Charger Pride on display
In Lunenburg County, there is a lot of talk about Charger Pride, and on Friday night, Nov. 15, I saw it on display, not only in the stands but particularly on the football field at Central High School.
The reason everyone was there was a regional playoff game, as the varsity No. 4-seeded Chargers hosted No. 5 Franklin High School.
It ended up being the last game of the season for Central. The Broncos came back and scored a go-ahead touchdown with less than a minute and a half to play to win 24-19.
So, the finality of the contest helped me to focus on the effort and heart put forth by Central’s players and fans.
Final home games and final games overall are good times to highlight seniors, who are, in many cases, displaying their talent on the gridiron for the last time ever, leaving one last indelible memory in the hearts and minds of Charger fans that those fans may talk about years down the line when they reflect on the program’s history.
Ideally, you want those fans to remember someone who was selfless, a real team player, and an outstanding talent.
There were 11 seniors on Central’s roster this year, so I will not be able to highlight every single one of them in this column, but I will mention a few to help represent the group.
T’zion Wilkerson had been struggling with an injury that had limited him to playing defense in recent games, and Head Coach Will Thomas told me at one point that it was doubtful he would play again on offense, but Friday night, Wilkerson played well on both sides of the ball, showcasing his resilience.
Daequan “Lee Man Lee” Lee was visibly dealing with the pain from a lingering injury Friday, but he repeatedly pushed through it to make contributions for his team in the run game, including scoring a touchdown.
Darien Jones helped give his team a 7-0 lead near the beginning of the game with a big touchdown run, and he made key contributions on defense as well.
Ben Anthony showed grit and versatility on offense, defense and special teams.
If there is someone I think of as a defensive specialist for the Chargers, it would have to be Kawonté Ragsdale, and he was hard at work, flying to the ball.
Shamond Sellers and others were among the linemen who are so crucial to any football team’s success.
I felt for Khalil Wood, who was sidelined by injury and not able to suit up for the playoff game, but he was there in his jersey on the sideline, representing his team to the end.
The Chargers had a vocal crowd in attendance, and the cheerleaders were spirited and encouraging. Assistant Coach Derek Burke made a point to acknowledge them when they chimed in with a cheer about getting fired up during a particularly crucial part of the game.
Yes, the result of the game is not what anyone on Central’s side was hoping for, but they showed why there is an enduring thing called Charger Pride and why it is not going to go away.
Titus Mohler is the sports editor for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Titus.Mohler@ KVDispatch.com.