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For Fuqua, It's Time To Stew Over Some Big Questions

It goes without saying I'm happy that Fuqua School will have a varsity football team this season. If for no other reason, it means that I can get some Brunswick Stew on Homecoming.

I have to be honest, the prospect of going stewless this fall had me a little bummed.

It didn't matter what game I was going to attend that night, I would find a way to slip by Fuqua to pick up some stew. I am craving some cornbread fritters right now.

As are you. You're welcome.

There are more reasons to be happy. Less selfish reasons, and, yes, a few reasons to be concerned.

It would've been a shame if head coach Lewis “Skeeter” Fore wasn't able to enjoy one or two more final go-rounds. He and longtime assistant Walter “Bozo” Addleman, will now have that opportunity.

A hiatus from varsity football of a year or two, would've likely spelled the end for the legendary coaches. Men who have forgotten more about football (not much) than many will ever know (even less). They have accumulated nearly 300 victories, numerous league titles and a pair of state championships. The number of state titles would have easily been a lot more had Virginia's private schools conducted a state playoff before the 1990s.

Football aside, there are a lot of men, leaders in this community, that are better off for having them as coaches and mentors.

Both have earned the right to go out on their terms – this year, next year or if they're up for it, ten years from now.

I can't think of a higher compliment to give than to say if I had a son, I would be absolutely thrilled to have them coach him. Even if he had never played a down of football, I would be concerned, but comforted by the fact that Fore and Addleman (I'm going to throw in previous assistants Ted Cunningham and Rick Davis, as well) were the ones charged with the task of quickly getting him up to speed.

I don't have a son. The Lord has blessed me with three beautiful daughters, so in this case, I have the luxury of dealing in hypotheticals.

Fuqua doesn't have that luxury. There are now some Fuqua parents of students that signed up during an assembly last week who no longer have that luxury.

Which brings us to the aforementioned concern. The in-house recruiting efforts by the Fuqua School administration has paid off in that there are now enough boys on the roster to green light the 2012 season. Well done.

The wisdom in the decision can be debated, and won't be fully known, we can only hope, until November. If it's sooner, there won't be much debate.

Some of these boys who came to the rescue have never played a down. Others have, but not in a while.

They are to be commended. They're giving their all for Fuqua School, and hopefully, these minutemen will become a positive part of the Falcons' long and storied football history.

Football is a game that requires a long-term commitment before the opening kick is put into the air.

Are these young men that weren't originally going to suit up for Fuqua ready for what's to come on September 7? They will play tackle football against Alliance Christian Academy?

Can they play? Can they figure out how to take a hit? Are those responsible for protecting the quarterback and tailback able to keep them from taking a premature hit?

If they listen to their coaches, we may be presently surprised at the result.

At the same time, the adults will need to answer some others.

How did things get to this point? What could've been done differently? What needs to be done differently to make sure this doesn't happen again?

While everyone agrees that athletics should never be the main focus of a school's mission, was the Fuqua administration so careful in that regard that it may have, pushed athletics too far down in the pecking order?

It's a lot to ponder.

The boys at Fuqua School answered their biggest and most pressing question last week with a resounding “Yes”. The others will require longer answers, and will be hashed out over the coming weeks and months.

But for now, students, administration, alumni and supporters should be proud that Fuqua will field a varsity football team.

And that we'll all get to enjoy Brunswick Stew and cornbread fritters.