Go Cavaliers!

Published 7:57 pm Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It has been a long time since Suffolk was known as a football town.

For years, the real high school sports action in Peanut City has been on the hardwood, where stars have been made from both boys and girls teams at schools around the city. And in 2009, stardom came in a big way, when the boys basketball team at King’s Fork High School took the state championship series by storm, bringing home the trophy and bragging rights as the top AAA team in Virginia.

Certainly other teams in other sports have excelled — Lakeland’s perennially good field hockey teams come quickly to mind — but many of the students in Suffolk high schools were not even alive the last time one of the city’s public schools brought home a state title in football.

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This year, Lakeland High School — perhaps the unlikeliest prospect if one had considered the question at the end of last year’s football season — has the chance to do just that. The Cavaliers are set to take to the gridiron Saturday evening in Portsmouth, facing I.C. Norcom in the first round of the regional playoffs. Going into the post-season, Lakeland has a record of 7-3, losing a heartbreaker to city rival Nansemond River High School in the last game of the regular season. Last year, Lakeland was winless at the end of the regular season.

There’s plenty for the Cavaliers and their fans to be proud of. From winless to the playoffs is a long trip to have made in the short span of a year, so the accomplishment is a great one, win or lose.

Still, folks all around Suffolk, no matter which city school they normally support, will be rooting for the Cavaliers as they head to Portsmouth on Saturday, proud that at least one of their teams has a chance this year to make Suffolk a football town once again.

Good luck, Lakeland Cavaliers!