The power of an example

Published 1:18 pm Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Central High School varsity football team did something this year Lunenburg County has come to expect — it put together a strong, winning season.

The Chargers qualified for the playoffs for the sixth year in a row, and finished its 2016 campaign with a record of 8-3.

The players who take the field under the guidance of Head Coach Will Thomas have some positive pressure applied to them to help them succeed. One source of that pressure is a community with high expectations of its signature football team. Another source is the legacy left by players and coaches who have gone before.

Central’s varsity football program is not simply one that has enjoyed success on a couple of occasions. Dating back to 1960, the Chargers have produced winning seasons in 47 of the last 57 years, according to

Sometimes these campaigns ended with a state championship trophy. shows that in 1980, the Chargers went 14-0, outscoring opponents 511-111 on their way to winning the state title.

Central won the Virginia High School League Group A-Division 2 state championship in 1986 and 1987, going 27-0-1 during that stretch. It defeated Garden High School 21-6 for the 1986 title, and then shut out Drewry Mason High School 29-0 in the 1987 state title game.

The Chargers’ most recent state final win came in 1992, when they capped off an undefeated season with a 20-6 victory over Lebanon High School.

This legacy of success left by prior players and coaches means that any Central player who takes the gridiron has a lot to live up to and but also a powerful example to follow.

For the Chargers, there is little room for injuries and error in putting together a successful season, and it is encouraging to know, with only a brief glance at the history books, that it is possible.

The 2017 Central squad and others down the line will be able to look back at this year’s team and find that same encouragement.

Titus Mohler is the sports editor of The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch. His email address is