chargers come into the 2022 fall season looking to improve on last season. IWA garnered six wins last year after coming off a year where the team could not play any games because of COVID-19 the year prior.
Things will look a little different for the Chargers as they will be moving from Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) Division II to Division III. They graduated 10 seniors from last year’s team, but head coach Dale Chapman is excited about the opportunities it will present for this year’s team.
“We have a lot of kids that are going to be thrust into different roles this season,” Chapman said. “We are excited about it. We have a large group of kids; it’s the largest number of guys I’ve had on a team in a while. It’s a good mixture of some of the older guys we have returning with some of our newer kids.”
After having a senior start under center for the Chargers last year, IWA will return this year with a new face. Sophomore Jason Chapman will start at quarterback. Even though it will be his first year starting, coach Chapman is expecting the guys around him to help ease his transition. Jackson Cofer will return as a senior and will have a new role for the Chargers going from receiver to running back. Dorian Batten will also join Cofer in the backfield, while Jude Powell will carry over his playmaking from last season from the receiver position to tight end.
“We have some guys returning that have done some good things for us in the past,” coach Chapman said. “We will have guys moving around doing different things. There will be some growing pains at the quarterback position, but we have some guys that can help out in the backfield and out wide with some playmaking.”
IWA will have a tough schedule this year as they open up with Atlantic Shores Christian School, the reigning VISAA Division II champions. They will also face Portsmouth Christian School, the reigning VISAA Division III champions. Most of the schedule will consist of schools outside of IWA’s division, but it is a challenge Chapman believes his group is excited about taking on.
“There will be some advantages the other schools we play on our schedule have that we don’t, but we are looking forward to competing,” Chapman said. “We are going to take it week by week and make sure every time we step on the field; we are putting our best 11 guys out there on offense and defense.”
The outlook on the season internally doesn’t change for the Chargers. Regardless of how a season went the year before or how good or bad spectators believe their team to be any season, the Chargers always have championship aspirations.
“We expect to be in that last game of the season,” Chapman said. “We always have championship goals here. Some may think those are lofty goals, but that’s Isle of Wight football and something we always pushed in the mind of our players.”
Isle of Wight Academy schedule 2022
Head Coach: Dale Chapman
Aug. 26 Away vs. Atlantic Shores Christian School, 7 p.m.
Sep. 2 Home vs. Portsmouth Christian School, 7 p.m.
Sep. 9 Away vs. Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy, 1 p.m.
Oct. 1 Away vs. Fredericksburg Christian Academy, 1 p.m.
Oct. 7 Home vs. Norfolk Christian School, 7 p.m.
Oct. 22 Away vs. Christchurch School, 1 p.m.
Oct. 28 Away vs. Fuqua High School, 7 p.m.
Nov. 4 Home vs. Fishburne Military Academy, 4 p.m.