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Suffolk rivals remember their history

Published 12:38am Sunday, October 7, 2012

When Suffolk public school football teams play each other like Lakeland and King’s Fork did this weekend, Bulldogs head coach Joe Jones likes to highlight the history involved.

“A lot of these guys played middle school ball together at King’s Fork and Kennedy,” he said. “Some kids come here to play after that, some kids go to represent for Lakeland.”

This week, he alluded to his own previous coaching experience at the junior varsity level to illustrate how cross-city games are an especially rich source of pleasure for him.

“As I tell the kids at King’s Fork that I’ve coached at the middle school, I wish them nothing but the best in their careers and hope they continue playing,” he said. “It’s always good as a coach to see guys moving on and seeing how they progress and get bigger and stronger and all that … even if it’s across the field.”

Lakeland field hockey coach Tara Worley felt her team’s performance against host Western Branch on Wednesday was sub-par, but she refused to blame it on the condition of the playing field.

The nature of field hockey is such that a bumpy surface can cause the small playing ball to bounce over an otherwise properly placed stick and immediately result in a change of possession.

Worley did, however, reveal that the pitch can be significant when she expressed relief that their Friday afternoon match-up against Ocean Lakes would be played at the U.S. Field Hockey National Training Center.

“We’ll be on turf and hopefully clean (our play) up a little bit,” she said. “On turf, the true skills come out. You’re not playing against another opponent. Sometimes, I feel like that.”

Lakeland won Friday’s game 5-1.

King’s Fork Physical Education teacher Joe Jones is more commonly referred to in this paper by his football-related title. While some might think of coaching football as a part-time job adjacent to his full-time teaching position, it is actually more like two full-time occupations.

“With everything that has to be done and setting up the offseason stuff and all, it’s pretty much a full-time gig all year-around, because I’m here just as long, sometimes longer (in the offseason),” he said.

“A lot of times in the offseason, I got to get here earlier to fit the demands of all the people to get them in the weight room. We got a lot of different sports using the weight room. Usually twice a week in the offseason I open up the weight room at six in the morning before school. So, it’s pretty full-time, year-around now.”

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