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Ford hopes to build on last season, despite relying on youngsters

Prince Edward County High School varsity football coach James Ford and his team are hard at work during hot days leading up to the start of the 2015 season.

The Eagles, under the direction of Ford, improved to 4-7 last year after just one win in 2013 and they made the playoffs last season for the first time since 2006.

The team will have to heavily rely on a team full of young players if they are to meet or exceed last season, but Ford says he is excited to see how his guys develop. The team will be mostly made up of sophomores and juniors, but many of them saw time on the field last year and that should help them as they move into starting roles.

“We have to just take it one play at a time,” Ford said.

The Eagles will look to returning tailback Delquan Bigelow who brings speed and elusiveness to the back field.

The Eagles will have an experienced group of lineman, made up of Rafiq Abdus-Sabur, Brandon McKay, Deshawn Brown and Markeem Trent.

Ford says that the Eagles will have to rely on their running attack as they break in several other new players, including a new quarterback starter who has yet to be determined.

He even indicated that the team may use a two quarterback rotation, at least to start the season.

The defense is where the Eagles will suffer the most uncertainty according to Ford. “Defensively, we are starting from scratch personnel-wise.”

This doesn’t bode well for the Eagles on the defensive side of the ball as they gave up 380 points last season, which is nearly 35 points per game.

The team will have to improve on that number that actually increased up from 323 points the previous year, despite the better record.

The team did play well in games against several strong opponents and even held the James River District Champions, Nottoway High School, to just 21 points.

The Eagles will begin their regular season on Friday, Aug. 28, when they host Windsor High School at 7 p.m.