- Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 August 2010 21:36
- Published on Tuesday, 31 August 2010 21:36
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On Sept. 8, the Drifter junior varsity football team will embark on their 2010 Northern Neck campaign, with their first battle against double-A Battlefield District 2009 runner-up, King George. Not only will the upcoming battle against the Foxes become a monumental litmus test for the rest of their season, but it will also demonstrate the will of a program that has a tradition of winning.
Keith Dickerson has returned as head coach, along with his long-time assistant George Devers. The duo moved up to the varsity last season as full-time assistants. Prior to last season, Dickerson and Devers were responsible for two undefeated championship seasons in the Tidewater District.
The duo also led the junior varsity program to a number of Capitol Area Football Conference championships. Pat Ey has been added to the Drifters JV coaching staff as an offensive line coach.
Peering into the 18-man roster, it’s obvious that the team is young, but enthusiastic. The starting quarterback position has not been decided, but soon either Nick Graves or Charles Pierce will take the helm as the team’s field general.
“Nick understands the position, and has a little more football savvy; however, athletically they are equal,” Dickerson said during a recent practice at Monroe Park. “We’re looking for the player who distinguishes himself as the real separator.”
Both players will play key rolls on defense. Graves has proven to have solid receiving skills, while Pierce has the capability to play running back. In short, with an 18-man roster, and no room for depth, the entire team will see a lot of action on both sides of the ball.
Other candidates for the offensive backfield include: LaShaad Thompson (running back) and Markiece Johnson (running back).
Dez’John Parker who happens to be the son of legendary Fox wide receiver Jonathan Parker will play linebacker on defense, and tight-end on offense. According to Dickerson, depending on the game situation, he could come in during short yardage downs to play running back.
“If he can’t run by you, he will run over you, and if we need him in short yardage situations, I won’t hesitate to put him in,” Dickerson said.
The key to the Drifters’ success is their ability to pick up block schemes and execute the single-wing offense. The concept of the single-wing offense has embedded into the Drifters offensive scheme since the day each player competed in the Colonial Beach Youth Athletic Association recreation football league.
Anchoring the Drifters’ interior line on both sides of the ball will be Xavier Tate and Mark Singleton.
Unfortunately due to low numbers, the Drifters junior varsity got off to a slow start last season, with only four games that were actually played. Interestingly, the final roster number for the Drifters team in 2009 was 17. With a large group of players coming from the recreation/middle school ranks in 2011, the Drifters could potentially have their largest cast of junior varsity players in years.
“The future for Colonial Beach football is promising,” Dickerson said, “We’ve been through the low times, and we will soon head towards the right direction — building a championship team isn’t about winning one time, its about winning year after year.”
The Northern Neck will present a huge set of challenges for the Drifters this season. From top to bottom, there will not be an easy game for Colonial Beach. Every team in the division is capable of beating the other on any given day.
The first Northern Neck Division is an away game scheduled for Sept. 15, against Washington & Lee.