- Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 August 2011 15:59
- Published on Wednesday, 17 August 2011 15:59
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King George High School varsity head football coach Jeff Smith is a firm believer that hard work pays off, especially when it comes to the direction that his football team is headed in. When you consider that he will be without the services of Fox graduates Tevin Jones, Kelsey Monroe and DJ Lewis, his quest for winning a Battlefield District championship will be not be an easy task.
Another daunting complication is a field of seven equally tough district opponents who have the same interest in winning the coveted title. However, Smith has more than just few tricks
up his sleeve, and before the dust settles at Hunter Field, a.k.a. “The Pit,” the Foxes intend to take more than just a mere bite out of district.
Entering his third year as the Foxes head coach, Smith hopes to reload his team with new and veteran sources of talent. Armed with finesse and breakaway, De’Shon Brown will anchor the backfield, giving the Foxes an extra dimension. Balancing a potent ready running game will be sophomore Corey Henderson at quarterback. At 6 foot 2, 240 pounds, Henderson has all the tools to take the Foxes beyond their 4-7 overall 2010 record. Last season, he started for he varsity as a freshman at middle linebacker, finishing the season with All-District honors.
Other athletes who have the skills to contribute to a successful season include: Travis Kline, Jordi Estes, Lonnie Chisley, Nate Jackson, Trey Graham, Jonathan Brown, Josh Jenkins, Jedidiah Holla and Nick Harrison.
As for the Foxes defense, they are solid from the defensive line to their secondary. According to Smith, defense is where the Foxes thrive the most.
After their final cut on Friday night, the Foxes hope to have the personnel that will compete in the upcoming fall sports season.
“We know we have to bring out A-game against district teams such as James Monroe, Courtland, Chancellor and Eastern View,” Smith said. Now that Caroline and Spotsylvania have improved their program, parity in the district could potentially be a realization.
The struggle for team identity begins in King George on Aug. 26, when the team hosts Manassas Park. After two more non-district games against cross-town rivals Washington & Lee and Colonial Beach, the Foxes will see their first taste of district battle against Courtland. After losing to the Foxes 43-28 last season, the Cougars hope to redeem themselves. The Foxes also started their 2010 campaign by defeating both Colonial Beach and Washington & Lee.
As an assistant under former Fox head coach Eddie Haynes, Smith was an integral part of the Foxes’ glory years, where King George dominated the district during the 2000-2002 years.
“I model my program after Eddie Haynes, who once said, ‘There is always a positive in every negative; whether a kid was beaten for a touchdown, there is always something positive to say after the play,’” Smith said.
Having a winning mindset amongst his player is important to Smith and his cast of assistants. After losing three games in a row to end the 2010 season, a bitter taste for rededication sunk into the minds of Smith’s players.
“The players have been talking the season since their loss to Caroline last year,” Smith said. “It really hit home, because they wanted to win that game — this team has high expectations for this season.”