Showing what it takes

Published 11:41 am Wednesday, November 28, 2018

I’d like to take a moment to shine a light on the young 2018 Central High School varsity football team for putting together a remarkable season.

Much of my perception of the Chargers is shaped by my conversations throughout the year with their head coach, Will Thomas. Coach Thomas is positive when he talks about his players, but he is also willing to tell it like it is when it comes to his team, so if Central plays poorly, he won’t mince words.

I was really struck by his description of this year’s iteration of the school’s varsity football program. He made it clear that he and his staff were working hard to coach up the players and motivate them, but he gave the players themselves an enormous amount of credit for the team’s success.

The young Chargers started the year 0-3 and then went on to win seven of their last nine games. After earning the No. 3 seed in the Region 1B tournament, they seriously challenged host No. 2 William Campbell High School in the semifinals, falling just short of a berth in the regional title game with a final score of 27-24.

In his conversations with me, Thomas highlighted how Central’s players really showed initiative and took it upon themselves to work hard to help orchestrate the season’s turnaround. He praised the teachableness that they demonstrated, which revealed itself in the form of better tackling and being in the right position to make plays. He noted these factors are what contributed to the close regional semifinal game against the Generals, standing in marked contrast to the same showdown the year prior which yielded a 45- 12 final score in favor of William Campbell.

“We had a simple game plan and really simple schemes that we used, and (our players) really followed them this year, so I think that was a big deal too,” Thomas said.

I really want to commend the Central players for being self-starters. This wasn’t necessarily expected to be a standout year for the Chargers, but they made it so, finishing with a winning 7-5 record and demonstrating what it takes to add a strong chapter to the Central program’s storied history.

Titus Mohler is the sports editor for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch and Farmville Newsmedia, LLC. His email address is Titus.Mohler@