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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: The 2013 Lancies

(PETE CIHELKA / THE FREE LANCE-STAR)

BEST FROM THE FLS PHOTO DEPARTMENT

The Free Lance–Star’s photographers are a talented bunch, and they got off to a hot start this fall. Pete Cihelka took this picture at Mountain View’s season opener against Varina, with Donovan Dowling (left) pulling down an interception in front of Mountain View’s Kirron Sleydin. Kudos to the FLS photo department (Editor Dave Ellis, photographers Pete Cihelka, Suzanne Carr–Rossi, Bob Martin and Reza Marvashti, photo techs Kevin Morrow and Autumn Parry, intern Griffin Moores and free-lancer Tom Rothenberg) for another great season.

 

Thanksgiving dinner can be downright offensive. And no, I’m not talking about yelling obscenities across the table at your cousin.

I’m talking football. Have you ever considered how many of the game’s offensive sets were named?

Take the single-wing. I’m just picturing a Pilgrim with a virtually empty plate with a single turkey wing. How bout the wishbone and the wing-T? Or spread option (do I butter this biscuit or not?).

Which brings me to my point: What’s Thanksgiving without football?

The NFL games on turkey day are usually horrendous, but they’re still great because they’re on.

The college games don’t move the needle much, either, but you’d better be sure they’ll be playing in the background while I’m sleeping off a food coma.

And the five local high school teams still alive in the playoffs will be practicing today for their region semifinal games this weekend. There are thousands of high schoolers throughout the state who wish they could be in that position.

In honor of one of the biggest football days of the year, the staff of The Free Lance–Star would like to present the Lancie Awards, honoring the best of the high school football season.

QUOTE OF THE YEAR

“It’s like the price of gasoline—you have to take it whether you want it or not.”

Chancellor coach Bob Oliver on the new Virginia High School League playoff format

QUOTE OF THE YEAR, PART TWO

“I’ve got to stop doing stupid things. I don’t have dementia yet, but it looks like it.”

Colonial Forge coach Bill Brown after going for failed 2-point conversion down 28–19 in the final minutes against Briar Woods.

(GRIFFIN MOORES / THE FREE LANCE-STAR)

THIS YEAR’S BEST RIVALRY

The area has a bunch of great rivalries, one of which has grown in intensity in recent years. North Stafford and Massaponax have played a couple of epic games the last two regular seasons, and it’s a safe bet that trend continues Saturday when the teams face off in the 5A-North region semifinals. Their regular season game this year was decided in overtime, and last year’s matchup ended with a slim 24–23 North Stafford win.

WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION AWARD

James Monroe beat Essex 40–37 in overtime on Oct. 4 in a game that featured many lead changes and some unusual plays, including a 70-yard pass by Essex punter Dartanious Jones after the ball had been snapped over his head.

In their first meeting in nine years, JM outscored Essex 21–7 in the final eight minutes and won on a 27-yard David Dit field goal.

Honorable mention: Colonial Forge’s controversial double-overtime win over Hermitage. The Eagles tied the game in overtime on a touchdown and PAT that was almost too close to call.

(GRIFFIN MOORES / THE FREE LANCE–STAR)

GAME AS SMOOTH AS HIS NAME AWARD

Eastern View running back Kendrick Kube has a name that rolls off your tongue (his last name is pronounced Q-bee), and a strong game to match. He rushed for 1,459 yards and 20 touchdowns this season and had one of the best single-game lines of the year when he rushed for 197 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries against Chancellor while adding a 95-yard kickoff return touchdown as well.

MEMORY LANE AWARD

Coaches Rich Serbay (James Monroe) and Lou Sorrentino (Mountain View) recounted their years as roommates back in the 80s before their teams squared off in a rare matchup this season. “I learned so much football just sitting in my house watching reruns of ‘The Honeymooners’ and talking football with Lou,” Serbay said.

MAKEOVER AWARD

King George overhauled its offense three weeks into the season, switching from a spread attack to a single wing. The Foxes were pleased with the results. The change opened up the run game and took advantage of the team’s blocking strengths.

(GRIFFIN MOORES / THE FREE LANCE–STAR)

YOUNG GUNS AWARD

It was the year of the freshman quarterback in the Fredericksburg area as North Stafford’s Pat Ayala (1,393 yards, seven touchdowns) and Chancellor’s Jason Brown (951, six) both gave much promise for the future. Add to that group Mountain View’s Ahmad Tweedy, who filled in quite ably for the injured Elijah Burress in the first two games, and the area seems to be in good shape for young QB talent.

BEST CONCESSIONS

Washington & Lee wins out with its crab cake sandwich, among other items.

Honorable mention: Mountain View’s Walking Taco is an interesting item. It’s basically an opened bag of Doritos with taco toppings all over it. Plus anywhere with funnel cake.

PERSEVERANCE AWARD: INDIVIDUALS

Culpeper RB/S Marlin Glascoe does with one arm what many players can’t with two. Due to a birth defect, Glascoe was born without his left arm below the elbow. He rushed for 232 yards and three touchdowns this season for the Blue Devils.

Honorable mention: Caroline sophomore quarterback Rasharrd Harris bounced back from six-interception game in the opener to have one of the best seasons for an area signal-caller this year.

PERSEVERANCE AWARD: TEAM

James Monroe lost consecutive games for the first time since 2006 but bounced back to win seven of its next nine and make the playoffs. The Yellow Jackets are practicing on Thanksgiving Day for the fourth straight year.

Honorable mention: Courtland started 0–2 and won 10 straight; Massaponax and Mountain View both survived a rash of injuries to make the playoffs.

(REZA MARVASHTI / THE FREE LANCE–STAR)

THREE’S COMPANY AWARD

Who said it’s hard keeping three super-talented running backs happy in the same backfield? Courtland has managed to make that happen with its gifted trio of Anton Jenkins, George Cheetham and Victor Greene. They are believed to be the first trio of teammates in the Fredericksburg area to rush for more than 1,000 yards in the same season.

Honorable mention: Mountain View excelled this season with one of the area’s best quarterbacks (Elijah Burress), tailbacks (Gordon Collins) and wide receivers (Quinton Gray).

JAW-DROPPING UPSET OF THE YEAR AWARD

Stafford beat Riverbend 21–14 for its only win of the season in a game that cost the Bears dearly in their attempt to make the playoffs.

WATCH OUT FOR NEXT SEASON AWARD

Courtland had three 1,000-yard running backs this season (Anton Jenkins, George Cheetham and Victor Greene) and all three return next season. Moreover, the Cougars will have the luxury of reloading with players from their junior varsity championship squad. The pipeline keeps flowing.

(TOM ROTHENBERG FOR THE FREE LANCE–STAR)

BETTER LEARN HOW TO SAY HIS NAME AWARD

Several area standout players had names that sent PA announcers scurrying for pronunciations. The most common, because he was in on so many plays, was Colonial Forge’s Daniel Ezeagwu (last name pronounced eee-ZAH-goo). Eastern View’s Kendrick Kube (last name pronounced Q-bee) was also a standout with an oft-mispronounced name.

BEST STAT LINE AWARD

North Stafford senior running back Von Purvis rushed for 292 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Mountain View, only one week after rushing for 247 yards and three scores in a victory over Briar Woods.

Honorable mention: King George RB/WR Jordi Estes had four interceptions and also rushed for 98 yards and a touchdown against Chancellor; Colonial Forge’s Daniel Ezeagwu recovered two fumbles, returning one 72 yards for a score, and also caught a 40-yard touchdown pass in the Eagles’ road win over North Stafford; Caroline QB Rasharrd Harris passed for 428 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Chancellor

WAY TO PROVE US WRONG AWARD

We picked Eastern View 15th in our preseason power poll, and all the Cyclones did was go 10–2, win the Evergreen District and make the playoffs for only the second time in school history.

Honorable mention: Fredericksburg Christian made the playoffs after graduating 12 seniors from last season’s state runner up team.

(GRIFFIN MOORES / THE FREE LANCE–STAR)

WILLIS REED 2.0 AWARD

Just like Reed gave his New York Knicks a spark by limping back onto the court in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals, Massaponax senior running back Javonte Latney provided a lift by returning late in the fourth quarter against North Stafford after sitting out much of the second half with a banged-up knee. He scored a touchdown with mere seconds left and then caught the game-tying 2-point conversion, then rushed for the game-winning score in overtime.

MOUNTAIN MASQUERADING AS A MAN AWARD

Essex offensive lineman Dondre Harris is 7-feet tall and weighs 400 pounds. Need I say more?

STREAK? WHAT STREAK? AWARD

How good would North Stafford be this season after graduating its top offensive playmakers from its 2012 state semifinal team? It answered the question and then some when it ended Briar Woods’ 32-game win streak on the Falcons’ home field on Sept. 20.

Honorable mention: Colonial Forge stopped Hermitage’s 39-game regular-season win streak.

(PETER CIHELKA / THE FREE LANCE–STAR)

GETTING HIS KICKS AWARD

James Monroe senior kicker David Dit set a new area record with his 16th and 17th field goals of the season Friday night against Kettle Run. With the Yellow Jackets still alive in the playoffs, Dit has a chance to break the state record of 20 field goals set by Radford’s Trey Mitchell in 2003. Dit also has 26 career field goals, breaking the previous record held by Culpeper’s Mike Greenaway (24).

Honorable mention: King George’s Jacob Perkins kicked game-winning field goals in the closing seconds against Stafford and Louisa.

 

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