Friday preview: Warriors to open seasonPublished 9:23pm Thursday, September 5, 2013
Christchurch (0-1) at Nansemond-Suffolk (1-0, 0-0) – 7 p.m.
Last season — Christchurch 27, Nansemond-Suffolk 26
When the Saints played the Seahorses last year, it was a tight battle between two experienced teams. Graduations at Christchurch could make this year’s match-up quite different.
“They’re very young, inexperienced,” Johnston said of the Seahorses. “It’s not the same Christchurch team we’ve seen the last two years.”
However, he said they still have good size, including tall and athletic receivers.
NSA senior cornerback Michael Tyler Lepore will be tasked with covering 6-foot-5-inch senior wideout Justin Peebles.
The Saints will also keep a close eye on senior quarterback Braeden Rosell, who has displayed significant athleticism.
This game will be Nansemond-Suffolk’s home opener, and Johnston said, “One of our objectives is to never lose on our home field.”
Grassfield (1-0) at Nansemond River (0-0, 0-0) – 7 p.m.
Last season — Grassfield 22, Nansemond River 21
Warriors head coach Tracey Parker admits he has been anxious to start the season after opening the schedule with a bye last Friday.
“I feel it, the coaches feel it, so I know the players feel it,” he said.
Entering the season opener, Parker said, “Our big deal is going to be not to give up the big play early and come out and execute and be consistent, because we know they’re going to bring a lot of athleticism.”
Nansemond River will need to contain familiar offensive threats in the form of senior running back duo Isaiah Harper and Vincent Lowe.
While on offense, the Warriors will look to navigate around a Grassfield linebacking corps Parker described as quick and active.
Woodrow Wilson (0-1) at King’s Fork (1-0, 0-0) – 7 p.m.
It has been a long time since the Bulldogs played the Presidents, but King’s Fork head coach Joe Jones has the same game plan in mind this week as the one executed against Deep Creek High School.
A 50-6 win over the Hornets last Thursday helped the Bulldogs get their season started right, but Jones said Wilson is hungry for a win as it lost last week 48-7 to Heritage High School.
He said the Presidents are going to air the ball out and as a result, “We’ve got to get pressure on the quarterback and make him throw quick.”
Jones said there has been a continued focus this week on special teams after they performed so well last Thursday, generating three touchdowns.
Lakeland (0-1, 0-0) at Great Bridge (0-0) – 7 p.m.
Last season — Lakeland 56, Great Bridge 7
Head coach Bryan Potts and the Cavaliers had a rough first outing last week, resulting in a 40-6 loss, but Potts is encouraged after a strong week of practice.
“I don’t really expect us to have the same issues with the offensive line and defensive line that we had against Norcom,” he said.
Potts noted the Wildcats have size on their lines. But he said, “I don’t think they’re as athletic as Norcom up front. If we do the things that we’re capable of doing, I think we’ll be fine.”
Potts said the Cavaliers are a little banged up in spots, but he does not expect it to be an issue.
In practice, there has been a focus on increased discipline, as Lakeland racked up eight penalties in game one.
“We’re not that kind of a team where we can leave those yards on the field,” he said.