Friday, August 17, 2012

Football Is Almost Here!!!

Three weeks from tonight, we'll be streaming WHAN Radio's coverage of Patrick Henry vs. Hanover on opening night of the 2012 high school football season!

In the coming weeks,, in conjunction with the Hanover Herald-Progress, will be presenting extensive team previews of all four county schools.

After a season where three teams made the playoffs and one ascended all the way to the state semifinals (and that team returns its core!), what will our county's student-athletes do for an encore?

What we'll be watching early....

1) Who plays at quarterback for Hanover?
2) Who replaces Israel Vaughan under center for Lee-Davis?
3) How will Kenner Berry's time at QB in the 2011 playoffs help his development for 2012?
4) Is the loss of Raymon Minor too much for a possibly thin Patrick Henry team, or is it addition by subtraction?  Depends upon your perspective.....

There's no doubt the most pressure is found west of Ashland, since Patrick Henry hasn't recorded a winning season since 2008.  Patriot faithful are not used to a significant down period, something that hasn't happened at PH since the late 1970s/early 1980s before the arrival of Ray Long in the fall of 1982.

There's no doubt also that the highest expectations are found on Chamberlayne Road, where Sam Rogers enters his fourth and final year as the heart of the Hawks team.  Add Andrew Knizner's versatility, a third quarterback option coming from JV, the return of L.J. Jones at tailback, and pieces of last year's defense returning, and it's obvious to see that this is "THE" year for Hanover if they want to achieve new heights of success. Ending their first decade as a football program, Hanover already has three Division 5 Regional Titles to their credit, but, in each season they won it, they would hit the road and lose in the state semifinals, sometimes in heartbreaking fashion (see Phoebus, 2009).....

Rogers, Knizner, Jones and other returnees plus a new influx of talent.  Can Hanover finally win a Division 5 Regional Title in an even year, getting a home game in the state semifinal round?  Can Hanover finally play at Scott Stadium for a state championship?

Or....will something unforeseen derail everything, such as the injury to Rogers in mid-season 2011?

Our first stop on the pre-season football tour is Saturday morning for the Green/White Scrimmage at Hanover.  Practice is at 7:30, scrimmage begins at 9am.

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