Following a 0-10 season, first year head coach Kirkland Brown will have his work cut out for him as he takes the reins of the Tunstall Trojans storied program, but he is looking forward to the challenge. “Honestly, all games are important to us,” Brown stated. “I know that’s cliche to say, but it is true.” The Trojans will be led on the field by running back/linebacker Bricen Pool, wide receiver/defensive back Ryan Yancey, running back/linebacker Ryan Jones, tight end/defensive back Nash Glasscock, as well as Curtis Ingram who works the trenches on the offensive and defensive lines.
The Trojans will kick the season off against their longtime cross-county rival, the Dan River Wildcats. While every game is important, Coach Brown is anticipating that matchup. “I am looking forward to the first game of the year against Dan River so that we can set the tone for the year,” said Brown.
Tunstall’s regular season will come to a close with a home game on November 3 against the George Washington High School Eagles.
George Washington Eagles
“Win Everywhere: In the classroom, the community and on the field.” That’s the motto the George Washington Eagles will carry into this season, following last year’s 4-6 campaign. Led by longtime coach Nick Anderson, the Eagles were in unfamiliar territory last season, but are looking to bounce back in a big way. “Last year, not making the playoffs for the first time as a coach in 18 years (11 with GW), as a staff we’re going back to the basics,” said Anderson. “Last season humbled us and made us hungry.”
On the field, the Eagles will look a lot more experienced this season than last, with a group of juniors and seniors ready to lead the charge, headlined by Boston College-commit Kemori Dixon. The rising senior Dixon will look to lead the Eagles’ defense alongside fellow seniors Darell Mabin (DB/RB), Josh Pritchett (DB, WR), and Elijah Bridges (DB/RB).
In the trenches, the Eagles seemed poised to have two rising stars in sophomores, Chris Law and Tahjei Rasheed. Under center, junior Nehemiah Campbell will again lead GW.
George Washington will start their 2023 campaign at home against Dinwiddie. Along with continuing their longstanding rivalry with EC Glass, the Eagles will also have some fresh matchups against Staunton River and the new Mecklenburg County High School.
“Ain’t no big thing, but it’s growing.” For years, that slogan adorned the entrance into the Town of Gretna and for many years, it could have represented the Gretna Hawks’ win totals on the field. But a little over 20 years ago, the tide began to turn. Coaches like Robert Prunty and players such as Vic Hall and Horace Hubbard put the Hawks on a winning track and now the program is associated with winning, collecting multiple state championships and playoff wins along the way.
Led now by third-year head coach Shaun Miller, Gretna will look to get back on the north side of .500 after finishing 5-6 last season. They open the season on the road against Jefferson Forest, who Miller says is “well coached.”
On offense the Hawks will be led by senior QB Melvin Wooden, who racked up nearly 1,600 yards of total offense last year with 17 touchdowns. Joining him will be senior WR Ryder Brooks and junior RB Zamarreon Younger. The defense will be anchored by senior defensive back K’Mari Chatten.
Dan River Wildcats
The Wildcats of Dan River High School will look to build off their successful 6-5 campaign as they open their 2023 season on the road against longtime rivals Tunstall. The following week, they’ll be on the road once again against the Magna Vista Warriors.
Dan River will then be treated to some home cooking with three straight home games against Bassett, Martinsville and Gretna.
Former player, and 1997 Dan River graduate, Brian Womack will continue to coach the team as he has for the past several years, racking up a string of successful seasons. In 2019, Womack was named Region 2C Coach of the Year.
The Wildcats close out their regular season on the road against Appomattox County on November 3rd.
After coach Jay Fielder left for the head coaching position at Martinsville High School, the Chatham Cavaliers will be led this year by coach Bruce Devlin. While Devlin may be new to the Chatham program, he certainly isn’t new to coaching.
He was the varsity football head coach at Princeton Day School in New Jersey, where he won two state titles and was named the Coach of the Year in New Jersey twice. He also coached varsity baseball at Princeton Day School and won three state titles and two Coach of the Year awards. Most recently, he was a volunteer assistant coach for the Averett University football program.
The Cavaliers will kick off their season, August 25, on the road against Prince Edward County. In October, they will host key matchups against William Campbell and Dan River, before closing out their regular season at home against Altavista on November 3rd.
2023 Local Football Preview