Gridiron thoughts at the start
The 2019 high school varsity football season is underway and there is already much to be excited about for fans in the Lunenburg County area.
Yes, Central High School opened the year with a 28-8 loss to visiting Altavista High School, but I know well — from experience — that Chargers Head Coach Will Thomas and his staff are already hard at work, taking what they can from this game to improve the team moving forward.
Things are not likely to get easier for Central as it hits the road this week to visit William Campbell High School, but the Chargers are no strangers to slow starts.
Last season, they started 0-3, getting blown out in two of those games, before going 7-2 the rest of the way, which included a 1-1 playoff run.
Thomas and the rest of Central’s coaching staff have shown the crucial ability to make adjustments during the course of the season to turn things around. Thomas is quick to defer credit to his players, praising them, for example, for the tremendous effort they put forth last year to make the Chargers a winning team.
Central will need to find a way to establish the run moving forward, but it definitely has some experienced skill players, like senior running backs T’zion Wilkerson, Khalil Wood and Daquan “Lee Man Lee” Lee, and the defense has some standouts, like senior lineman Kawonté Ragsdale and Wood at linebacker, who will help keep opponents from racking up too many points.
The Chargers have trained us to wait and see what they make of the season, because they usually make it something worth following.
Meanwhile, the other varsity football team we cover hails from Kenston Forest School, and the Kavaliers have started very quickly.
Now in their second year of playing eight-man football but with a new head coach, Joseph Kaiser, the Kavs are already 2-0, having outscored their opponents 94-0.
Opening the year a week earlier than most teams, Kenston Forest traveled to Merry Hill, North Carolina, on Aug. 24 for its first game of the year and defeated host Lawrence Academy, 55-0.
Then the Kavaliers played their home opener this past Friday night, facing off against archrival Brunswick Academy, and the Kavs offered up a performance the home crowd could cheer loudly about, delivering a 39-0 shutout victory.
Kenston Forest has proven in only two games that it can reach the end zone in a variety of ways with a variety of players. If opponents thought they could simply key on senior running back Jah’Tavious Houston, they were wrong. He didn’t play in the first game, though he made his presence known in the second one with an 88-yard, one-touchdown performance.
Junior fullback Quinton Hawkins has proven to be a major factor, running for 256 yards and six touchdowns through two games so far.
Junior quarterback Moe’Wuante “Moe Moe” Morrison can make opposing defenses pay with his arm and his legs, producing three passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns across two games.
The Kavs also have some dangerous targets for Morrison, including junior tight end Triston Long and sophomore wide receiver Trey Lewis.
Kenston Forest (2-0) hosts Hampton Roads Academy on Friday at 7 p.m.
As the fall progresses, I’m looking forward to seeing what the Chargers and Kavaliers do next.
Titus Mohler is the sports editor for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Titus.Mohler@ KVDispatch.com.