Here is a need or two to consider for each district program as it begins practice. Last year’s records are in parenthesis.
BRUTON (3-7 overall, 2-7 district): The Panthers averaged a paltry 39 yards per game passing a year ago, but athletic quarterback Bilal Wallace now has a full year under his belt as a starter and the Panthers will look to open the running game up a bit with more passing.
GRAFTON (4-7, 4-5): Will the late hiring of the new head coach Matt McLeod have an affect? And just who replaces Evan Sperling, very good in a starting role late last season, as the Clippers starting QB?
JAMESTOWN (4-6, 4-5): A solid and competitive team most of last year, the Eagles must replace all but one starting lineman. That will be a huge focus in the preseason.
LAFAYETTE (9-2, 8-1): Lots returns, but the Rams still must replace all-district players like OL Peter Hurst (a William and Mary walk-on), TE Parker Kindley (Christopher Newport), DL Corey Stephenson and LB Carlos Coronado (Bridgewater).
NEW KENT (0-10, 0-9): The returning QB, Luke Mechling, averaged better than 150 yards passing, but a defense that allowed 40 points per game must get better in every respect.
POQUOSON (4-6, 3-6): With almost every key player returning, the most interesting thing in preseason will be seeing how much QB Trey Hicks – thrown into the fire last year as a freshman – has improved.
SMITHFIELD (10-2, 8-1): A defense that allowed just 9.8 points per contest replaces five first team all-district selections, bruising linebackers Chuck Sharon and Kyon Croker, the district defensive Player of the Year, among them.
TABB (4-6, 4-5): The Tigers lost state all-star game MVP QB Dan Schiele and RB/LB Jake Brown, who averaged nearly 100 yards per game rushing. Replacing their production and leadership is a must.
YORK (9-3, 7-2): The biggest holes to be plugged are four offensive line spots and QB, where Austin Norman graduated after doing a good job of succeeding superstar Alex Johnston.
WARHILL (6-5, 5-4): Warhill’s new head coach, Obie Boykin, was confirmed barely two weeks ago. He’ll have to quickly rebuild the offensive line and find a new starting QB.