Kings Fork prepares for Churchland clash, will lean on experience

Published 11:54 am Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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Kings Fork head football coach Anthony Joffrion has high hopes and praise for this breed of Bulldogs that will take the field Friday against Churchland.

“This is the most talented team I’ve had here at Kings Fork, and we’ve had talented teams,” Joffrion said. “To me, this is the most talented. Now, we have to do a great job molding these young men, coaching them up, and holding them accountable every single day. I feel like this is a very strong team, and we have to execute every single day.”

The goal is to win in December. The Bulldogs lost in the state semifinals in 2021 to Varina, who went on to claim the VHSL Class 4A title and in 2022, they lost to Warwick in the region final.

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“We just have to find a way to win in December and win at the end of November,” Joffrion said.

With November and December circled and placed on the shelf for a few months, the Bulldogs will tee it up against Churchland, who finished 8-4 overall last season. Joffrion will be staring down an old high school opponent in Churchland, head coach Dontrell Leonard.

“Their coach, Dontrell Leonard, does a great job, great coach,” Joffrion said. “I actually played against him in high school. I played at Ocean Lakes High School; they actually sent us home my senior year. He sent us home my senior year, but he’s been a great mentor. We’ve talked over the years; he’s a great coach.”

The strength of the Bulldogs’ explosive offense starts with the offensive line that returns all five linemen and four receivers, and with NCAA Division I prospect JaVon Ford at running back.

At the quarterback position, D’andre Artis-Boone, who has been with the program since he was in the eighth grade, looks to pull from that experience as he takes over under center for the Bulldogs.

“Every day, we just have to keep coaching them and just need to keep getting better,” he said. “But, I think this has the chance to be one of the best groups in the area.”

On the defense side of the ball, the Bulldogs will return eight starters. With big, physical play up front coupled with speed on the edge, the Bulldogs should create matchup problems weekly.

Check out some frames from Tuesday’s practice.