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Eagles new head coach pleased with team’s progress

Todd Jones, the legendary new coach of the Washington & Lee Eagles, has just been on the job for a month, but he said Tuesday he is pleased with the team he is building and with the pace of the first week’s varsity football practices.

 “We’re very excited,” said Jones, who was hired by W&L after building a powerhouse at Essex High School in Tappahannock where he won 10 district championships and one state title.  “Sometime change is difficult, but the kids have embraced what we are trying to accomplish.”

 Jones said currently 45 players from the 10th, 11th and 12th grades are practicing with the varsity as well as three freshmen who were invited to take part in the early practices.  Additional players from the 8th and 9th grades will report for practice Thursday.

 The three freshmen invited to early varsity practice were offensive lineman/linebacker Larry White, receiver/linebacker Garrett Oliff and wide receiver Carson Bell.  “They are talented kids,” said Jones.
W&L has scheduled a three-way scrimmage next week at West Point.  The scrimmage will include the West Point and Poquoson varsity football teams as well as W&L and will begin at 5 p.m. on the 15th.

“We are stressing that every kid is going to make an impact,” said Jones.  “We are going to push the pace and move the ball.  I am especially pleased with the way our leadership is coming along.  The team concept has taken hold and that’s going to help us move forward.”

Jones is taking over a football team with solid prospects.  Almost two dozen lettermen return from a team that went two rounds into the third round of the state playoffs last year and the W&L junior varsity team lost only one game last season.  “We’ve got a lot of good kids here,” said Jones.  

Jones’ 2009 Essex state championship went 14 and 0 and pounded always tough Radford 30 to 0 to win the state title.  Jones was voted Virginia High School Coach of the Year in 2009 and he has coached in the state East-West all star game twice.  W&L players and fans are optimistic because Jones’ teams are noted for their offensive production.

Richard Leggitt

 

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