Bulldog slate features six home games
King’s Fork won just three games last football season, but the Bulldogs claimed the Suffolk city title with rivalry wins over Lakeland and Nansemond River on the last two Friday nights of the season.
It was a spirited end after a tough season, a season made tougher thanks to the lights at KF’s football stadium having to be replaced during the season. KF lost one home game and played half of another home game at Nansemond River, then the second half of that game at KF on the following Monday afternoon.
The repercussions of last season carry over to this fall, but now in a beneficial way for the Bulldogs. This coming fall, King’s Fork has the luxury of six home games.
KF’s lone non-district game is at home versus Churchland to lead off the season. KF gets five of its nine Southeastern games at home, with a game against Hickory at KF since last season’s Hickory at King’s Fork game was played at Hickory.
King’s Fork’s schedule is pretty full during the next couple months. The backbone of the Bulldog training is daily workouts at the school, says head coach Joe Jones.
Most of the team comes in three evenings a week. Some guys come during morning hours. Some make it to both most of the time, says Jones.
“I’ve got 12-15 guys most mornings. They’re usually here waiting for me at 7 a.m.,” Jones said.
Jones started the morning workouts last summer “for those guys playing baseball or who have work,” Jones said. “Now no one can say, ‘I can’t lift this summer because of another sport or work.’”
On Tuesday evenings, the Bulldogs have a team in a 7-on-7 passing league in Norfolk.
Jones tries to give his players some breaks on the weekends through the summer, but he does have a number of 7-on-7 tournaments and trips lined up.
KF has its annual Peanut City Shootout, a 7-on-7 passing tournament with 24 teams, set for Saturday, June 26.
In mid-July, Jones will take his backs, receivers and linemen up to Johnstown, Pa. for a 7-on-7 tournament and a “Big Man Challenge” at his old high school. Last summer, KF won both contests at the two-day camp.
“All of its part of conditioning and it’s good to get used to competition, but as we found out, it doesn’t translate automatically into wins on Fridays,” Jones said.
“We lost good, talented players, although we’ve got good, talented young kids coming up,” Jones said.
Most notably, Jones will be trying to replace seven starters on defense. The defense was led by Dominique Patterson, who’s now with Virginia Tech, and Derek Wright, headed now to Towson.
Middle school football, having just completed its second spring in Suffolk, is already making a noticeable difference. Most of the upcoming freshmen and sophomores have been able to play one or two seasons of middle school football.
“It’s this way at all three high schools, I believe. This year we’re already seeing a difference, really at the JV level, because of middle school football,” Jones said.
King’s Fork Football
Sept. 2 (Thurs.) CHURCHLAND
Sept. 10 HICKORY
Sept. 17 OSCAR SMITH
Sept. 24 at Indian River
Oct. 1 at Great Bridge
Oct. 8 GRASSFIELD
Oct. 15 at Deep Creek
Oct. 22 WESTERN BRANCH
Oct. 29 LAKELAND
Nov. 5 at Nansemond River