- Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 July 2009 23:10
- Published on Wednesday, 01 July 2009 23:10
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At first glance, the Fredericksburg Falcons appear to be invincible, and for good reason. Last season, the Falcons finished second behind the Virginia Crusaders, with a 8-5 overall record. The Crusaders is a major obstacle for the Falcons, as they have defeated the Falcons three seasons in a row in regular season play.
Thus far this season, the semi-pro team based at 401 River Road, in Fredericksburg is undefeated in preseason play.
The Falcons recently defeated the D.C. Chiefs 18-12 on the Chiefs' home field at Cardoza High School, in Washington, D.C. The Falcons scored on a fumble recovery 12-yard run by linebacker Geruard Shelton, an 8-yard run by tailback Darren Baker, and a 30-yard touchdown pass from Darren Baker to Mike Marshall.
Now in his fourth year as the Falcons head coach, James Hobbs is optimistic about his team’s chances of being successful in the regular season. As player and coach, Hobbs has seen the fate of many athletes go both in an upwards, career-climbing direction, where players transition into the professional ranks of arena football, or simply enjoy the experience of playing semi-pro football in the rugged format afforded them.
“What I find common about most of the team is that they love football,” Hobbs said. “A lot of these young men didn’t take care of business in high school or college. This is an opportunity for them to come back and make things rights — and some actually end up going back to college.”
With former King George High School stars D.D. Boxley, TJ Whiting, Anthony “Baby T” Parker, Joe Shanklin and Brian Collins playing key roles with teams spread offense and 46 defense, the Falcons could very well end winning the Mason Dixon League division championship this season.
Whether it was his All-State glory days at KGHS or is performance at James Madison University, Boxley has made an impact on every team he has played for.
“Last season, he caused the opposing team to double team him every time went out on the field,” Hobb said. “The only bad thing about him is that everybody in the league was concerned about him.”
With a roster somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 players, the Falcons have the luxury of depth in nearly every position. However, parity has become a factor in their conference, where every team is capable of beating each other on any given day.
While the team continues to practice in Fredericksburg, they have recently found a home field in Garrisonville, VA to host games.
The Falcons will travel to New Jersey on July 11 to play the Jersey Broncos.
Leonard M. Banks, Sports Editor