Another Big Season Ahead For Falcons?
Published 1:09 pm Friday, August 26, 2011
FARMVILLE – Google Charles Williams and Fuqua School, and you will begin to see how much attention the senior quarterback is getting from college scouts. You'll also see he shares a name with a Charles Williams who teaches in the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
One thing you won't confuse with Duke, is the Falcons' success on the gridiron.
Last season, the Falcons (9-3, 5-1 VCC in 2010) finished second to Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot in both the Virginia Commonwealth Conference and the Virginia Independent Schools Football Association's Division IV Playoffs.
A cynic may also point out that Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot may also have been able to beat Duke. While that's pure hyperbole, it does point out how the Knights were head-and-shoulders above the rest in the VCC and Division IV last season.
The Falcons, with Williams a couple of steps behind center and some very capable weapons at the skill positions, were quite entertaining themselves, as they averaged 33.5 points per game offensively in 2010.
Much of the team returns from the high-octane 2010 squad, including tailback Larry Haskins and junior quarterback/receiver Carter Cunningham. In all, the Falcons will dress 11 seniors on a roster that will number about 28 with three or four call-ups from the JV.
“It's a numbers game these days for our level of football,” said FS head coach Lewis “Skeeter” Fore, who spent the early part of this week filling three spots on the schedule that opened up after Southampton Academy, Tidewater Academy and Walsingham Academy were unable to field football teams. “We're fortunate in our numbers right now, but it's still critical that we remain healthy.”
Injuries, have already taken a more than slight toll on the Falcons, as Cunnigham and two others will miss the first couple of games due to various injuries.
“On this level, since a good many play both ways, when you lose one player, it's like losing two. The injuries we have right now aren't season-enders, but we'll have to shuffle some people around for a couple of weeks. We're fortunate to have a little more depth than we've had in a good, long while, and barring anything else, we should be able to get to the other side of our open week (week three) and be ready to go from there.”
Williams, who was to see an increased role at tailback with Cunningham at quarterback will move fully back to his 2011 role until Cunningham heals. Sophomore Kraig Green will start at fullback in place of junior Davis Cyrus, who is also nursing an injury that will sideline him for a few weeks.
“Williams and Haskins have proven to be two good threats out of the backfield for us, and they will be again this year.”
Fore added that the Falcons should be solid at the receiver positions with Josh Davis, Jai Jamerson among others at receiver. Fuqua will have to replace the graduated Michael Marquez, who battled a shoulder injury all season in 2010, but managed to play through the pain to be a deep threat for the Falcons.
The Falcons' line should be more experienced. The extra year of conditioning and weight training should give the backfield some more time to allow plays to develop. With 12 players wearing numbers between 50 and 89, the Falcons will have more depth on the lines than they had in 2010.
“I'm looking for improvement on the lines. Our returning players have worked hard in the offseason, and we've gotten a couple of new players who have moved in and have been pleasant surprises.”
Many on Fuqua's roster will play both offense and defense, which is nothing new for teams at the smaller level of the VISFA. The key will be to get starters as much rest time as possible. Fuqua's defense gave up a little over 21 points per game last season.
Fuqua will continue to have one of the more unique kicking games in football with Mary Kyner returning for her senior season as a place kicker.
The schedule is finally finalized, and barring injuries piling up, the Falcons should be the biggest competitor to BS-Huguenot for the VCC crown.
“Blessed Sacrament returns almost all of its offensive line, and they should be the favorites again. Isle of Wight was down last year, but they should be much improved. They're so close to the Hampton Roads area that they're not going to be down for long. Kenston Forest has some good numbers this year as well.
“I just hate it for Tidewater and Southampton. We knew Tidewater would be close, but Southampton, which had about 20 last year lost ten seniors. Dale [Marks] was so apologetic, but the first three days of camp, they only had about 12 boys out. But that's the realities of football with small schools.”
Fuqua has the tools for another successful campaign. With BS-Huguenot in the way, a conference or state title will be a bigger challenge, but the Falcons will likely again have the best chance at knocking the Knights off.
“We'll have to have a good night on their bad night, but we can't focus on just one team. If we do, we could get tripped up.”
Date Team Time
8/26 @ Brunswick Academy* 7
9/2 @ Kenston Forest* 7
9/16 Broadwater Academy 7
9/23 @ Hampton Roads Academy 7
9/30 Isle of Wight Academy* 7:30
10/7 @ Fredericksburg Christian 4
10/14 @ BS-Huguenot* 7
10/21 Roanoake Catholic 7
10/28 Chincoteague H.S. 6
11/4 Hampton Christian 7
Virginia Commonwealth Conference Game