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Foxes varsity football prepare for the 2013 fall season

Shades of yesterday are but a distant memory for the Foxes. As area football teams prepare for another unforgettable fall sports season, King George head coach Jeff Smith is hungrier than ever to win a championship.

“I am a firm believer that you’re not going to be dealt the same hand every season,” Smith said. “You have to adjust to the hand that you’re dealt, which allows you to be flexible.”

It was a bitter pill to swallow for the (9-3) 2012 Foxes when Smithfield Packer running back Trevor Batten (11 carries -109 yards) ended the Foxes’ hopes of a Region 1, Division 4 semi-final, post-season win, with a seven-yard touchdown up the gut of the Foxes defense to win 21-14 in the Group AA, Region I semi-finals, with 2:44 left in the game..

It would be the final time for gridiron standouts, Jacob Baker, Austin Fisk, Deshon Brown and Alon Clipper to perform under the glow of the Fox spotlight. They passed over the threshold of King George High School last year, as part of 22 graduating seniors. For most teams, the end of a huge cycle would be devastating. However, the 2013 season is here at last, and the Foxes have already begun with a scrimmage against Grafton on Aug. 16. Life in the fast lane of smash mouth football, and highlight film upending hits is about to become a part of Friday night Fox entertainment.

While the nucleus of the Fox offensive and defensive attack is still firmly in place, Smith is confident that quarterback Corey Henderson, running back Jordi Estes, and fullback Kendall Harvey will lead the team to another winning season. “The goal right now is to get to where we were last year,” Smith said. “Even now when I go places, people often say, I remember when King George struggled to win a game—but it’s a whole different breed now.”

With triple A schools Riverbend, Louisa, and Stafford added to their schedule, the challenge to finish the regular season with a winning record will be tougher than normal. “If we’re competitive with the triple A schools, it’s my thinking it will be a selling point, and a mind-over-matter thing for our kids.”

With two back-to-back winning seasons under their belts, a brand new stadium where they can defend their honor, and a litany of untapped talent to use at their disposal, nothing is impossible for the 2013 Foxes. The key to keep the flow of energy going on both sides of the ball is Henderson. As the quarterback, and offensive coordinator Robbie Henderson’s son, he is thoroughly familiar with every aspect of the offensive game plan. On defense, he is a monster. Nearly nothing gets past him, and if it does, it will leave with lingering pain. “To have a kid, who is that special, you don’t have to worry about not having people line up—he is one-in-a-million,” Smith said. “He is one of those players coaches love to have, because you don’t have to coach him.”

With less than two weeks left before the opening regular season game against arch rival Washington & Lee, the Foxes have settled on their starters, while solidifying the final roster as they brace for a potential run at a state championship. “When we step onto the field, everybody believes we can win,” Smith said.

Leonard Banks
Sports editor

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