- Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 11:20
- Published on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 11:19
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King George High School has returned for another season of action-packed varsity football.
With the first scrimmage of the season just three days away (a home game against Culpeper), fans will be chomping at the bit for their first peek at this year’s squad.
After four consecutive seasons in the playoffs, including a Regional Championship appearance against Smithfield in 2012, fans will accept nothing but success.
However, in face of the reality of losing 23 players to graduation, including key contributors Kendall Harvey, Jordi Estes, Markiece Johnson, Corey Henderson and a host of others, Foxes’ head coach Jeff Smith will have a host of challenges to overcome.
“We’re slowly but surely replacing last year’s standouts, and as the season unfolds we will continue to build and get stronger,” Smith said. “As for now, we’re doing well because we have so much depth it’s unbelievable.”
With 125 kids trying out on both the varsity and junior varsity level, Smith and his cast of assistants have the potential to field another competitive squad that will impact their conference again. Last season, the Foxes finished with a 9-3 record, including a win versus long-time former Battlefield rival James Monroe, who they had not beaten in 10 years.
Personnel-wise, the Foxes have bulk up front, and speed at all the skill positions. On paper, they have the appearance of a rebuilding squad, when in fact the newcomers have all the skills to help this team reload for another playoff run. With Zach Johnson and Will Clift battling it out for quarterback, Smith has inherited a win-win situation — two athletes capable of taking him to the promised land of the playoffs.
“Zach doesn’t mind sticking his nose in there, when his number is called,” Smith said. “It’s amazing to watch Johnson and Clift go into action because it puts us in a position where the sky is the limit to what we can do.”
As for the ground game, the Foxes are stacked with speed and grit. With Antonio “Kentucky” Johnson, and Jacolby White bolting between offensive tackles, life in the fast lane of Smith’s single-wing offense is in good hands.
In regard to the offensive and defensive line, the Foxes have made the most of their off-season preparation.
“In years past, we averaged fifteen to twenty kids in the weight room; however, this year our numbers have more than doubled with forty-five to fifty-five players,” Smith said. “Kids have pushed each other to limit.”
The Foxes first home game of the season is Aug. 28 against Washington & Lee. The following week, King George will host Stafford. At halftime, during the Sept. 5 Stafford game, the latest honorees of the King George High School Sports Hall of Fame will be introduced.