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Washington & Lee 2010 fall sports preview

“Eagles Volleyball Set to Rebuild”
Volleyball tryouts were held in a packed gym for three days for both the varsity and junior varsity teams.  This year the varsity girls are led by former J.V. coach Whitney Thompson and Drew Hutt is at the helm for young J.V. Eagles.
Returning players: Tara Johnson, Ali Jones, Rebecca Jones, Tonya Jones, Molly Reed, Brianna Roane, and Jordan Williams.

Featured players to look for: Rebecca Jones, Molly Reed and Brianna Roane.
Coach’s comments: “I feel lucky to be taking over such an experienced team. It is their experience along with teamwork that I feel will lead the W&L Lady Eagles to a successful volleyball season.” –Coach Thompson
Captains: Rebecca Jones and Brianna Roane.
Top newcomer: 10th-grader Tori Swann.  
Expectations: My greatest expectation for this team is to demonstrate unity.
Key Losses: Samantha Jones, Courtney Aclan and Alex Henderson.
 
 “Mystery Eagles look to Find Identity”
Washington & Lee varsity and junior varsity football team have 100-plus student-athletes on their 2010 season roster.  The season looks to be a challenging one, however, with the varsity team losing a bulk of its production on both sides of the ball.  The Eagles have what they are looking for in terms of numbers, but it is yet to be seen what they have in athletic ability and toughness.  The varsity team is led by Malcolm Lewis and his assistants Edgar Cary, Jake Spears and Dean Taylor.
Key returning players: Bryan Burrell, T.j. Campbell, Raymond Johnson, Travis Seager, Jah Send Bean and Matt Chatam, Tim Gordon.
Top newcomers: D.J. Jackson, Marquise James, Otho Gaskins, D.A. Wilson, Marcus Smith, & Aaron Turner
Featured players to look for: Bryan Burrell, Marqiese James, Jah Send Bean, T.J. Campbell, Travis Seager and Otho Gaskins.
Coach’s comments:  “We are a young and inexperienced team.  We have had a good turn out but we are lacking chemistry and stars.  This year if our guys walk, yawn, or start slacking we won’t be able to compete with anyone on our schedule.” -Coach Lewis.
Key Losses: Jamar Tate, Laine Alles, Bubbie Miles, Miguel Garcia, Donnie Wilson and Adrian Bryant.
 Position-by-position breakdown:
Backfield: 
Bryan Burrell has college speed and the Eagles have one of the fastest players in the NND in senior tailback Jah Send Bean. This could be a real tough combination for opposing defenses to contend with. Burrell and Bean were both members of the state qualifying 4x100 meter team in the spring.  Bean gives the Eagles a home-run threat, and he’ll benefit from having a fullback blocking for him much of the time in Junior Pip Bankhead.  Junior Marquise James should see playing time behind Bean after a strong spring and fall performance. He may be the most natural runner among the tailbacks.
Wide Receivers:
T.J. Campbell had a breakthrough offseason and appears ready to take over as the go-to guy in the wide receiver group. D.A. Wilson started doing some of the things the coaches have been expecting him to do since he’s been here, and he could give the Eagles a deep downfield target. Senior Dorian Garner returned from shoulder surgery and has shown some play making ability.  Travis Seager at T.E., who possesses wide receiver skills looks to be a big factor for the Eagles offense.   
Offensive Line:
The line seems to be a weakness for the Eagles, it’s undersized, inexperienced and unproven. Matt Chatam looks to be the lone senior on the line.  Raymond Johnson, a junior, the only returning starter looks to anchor the line this year after having his season cut short due a leg injury.  Fellow junior Rashaun Tate looks to be a starter at center. Freshman Aaron Turner and Sophomore D.J. Jackson will fill out the remainder of the line.  
Defensive Line:
The Eagles will have three juniors trying to lockdown the trenches on the defensive front.  Tim Gordon will start at defensive end and Rashaun Tate will start at the opposite end. Gordon, who saw extensive playing time last year, looks to be a force this fall if he continues to develop like he has this summer.  Malik Ortiz will try to hold down the middle and allow linebackers to run free.
Linebackers:
The Eagles could have the fastest set of linebackers in the NND, especially if junior Pip Bankhead starts at middle linebacker. Bankhead can really fly, and he’s coming off a strong off-season in the weight room.  He needs to make plays from sideline to sideline. Three seniors Quran Campbell, Travis Seager and Dorian Garner look to be the leaders on the line.  Seager, the only returning defensive starter is a playmaker and has a knack for finding the ball.  Sophomores Juandre Wise and Daquan Doggett look to split time at inside backer for Edgar Carey’s Defense.
Secondary:
Youth will have to be on the Eagles secondary this year.  All six members in the two deep defense are playing varsity for the first time.  The good news is the speed that the secondary possesses.  Starting Corner Otho Gaskins, last year’s 800 meter champion in track and field, can flat out fly.  He can and will also deliver a big hit when the opportunity arises.  On the opposite side of the field fellow junior Marcus Smith will take on the starting corner position.  He too is quick and a ball hawk.  D.A. Wilson will be the last man at the safety spot.  He could be an instant contributor at the safety positions. He’s a big-time hitter who has a knack for being around the ball.

“Eagle Seniors look to break trend”
The boys cross country season started in full force with 15-plus runners coming out.  The boys finished second in the District and fourth in the Region in 2009.  Four seniors — Cale Coryell, Cullen Oliver, Evan Lewis and Luis Lopez — have been on the team since the eighth grade and have been a part of three straight second place finishes in the district meet and look to end that streak.  The boys are coached by Cole Vanover.
Coach’s comments:  “We have a large team that I expect will compete every day at practice. I want that, and we are going to need it to go against the teams of the NND and Region A.  We have beefed up our schedule some this year to better prepare us for Districts and Regionals. We have great senior leadership in captains Cullen Oliver and Luis Lopez, but with Evan Lewis and Cale Coryell also being around it makes my job very easy in terms of motivating.  I expect our times to be somewhat competitive across the board at first, but once we get late into the season is when we really have to be at our best.  What I am trying to get out of these guys is that I don’t want them to run a race to see who is fastest; I want them to run to see who has the most guts.  If we can do that, run to our potential and past our threshold, we will be OK.” – Coach Vanover
Returning runners: Seniors Cullen Oliver, Luis Lopez, Cale Coryell and Evan Lewis; and juniors Brandon Deel and Matt Trau.
Top newcomers: Moses Oviedo, Emmanuel Valdez, Daniel Valdez, Christian Deel and Hudson Hutt.
Featured runners: Cullen Oliver & Luis Lopez.
Key losses: David Ramirez and Ziggy Luna.  
Expectations: Control what we can control, everyone to run personal records and put ourselves in position to win every meet we enter. 
 
“Youth Looks to Lead Girls Cross Country”
The girls cross country team looks to rebuild after losing their number one and two runners and another runner who has relocated to another state.  The girls finished second in the district last year, but look to really push for a title this year if the entire team can step up and fill in the missing pieces.  The girls are coached by Cindy Flickinger.
Coach’s comments: “We will have a young team this year.  Most of our runners are sophomores or freshmen and are new to running.  I’m always excited about the possibility at what the girls can accomplish when they set their mind to it.  How well they do really depends on their commitment to practicing and how competitive they see themselves. Our top runners have been training hard this summer and hope to be competitive at both the district and regional level.  I look forward to seeing what our girls are capable of this season, starting with our first meet on Sept. 8 at Essex.” – Coach Flickinger
Returning runners: Senior Sarah Sisson and sophomores Lydia Cardenas and Taylor Lewis.   
Top newcomers: Megan Daiger and Karson Napier.
Featured runners: Sarah Sission.
Key losses: Leah Coates and Ashley Allen.
Expectations:  Run to the best of our ability, push each other to be better and find out what we are made of. 

Cole Vanover
The Journal

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