In 2004, Washington County cancelled two games. Lincoln County postponed one game because of weather, but it was later cancelled when a suitable makeup date could not be found.
The JV Dogs ended up with a 3-1 record despite the seven game schedule. This year, would result in more of the same. After losing a close game to Washington County in the season opener, the Dogs went on to defeat Lincoln County, Greenbrier, and Washington-Wilkes.
The final three games of the year against Lakeside, Burke County, and Washington County were all cancelled. Only the Lakeside game was cancelled due to weather. Even though the team didn't realize it at the time, the win at Washington-Wilkes more than three weeks ago marked the end of the JV season with another 3-1 record.
Cancellations can be disappointing to players and coaches alike, but are part of the JV football world.
"Cancellations are frustrating, especially for the kids who are out there working hard every day," said Coach Chris Hodges. "It's just something we can't control, so we try to stay focused on our long term goals."
Despite a 6-2 (.750) record after completing his second year as JV head coach, Coach Hodges downplays the record and emphasizes the learning aspect of junior varsity football.
"We really don't concern ourselves too much about the record. We stress effort and discipline, and the wins will generally come," Coach Hodges said. "Our main goal on the junior varsity level is to develop basic skills and attitudes that will help the kids transition into good varsity players."
Despite the short season, the Dogs managed to put up good numbers. Fullback Carlton Martin led Bulldog rushers with 173 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries for a 6.7-yard average per carry.
Marquis McGahee had 137 yards and a touchdown. Nathaniel Jones added 100 yards and Jeremy McGahee added 78. Dexter Sneed, D'Juan Martin, James Bonner, Clint Chalker and Bryce Hawkins also had carries for the Dogs. James Bonner scored one touchdown as well.
Quarterback Brandon Turman threw a touchdown pass in each of the first three games on his way to a 285 yard passing performance. Turman completed 9 of 23 passes for an impressive 31.7-yard average per pass.
Jeremy McGahee, Will Anderson, and Nathaniel Jones all caught touchdown strikes from Turman.
Jeremy McGahee led receivers with 121 yards on just three receptions. James Bonner, Darius Eubanks, and Dexter Sneed also recorded receptions. Kentrell Williams caught a two point conversion pass from Brandon Turman.
Defensive end Justin Samuels led all Bulldog defenders racking up 27 tackles, 3 sacks and one interception. Defensive back Corey Mathis also had a good year, recording 21 tackles and 2 interceptions.
James Bonner, Stantwaun Morris and Patrick Stewart had over 20 tackles each. Clint Chalker, Chauncey Kinlow, Bryan McNair, Caldesia Moss and Shardeveric Parker recorded more than 10 tackles each.
Nathaniel Jones was a special teams standout, scoring touchdowns on a 60 yard punt return and an 85 yard kickoff return. Matt McEver handled the kicking duties and was 5 for 7 on PATs.
What's next for the JV players?
"We had a large group of freshmen (28), and if those guys all stay with the program and work hard, then I could see a lot of success for them over the next few years," Coach Hodges said.
"We chose a small group of kids to dress out with the varsity to give the older guys some relief on the scout teams and to give those freshmen some experience against better players. If they get an opportunity to play in a game, then that would be great, but we're just trying to help out the varsity any way we can."